How to Design Your Personal Retirement Glide Path

A “glide path” describes how your asset allocation is expected to change over time. The traditional sentiment is that the percentage allocated to stocks should decrease as you approach and enter retirement. That’s the approach taken by Target Date Funds and traditional financial planning. Does that make sense for you? William Bernstein, MD is often quoted and paraphrased, having stated that you ought to stop playing once you’ve won the game. In other words, once your financially independent and beyond, why invest substantially in potentially risky assets like stocks? However, and he said it himself at WCICon18, if you’ve won […]

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My Life Costs $220 a Day. A Realistic Budget for a Post-FI Family of Four.

Family of Four

Two hundred and twenty dollars a day. That seems like a lot of money! It’s pretty rare that I actually go out and spend $220. We couldn’t possibly be doing so day in and day out. Or could we? While I may not be handing over eleven $20 bills to someone every day, or charging $220 on our credit cards on a daily basis, expense tracking has shown us that, as a family of four, our burn rate is in the neighborhood of $220 a day. The first 12 months I tracked it, we spent $74,000. Three months later, I […]

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FOMO, Cancer, and the Practice of Medicine


Today, I’m honored to publish a guest post from an anesthesiologist who has an amazing story to share. She reached out to me in the fall of 2018 to say a few kind words as a reader. We had some things in common. She had lived frugally relative to many of her colleagues. She was now working in a part-time capacity. Her path to this point, however, is very different from mine. I simply realized I no longer needed to work for money and started working less. She, on the other hand, had a very serious medical diagnosis that had […]

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Know Your Enemy: Investing for Retirement

In today’s Saturday Selection, I’ve got a classic selection from The White Coat Investor. It should come as no surprise to you that succesful investing requires you to vanquish several enemies. If you don’t know who they are, you’re unlikely to win, and you may have a tough time realizing the retirement you’ve envisioned and deserve. While Dr. Jim Dahle alludes to a fourth enemy in a way, he deosn’t exactly call him or her out. Instead, he calls out “Bob,” the neighborhood chatterbox who always seems to be doing better than you. The fourth enemy? It’s not Bob; it’s […]

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Physician Retires Early and is Met With Scorn

Retirement Scorn

I read or write about early retirement on a more or less continual basis. Most of the news is positive, although it’s not uncommon for people, particularly physicians, to fail their first go at retirement. I came across a story that had a surprisingly negative component to it, and I hoped I could share that story with you here. The DocNextDoor was kind enough to oblige, writing the story that follows. After reading the thread he started on the WCI Forum and the article he sent, I still had more questions. He answers them in the brief interview that follows. […]

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Top 5 Reasons Not to Ignore Social Security

Today, we bring you a Saturday Selection from The White Coat Investor, touching on a topic that I haven’t ignored — Social Security. While I don’t necessarily factor in my future Social Security benefits when determining how much money I need to retire early, I do plan on having it someday. As you will read, there are lots of reasons to expect it will be there, even if it’s not in the same form or with the same rules that we have today. How much can you expect? I built a calculator to help you determine how much you could […]

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Mainstream Media Misses the Mark on the FIRE Movement

Queens Bath Kauai danger

In 2018, my third year as a FIRE blogger and four years after I first discovered the concept via a Marketwatch article, the topics on financial independence and early retirement have become increasingly more visible in the mainstream media. This is wonderful! Realizing that I could afford to live the rest of my life in a different manner was life-changing, and I want more people to benefit from that message. I started a site of my own to help other people like me realize that they don’t actually need $10 Million to retire comfortably, and I’m grateful for the help […]

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The Concept of “Being Done” Saving for Retirement

Retire in Roatan

I’ve been thinking about writing an article on the beauty of being done saving for retirement. I wonder if I came up with it on my own coincidentally or if I came across this post years ago and it left an impression on my subconscious mind. Either way, I’m happy to share Dr. Jim Dahle’s take on what it means to be done saving for retirement and what it takes to get there. As is his style, he uses easy-to-understand math to help you figure out what it might take for you to be done saving for retirement. What do […]

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Retired Not Retired

Retired not Retired

As my quote-unquote “retirement” approaches — I plan to leave my job as an anesthesiologist in August of 2019 — I’ve been thinking more about what my life will look like after that. I don’t think “retired” will be a great word to describe my existence as a husband, father, blogger, and traveler. I’ll be retired not retired. What do I mean by that? It’s kind of like when someone makes a phony public apology, a tactic known as saying “sorry not sorry.” It goes something like this.   “I am sorry that you were offended when I referred to […]

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Living the Good Life on a Small Budget in Mexico

I’ve written about stateside geographic arbitrage, the ability to earn more money while living in a lower cost of living area. It works quite well, particularly for physicians, who tend to command higher salaries in places where non-medical jobs don’t pay particularly well. Today’s guest author is taking advantage of a more global variety of geographic arbitrage. He left the life he had built north of the border for a more peaceful life south of the border. My family and I thoroughly enjoyed the three weeks we spent in Mexico last year, but unlike Shawn, we were nowhere near the beach. […]

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Retired at 34. How One Physician Quit Her Job to Live Her Dream.

Lake Tjornin Dusk

Today’s guest post comes from a young physician who became disillusioned with medicine by the time she was able to practice independently. Through a combination of creativity, budgeting, investing, and adopting a minimalist mindset, she is now in a place where work is optional and she can travel extensively with her children. Although her husband chooses to continue working as a teacher, Eliza the dermatologist was clearly the main breadwinner of the family. Although she didn’t work more than a few years, the income she earned and the choices they made set them up for a sustainable lifestyle for many […]

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Geographic Arbitrage in Retirement: Five American Cities for Budget Retirees

Texas Mural Austin

I sing the praises of geographic arbitrage for physicians during their working years. Doctors have the somewhat unique ability to earn more money in places with a lower cost-of-living. A true win-win. You don’t have to be a physician to take advantage of lower cost of living as a retiree. If you’re no longer working or holding down a job that’s location independent, you can live somewhere that costs less, has good access to healthcare, and meets the other criteria on your wish list. Henry Mackle wrote the following guest post featuring a handful of viable options for a quality […]

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Early Retirement Doesn’t Have to Suck

Monkey typing

Allow me to introduce you to an early retiree with 13 years of early retirement experience. For perspective on that timeline, this Dude has been retired longer than I’ve been an anesthesiologist. And the Dude’s not even 50 years old. I could carry on with the introduction, but I don’t have nearly as broad a vocabulary or as keen a sense of wit, so I’ll let the author of today’s guest post complete the introduction. From the monkey-loving man with a whole lot of time on his hands: Early Retirement Dude was once clean-cut and corporate. But having retired at […]

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Beyond Life Insurance: The Importance of a Legacy Binder

If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me? For I must be traveling on now… My guess is yes, you will remember me, at least for a little while, but will you remember how I manage our money? Will you still remember why we do the backdoor Roth in January and know how best to take distributions from my 457(b)? How to accesss our joint taxable account or how the bills get paid every month? Will you know where I want my body or ashes to be buried or spread? Or what I loved and will miss most […]

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How Many Rental Properties Do You Need to Retire Early?

What a great question, Passive Income MD. How many doors should one have in a rental property portfolio in order to have enough passive (or somewhat passive depending on how you do it) to provide for all of your retirement needs? Now that I have enough money to call myself financially independent and then some, I’ve thought more about diversification. It would be nice to have some income-producing assets that don’t rely on the stock market to further “smooth the ride” beyond what my small bond allocation does. Thus far, I’ve mainly relied on crowdfunded real estate to do that […]

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Social Security & Early Retirement 2018: Know Your Bend Points!

Today’s post is a major update to a previously published post. The figures have been updated for 2018, and the spreadsheet has been improved and updated with all new indexing factors. In fact, I updated all of the spreadsheet calculators I’ve made for the site. The color scheme is consistent and the spreadsheets should be easier to read and use. E-mail subscribers got a link to download these in their inbox. Subscribe and you’ll get the same!     Social Security & Early Retirement 2018: Know Your Bend Points!     Social Security is something we aspiring retirees don’t spend […]

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Retiring Early in Healthcare Without a Physician’s Income

Chimborazo Ecuador peak

I hope you caught my guest post over on Can I Retire Yet last week. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out Leaving a Prestigious High-Paying Career in Your Early 40’s. When you’re done, please come back — I’ve got another great guest post for you to read. Today, Chris Mamula, one member of the tandem that also includes Darrow Kirkpatrick from Can I Retire Yet, is returning the favor. I met Chris briefly at Fincon last fall as he was in the midst of this career transition. He’s a a stand-up guy, and we clearly have much […]

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A Retirement Checklist

West-Crack Yosemite

If you’re starting to think about either early or traditional retirement in the coming years, there are a number of issues to consider before pulling that trigger. Today’s Saturday Selection addresses a number of financial and emotional aspects that ought to be addressed prior to making that big leap to the next phase in life. From debt to spending to insurance to how you’ll spend your days, there’s a lot to think about. This post originally appeared on The White Coat Investor. A Retirement Checklist   As doctors enter their 50s and 60s, many start dreaming about retirement; unfortunately, properly […]

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43 Things to do with 86 Weekends in 2018

Vikings Super Bowl Winners

Today we have a fun post from an old friend, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. Our friend Vagabond MD has contributed a number of insightful guest posts including: Ten Reasons to Delay Your Early Retirement by Five to Ten Years Kids are Dynamite for Your Early Retirement Plans Top 5 Reasons This Physician Holds $500,000 in Cash The radiologist, who is about 52 years young, has decided to work less and enjoy life more. I’ve fantasized about 50 things I’d like to do when retired, but there’s plenty of fun to be had prior to retirement, […]

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Smart Career Alternatives and Retirement for Physicians

smart career alternatives and retirement

It’s no secret that many physicians are looking to do something different with their careers and their lives. Burnout, resilience, and wellness are a growing focus as we realize that the status quo is untenable for many of today’s practicing physicians. Larger employers and institutions are appointing Chief Wellness Officers. The Physician Side Gigs Facebook group has over 13,000 verified physician members; my new Physicians on FIRE group has seen over 1,000 physicians join in its first week. Ideally, we’d like to see every doctor remain happily and gainfully engaged as a medical professional, but this isn’t a perfect world. […]

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