December 22, 2020

From Chapter 8 of Heal Thy Wealth: How Doctors Are Misdiagnosing Their Own Financial Health And What They Can Do About It.  HARDCOVER NOW ON AMAZON.  Click here:


Whether you decide to retire early or continue to work as long as you can, the earlier you start to plan, the more likely it is that you will be financially prepared for retirement. Retiring is difficult enough for anyone, but it can be even tougher for a doctor who loves what they are doing and who will continue to work well into their 70s as long as health permits.


Preparing for that major financial and psychological change can feel overwhelming, but it is important to start planning for it well in advance, of the time when the practice exit becomes a reality. Most doctors spend every day of their lives building their practices and taking care of patients, and sometimes they don’t spend much time thinking about how to retire. A good retirement plan should provide a checklist of steps to take immediately and to enable you to chart your progress a few years down the road.


The number one question that I get asked all the time is, “Will my money outlive me, or will I outlive my money?” To help answer this question, we need to drill down into your current lifestyle and monthly lifestyle expenses and discuss any plans that you may have for major expenses down the road, such as a new car or the purchase of a vacation property.


Here is a list of “lifestyle questions,” followed by a list of “monthly lifestyle expenses,” to help get you started on planning for retirement:


Lifestyle Questions


1.     How do you envision retirement going forward? (Do you see yourself potentially working part-time, traveling? How often, etc.?)


2.     What are your unfulfilled dreams?


3.     How often would you like to travel, and what is the potential cost of each trip?


4.     How often would you like to buy a new car, and how much should we budget?


5.     Do you have a favourite charity that you want to leave money to, and how much would you like to leave?


6.     Is it important to you that you leave an estate to someone? If yes, how much do you intend to leave?


7.     Do you have hobbies that you want to focus more on in retirement, and what is the cost of these hobbies on an annual basis?


8.     Do you expect to make any major purchases (other than the car listed above) during retirement and if so, what are they and how much should we budget?


9.     Are there any medical issues in the family that we need to budget for?


10.  Are there any additional sums of money (such as a family inheritance) that you are aware of? If so, how much do you think the inheritance is worth, and when approximately should we plan for this money?


Monthly Lifestyle Expenses

1.     Housing Expenses

a.     Mortgage or Rent

b.     Home and Cell Phone

c.     Electricity

d.     Gas

e.     Water & Sewer

f.      Cable / Internet

g.     Supplies / Pool

h.     Property Tax

i.      Maintenance / Repairs


2.     Transportation

a.     Vehicle Payment

b.     Bus / Taxi Fare

c.     Car Insurance

d.     Licensing

e.     Fuel

f.      Maintenance

g.     407/Tolls


3.     Insurance

a.     Home

b.     Life

c.     Critical Illness

d.     Disability Illness

e.     Long-Term Care


4.     Food

a.     Groceries

b.     Dining Out

c.     LCBO


5.     Children

a.     Clothing

b.     Medical (e.g., glasses, prescription drugs)

c.     Childcare

d.     Toys/Presents

e.     Other


6.     Personal Care

a.     Medical (e.g., glasses, prescription drugs)

b.     Hair / Nails

c.     Clothing

d.     Dry Cleaning

e.     Health Club

f.      Organization Dues / Fees

g.     Other


7.     Entertainment

a.     Movie Rental

b.     Movie Night Out

c.     Concerts

d.     Sporting Events

e.     Live Theatre

f.      Travel

g.     Other


8.     Loans

a.     Investment Loan

b.     Student Loan

c.     Credit Card

d.     Other


9.     Savings / Investments

a.     RRSP / Non-Registered Plan

b.     TFSA

c.     RESP


10.  Gifts & Donations

a.     Charity 1

b.     Charity 2


11.  Legal

a.     Attorney

b.     Spousal Support

c.     Child Support

d.     Other


The initial step would be to complete your monthly lifestyle expenses. I would recommend that you review all of your credit card statements going back at least six months to make sure you have captured all your expenses and can therefore present a full picture of these as you budget. Some clients prefer an electronic copy of a monthly budget, and this should be made available to you if you request it from your financial planner.


From Chapter 8 of Heal Thy Wealth: How Doctors Are Misdiagnosing Their Own Financial Health And What They Can Do About It.  HARDCOVER NOW ON AMAZON.  Click here:


By John Moakler, BMath, CFP, CLU
President and Senior Executive Financial Planner
Moakler Wealth Management
1 416 840 8544