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Fatlittlepig\'s Question for POF (Physician on Fire)

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  • Avatar bean1970 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 510
    Joined: 07/12/2017

    An option for those who are convinced they are FI but want to keep feet wet….you know you can practice as a volunteer. accept no salary. I’ve worked in many places where some of the physicians were unpaid volunteers. It would be a true attestation that one is not reliant on any salary.

    #205987 Reply
    q-school q-school 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2516
    Joined: 05/07/2017

    An option for those who are convinced they are FI but want to keep feet wet….you know you can practice as a volunteer. accept no salary. I’ve worked in many places where some of the physicians were unpaid volunteers. It would be a true attestation that one is not reliant on any salary.

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    the last time i looked into it, the liability coverage seemed spotty.  Things may have changed.  obviously specialty specific, but certainly can be a viable option.  however, the MOC thing has confused some issues (at least for me).   the local places want you to be board certified.  in order to remain board certified, you have to demonstrate ongoing certification CMEs at a minimum which have a fairly significant expense for us.  even when participating on mission trips to international countries recently, i was somewhat shocked at how much documentation they want.  when i first started going twenty years ago, i basically signed a piece of paper saying i was a doctor.

    obviously ymmv

    reportedly the abim conducted an audit this month and notified hospitals of physicians who were no longer board certified (because of moc) while still in the ten year window of their exams.

     

    #205988 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 08/01/2016
    reportedly the abim conducted an audit this month and notified hospitals of physicians who were no longer board certified (because of moc) while still in the ten year window of their exams.

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    This is a bit unusual because I am being still listed as board certified on ABIM website in all my three board specialties and also stating that I am not participating in MOC. I took my recertification exams about 3 years ago.

    #205992 Reply
    Avatar bean1970 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
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    @q-school. Once again if one can’t afford that stuff maybe they are not as well off (FI) as they think they are. Budget is too tight……
    I think too many people under estimate expenses….which drives a lot of people to do “something” for money.

    #205994 Reply
    Liked by Tim, Vagabond MD
    Avatar rdo 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 170
    Joined: 03/12/2017
    My question is “what would be your plan in 5 years if you lost $2.5mm?” Quite honestly, I don’t know if Fed Policy could step in if a recession turns into a depression. Those are extreme views, but they can easily happen, not likely. Everyone needs to find their own way to happiness. Some choose a commune and carving leather or blowing glass. You have a great skill that pays well. You can’t replace your earning years, but you can benefit by milking the earnings sooner rather than later. I would stash 10% or so in an “emergency” investment account. Nice little nest egg if you need a restart through no fault of your own.

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    I have the same question.  My guess is even with 2.5M NW, if he only needs 62000/year, it’s doable.

    I see both points of POF and FLP.

    great discussion.  some of us cannot live under 100k budget, some enjoy medicine despite being FI, some enjoy teaching, some needs health insurance.

    I personally want to make hay while the sun shines.  I do not know where medicine is revolving to.  I am easily replaceable by advance care practitioner.

     

    #206003 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    Status: Accountant
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    “which drives a lot of people to do “something” for money.”
    One thing I noticed, no one physician is choosing a second career for better earnings potential. You could work 2 more years and put every dime in your “Surplus Account”. How does it feel to be spending your “retirement savings”.
    Too many variables to predict.
    https://awealthofcommonsense.com/2019/04/the-life-cycle-of-wealth/
    Depends on your life as well.

    #206005 Reply
    Avatar FIREshrink 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 964
    Joined: 01/11/2017

    Many of us who are FI choose to keep working. Many don’t. Some will work at the hospital, others at the Starbucks. I have a doctor patient who quit working and then started volunteering at the free clinic. Another who retired and then started locums. Another who retired and took a yearlong RV trip and then came back to work for a year, then quit and now sits around with his grandkids. All of these are fine choices.

    People aren’t being negative. They just don’t agree with FLP.

    #206006 Reply
    Liked by Vagabond MD
    Avatar Kamban 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 08/01/2016

    Kind of expected this response, but somewhat disappointed in the negativity. my comments were not meant to be critical of this individual, but isn’t one of the points of this forum to examine, test and scrutinize a retirement plan. I do stand by my comments that if I were indeed his financial advisor, given his level of assets with a non-working spouse and two kids, i would recommend working a few shifts a month. I’m not saying he can’t do extended trips, work on the website etc, but completely quitting I think would be a mistake. The thing with being a physician is our incomes are so high that you just need a few shifts a month to make a large material benefit to your expenses, those few shifts will take away any feelings of financial insecurity, need for part time side gigs etc. in my opinion if you are considering relying on alternative health insurance like a health sharing ministry, working the odd side gig, or relying on blog income, you do not have the assets yet to fully cut the cord. Of course my thoughts on this matter are colored by my own experiences, I enjoy working, it is a social and intellectual outlet, i like being productive.

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    I am happy you brought up this topic for discussion. It is always good to have different points of view and even have shades of disagreement while agreeing overall.

    When I compare myself to POF the main striking thing is that I have no talent for a blog. Yes, you need the talent to make it. And also be one of the first out of the gate to capture the advertisers since there is only a limited number of them. And then comes the hard work of mainlining it. There are many blogs started but they do not produce sufficient income that cover costs. Or like the resident who died unexpectedly, her blog stopped and income also dropped to zero soon thereafter.

    I think POF has the talent to keep the blog going and producing income to completely support his lifestyle on its own. He does not need the money from his anesthesia job. But I suspect he will continue to dabble in medicine until such a time when his kids education is more secure and he also approaches the age when letting go of a medical job might not be a major event since he would have no plans of reentering it.

     

    #206009 Reply
    Avatar Doc Spouse 
    Moderator
    Status: Small Business Owner, Spouse
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    Joined: 10/20/2017

    i certainly think the discussion is healthy and ask everyone to refrain from ad hominem comments.

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    Seconded.  We’ve skirted the edges of civility a few times in this discussion; so let’s please keep an eye out for that before we hit the submit button.  It’s a good thread and would be a shame if it were locked.

    On topic – People work for many reasons, and what a sad world it would be if money were the only one of those reasons to matter!  Our monetary reasons for working are easily quantifiable.  The other reasons?  Not so much.  It becomes a personal decision once money is taken off the board, and POF is proof of that.

    As for blogs – POF has documented his success for all to see.  WCI seems to be doing very well and I have no doubt he could “retire” if he chose to.  Is it reliable income?  No more or less than any other business.  My “blog” has been running for 10 years now, and it’s still going strong.  I’ve taken 2 mini-retirements (2-3 years each) and swapped careers thanks to not having to worry so much about the income side of things. Blogs can do quite well. That’s one of the reasons they’re so popular.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about personal decisions.

    #206012 Reply
    Liked by RosieQ
    Avatar G 
    Participant
    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 1662
    Joined: 01/08/2016
    When I compare myself to POF the main striking thing is

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    Mine is the budget!  I commented on his blog that I couldn’t make his numbers work.  I’ve spent 12k this year (so far) on family airfare alone….

    Another is family enthusiasm: I have the opportunity to take a 1-2 year sabbatical (and have literally opened up options for anywhere on the planet) but my family is not interested in moving away.

    #206017 Reply
    Liked by RosieQ, Tim
    Vagabond MD Vagabond MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3351
    Joined: 01/21/2016
    Kind of expected this response, but somewhat disappointed in the negativity. my comments were not meant to be critical of this individual, but isn’t one of the points of this forum to examine, test and scrutinize a retirement plan. I do stand by my comments that if I were indeed his financial advisor, given his level of assets with a non-working spouse and two kids, i would recommend working a few shifts a month. I’m not saying he can’t do extended trips, work on the website etc, but completely quitting I think would be a mistake. The thing with being a physician is our incomes are so high that you just need a few shifts a month to make a large material benefit to your expenses, those few shifts will take away any feelings of financial insecurity, need for part time side gigs etc. in my opinion if you are considering relying on alternative health insurance like a health sharing ministry, working the odd side gig, or relying on blog income, you do not have the assets yet to fully cut the cord. Of course my thoughts on this matter are colored by my own experiences, I enjoy working, it is a social and intellectual outlet, i like being productive. 

    Click to expand…

    I am happy you brought up this topic for discussion. It is always good to have different points of view and even have shades of disagreement while agreeing overall.

    When I compare myself to POF the main striking thing is that I have not talent for a blog. Yes, you need the talent to make it. And also be one of the first out of the gate to capture the advertisers since there is only a limited number of them. And then comes the hard work of mainlining it. There are many blogs started but they do not produce sufficient income that cover costs. Or like the resident who died unexpectedly, her blog stopped and income also dropped to zero soon thereafter.

    I think POF has the talent to keep the blog going and producing income to completely support his lifestyle on its own. He does not need the money from his anesthesia job. But I suspect he will continue to dabble in medicine until such a time when his kids education is more secure and he also approaches the age when letting go of a medical job might not be a major event since he would have no plans of reentering it.

     

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    I agree with @flp and @Kambian re the nature of FIRE blog income. Is it just a fad? Is it possible that all of the great points have already been made? All of the lessons have been learned? Is it possible that all of the doctors who FIRE or plan to FIRE have a blog? Are there too many blogs aimed at physicians on the topics of personal finance? Will the advertising money dry up?

    These are good questions, but I do not worry about PoF and his ability to support his lifestyle, to stay busy or his ability to generate an income outside of medicine, if needs to do so. He has proven that he can do it and is resourceful. Many of us, however, including myself, I would worry about.

    "Wealth is the slave of the wise man and the master of the fool.” -Seneca the Younger

    #206028 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 2627
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    Blogging is a relatively new activity that has commercial implications. It has a very low moat to get started.
    Content, aggregators, distribution will continue to change. Yahoo, Netscape, EBay, Home Shopping Network , MySpace, CraigsList and Infomercials all went through potentially profitable phases.
    I view blogging as a developing venture. Many startups that will need to adjust. One or two well thought out strategic choices can determine the financial viability.
    POF, as a blog my need to have 20 writers and contracts with distributors in the future.
    When is the last time you bought something on EBay, CraigsList, or HSN? Now how about Amazon?

    I would not feel secure in the long term relying on a blog for income. Potential yes.

    #206039 Reply
    fatlittlepig fatlittlepig 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/26/2017
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    This is a more broad commentary on FIRE.
    Financial independence, living frugally, not being wasteful, aggressive savings and investing, living below ones means- all great stuff to FLP. Now when Fatlittlepig reads of people desperately doing these things so they can quit their jobs and retire early it really kind of makes me sad, in a way (not necessarily through fault of their own) this is a failure in finding a career that can produce happiness. I’m not sure when I read that someone is leaving their job that’s necessarily a thing to “celebrate” yes that’s a good thing they saved and amassed wealth sure, but it is something to celebrate, not too sure about that. It’s kind of sad. Again going against the echo chamber here but that’s my take.

    Fatlittlepig

    Avatar saildawg 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 307
    Joined: 01/24/2016

    This is a more broad commentary on FIRE.
    Financial independence, living frugally, not being wasteful, aggressive savings and investing, living below ones means- all great stuff to FLP. Now when Fatlittlepig reads of people desperately doing these things so they can quit their jobs and retire early it really kind of makes me sad, in a way (not necessarily through fault of their own) this is a failure in finding a career that can produce happiness. I’m not sure when I read that someone is leaving their job that’s necessarily a thing to “celebrate” yes that’s a good thing they saved and amassed wealth sure, but it is something to celebrate, not too sure about that. It’s kind of sad. Again going against the echo chamber here but that’s my take.

    Fatlittlepig

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    That is all well and good and I do not necessarily disagree with you.  People change and their interests change.  Likely at the age of 18-21 we all decide to pursue medical education with idealistic hopes and dreams.  20 years later that same person has different hopes and dreams.  Is it sad that this person did not choose a field that brought life time happiness, perhaps.  Would it be more sad if this person gave up on current dreams with the financial security to perform them, in my opinion yes.

    Johnathan Clements argues in his book How to Think About Money, that young people should delay their passions/hopes/dreams and take the best paying job they can.  They should save diligently and invest.  After they near financial independence they can then pursue those same passions, but do so in a much stronger financial position so that if they fail it is of little consequence.

    Most people have more than one career, POF story is interesting because those people are usually not MDs.  I also don’t believe people are necessarily celebrating him for retiring from clinical medicine,  but they celebrate his ability to create interesting finance related blog posts.

     

     

     

    #206054 Reply
    Avatar Anne 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1067
    Joined: 11/07/2017

    This is a more broad commentary on FIRE.
    Financial independence, living frugally, not being wasteful, aggressive savings and investing, living below ones means- all great stuff to FLP. Now when Fatlittlepig reads of people desperately doing these things so they can quit their jobs and retire early it really kind of makes me sad, in a way (not necessarily through fault of their own) this is a failure in finding a career that can produce happiness. I’m not sure when I read that someone is leaving their job that’s necessarily a thing to “celebrate” yes that’s a good thing they saved and amassed wealth sure, but it is something to celebrate, not too sure about that. It’s kind of sad. Again going against the echo chamber here but that’s my take.

    Fatlittlepig

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    I agree with you on the first part FLP.

    I think a lot of people who are into the whole FIRE thing were naturally frugal to begin with, found themselves in high paying careers because they are smart and naturally went down that path without thinking about what would really make them happy.  Then they find themselves mid life with a decent amount invested and realize they have options and start thinking about what they really want to do.   Changing course at that point actually takes a lot of thought and work, so I don’t think it’s sad.  I actually find it kind of inspirational.  They are basically finding the career that can produce happiness, even if that career may not be as lucrative as medicine or whatever else high paying job they previously had.  The caveat is that I don’t think a career will necessarily produce happiness–that’s something you produce yourself…but a career that does not fit you can definitely get in the way of you doing that.

    I’m somewhat of an accidental doctor–I ended up here because it was the path of least resistance.  I liked studying medically related things and didn’t see any options that really seemed appealing with a B.S. in biology so I went to medical school.  My back up career plans at that time were all decidedly non-lucrative.  Luckily, I loved medical school and still love many facets of medicine and patient care, although the actual day to day work is sometimes lacking–but for the most part I really like it.  And I’m relatively frugal by nature and have always invested quite a bit of my income, so now I can look up and say “is this really what I want to be doing?”  And so far the answer has been yes, except on the occasional bad day.  But I don’t judge anyone in my same position who looks up and says “no, this really isn’t the life for me.  I want to try x.”  I think doing that is actually pretty great.  The death wedge is the greatest risk, after all.

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