Christopher Guest Post: Full Time Finance

Today’s Christopher Guest Post features a father who shares his financial philosophies on his site known as Full Time Finance.

Like me, he is a product of the 1970’s, is relatively, but not overly frugal, and has two boys that figure prominently in any discussion of the future. He’s assembled a blogroll of sorts that includes only fellow Gen-Xers. I don’t know of another list like it, so be sure to check it out if you’re somewhere between Millennial and Boomer.

He posts two to three times a week, and, as you will learn, has attained an education that makes him much more qualified to discuss finance than I am.

 

What’s a Christopher Guest post?

 

Christopher Guest Post Full Time FinanceInspired by Nigel Tufnel, the character portrayed by Christopher Guest in Spinal Tap, I took Mr. 1500’s ten questions, and amped them up to eleven.

 

If you’re not familiar with the scene, take 50 seconds to watch this video and enjoy the dialog between Nigel and Rob Reiner.

 

I decided I’d start a Q&A of my own. Not satisfied with just ten questions, “this one goes to eleven”. Just like Nigel’s amplifiers.

 

 

What do you do (or did you do) for a living? What do you like best about your job? If you were a physician, what type of a physician do you think you would be? Why?

If you have ever see the movie “Office Space” you are probably familiar with the concept of the Bobs. These two fairly incompetent individuals are brought in to analyze various processes, systems, and people. They then intend to change them to be more efficient.

Well, if you remove the incompetent part (at least I think so) and consider a company that’s growing (so no layoffs), you can call me Bob. I manage large-scale programs to change the nature of how my company does business for cost-cutting and revenue increases.

The best part of my job is that I can point to massive cost savings and revenue increases directly related to programs I started and executed. Honestly, I’d probably never be a physician because I don’t like dealing with blood. I’d more likely be the Hospital Administration I’m sure you all hate.

[PoF: I don’t hate hospital administrators as a de facto position; they have to earn my hatred. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened much. I suppose it did once, but I no longer work at that place, and I wouldn’t say I’m missing it, Bob.]

 

Describe your blog and tell us why your blog would appeal to a physician seeking FIRE in eleven sentences.

My blog focuses on mid-career, mid to high income individuals like most physicians. Also, unlike most personal finance blogs, I am focused on the midpoint in the financial independence journey.

I’m not in debt or anywhere near being in debt. However, retirement is a distant faint glow based on my calculations. I’m not scrounging for the coupons at the grocery store to save 20 cents, but I still enjoy a good deal.

To that perspective, I throw in a strong economics aspect. I dream of one day kicking off a side hustle as an economics adjunct professor. I have an MBA and a minor in economics that inform that economics slant. As such, many of my posts work in both mainstream and obscure economic concepts.

However, I do my best to keep it fairly light so as not to overwhelm my readers or sound like a lecture. To this, I add a heavy focus on setting goals and creating plans based on my career background.

[PoF: You’ve got a solid background with the MBA and economics minor. I like that you’re somewhere between destitute and financially independent. Once student loan debt is eliminated, many early-to-mid career docs find themselves in a similar position.]

 

What inspired you to start a blog of your own? Was there a particular event you remember that made you feel your blog had arrived? Any big plans for your blog in the future?

I changed the focus of my activity within my mega corp from cost-based efficiency to more revenue based. As a result, I needed to learn more about digital marketing. A blog seemed like the ideal platform. Besides, my wife was sick and tired of hearing me prattle on about finance so it gave me an outlet. The plan for the blog going forward is to continue to experiment with digital marketing, meet new people, and most importantly, add to my entertainment.

Besides, my wife was sick and tired of hearing me prattle on about finance so it gave me an outlet. The plan for the blog going forward is to continue to experiment with digital marketing, meet new people, and most importantly, add to my entertainment.

[PoF: My wife encouraged me to start this blog, too. It never occured to me that she may have had a similar motive. A blog is a great way to express your opinions and share your knowledge with an audience of more than one.]

 

Give me eleven posts you think Physician on FIRE readers might want to read.


Technological Progress, your Career, and Karl Marx
 

Game Theory and Personal Finance
 

Why I do not use a budget
 

The Secret to My financial success
 

Money doesn’t buy happiness, Money Buys Options
 

The Value of Time
 

Net Worth is not that important for my Financial Plans
 

Are We Frugal?
 

Getting Others to change their mind through Active Listening
 

Bad Debt and Gray Debt: Leverage

 

[PoF: Some excellent topics covered here. That game theory stuff is fascinating. It’s where mathematics and human behavior intersect.] 

 

At what age are you most likely to retire (or at what age did you retire) from full-time work? What are you doing to help realize your retirement target?

At present we are targeting a retirement date of 55, or the day my oldest child graduates college. The date really has no relation to finances. Based on my estimates I could retire at somewhere between 45-50 with my actual target number.




In my case, I enjoy working and the only thing I would do in retirement that I do not do now is travel the world. I expect needing to focus on kids’ education limits that desire far more for me then finances. Still, I’m building financially to be fully financially independent in that 45-50 range. That way if someone decides it’s time for me to retire or my desire to work changes I can just stop whenever.

[PoF: Financial Independence is a great goal, and having it before your 50th birthday puts you way ahead of the more typical timeline, which is much later or never. 

It’s great to have a job you don’t want to retire from. I will say that traveling the world with your kids could be the perfect way to give them an amazing education. Don’t assume you’re stuck in one place due to a brick and mortar school.]

 

What does an ideal retirement look like for you? What will you do with your time when full-time work is in your rearview mirror?

Ideally in retirement, we will have a small home base somewhere in the mountains. We will live there 6 months of the year. For the other 6 months of each year, we will pick elsewhere to live (hopefully in different countries and states). We plan to rotate that for as long as we can.

We both want to experience life living as a local around the world. As noted previously this doesn’t work too well with kids unless you homeschool. I love my two boys, but that sounds like torture.

[PoF: Our future could look a lot like yours. It is fun to experience new places and people on a regular basis. I started my career in that fashion as a traveling locum tenens doc

We’ll be looking more closely at our options for education, but some school districts offer online schooling, and there’s Kahn academy, specialty apps like Duolingo for language, and numerous other ways for your boys to learn. You don’t have to spend half your day teaching for them to get a well-rounded education.]

 

I’ll give you eleven sentences to dish out advice to a young physician. Any and all advice is welcome. We talk about personal finance, so money is fair game, but if you have advice on being a better doctor, a better parent / spouse / friend / human, we’re all ears.

The first step to anything you do is figuring out what success looks like. What does a great life look like to you?

It’s probably something about enjoying every moment you are on this planet because you only get one life. Find out what it takes to continuously achieve that success both now and in the future.

The key being your success can’t be a destination; it has to be something you can achieve throughout your life. Life is a journey after all and you might never make it to a set point.

Set plans and goals to facilitate that continued success. Then whenever you have questions, decisions, or anything else consider whether the choice will lead to success. If it does not then stick to your plan. If it does stay flexible and change directions. You can only achieve success if you know what success is.

[PoF: That’s a wise approach. I’m not the most contemplative person, and I don’t know that I’ve taken the time to define success for myself. I think it includes a healthy body, healthy relationships, and a healthy bank account doesn’t hurt, either.]

 

You’ve got eleven days to visit anyplace in the world with an $11,000 budget. Where do you go and what do you do?

Man that’s a tough one. After travel rewards, I do not think I’ve spent more than 5K on an 11 day trip in my life. We also tend to be the type of people that are more happy camping and hiking in the middle of nowhere then staying somewhere nicer.

Ultimately, it would probably involve hiking in the backcountry in New Zealand. To make it to 11K I’d need to throw in some spa treatments for my wife after each day’s hike and some serious eateries. My coworker pointed out I could always buy a gold plated tent.

 

Orange MSR Tent

 

[PoF: If you’re taking the boys, you’ll burn through most of that budget just to get there and back! But it would be an amazing trip! I hope to visit New Zealand in the coming years, but plan to spend a lot more than 11 days there.

A gilded tent? Sounds too heavy for backpacking. Buy some carbon fiber gear and you’ll spend just about as much.]

 

Name eleven beverages you enjoy. You can be as general or specific as you like.

Beer (usually a good porter)
Water
Fruit Juice
Milk
Beer (pilsner)
Beer (stout)
Chocolate Milk (yes I have kids)
Smoothie (strawberry with banana)
Mojito
Beer (ale)
Rum and Coke

[PoF: I think we would get along just fine, and yes, you’re making me thirsty. For chocolate milk now and beer this evening.]

 

Now, eleven foods.


Rib Eye Steak
Sushi
Brownies
Blue Crabs
Lobster (I have expensive taste apparently)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Burgers on the grill
Corn on the Cob (because I need a starch)
Asparagus (because I need a vegetable)
Deer Meat (In college I lived off deer meat for an entire semester at 20 cents a pound)
Anything my wife makes (thanks for editing this guest post, hunny).

[PoF: How did you score venison at 20 cents a pound? Was that the cost of a bullet and a knife to butcher your prey?

I can agree with pretty much everything on that list, but I’ve decided enjoying asparagus just isn’t worth it. I like broccoli as much or more and broccoli never reminds me that I ate broccoli hours earlier. Unlike asparagus. :)]

 


You’re still not using Personal Capital? Track all your accounts in one place like I do.


 

How did you first learn about PhysicianonFIRE.com? What one piece of advice do you have for me?

I first encountered PoF on one of Think Save Retires Friday Feasts. I can’t remember the post at this point, but it obviously made an impression or I would have stopped reading long ago. 😉 My one piece of advice is “Keep on trucking”…. Sorry couldn’t resist.

[PoF: Thank you, “Bob,” for taking the time to share your story with my audience. Hopefully we can meet up someday, share some venison steaks with a good porter, and let our four boys run wild as boys are known to do.

If you’d like to read more from FTF, check out all his posts in one page. For additional Christopher Guest posts, click away!]

 

Interested in hearing how other top personal finance blogger have answered these questions? Check out the following Christopher Guest Posts:

13 comments

  • Hahaha funny when you said homeschooling sounds like torture 😀😀😀. And Doc, I liked your tips on that. I have never heard about that Duolingo app, will check it out.

    And it’s quite funny how you listed beer like 4 times as your favourite drink 😂. We love beer too especially since we get it for free from some connection. Free beer always tastes the best for some reason!

    I also checked out your blogroll. It’s quite unique and well thought out. You should update it to include the newbies like us 😉. Plan on doing our blogroll once we hit 3 months or so of blogging.

  • I like that you have interviewed so many bloggers who are both great bloggers and accomplished professionals in their real life.

    It’s not easy juggling a successful blog and a demanding career, but Chris seems to have managed it really well. The idea of living on the mountains during retirement has never crossed my mind, but it does sound appealing! Thanks for sharing the great interview!

  • Backpacking in NZ with spa treatments, delicious meals, and a gold-plated tent… sounds like a plan!

    I like learning about fellow bloggers and this interview is no exception! I like that Mr. FTF enjoys his job and is setting a retirement date not tied to specifically reaching a number, but more on a life-event basis.

    And I’m not going to lie, I have a similar thought about home-schooling… but the resources PoF mentions sound like solid places to explore for alternate home-schooling methods 🙂

  • Thanks for the opportunity to sit down for an interview PoF. The story of the venison cost:. In the state of Georgia butchers couldn’t sell venison brought in by hunters outright. But if the hunter never picked up the meat they could sell it for the price of packaging. Great deal if you have a friend who lived near a deer meat processing facility.

  • Ha! Up here in MN my family butchers the meat. I just ran the numbers based on the amount of deer meat I had from last year. The only cost was the license and a few materials for processing. It came out to $.68/pound! Not close to the deal you got, but still pretty good!

  • Totally curious what deer meat taste like in comparison to any other mainstream meat. I would love to try but not at 20 cents a lb! – I mean, I think they charge more for roadkill ;9

    I’m picturing success not as enjoying the moment but to remember and document it all as it goes.

    • It’s like a gamier leaner version of beef. I tend to like it in jerky, steak, or sausages. To do burger you’d have to mix it with something like beef as there is not enough fat so it can get dry.

  • Gasem

    We Homeschooled our kids. Not hard to do. They were enrolled in an online great books program, with science, language and math supplementals from different vendors. My daughter accrued enough college credit to go in as a sophomore as her teachers held PhD’s and the program was accredited to grant college credit. My other daughter decided she wanted to walk to get a diploma and do prom and hoco and such so she went to her senior year in HS. I guess the homeschooling worked, because she graduated with a 105 average taking things like physics and trig. Several of her homeschool classmates actually were part of traveling families and some of the online friendships they made endure till today.

    The point is Homeschool is doable as long as you have internet available and a plan.

    Great post

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