The recent college grad has wisdom well beyond his years, a fact that should be quite evident as you wade through the proceeding paragraphs.
What’s a Christopher Guest post?
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.
Presenting: Get Money Got Money
What do 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?
[PoF: What’s it like to earn money at 22? Most of us were just going deeper into debt at that age.
I once thought I’d like to be a pediatrician, too, but in medical school I realized my fondness for playing and tutoring children doesn’t translate well to treating sick kids and neurotic parents.
Regarding the spelling of physician, I see multiple misspellings in the search engines that lead people to this site every day. It’s impressive.]
Describe your blog and tell us why your blog would appeal to a physician seeking FIRE in eleven sentences.
My blog is about my journey to financial independence from the very beginning of my first “real world” job, which I started in the late Fall of 2016, to the point where I hit FI.
The majority of other personal finance blogs were started much later along the way or after the author had already reached their goal. Another unique aspect to my site is that there aren’t many written by people my age (I’m currently 22) who have just graduated and are trying to figure out how to best take care of their money.
Getting rich is easy if that’s what you’re after, all you need is some common sense and a few tips which I try and provide. However, I’m also trying to get the point across that everyone needs to start looking at money differently and realizing that being rich is not what’s going to make them happy but autonomy, connectedness, and fulfillment will.
As far as why my blog would appeal to a physician seeking FIRE? Well, it might not and that’s fine. But I think in the end, all of us want the same thing which is independence and the freedom to do what we love on a daily basis.
If that’s you then we’ll get along just fine and you’ll probably enjoy my site!
Although I’ve got nearly two decades on you, my approach is fairly similar. The main difference is I started my site post-FI, whereas you can share your journey as you make progress towards it. There are a lot of newly minted physicians with a zero or negative net worth who read this site that could benefit from your perspective.]
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?
1. I want to help people and I feel like if people can learn from the mistakes I go through and benefit from the good moves I make then I’ve helped to make the world just a slightly better place.
2. I’ve always wanted to start my own business and although I am currently not making any income from my site (and don’t really plan to anytime in the near future), this is sort of my first step in that direction. Building a business is all about creating an audience to consume your product whether that product is an iPhone or a blog post.
I don’t feel like my blog has arrived at this point yet to be totally honest with you. It’s still quite small and I’m okay with that. My goal is to hit 10,000 page views per month sometime in the near future, which would be a big landmark for me, but I still have a ways to go before I get there. I was recently featured on some awesome personal finance sites and even on this site’s best of (thanks!!) all of which were great moments but I still have quite a bit of grinding left before I can say I’ve really gotten to where I want to be.
As for future plans, I recently started a podcast that’s only airing on my site at the moment. I want to release more episodes of it and eventually get it going on Apple Podcasts. I’d also like to reach out to people like Mr Money Mustache and Vicki Robins and see if I could work with them in any capacity. It’s probably a longshot, but could you imagine if that somehow worked out??
[PoF: It probably is a long shot, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s probably best to build an audience before approaching the big names in FI, but you’re smart to aim high.]
Give me eleven posts you think Physician on FIRE readers might want to read.
Don’t Fear Wall Street
[PoF: Brian is the first blogger to recommend 11 posts written entirely by other people. I thought that was wonderful, so I kept them, but I asked him for an additional 11 posts that he has written so that we can get to know him better.]
How to achieve financial freedom in 10 years – An interesting post I wrote specifically for my friends over at thesavvycouple, which details my story and plan to reach FI in 10 years.
10 Habits of Eventual Millionaires – Like the 10 habits of highly effective teens/people/etc but way more fun to read and more focused on making money.
How to Invest if you’re new to investing – A great starting point for people new to the world of investing.
GMGM Podcast – My first and currently only podcast on the site. Warning: If you’re looking for some actual entertainment, look elsewhere, it’s a bit rough.
SEO For Dummies – Who doesn’t have a blog these days? If you want to get your stuff out there SEO is crucial and this should help.
Hiking 700 Miles, Money, and Life – That time I hiked 700 miles and how it has anything to do with money.
Start your FI Journey – Another post that describes a bit more about me, and how I got started with all this.
How much is a twitter follow worth? – Pretty self-explanatory but not something many people know about…marketing and making money on social media.
From living in a tent by a river, To an engineer in the city – A personal story about how I went from being nearly homeless to working as an engineer in Philly.
Saving $1,000,000 is easy, Saving $1 is hard – Why breaking habits is so important and how that can snowball into a lot of cash.
How to retire in less than 25 years on minimum wage – Not necessarily a guide so much as a thought experiment. Also helps you to realize that you can get yourself out of even the worse situation with a little bit of creativity.
[PoF: That last article really highlights how keeping expenses low can make FI possible at any salary in this country. It may not be an ideal life for any of us, but it is possible.
Somehow, most of us have forgotten how happy we were and how little we spent as college students.]
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?
Praying by 30. But I probably won’t be super rich at that point, not that I want to be. I track all my spending and net worth with personal spreadsheets I plan to put on my site.
If I can get a following on my site/podcasts it would be a nice side hustle if I can get an income going from it some time down the road in addition to my current job. But I think the biggest part is having a goal set (mine’s by 30, with at least $500,000) and being as frugal as possible within reason until achieving that goal. And trying to find other ways to boost income in the process doesn’t hurt either.
I don’t know what life has in store for you over the next decade, but if you choose a path that to marriage and / or children, your goals may change drastically.
Some couples do keep finances separate, so marriage wouldn’t necessarily derail your FI plans, but kids most definitely cost money, and need to be considered in any financial planning.]
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?
That’s funny to think about as a 22 year old. Even though my goal is to retire quickly, it doesn’t seem like a reality just yet.
In a perfect world, I just don’t want to have to worry about money or work and be able to spend my time traveling and outdoors. I think I would get more into my blog and doing creative things like painting, learning to play the guitar, and other activities I’ve just never had the time to learn. I have a gigantic list of things that I want to do at some point in my life (I guess a bucket list of sorts) which has a couple items like:
-Run with the bulls
-Complete an Ironman
-Visit all 7 continents (4 of 7 down!)
[PoF: You could probably work some bulls into the marathon portion of the Ironman, and do it all on one of three continents you haven’t visited (preferably not Antarctica) to kill three birds with one stone.
I’ve still got three continents to go, as well. Africa, Antarctica, and Australia beckon.]
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.
Hmm, that’s tough for me. First of all, I’m still pretty young and an engineer by trade so giving sage advice to a lot of really smart physicians seems daunting. But I think one of the biggest things I try to discuss on my site besides money is just doing everything in your power to be a good human being. It’s sad but I think we get way too focused on ourselves and we tend to easily forget about the important people around us in our daily lives. The people we spend the most time with have an incredibly profound impact on us whether we’d like to admit it or not.
Money is also not the end all, be all. This may be an ironic statement, but I think we as people spend too much time thinking about money.
Everyone wants to be rich and powerful and doesn’t realize that what they’re after is happiness which can’t be achieved with money alone. If you use it for freedom and to do what you love, that’s a different story. It’s pretty simple really. Just be smart with your money (which I know you all already are) and be nice to others.
[PoF: Being a good human is a more worthy goal than becoming wealthy. Fortunately, it is possible to do both, particularly in a profession that exists to help people live longer, healthier lives.
Don’t assume we’re all smart with our money. The incomes we enjoy allow us to do some really dumb things with our money.
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?
For someone like me who is addicted to traveling, that is pretty much an impossible question to answer because I want to go everywhere and do everything. That list I started earlier is just the tip of the iceberg for me. With that budget, I could probably hit a lot of countries in Europe spending a day or two in each.
Buttttt, I suppose my actual answer would be to visit Patagonia. That’s kind of my holy grail trip at the moment. I would want to spend much more than 11 days there ideally, but with that time I think I would spend it all hiking, camping, and kayaking.
[PoF: You may have to bump that goal up to $511,000 to allow for Patagonia. Although with some travel hacking, I’ll bet you could do it for a lot less.
We’d love to spend some more time in South America, too, but we need to brush up on our Spanish skills first!]
Name eleven beverages you enjoy. You can be as general or specific as you like.
Arnold Palmer (Lemonade + Ice tea)
John Daly (Lemonade + Ice tea + Vodka)
Angry Orchard Hard Cider
Now, eleven foods.
BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger
Wawa Buffalo chicken sandwich (if you’ve never had this you haven’t lived)
Grilled cheese + Tomato soup
Any kind of pizza (but Pizza Hut’s is the best by far)
Spaghetti + Meatballs
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Mint chocolate chip ice cream
[PoF: I guess I haven’t lived. Or maybe I just don’t live anywhere near a Wawa.
You would definitely not be mistaken for a vegan, and I think you may want to include a little extra for healthcare (i.e. coronary stents) in that lean budget of yours. The diet appears to be anything but lean. I guess you can eat like that when you walk it off with a 700-mile hike.]
How did you first learn about PhysicianonFIRE.com? What one piece of advice do you have for me?
The first time I knew of your site was after you commented on my piece over at reachfinancialindependence. If I had to give one piece of advice, it would be to focus on what you’re passionate about and makes you happy in life, simple as that!
I think what you’re doing is great and I appreciate you letting me be a part of it!
[PoF: Thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to answer all these questions.]
If you would like to read more of these Christopher Guest Posts, I’ve got a bunch more great ones lined up and a pretty impressive backlog:
- Mr. Tako Escapes
- My Money Wizard
- Senior Resident
- Big Law Investor
- Ten Factorial Rocks
- Family Money Plan
- My Money Wizard
- ESI Money
- The Green Swan
- Smart Money MD
- The Retirement Manifesto
- J.L. Collins
- Johnny K. Johnson
- Early Retirement Now!
- Son of a Doctor
- The Happy Philosopher
- Future Proof MD
- Dr. Wise Money
- The White Coat Investor
- Mr. 1500 of 1500 Days
Readers, what else what you like to know from this young man? What do you think of the $500,000 goal at age 30 for this 22-year old engineer?