Female dentists’ long-term financial plans at risk according to new report

21 June 2022
2 min read

Research from Wesleyan Financial Services has identified a key area of concern that may leave female dentists at a financial disadvantage compared to their male colleagues.

Nearly half of female dentists (47 per cent) said saving enough for retirement is one of their key financial priorities over the next 12 months. But survey findings revealed that there is a gap in financial planning when it comes to short-term changes to how dentists work and the resulting impact on long-term financial plans.

For female dentists who plan to make changes to how they work within the next two years (such as changing working hours or moving from NHS to private provision), 30 per cent have no financial plans to offset these changes and a further 30 per cent don’t know how these changes will impact their pension.

Comparing this approach to the point of view of male dentists, 41 per cent are confident they have planned for the short and long-term impacts and, 51 per cent know exactly how their pensions will be affected. This leaves a large gap in the approach to long-term planning that may derail female dentists’ plans for retirement.

Linda Wallace, director of Wesleyan Financial Services, said “It’s a significant concern from the perspective of financial planning specialists to see such a crucial element of female dentists’ long-term financial plans exposed.

“Understandably, the demands of working within dentistry are intense and reports of burnout, stress and mental health problems are not uncommon in the dental press. These more immediate challenges often take precedent but raising awareness on long-term financial planning issues will help ensure women in dentistry aren’t left at a comparative disadvantage when it comes to life after work.

“The decisions dentists make now to how they work are intrinsically linked with financial stability in later life. Retirement plans need to be reviewed regularly to protect future goals and allow dentists to enjoy the fruits of their labour with a much-earned retirement.”

Growing day-to-day savings was also found to be a short-term financial priority for 37 per cent of female dentists, which jumped to 58 per cent for those aged 18-30 years. One particular driver for this priority appears to be the ongoing market volatility due to the cost-of-living crisis and the lingering impacts of the pandemic.

One survey respondent shared, “Currently I’m only breaking even and need to find the money to pay my tax bill. So, I can’t save at all.”

Wesleyan’s previous research revealed that it was more likely for British people to save in standard savings accounts rather than considering alternative approaches, such as investing.

With inflation levels now reaching the highest levels in 40 years as reported for April, one area for female dentists to consider is the negative impact using easy access savings accounts may have on the purchasing power of their savings. To protect their hard-earned money from inflation, considering investing may help savings outperform inflation and result in better returns.

Of course, investments can go down as well as up and it’s possible to get back less than invested. Dentists need to consider their risk appetite and weigh up the threat of inflation and the risks of investing. Speaking to a financial expert may provide clarity on this financial planning area.

To download the full report looking at the key financial concerns for female dentists, click here. To book a financial review with a specialist dental financial adviser, call 0800 316 6553.