Early Retirement Chose Me

Vieques Plane

Why on earth would someone put themselves through twelve years of education and training for a career of only twelve years? It’s a great question, and one that I had best be prepared to answer again and again.  It’s looking more and more likely that I will begin a sabbatical in 2018 or 2019, and my time away from clinical medicine will be extended and perhaps permanent. If I put myself in the position of an outsider looking in at this situation, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Here’s a guy who saves all this money just so he can quit […]

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Should I Take 40 Weeks Off Every Year?

john mulligan dublin

Here’s a job description to consider.   Wanted: Anesthesiologist to work extraordinarily family friendly schedule. Work one week a month or three weeks every three months. Call is negotiable, but not required. Salary: $72,000 to $108,000 per year. Well, that sounds like a dream job, now doesn’t it? The salary would be enough to cover our typical expenses, and I’d have a boatload of time off to do all those things I wish I had more time to do. If I were willing to accept the low end of that pay scale, I wouldn’t even have to take call! Where […]

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My Retirement Outlook is Rainy? The Problem With Assumptions

Just when I’m starting to feel good about my future, Transamerica rains on my future parade with a lousy e-mail. “Your retirement outlook is… Rainy.” They insert a cute little stormy cloud in case I didn’t get their point the first time.     Do these downer e-mails leave me in a state of despair? Of course they don’t. I know something that Transamerica doesn’t. Namely, that the money I’ve got stashed in their accounts represents less than 20% of my retirement assets. The rest is in Roth and taxable accounts with Vanguard. It’s not entirely Transamerica’s fault. After all, I didn’t […]

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Who Are the Physicians Who Retire Early?

  This little FIRE blog is one of many early retirement blogs, but it’s the only one being written by a physician. If you look around, you’ll find quite a few young men and women who have successfully pulled off an early retirement at age 30 to 35, an age at which most physicians will have a negative net worth. For example: Pete & Simi @ Mr. Money Mustache retired at age 30. Justin @ Rootofgood retired at 33. The Frugalwoods family retired at age 32. Anita @ Power of Thrift retired at 33. Brandon @ Mad Fientist retired at 34. Sam […]

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Early Retirement and The Likelihood of Regret

When this blog was first conceived sometime last year, I had a pretty good idea I would be ready and able to retire early at some point. Crunching numbers and considering some family dynamics, I came up with a five to six year plan to retire quite comfortably with a healthy margin of safety. Seven months into this venture, I have done a lot, lot more number crunching, brainstorming, and talking with my wife about our future. The five or six year plan has essentially been cut in half. I’m thinking more in terms of a two and a half […]

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50 Ways I’d Like to Spend My Time in Early Retirement

Jamaica Beach Runaway Bay

Time flies when you’re having fun. Or, as Kermit tells us, time’s fun when you’re having flies. Time also flies by when you’re busy. The next few years will be exceptionally busy for me. I’ll be working full time. I’ll be blogging part time. My boys will be in more after school activities. We’re learning Spanish together as a family. The next few years most certainly will fly by. And then I will be retired. As I’ve stated before, I won’t be retiring from clinical medicine to escape a job I dislike. I will retire to free up over 2,000 hours per year […]

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Top 5 Reasons I Chose Not to Retire at 39

A year and a half ago, at age 39, I was studying for an exam required to maintain my status as a board-certified anesthesiologist. Most of the study materials were only peripherally related to my actual job, and the practice questions were equally inane. I started wondering if I would have to repeat the process in 10 years. A google search between study sessions quickly opened my eyes to the concepts of Financial Independence and Retiring Early. The FIRE blogging community provided me with a great education, and over the last 6 months has welcomed me graciously as one of […]

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Announcing My Retirement

I thought I could do this at least a few more years. In fact, I thought I might be able to handle the abuse another 10 years or more. I trained long and hard to be in this position. I never could have imagined I would be saying this before my 41st birthday. But I have reached The Crossroads. I need to do what’s best for myself and my family. I’ve enjoyed the journey, with all the mud, sweat, and beers, but it’s time to face reality. To quote Danny Glover’s Lethal Weapon character, Roger Murtaugh, “I’m getting too old […]

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The Top 5 Reasons I Want to Retire Early

Personal finance is personal, and personal posts tend to be more interesting than the typical clickbait lists that perpetrate our Facebook and Twitter feeds. I’ve written a couple not-so-personal Top 5 lists, including the Reasons to Retire Early, and the Reasons Not to. The writing comes easier when I’ve got something more personal to say, as I did when I wrote the Top 5 Things I’ll Miss When I Retire Early. Today, I’m going to give you my own reasons for wanting to retire early. These aren’t the best reasons to retire early, or reasons you should retire early; these are […]

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Happiness is an Early Retirement

What is happiness? The Beatles said that Happiness is a Warm Gun. Ummm…. next! Linus told Charlie Brown that Happiness is a Warm Blanket… better… Mr. Money Mustache says that Happiness is the Only Logical Pursuit… I like that! The best definition from the Merriam Webster online dictionary is 2a: a state of well-being and contentment. Sounds about right. Happiness is indeed a pursuit or a state of mind that we would all like for ourselves and the people around us. Many books have been written on the topic, and many blog posts, too. As a type of scientist, I like […]

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The Power of One More Year

If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve got a pretty good idea of what it means to be financially independent, and can appreciate the power that financial independence provides. Chief among the benefits is the ability to retire early; your investments should adequately provide for your spending needs indefinitely at a withdrawal rate less than or equal to four percent. That’s a great thing! But what if, like me, you’re not ready to hang up the stethoscope quite yet. You know you’ll miss your patients and colleagues, and frankly, you’re too young and good looking to be retired!     A […]

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Physician on FIRE Guide to Retiring at 45

I have met at least two physicians over the years who told me they planned on retiring at age 45.  We humans seem to like to measure things in multiples of five, and 45 is probably the earliest milestone age that a physician can realistically and comfortably retire.  The first of these two physicians was a pediatric chief resident who worked with me when I was a third year medical student.  He had at least 15 years to go but already had the perfect sailboat chosen to sail the ocean blue.  Another was an anesthesiologist I worked with a few […]

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Top 5 Reasons NOT to Retire Early

In a previous post, I shared with you the Top 5 Reasons to Retire Early. Next up in the Top 5 series, we have five reasons not to consider it.   The Top 5 Reasons NOT to Retire Early   1. You love your job.   You had a life-altering experience as a teenager. You made up your mind that you were going to help people. You studied your butt off for the next seven years and got into medical school. After three to six years of residency and perhaps another year or three in fellowship, you’re finally doing it! You’re a real doctor and […]

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Top 5 Reasons to Retire Early

Have you ever seen the John Cusack film, “High Fidelity“? No? That’s OK, you don’t really have to see the movie to understand and appreciate the concept of a Top 5 list. Cusack’s character, Rob, is a big fan of them; so am I. David Letterman had his Top 10 lists, but half the list was nonsense and the lame answers distracted you from laughing at the 4 or 5 funny ones. So I’m taking Rob’s approach. My top 5 reasons to retire early are:   1. Because You Can   If you live below your means, save and invest […]

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