It is entirely possible for family medicine physicians to build substantial wealth and retire with security. In fact, they may have a leg up on the specialists.
The advantage of more highly paid physicians is often reflected in their lifestyles rather than in their efforts to build walk-away wealth—and they carry those lifestyle needs and expectations into retirement.
In a real sense, family medicine physicians may have an easier job building financial independence than their more highly-compensated colleagues. Family docs can usually reach most of their goals through a combination of pre-tax savings like 401k or 403b plans and Social Security.
To be sure, it requires serious intention, an early start, and avoiding big mistakes (investment and lifestyle) for anyone to build wealth.
2 key points for family medicine physicians:
1) Decisions around your loans are very important. You need to be intentional about them from day one. Many family medicine physicians will have Public Service Loan Forgiveness options that can result in huge economic benefits. It is crucial that you make the right choices, even during residency, to maximize options later on.
2) A well-thought out and disciplined savings and debt paydown strategy can result in a significantly larger and more predictable nest egg than a less intentional plan.