Retirement Readiness in the

Healthcare Sector

Insights Report

Retirement income security depends upon a series of financial decisions and actions over time. How do healthcare employees tackle this challenge?


This report leverages the TIAA Institute Healthcare Workforce Survey to examine retirement readiness among full-time employees—including registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, other medical professionals, office and administrative staff, and nonmedical professionals—in hospitals, healthcare systems, and medical practices that are part of a system. A previous report used the same survey data to analyze recruitment and retention issues in the healthcare sector.

Key Insights

  • 91% of full-time employees in hospitals and healthcare systems are saving for retirement, with 67% saving through an employment-based plan.
  • 34% of retirement savers aren’t confident they’re saving an adequate amount, and 24% aren’t confident their savings is invested appropriately.
  • 85% of retirement savers in the healthcare sector carry debt, and 45% are saving less than they otherwise would because of their debt. 58% of savers are likely to use an annuity to provide retirement income.
  • 51% of savers have received retirement planning advice within the past two years.
  • 38% of those who haven’t received advice aren’t confident about having enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement, compared with19% of advice recipients.

Eighty-five percent of retirement savers in the healthcare sector carry debt, holding back their retirement readiness


1,516 full-time healthcare workers were surveyed online in October 2023. The sample was acquired through Dynata and responses were weighted based on data from Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (May 2022), U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Figure 1. Retirement income confidence among healthcare employees


Paul J. Yakoboski

TIAA Institute

Emily Watson

TIAA Institute 

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