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The net worth thread got me thinking, “What’s next?”

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  • The net worth thread got me thinking, “What’s next?”

    I’ve been sitting with my spouse in recent days and we have been working on goal setting for this new year. Ok… so our net worth has reached a point where the FI is more than solidly present, and the reality is that a plush living standard retirement could be here as well if that is what I were to chose. So given all the freedom of choice, what is the plan?

    I want to spend quality time with my new granddaughter.
    I want to continue to cherish and build my relationship with my spouse.
    My spouse wants to do an outdoor kitchen and gazebo project. Sounds fine with me.
    We are going to plan more interesting international trips assuming the Covid Gods allow it. And domestic trips as well.
    We gave generously to a multitude of local, national, and international charities this past year, and we will work on doing more in the new year.
    I am still working doing a variety of productive things, some clinical work, in leadership, in consulting, and investing in both equities (mostly on autopilot) and real estate (requires some time and attention despite professional management).

    But there remains the conundrum of figuring out how much work I want to do going forward. I feel somewhat ambivalent. I’m very good at so much of the work that I do. It makes me feel good that I am contributing, I enjoy the recognition of my expertise, and it is also very highly compensated. We already take a ton of time off to travel and enjoy life. And I practice some of my favorite hobbies on a daily basis. The reality is that I feel too busy. But I do like the variety of the work and at the same time I like being moderately busy with travel, with hobbies, and I also seem to like (need?) to feel the contributions I make with my work. I have been thinking quite a bit about the relationship between my need to work and my need to feel like I matter in this world. Somehow my soul is nourished by knowing that I am contributing, and that allows me to feel deserving of the oxygen that I breathe.

    What got me thinking about all this is how busy I was over recent weeks. We are home now for a couple of days, having spent time traveling with extended family over the holidays. In total, there have been 2 international trips, one of them far flung and exotic with some of our kids, and one domestic ski trip to the Rockies. And work was kind of sandwiched in the middle of all that. In reality, I have been too busy both playing and working.

    With all of the financial freedom we have achieved, my feelings around designing my ideal life have become more complicated. I remain a work in progress.


  • #2
    At your level of net worth you can basically do whatever you want. Family work hobbies travel. I don’t think you’re at the level where money doesn’t truly matter anymore but I may be wrong.

    What matters more is your happiness with those surrounding you. If that involves working, that’s great. Do it because you love that feeling, not because it’s highly compensated.

    Once you have all your priorities in life set, you’ll see that time is your most valuable resource (although I’m sure you already know this). You only have a limited amount of time in a day, limited days left. How do you want to spend these days?

    Spending time with family and your spouse? Making lifelong memories for them?

    See patients that are grateful for your knowledge and expertise? Saving lives, stamping out disease and pestilence.

    Spend time on your hobbies and challenge yourself in a new direction? Possibly finding a new passion?

    Have enough money where you can donate enough to the hospital and have a wing named after you?

    That’s the great part of making and saving money early on in a career to become FI. Options to do whatever you want.

    In the beginning making and the saving money is the hard part. Once you’re FI and no longer bound by the societal construct of working for money, starts the new challenge of who you want to be and your legacy.

    No matter what you choose, you’ll be great at it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Then we die.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post
        Then we die.
        Life is grand, but WBD doesn't have a clue how long his life will last, that is a fact. This is a real problem, he can do anything he wants but not everything he wants.
        Only so many days and hours in a day. Each choice has benefits, but it costs time of another day that will never be available again.
        Do them all, just don't overload. Too many trips, too much work, too much family time would be a disappointment. My perception is 80% of the satisfaction comes from 20% of the time invested. Of course WBD needs to continue his bike rides. Life's simple pleasures are so rewarding.

        To bring this back down to reality, the 94 year old MIL can spend her time how she wants everyday. I hope she is content. I also hope WBD keeps his diversified activities. Just avoids overloading. It is wise to consider the return and investment of his time. I hope he is content for years to come.

        Comment


        • #5
          I read this theme of needing to work to feel like you matter in the world over and over in your posts, WBD. I think you should spend time exploring that, maybe with a therapist?
          At some point you are not going to be able to work anymore…or worse, you will be able to, but the other doctors around you will be thinking you shouldn’t be anymore but will have too much respect for you to tell you that. I highly doubt you want to reach that point. But even when you are at that point professionally, you will still matter in the world, especially to your family, and it will suck for both them and you if you feel like you don’t deserve the oxygen you breathe just because you aren’t working. So I would figure out that part first, and then decide what you really want to be doing, and then if you still want to work decide on some firm end points that will make you give it up without it affecting your self-image/self-worth.

          Comment


          • #6
            You posted a somewhat similar thread last month titled, “Why am I still working?”

            https://forum.whitecoatinvestor.com/...-still-working

            I mean this in the nicest way possible, but do you think you might benefit from talking through some of the questions you have about your future directions with a professional who could help you think through things in a way that brings you peace? I’m really not one to point people in that direction, and I am not saying you have anything to be concerned about but it may be a value add to your life to help you answer some of these questions.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nysoz View Post
              At your level of net worth you can basically do whatever you want. Family work hobbies travel. I don’t think you’re at the level where money doesn’t truly matter anymore but I may be wrong.

              What matters more is your happiness with those surrounding you. If that involves working, that’s great. Do it because you love that feeling, not because it’s highly compensated.

              Once you have all your priorities in life set, you’ll see that time is your most valuable resource (although I’m sure you already know this). You only have a limited amount of time in a day, limited days left. How do you want to spend these days?

              Spending time with family and your spouse? Making lifelong memories for them?

              See patients that are grateful for your knowledge and expertise? Saving lives, stamping out disease and pestilence.

              Spend time on your hobbies and challenge yourself in a new direction? Possibly finding a new passion?

              Have enough money where you can donate enough to the hospital and have a wing named after you?

              That’s the great part of making and saving money early on in a career to become FI. Options to do whatever you want.

              In the beginning making and the saving money is the hard part. Once you’re FI and no longer bound by the societal construct of working for money, starts the new challenge of who you want to be and your legacy.

              No matter what you choose, you’ll be great at it.
              Yes, it is the challenge of having both plenty of money and plenty of options. You are likely facing similar questions at a younger stage of life, with perhaps 60+/-years ahead of you. I am facing those same questions, but at a different stage. After plugging my data into the best of the longevity calculators, I am facing an average of 32 more years to figure it all out. Hopefully many of those years will be healthy. My mother is 86 and going strong, but Dear Dad has passed.

              Elon Musk has the highest net worth of anyone on the planet. But he’s still a questioning workaholic, and his partner just ditched him. Bezos and Gates also divorced.

              I’m simply a doc well entrenched deep in the 1% in the good ole’ US of A. And I feel I am a little crazy, but I am going to continue playing hard and working hard in between, to a degree, at least for now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Time = limiting reagent. You are closer to the end that the beginning and your most precious resource is time.

                You can choose productive meaningful work or productive meaningful play or continue with the combo.

                I do NOT think you will regret time with grand children. I'm not there but no one seems to regret that.

                Whatever you do, just enjoy the ride and don't worry about it. I went part time and decreased my clinical time.

                When I did it I felt guilty at first. Like I was lazy or foolish or something. (Conditioning? Fear of loss of identity? Fear of loss of skills?) (Wanted to avoid resentment and to continue to be looked at as an asset rather than a liability?.....it takes some planing/care)

                Now I am getting closer to being totally done with clinical medicine and I see the possibilities = time for exercise in the middle of the day / early morning. Time to work on projects that improve my brain.

                Time to work on side hustles and read about things I want to understand better. Time for hobies (gardening / fishing / etc.).

                Time to "hang out" or talk on the phone with family who are dear to me and more important than some random people at the hospital (no offense, some good friends there too, but I have an identical twin brother who I lived with from 0-26 years old.......went to medschool together.......fishing & farting around with him is priceless).

                Only you can decide what matters. The beauty is you are FREE to chose to do whatever you want.

                FI = Freedom, Freedom to pursue what you want with whom you want where you want how you want..

                Meaningful work is important. Easy to work that in. Meaningful clinical work becomes more of a challenge. There is a minimum amount required to stay razor sharp.

                Harder for a procedural doc to stay extremely sharp clinically and harder still to avoid having colleagues resentful when you stop taking call /working weekends / nights and holidays, etc..

                I have been on both sides of that, and it is important to do it right. The easiest way to "make it right" is to reward work with money (pay cut, benefits cut, etc.) and to be up front about it and discuss it with everyone effected (not just the suits).....this is not for you, just my thoughts / experience with going part time and doing it right vs some who don't. (It requires some thought/planing).

                BUT the important thing is you have managed to remain viable clinically and you have many options.

                Importantly, you do need to plan for the eventual certainty that at some point your time will be better spent not doing clinical work.

                As others have said, there is a point where every doc has to become a retired doc, amazing grandpa and an avid biker rather than a doc who does it all.

                Anyway......Congratulations. You are FREE. Figure out what you want and do it.

                Well done! Now go get after it!
                Last edited by Tangler; 01-02-2022, 05:10 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Several of you responded to what troubles me a bit. Why is it that work = self worth for me? Maybe I should talk this through with a therapist. I know a really good one. Or maybe just some coaching sessions. There are a lot of good life coaches out there for physicians.

                  When I was a kid, growing up in an upper middle class family, my parents used to argue. My father thought I should get a job and learn to be a productive, hard working member of the community. My mother, in contrast, thought learning and enrichment activities should be the focus. She wanted to send me off to Europe for the summer to learn the culture and the language. I ended up doing quite a bit of both types of things. I’m a pleaser at heart. And I ended up working 2 jobs more than one summer to show my father that I wasn’t lazy.

                  He’s no longer with us, I wonder if I still carry some of Dear Dad with me?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Anyway, going out biking now to think it through…

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post

                      Yes, it is the challenge of having both plenty of money and plenty of options. You are likely facing similar questions at a younger stage of life, with perhaps 60+/-years ahead of you. I am facing those same questions, but at a different stage. After plugging my data into the best of the longevity calculators, I am facing an average of 32 more years to figure it all out. Hopefully many of those years will be healthy. My mother is 86 and going strong, but Dear Dad has passed.

                      Elon Musk has the highest net worth of anyone on the planet. But he’s still a questioning workaholic, and his partner just ditched him. Bezos and Gates also divorced.

                      I’m simply a doc well entrenched deep in the 1% in the good ole’ US of A. And I feel I am a little crazy, but I am going to continue playing hard and working hard in between, to a degree, at least for now.
                      Ahhh, the inevitable life change anxiety. You know who you are now and are uncertain about the future. 5 or 10 years from now, you might not really be able to change it. Life happens, enjoy the journey. In the long run everything will be fine. In a nice way, get over it!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tim View Post

                        Ahhh, the inevitable life change anxiety. You know who you are now and are uncertain about the future. 5 or 10 years from now, you might not really be able to change it. Life happens, enjoy the journey. In the long run everything will be fine. In a nice way, get over it!
                        Yeah, this is a great post. You will be fine.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by White.Beard.Doc View Post

                          Yes, it is the challenge of having both plenty of money and plenty of options. You are likely facing similar questions at a younger stage of life, with perhaps 60+/-years ahead of you. I am facing those same questions, but at a different stage. After plugging my data into the best of the longevity calculators, I am facing an average of 32 more years to figure it all out. Hopefully many of those years will be healthy. My mother is 86 and going strong, but Dear Dad has passed.

                          Elon Musk has the highest net worth of anyone on the planet. But he’s still a questioning workaholic, and his partner just ditched him. Bezos and Gates also divorced.

                          I’m simply a doc well entrenched deep in the 1% in the good ole’ US of A. And I feel I am a little crazy, but I am going to continue playing hard and working hard in between, to a degree, at least for now.
                          Yeah. I might be misguided (and time will tell) but I’ve come to the conclusion that as beneficial the field of medicine is, you essentially help 1 person at a time.

                          With enough money you can help families, communities, villages.

                          Everyone needs goals in their life. It can be whatever you want it to be. Elon wants to get humanity to Mars so he’s spending his time/money/effort to get there.

                          My current goal, as ridiculous as it is, is to keep compounding wealth until I can to get to that point where I can donate/gift significant sums of money to help the most people possible and not make a dent in the growing wealth that I’m accumulating.

                          Make sure you have short medium and long term goals to work towards. It could be creating core memories for your grandkids for them to cherish forever.

                          New achievements in your hobbies, to be the best in your age or your area.

                          Implement policies for the hospital to make it better for patients and staff.

                          Mentor others to be as successful as you.

                          Get to the 9 figure or 3 comma club.

                          You’ve been quite successful so however big your goals are, I’d venture a guess that you have a great chance of achieving them.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            WBD if it makes you feel any better i suspect i will be working clinically long after it makes sense for me to do so.

                            had a shift the other day where i was able to move the meat and really help a few people, i can't see that getting old.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One patient of mine reconciled within himself to stop working to "give the newbies a chance to do as well I did". Think of less work like charity, helping new doctors get onto the financial & career path you have journeyed on.

                              ​​​​​
                              $1 saved = >$1 earned. ✓

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