FIRE Starter 001: Locums NP Leans toward LeanFIRE in 2022

I’m happy to share the first FIRE starter interview and third overall, having published the first Post-FI Notes and FIRE Crossroads interviews previously.

While those first two interviews featured male physicians in their mid-forties, today’s interviewee is a female nurse practicitioner, and she’s rapidly approaching financial independence at age 32, or about the age at which many physicians start practicing after residency or fellowship.

Like me, she found locum tenens work to be quite rewarding, and it’s led her to the enviable position she finds herself in. Unlike me, she’s got a household of one, and her expenses are more leanFIRE than fatFIRE.

With a pending home purchase and FI goal well within reach, she’s at something of a crossroads, so she answered some questions from that series, too. Please take a minute to respond with your feedback in the comments at the end.

If you’re interested in participating in one of three interview series, please download the most appropriate form for your life situation: FIRE Starter, FIRE Crossroads, or Post-FI Notes.



Getting to Know You


Where are you on your financial independence journey? Have you reached a positive net worth? It’s OK if you haven’t! Most of us started out in the red.

I am 32 years old and about 60% there.


Tell us about your household. How many people and at what ages? Are you supporting anyone outside of your home? Where do you live?

I am single and not supporting anyone. I live in Miami, Florida but travel extensively.


In what field are you working? How is your career going? What do you like best and least about your chosen profession?

I am a locum tenens nurse practitioner (9 years as an NP and 6 years doing locums). I enjoy my job and the flexibility; the traveling is a plus.

Once FI, I would like to work less because I am an introvert so talking to people all day long can be exhausting.


What is the most challenging obstacle to making progress towards financial independence?

Time (lol). I am able to save $100k+ per year so I’m just waiting for my investments to compound.


Do you feel you’ve come to a crossroads of sorts? If so, tell us about it. What options are you contemplating?

I want to take a mini-retirement of about 3 to 6 months in Spain, but I’m also wanting to reach FIRE by end of 2022.

I’m wondering how much a mini-retirement will impact my FIRE goal, but I don’t think it matters much since I still want to do locums after reaching FI anyways.


I've got my 2 acres of non-leveraged, crop-producing, cashflowing farmland via AcreTrader. Get yours.




How is your money invested? Approximately what percentage is allocated to stocks, bonds, real estate, and alternatives?

I have 75% stocks (index funds), 0% bonds, 4% cash, and 21% rental real estate.


Are your investments primarily in tax-deferred, Roth, or “taxable” post-tax accounts?

50%  are in tax-deferred accounts, and 50% is in post-tax accounts.


Do you have investments in an HSA? How about 529 Plans?

I’m not eligible for an HSA and have not invested in a 529 plan.


What has been your best investment?

I bought a rental property with my sister. Our expenses are $1200/month and we rent it for $2200/month.


Your worst investment?

Early on, I didn’t research which funds I was invested in in my 401(k) so they didn’t grow much.

Also, I leased an Audi s5 convertible for 3 years – it was worth it, though.


FIRE Kindling


What attracts you to the FIRE movement? Do you think you’ll retire early when you’re in a position to do so?

No, I think I will cut back to working 6 months out of the year (instead of the current 10 months). I like that FIRE gives me options. It will give me time to do things I want to do such as travel and spending time with loved ones.


Numerically, what is your FI goal?



When do you suspect you will achieve financial independence? Will you retire from your career once you’re comfortably FI?

Next year (2022). I don’t plan to retire completely, and will still work locums but fewer shifts.


What are your post-FI plans? How will your life change? What do you look forward to the most?

I’ll continue working locums but cut back to 6 months per year or less. I’d like to spend more time at home in Miami and I will need to purchase a personal residence.

I look forward to spending more time with friends and family (they live all over the USA and world). I look forward to traveling more abroad.


Are you facing any unique challenges making FI or RE more difficult?

I need to purchase a primary residence in Miami but the current real estate market feels over priced.


How do you anticipate your life changing post-FI?

Working less – less stress. I look forward to more travel, and more time with family/friends.

Life won’t change much. I’ll just magnify the enjoyable parts of life that I am currently doing when I can.


What steps have you taken to hasten your time to FI?

I avoided permanent jobs because locums pays for my housing and car, eliminating most of my expenses.

I am able to live on less than $1,000 per month of my own money with so many of my expenses covered.


Are your friends, family, or coworkers aware of your interest in financial independence?

Yes – close friends and family are supportive.

Everyone else thinks I am nuts.


What advice do you have for others beginning their own FIRE journey?

Read The Simple Path to Wealth, Millennial Revolution, and watch Our Rich Journey on Youtube.


Finally, is there anything under the sun that you’d like some help with? The hive mind would be happy to weigh in.

My current expenses are $12k per year since I do not pay for housing or a car. I am estimating for retirement I will be living off of $40k per year (in Miami, FL).

Although I own 2 rental properties, I want to purchase a personal residence prior to FIRE. I’m not sure if I should get a mortgage or pay cash.

The interest rates are low currently making a mortgage worth it, but paying cash would allow me to live off of less than $40k/per year – meaning my FIRE number would be less.

If I did buy a house cash – like you have in the past – how would I go about doing this? I’m concerned about having to pay a lot of capital gains if I withdrew from my brokerage account vs saving cash.


PoF: Catch all the future interviews from those just getting started, at a crossroads, or at the end of their FI journey with a free subscription to Physician on FIRE.



I've got my 2 acres of non-leveraged, crop-producing, cashflowing farmland via AcreTrader. Get yours.


I’ve shared my feedback privately with today’s guest. I wouldn’t want my opinions to influence yours. Please give your take in the space below!

Again, if you’d like to partake in a future Q&A, please download a FIRE Starter, FIRE Crossroads, or Post-FI Notes interview form.


5 thoughts on “FIRE Starter 001: Locums NP Leans toward LeanFIRE in 2022”

  1. I don’t see how you can live on $40k per year in Miami. Even if you have a paid off home, property tax, insurance, maintenance – I think you’re underestimating these expenses. Let alone health insurance, transportation, food, entertainment, travel. I think low interest rates make it well worth taking out a traditional mortgage even if you could pay in cash. After tax, rates are comparable to average inflation rate so it’s almost like a free loan which allows your investments to grow. With all that said, congrats on your progress! You’re doing great and will do just fine.

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