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Discuss Latest WCI Blog Post: Early Retirement and the Likelihood of Regret

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  • Discuss Latest WCI Blog Post: Early Retirement and the Likelihood of Regret

    You may regret retiring too soon. Conversely, you may work too long. Let's explore the best way to help you find the ideal time to retire.

    The post Early Retirement and the Likelihood of Regret appeared first on The White Coat Investor - Investing & Personal Finance for Doctors.



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  • #2
    I had to deal with the "golden handcuffs" issue.When we were more or less forced to sell our practice we had a 10yr buyout in the contract and of course it was back loaded. I had to decide between $240K of bonuses (before taxes) or 2 more yrs of my life. I chose the freedom as we had enough saved and don't regret it one bit.

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    • #3
      There is a section in Morgan Housel's excellent book that touches on this. In short, "extreme" decisions are more likely to cause regret, especially if they are irreversible. If the goal is to minimize risk of future regrets, we should avoid those decisions as much as we can.

      One example would be choosing to go part time instead of full early retirement.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by dayman View Post
        There is a section in Morgan Housel's excellent book that touches on this. In short, "extreme" decisions are more likely to cause regret, especially if they are irreversible. If the goal is to minimize risk of future regrets, we should avoid those decisions as much as we can.

        One example would be choosing to go part time instead of full early retirement.
        Ah, I had forgotten that book. My notes about it say, "shoot for good enough"...but your comment is more apropos.

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        • #5
          The thing about regret is we tend to compare the entirety of our present reality (including the positive, the negative, and the mundane) with an idealized version of what we imagine could have been if we had done something else (which is biased towards only the positive).

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by dennis View Post
            I had to deal with the "golden handcuffs" issue.When we were more or less forced to sell our practice we had a 10yr buyout in the contract and of course it was back loaded. I had to decide between $240K of bonuses (before taxes) or 2 more yrs of my life. I chose the freedom as we had enough saved and don't regret it one bit.
            Facing this now. Hitting a vesting milestone this year, but I could double it if I stayed two more years. Two years of freedom would be worth a lot and if it were just money I would probably retire. But open considerations include deciding what to retire to, why bother during the rolling lockdowns, and deciding where to live. Just thinking out loud. Planning a decision this year.

            Comment


            • #7
              To me golden handcuffs only should matter if you're on the threshold of FI or fatFI. If you already have enough to retire and are FI with decent cushion, what does an extra $100-200k or whatever change in your day to day life? Would you change your lifestyle with another $1M? Probably not. I think it only changes if you get to the 'next level' like $10-30M.

              I think the most important things about early retirement are saving more than enough (obviously) but also retiring to something (sometimes not too obvious). It doesn't have to be meaningful or productive or anything. It could be retiring to a new job that you enjoy doing, volunteering, fishing, taking care of your grandkids or dogs. Without a plan or goals, humans often become lost or lose meaning in their life.

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              • #8
                My guess is most physicians with be further along to the right of the graph he plotted. Working too long is just a consequence of some of the innate things it takes to be a physician. I don’t think that’s necessarily good or bad.

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                • #9
                  many physicians also have their identity tied to their job- the whole medicine is a calling, or feeling disrespected if a policer officer calls you ms instead of dr (that was a post on a fb physician the other day). I'd venture a guess those people have a tough time retiring on time, let alone early. Dont get me wrong, I like my job, but in no way do I identify myself as a doctor first- my job is a job, that's it. I'm a person who happens to play doctor during workhours.

                  Agree with the above poster about retiring to something. It's tough to go through the day if you dont have (or remember) hobbies, responsibilities etc. especially if all your friends are still working during the day.

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                  • #10
                    I will always identify myself as a doctor, I think I earned it, but I am also a son, father and husband, and there are times in life that my other roles take precedent.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by billy View Post
                      many physicians also have their identity tied to their job- the whole medicine is a calling, or feeling disrespected if a policer officer calls you ms instead of dr (that was a post on a fb physician the other day).
                      I hope she got the ticket.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Random1 View Post
                        I will always identify myself as a doctor, I think I earned it, but I am also a son, father and husband, and there are times in life that my other roles take precedent.
                        The vesting piece is the sugar and spice that is so hard to push away and say that is enough. When work interferes with your responsibilities , the choice is easy.
                        Unfortunately your roles and life are not fixed. They are not "full time jobs". There is a real possibility of over/under estimating the needs and desires of others.
                        I retired two times:
                        First left money on the table and it was "too early". The family "need" was over estimated.
                        Second was purely personal and was absolutely the correct choice. Less reliance on "responsibilities" and purely personal. Plenty of time for family when the opportunity presents itself. If not, the wife and I can have our own interests or take off or do as we please.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tim View Post
                          The vesting piece is the sugar and spice that is so hard to push away and say that is enough. When work interferes with your responsibilities , the choice is easy.
                          Unfortunately your roles and life are not fixed. They are not "full time jobs". There is a real possibility of over/under estimating the needs and desires of others.
                          I retired two times:
                          First left money on the table and it was "too early". The family "need" was over estimated.
                          Second was purely personal and was absolutely the correct choice. Less reliance on "responsibilities" and purely personal. Plenty of time for family when the opportunity presents itself. If not, the wife and I can have our own interests or take off or do as we please.
                          I wonder how many of us "retire" twice or more. I have once already, but was too young to truly call it quits and probably not ready for all my financial responsibilities. Among other things I still had kids to get through high school and college. Life on the pension would have been tight indeed. This time around money is no longer an issue, well except in my one more year syndrome, and I am much more focused on what it will mean to live a good life outside of paid employment.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Larry Ragman View Post

                            I wonder how many of us "retire" twice or more. I have once already, but was too young to truly call it quits and probably not ready for all my financial responsibilities. Among other things I still had kids to get through high school and college. Life on the pension would have been tight indeed. This time around money is no longer an issue, well except in my one more year syndrome, and I am much more focused on what it will mean to live a good life outside of paid employment.
                            The vast majority of the FIRE crowd. Note the emphasis of retiring to "something". Code for quit the rat race and do something else to occupy yourself until you actually stop being motivated by cash in flows. Enjoy your "sugar and spice".
                            Yes, we all "rationalize" why we don't quit, cold turkey. Hatton did it, WBD says he is still "working". Not, he is gliding trying to find his landing zone.WCI hired a CEO, still working. Not. Trying to find his landing zone. Hope the landing is smooth.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CordMcNally View Post

                              I hope she got the ticket.
                              I’m pretty sure with her attitude her correct title should be Karen.

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