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  • Why am I still working?

    I didn't want to hijack the other thread, but Hatton asked a good question that got me thinking.

    Originally posted by Hatton View Post

    7mm is going to be a big RMD problem. It is time to retire. Just one retired docs opinion.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am definitely no longer working for the money. I am FI but not RE. Just struggling to figure out the meaning of life and what I should do with the rest of the days I have left on this planet. As one of my biking buddies likes to remind me when we are out shredding the single track, as he similarly encourages me to retire, "Don't forget that you are on the back nine these days." I guess that is his way of reminding me that I should no longer be climbing mountains, but rather coasting down the other side.

    I still love clinical medicine. This weekend reminded me viscerally of my deep appreciation and gratitude for the training, experience and knowledge that I have gained over the years. I was out in the woods mountain biking and I had a great save of a biker who was far from civilization having a STEMI. We extricated him from deep in the woods in cardiogenic shock, executed a tricky rendezvous with EMS, and we got him to the STEMI center, still conscious and able to communicate. He was in shock, went from sinus to flutter, to brady in the 30's, a pretty hairy situation all around. With timely reperfusion, his shock and rhythm were all back to normal in short order. Quite a remarkable Sunday on the trails among those blazing fall colors!!!

    I do spend a lot of time with my new 3-month-old granddaughter, and I am hoping for some more grandkids in the future. And the travel bug is back in gear. I have 3 interesting trips scheduled between now and the new year, including one international trip with some of our kids. As I ponder why I am still working, part of why I enjoy it so much is due to the degree of control I have over my work schedule. I am so lucky to be able to work part-time and contribute, but I also have set up my life to allow me to play.

  • #2
    Meaningful work is important. When you are FI and closer to the end than the beginning time is the limiting reagent. Time is the most precious currency we own.
    Spend it wisely.
    Working is not necessary a waste of time.
    Fishing isn’t either.

    Comment


    • #3
      I’m glad you still enjoy your work so much. Most of us enjoy or at least don’t mind seeing patients, but it’s the other goblins in the health care system and admin that break us.

      in your role:

      - how much call do you take?
      - do you have to maintain board certification?
      - how bad is your EMR?
      - have you ever been sued?

      you are fortunate that you have total control over your schedule. It is easier for me to find Bigfoot than find a part time job with benefits.

      Comment


      • #4
        You can be the roadside doc instead. Imagine the more impactful lives saved while road tripping and biking during retirement....

        Financially you want to think risk/benefit of work. Litigation, injury vs income?

        Emotionally. Work stressors vs service fulfillment
        The biggest litmus test is when you get up in the am and think......what. that's your answer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post
          I didn't want to hijack the other thread, but Hatton asked a good question that got me thinking.



          Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am definitely no longer working for the money. I am FI but not RE. Just struggling to figure out the meaning of life and what I should do with the rest of the days I have left on this planet. As one of my biking buddies likes to remind me when we are out shredding the single track, as he similarly encourages me to retire, "Don't forget that you are on the back nine these days." I guess that is his way of reminding me that I should no longer be climbing mountains, but rather coasting down the other side.

          I still love clinical medicine. This weekend reminded me viscerally of my deep appreciation and gratitude for the training, experience and knowledge that I have gained over the years. I was out in the woods mountain biking and I had a great save of a biker who was far from civilization having a STEMI. We extricated him from deep in the woods in cardiogenic shock, executed a tricky rendezvous with EMS, and we got him to the STEMI center, still conscious and able to communicate. He was in shock, went from sinus to flutter, to brady in the 30's, a pretty hairy situation all around. With timely reperfusion, his shock and rhythm were all back to normal in short order. Quite a remarkable Sunday on the trails among those blazing fall colors!!!

          I do spend a lot of time with my new 3-month-old granddaughter, and I am hoping for some more grandkids in the future. And the travel bug is back in gear. I have 3 interesting trips scheduled between now and the new year, including one international trip with some of our kids. As I ponder why I am still working, part of why I enjoy it so much is due to the degree of control I have over my work schedule. I am so lucky to be able to work part-time and contribute, but I also have set up my life to allow me to play.
          If $7M is too much to still be working there would be a lot of docs out there that should be retired. Heck a $7M IRA probably isn't an RMD problem, at least in your 70s. You're probably still withdrawing at a rate lower than your peak earnings years. Assuming no other income it takes a married couple having an IRA well into 8 figures to have RMDs withdrawn in the top bracket.

          At any rate, the solutions to RMD problems are simple-QCDs and Roth conversions.
          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post
            I didn't want to hijack the other thread, but Hatton asked a good question that got me thinking.



            Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am definitely no longer working for the money. I am FI but not RE. Just struggling to figure out the meaning of life and what I should do with the rest of the days I have left on this planet. As one of my biking buddies likes to remind me when we are out shredding the single track, as he similarly encourages me to retire, "Don't forget that you are on the back nine these days." I guess that is his way of reminding me that I should no longer be climbing mountains, but rather coasting down the other side.

            I still love clinical medicine. This weekend reminded me viscerally of my deep appreciation and gratitude for the training, experience and knowledge that I have gained over the years. I was out in the woods mountain biking and I had a great save of a biker who was far from civilization having a STEMI. We extricated him from deep in the woods in cardiogenic shock, executed a tricky rendezvous with EMS, and we got him to the STEMI center, still conscious and able to communicate. He was in shock, went from sinus to flutter, to brady in the 30's, a pretty hairy situation all around. With timely reperfusion, his shock and rhythm were all back to normal in short order. Quite a remarkable Sunday on the trails among those blazing fall colors!!!

            I do spend a lot of time with my new 3-month-old granddaughter, and I am hoping for some more grandkids in the future. And the travel bug is back in gear. I have 3 interesting trips scheduled between now and the new year, including one international trip with some of our kids. As I ponder why I am still working, part of why I enjoy it so much is due to the degree of control I have over my work schedule. I am so lucky to be able to work part-time and contribute, but I also have set up my life to allow me to play.
            Wow strong work.

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm going to say consider going into charity work or teaching. Very rewarding
              DMD '21. Perio '24.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post
                Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am definitely no longer working for the money. I am FI but not RE. Just struggling to figure out the meaning of life and what I should do with the rest of the days I have left on this planet. As one of my biking buddies likes to remind me when we are out shredding the single track, as he similarly encourages me to retire, "Don't forget that you are on the back nine these days." I guess that is his way of reminding me that I should no longer be climbing mountains, but rather coasting down the other side.
                The bolded also describes me to a T.

                I was FI almost 15 years ago but having a solo practice has made me enjoy work. On some days I love to work a bit longer, see complex patients and turbocharge my brain cells ( with some help from UpToDate) and on other days I love to just see a few and coast along. I enjoy my interactions with patients and my staff. At this point I may not even be making any money from my practice but I don't care.. It is an outlet for me to not waste away. Besides it also set an example to my daughter about studying, staying current even as you get older and instill a work ethic.

                It is great to talk about travel and see the world etc but I enjoy it more when I do it in moderation. If you have all the time in the world you will get bored after taking a few initial trips in a hurry. I am not a fan of slow travel and staying in small apartments in other countries. I like to come back home after a week or two. And the near lack of international travel for 1.5-2 years has shown us that even the best laid plans can go astray by forces beyond our control. I still have time to exercise and have an afternoon siesta.

                When work gets intolerable, I will quit. Till then I will work in the slow lane.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The piece that is missing from your thought process is that "work" is now an activity. It is your fallback. Nothing exciting planned, might as well go to work.
                  Think about that. It is the "lazy way out", so to speak.

                  The "I had a great save of a biker" story is the point I am going to have you contemplate. I have a childhood friend that is a "golf nut". He was the one that had a cardiac arrest. Luckily for him, his foursome had 3 wealthy docs that kept him alive. Life flight out and a great recovery. The point is luck. YOU may be lucky or not so much.

                  You have a simple problem of capital allocation. Where does work fall in the rankings? You can spend your personal capital as you wish. I think you have not gone through a ranking process of the priorities and default to the "gratification of going to work" to fill the empty time slots. Nothing better to do and accept it. The activity is rewarding, no doubt about that. You can't do everything, however you need to rank the potential activities because I can guarantee you will not be able to accomplish all of them. Just suggesting that you set some priorities and goals. For sure, some goals will have a risk vs return and you will find it wasn't as rewarding as you anticipated. So what? Staying in the "work" comfort zone seems to be risk free. Finite time, challenge yourself.



                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Kamban, WBD I understand where you are coming from. I loved being a doctor also. I loved my patients and miss them. I enjoyed a sense of mastery. I still use my knowledge base to help people. My neighbor's mother had her leg amputated yesterday. I have been able to explain what is happening to her. Helping friends and family figure out insurance issues, medical testing etc is something that I can still do without a medical license.
                    At some point people retire. It is better to do it on your own terms IMHO. I guess I saw my Dad retire around 62 and live to be 92. My oldest brother retired around 52 from IBM. Both had enjoyable lives after this. Both however had pensions.
                    I have found there is plenty to do during the day when I used to work. I am not bored. I am not looking for meaning and purpose. I can live a happy life without the stress of OB/GYN. I sleep great and have time for exercise and friends.
                    WCI from WBDs posts he has more than a 7 mill IRA. He is smart to address the issue now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was out in the woods mountain biking and I had a great save of a biker who was far from civilization having a STEMI.

                      These are the situations that make me think more about retiring than keeping working. Not from a physicians point of view , but from the biker's situation in life. If I have everything I need in life , plus a lot more than I really need, what is the purpose of continuing to work? I really don't want to spend what ever time I have left, thinking that I should have worked less, I should just work less or not at all. The real question I don't know now , is if I will be happier by doing so ? My biggest concern is that after I get out of medicine , it might not be that easy to get back in.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Maybe it's because I'm in the new generation and didn't have a super long career, but I just don't see medicine as a calling or a need to keep practicing. I also wonder if there's a difference between specialties that take significant call or are procedural based in the rates of "burn out".

                        I liked what I did, enjoyed working with coworkers and good patients. The call, interrupted sleep, worry about complications, and everything else in medicine made it not worth it to keep going full time to me.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Lithium View Post
                          I’m glad you still enjoy your work so much. Most of us enjoy or at least don’t mind seeing patients, but it’s the other goblins in the health care system and admin that break us.

                          in your role:

                          - how much call do you take?
                          - do you have to maintain board certification?
                          - how bad is your EMR?
                          - have you ever been sued?

                          you are fortunate that you have total control over your schedule. It is easier for me to find Bigfoot than find a part time job with benefits.
                          *I don't take call any more.
                          *I have board certification in multiple areas, but this next round I am planning to continue to maintain board certification for 2 of my boards and let the others lapse.
                          *The EMR doesn't bother me and I am unusually computer literate for someone who grew up in the era of 8-track and cassette tapes. Some of my favorite moments are when I can teach a millennial a computer trick or two. Hah!
                          *I was sued twice in a very long career, both cases closed with a good outcome and no payment. Although I am theoretically at risk if there would be a suit greater than my policy limits, the hospital is my de facto excess coverage so I don't worry about this very much.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nysoz View Post
                            Maybe it's because I'm in the new generation and didn't have a super long career, but I just don't see medicine as a calling or a need to keep practicing. I also wonder if there's a difference between specialties that take significant call or are procedural based in the rates of "burn out".

                            I liked what I did, enjoyed working with coworkers and good patients. The call, interrupted sleep, worry about complications, and everything else in medicine made it not worth it to keep going full time to me.
                            I think call and the worry about complications kept me from sleeping well. As soon as I retired all sleep issues just disappeared.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hatton View Post

                              I think call and the worry about complications kept me from sleeping well. As soon as I retired all sleep issues just disappeared.
                              I only went to trial once. I "won" the case but lost 5 years of my life so to speak. Really not worth the risk.

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