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When does time become the limiting reagent?

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  • When does time become the limiting reagent?

    When young we have human capital. Broke financially but limitless potential.

    When older we have less human capital but are FI.

    At some point the limiting reagent changes from $ to time. Time = most precious currency. You find yourself closer to the end than the beginning and you seriously ponder the best way to spend those hours.

    For you personally when do you expect time to become the limiting reagent?
    56
    < 40
    19.64%
    11
    Age 45
    32.14%
    18
    Age 50
    17.86%
    10
    Age 55
    14.29%
    8
    Age 60
    12.50%
    7
    age 65
    1.79%
    1
    age 70
    1.79%
    1
    >70
    3.57%
    2

  • #2
    At some point we all realize that we have enough money.

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    • #3
      At this point the poll is skewing to 50. I think 60 is a better fit for me. Probably just a difference in professions and biases, but in my 50s I was making most of my money as well as making the most difference at work. I’ve been thinking about slowing down for the past two years, and (outside the lost COVID year) traveling more with my wife and adult kids when we can break them free. But now I am at the point that it isn’t surprising when a college classmate dies early, or bodies are diminished by disease or injury, so it feels like I am at the cross-over point to stop earning and enjoy my time in other ways. The handcuffs require one more year, but I suspect that will be it for me. By the way, I do understand that for some work is a vocation and that is how they want to spend their time. But that’s not me. I am a firm believer that your work doesn’t love you back.

      Comment


      • #4
        Despite the small n, the divide between 50 and 60 is quite interesting. On the one hand people are living longer, and those who have the resources (financial or otherwise) statistically tend to do better (i.e. are healthier) for a longer duration, barring some calamity. That would seem to suggest that time becomes limiting a little later than in previous eras. That said, Arthur Brooks published an interesting article in The Atlantic (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...ecline/590650/) arguing that one's decline will happen sooner than expected. So like everything in life, I guess it depends on your personal resources, support system(s), and human capital...

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        • #5
          Im one of the biased answers as my wife was diagnosed with cancer at 36, so... If it werent for that, I would say 50. That was my goal RE when I was teaching (although I'd have to stay until 55 under the new rules/tiers)

          Comment


          • #6
            I put 55 but I think it is a continuum. It also depends on how well you have saved early in your life.

            If you are a typical WCIer you have the luxury to view time as more important commodity at age 50. You have reached FI or on the way and can place more emphasis on time. Or if the job sucks, time becomes more valuable.

            If you have led a care free life and in your 40's you realize that you have not saved enough, then 60 is the realistic time to think of it as a valuable commodity. Or maybe even 65.

            I started to slowly place more emphasis on time at age 45-50 and as time passes by, I enjoy more free time and work less. But I still do work.
            Last edited by Kamban; 09-06-2021, 06:54 AM.

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            • #7
              Time is always the limiting reagent, whether we realize it or not.

              Comment


              • #8
                Maybe it is just because I am Young but I put 45. I feel like that is the time where I will be at a spot where I am able to slow down financially. And also a point in time where my kids will be busy requiring more family time and events. Trying to squeeze everything in before they leave the nest. I feel like learning this lesson at 50 60 or beyond is really at the service to most of us. Because as Hatton said we are all likely going to have tremendous sums of money even if it doesn't seem like that right now. And by we I mean the very narrow group of financially focused physicians on this board. Most people do not get the opportunity to take advantage of their time because they have not saved anything until they are in their 50s.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lordosis View Post
                  Maybe it is just because I am Young but I put 45. I feel like that is the time where I will be at a spot where I am able to slow down financially. And also a point in time where my kids will be busy requiring more family time and events. Trying to squeeze everything in before they leave the nest. I feel like learning this lesson at 50 60 or beyond is really at the service to most of us. Because as Hatton said we are all likely going to have tremendous sums of money even if it doesn't seem like that right now. And by we I mean the very narrow group of financially focused physicians on this board. Most people do not get the opportunity to take advantage of their time because they have not saved anything until they are in their 50s.
                  I am young like you, and 45 is a good target but classically that 45-55 is when many people in medicine have their highest income potential. It may be hard to walk away from that by retiring or going part time. I hope I am able to do it. There are definitely some days at work where I don't think it would be a problem.

                  But the psychology of earning and saving vs. switching to spending down the portfolio at that age will be tough. If I can get to FI by my early 40s and have 3-5 years to get used to the notion it may be more possible.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by TheDangerZone View Post

                    I am young like you, and 45 is a good target but classically that 45-55 is when many people in medicine have their highest income potential. It may be hard to walk away from that by retiring or going part time. I hope I am able to do it. And there are some days where I think it won’t be a problem.

                    But the psychology of earning and saving vs. switching to spending down the portfolio at that age will be tough. If I can get to FI by my early 40s and have 3-5 years to get used to the notion it may be more possible.
                    I absolutely understand that. I do not see myself retiring my forties. Possibly my fifties depending on where my life takes me. If I have nothing better to do and work is not that onerous I might just keep going. But I'm not going to bank on that. Most likely I predict around my early to mid-40s is when I will start to back off and work less than full-time. Right now full-time is about 45 to 50 hours a week so less than full-time would be basically a real full-time job.

                    Honestly I'm not even sure how much it would really worsen in my income. I would probably end up seeing the same amount of patients just in a shorter time frame.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tangler View Post
                      Time = most precious currency.
                      Youth is (or in my case, "was") the most precious currency. Work can be onerous, but at least in my case, it's less onerous and interferes less with life in old age (i.e., 60s) than earlier in life.
                      Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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                      • #12
                        I think it is a natural result of when one gets an appreciation of their own mortality. Seems to happen at stages of one’s own life experiences in 20 year blocks, not the 5 year increments in the poll.
                        20, 40, 60, 80 the question is “where am I at in my life? Better start working on stuff while I can.”
                        I really don’t think it’s a trade off of time versus money. I think it’s all about the realization that you have only one life. Realistically, some “feel immortal at 65. Some not.
                        The human capital expires sooner or later. Where am I at in my life? The needed capital is adjusted to fit the answer.
                        billy I think is an example. Best of luck with the outcomes.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by billy View Post
                          Im one of the biased answers as my wife was diagnosed with cancer at 36, so... If it werent for that, I would say 50. That was my goal RE when I was teaching (although I'd have to stay until 55 under the new rules/tiers)
                          I'm right there with you. My wife was diagnosed with cancer at age 28, less than a year before I finished training. It has obviously significantly changed my thoughts on the importance of money vs time.

                          I wonder if stories like ours aren't more common than I appreciated.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mazshax View Post

                            I'm right there with you. My wife was diagnosed with cancer at age 28, less than a year before I finished training. It has obviously significantly changed my thoughts on the importance of money vs time.

                            I wonder if stories like ours aren't more common than I appreciated.
                            It's posts like this that make me think I'm not crazy when I think about making changes sooner than later to live life to the max right now. So much about medicine and personal finance is about delayed gratification, but to what end? I'm only 35 but have a NW of $1.5M so it's tempting to just "power through" 5-10 years to reach financial independence.

                            For me the challenge is untangling the wisdom in this approach from the feelings of burnout... I'm starting TPP coaching next week.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I charged hard for 4-5 years before burning out and realizing that medicine as a profession is a total joke (just my opinion) and that I’ve given up waaay to much of my life for it.

                              With that said there are easier jobs in medicine too so one can take as advantage of that.

                              but my mindset changed from powering through the money years to just realizing that I’ll likely not retire early but that I can make still good money for half the work I’m use to.

                              So around 40 I kicked it into marathon mode in order to survive till the end.

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