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What's your FI/RE Target?

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  • I’m in a private practice retina group.
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    Thanks for sharing. I remember hearing about jobs like that when I was an anesthesia resident, and wondering why I was an anesthesia resident and not an ophthalmology resident ?

    I realize that jobs like that pay that well are few and far between. I do know some anesthesiologists who pursued pain management, do quick procedures all day long, and are able to pull in those seven figure salaries. The disparities are incredible. I might earn twice as much as my kids’ pediatrician, but 1/3 or 1/4 the salary of some subspecialists.

    Best,

    -PoF
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    wish i started my career in 2006, not 2016!

    the money is still good but not quite what it used to be. the golden age of retina business ended around 2015-2016. on the other hand, the medicine and surgery are as enjoyable as ever!

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    • Interesting to hear the different FI targets.

      I break my FI target into several different tiers. Each tier brings slightly more freedom:

      1 million: Start taking 4-6 weeks of vacation per year (I currently take ~ 1 week of vacation per year).

      2 million: Devote more time to side projects.  Attend more conferences to learn new techniques and skills.  Start molding my "Ideal" medical practice.

      3 million: Work 4 days per week with 8 weeks of vacation per year. Take a season off to race cyclocross nationally, climb Denali, teach, start a business, write a book, develop an iPhone app, etc. etc.

      5 million: Ultimate goal.  Complete the formation of my "Ideal" medical practice, likely working 3 days per week with 12 weeks of vacation.  Continue to work on the bucket list.  Let the good times roll.

      I think this is in line with WCIs recommendation to gradually mold your life into the life you want as you gain financial independence.

       

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      • Well, I blew through the number that I indicated nearly one year ago, and my wife and I are both working more than ever.

        That said, we have concrete plans in place for me to slow down, for absolute certain, in 2017, and for her to retire from her corporate job in the spring of 2020, to coincide with our youngest of two children graduating high school. I guess we are making some progress, but as I indicated earlier, it's as much about where you are in life when you hit the number as it is about the number itself.

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        • My stated goal has been 50x annual expenses with an additional 5x in the donor advised fund. That would be between $3 million and $4 million dollars. I set that goal last year after I became debt free and the nest egg hit 25x expenses. The bar may be raised again if I’m not ready to end my career prematurely when I hit the current target. Or perhaps expenses will grow. Time will tell.
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          Time will tell, indeed!

          I wrote that nearly a year ago and the target has shifted a bit lower.

          Why the change?

          • Realized that 50x was way more than necessary. The number was based partly on what I expected to have within five years.

          • Writing about early retirement on a regular basis makes you think about early retirement on a regular basis.

          • I've become excited about ideas we've got (tour the nation in a motorhome) that I can't do while working full time.

          • Call is no fun.


          I've settled on 36x expenses for financial freedom (rationale here) and if the bottom doesn't fall out of the market, I expect to have that in 18 months. Based on our current spending with additional allowance for health insurance, The Number is now in the range of $2.5 to $2.8 Million.

          When I leave my job, I'll consider it a sabbatical. If I feel a need for any reason to work in anesthesia again, I will look to create a part-time, no-call position.

           

           

           

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          • Interesting to hear the different FI targets.

            I break my FI target into several different tiers. Each tier brings slightly more freedom:

            1 million: Start taking 4-6 weeks of vacation per year (I currently take ~ 1 week of vacation per year).

            2 million: Devote more time to side projects.  Attend more conferences to learn new techniques and skills.  Start molding my “Ideal” medical practice.

            3 million: Work 4 days per week with 8 weeks of vacation per year. Take a season off to race cyclocross nationally, climb Denali, teach, start a business, write a book, develop an iPhone app, etc. etc.

            5 million: Ultimate goal.  Complete the formation of my “Ideal” medical practice, likely working 3 days per week with 12 weeks of vacation.  Continue to work on the bucket list.  Let the good times roll.

            I think this is in line with WCIs recommendation to gradually mold your life into the life you want as you gain financial independence.

             
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            I think this is brilliant and could be developed into an excellent guest post.
            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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            • Well, 10 years out of fellowship and the last 8 years averaged over 800k per year. I don't know how much I spend, maybe 100k per year. I have not taken that much vacation with young kids, just feel like making hay up till now. Initially lived frugally, first year out of fellowship lived at home and paid off loans!! Still drive a 12 year old car.  I did build a custom home and joined a country club as a social member for the pool and jr golf for the kids....so I'm trying to come to grips with loosening the purse strings!! Joined bogleheads in 2011 and conversion to Indexing was the biggest difference maker in approach to investing!! That being said I'm thinking of leaving my current job since a senior partner is trying to screw me over on call and hoping I wouldn't notice he stopped taking weekends!! We'll see how this unfolds.

               

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              • My version of what both Live Free and WCI are indicating, i.e. It's not just a number but about life:

                I become unhappy if I don't have decent work-life balance, and have always been that way. Taking call and little free time produced transient misery in med school and residency. So I have worked 4 days a week since I was 34, Wednesdays off, no weekends. I'm 58 now. On my days off, I do the other things I love: writing, reading, tennis, biking, cooking, friends, family. The result is that I'm not burned out, I am grateful for a happy life, I like my work enough to continue indefinitely, although I'd like more time for other pursuits, so I'd like to stop when it's financially reasonable to do so.

                For me, the "what number?" question, is more about what's going on in my life. My youngest child graduates high school in 2021, when I'll be 62. I live in NY, HCOL, but I'm not going to take her out of her school and relocate her at this point. Plus she's fierce and she might kill me. So at 62, I'll have about 3.5 million saved, and I'm free to relocate to a smaller cheaper place. But I have a practice that I can readily reduce to 2 days a week. If I do that, I can earn enough to pay for life without adding to savings. 5.5% earnings on the retirement accounts will bring that to 5 million by 70 when I'll take SS, which is the latest I can imagine working. But depending on how I feel at the time and what else happens financially, I'm free to stop anywhere during those last 8 years.
                My Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFF...MwBiAAKd5N8qPg

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                • Personally 3M seems about right for $120,000 per year excluding social security. My IM wife and I however have different timelines on when we should retire so maybe I become somewhat "dependent" on her and consider part-time once we hit 2.25M. I just don't see myself practicing full time EM once I hit 50 yo. Wife on that other hand will work until 65-70 as long as health permits.

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                  • Reminds me of JD Roth's stages of financial freedom.

                    0 - Dependence

                    1 - Solvency

                    2 - Stability

                    3 - Agency

                    4 - Security

                    5 - Independence

                    6 - Abundance

                     

                    I'm at Stage 5.3  8-)

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                    • 5M to retire at age 55. Live in high cost of living area now, plan is to move to low cost of living and have no mortgage.  So would have 200k per year to spend. Most of that would go to travel.  I am using 4% because I am not counting social security, small pension, and generally think my spending will decrease if I make it to 75-80 because will not want to travel as much.  Am hoping that 2008 was a once in a lifetime event for me.  But I will fill my buckets and try to not read any financial news my first 5 years of retirement, knowing I can ride it out.

                      I have been doing a lot of reading lately on saving "too much" for retirement and getting slammed in taxes.  All the more reason to retire early!

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                      • I have been doing a lot of reading lately on saving “too much” for retirement and getting slammed in taxes.  All the more reason to retire early!
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                        Who is John Galt?

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                        • I am 44 years old with a wife and two kids (8 and 6 y.o.) and have about $10 million in investable assets 
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                          May I ask what you do for a living?

                          I’m a few years younger, have boys the same age, make a good living as an anesthesiologist, and you’ve got nearly 500% more in assets. You seem to be doing very, very well.
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                          I’m in a private practice retina group.

                          I definitely feel very fortunate.  By the way, roughly $3.5 million of that has been in investment gains.
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                          Kudos to finding a very lucrative practice.  I would say that the majority of retina docs as partners in private groups are still going to be the high 6's annually. I find that with high clinic volumes, a hiccup in complexity of one or two patients can really make the day unpleasant. But putting in the work earlier in your career can really give you options later. Congrats!

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                          • Live Free MD:

                            I liked the tier system,  but I had some comments too ....

                            "1 million: Start taking 4-6 weeks of vacation per year (I currently take ~ 1 week of vacation per year)."

                            *Really?  Wow.  1 week a year until you are a millionaire?  That seems crazy to me.

                            "2 million: Devote more time to side projects.  Attend more conferences to learn new techniques and skills.  Start molding my “Ideal” medical practice."

                            * I have always (from day one of practice) attended a ton of conference.  I enjoy them and they pay off.  I wouldn't recommend waiting until you have 2M.

                            "3 million: Work 4 days per week with 8 weeks of vacation per year. Take a season off to race cyclocross nationally, climb Denali, teach, start a business, write a book, develop an iPhone app, etc. etc."

                            * These are awesome goals.  I did many of these things when closer to the 2M mark.  Even at that level you could passively supplement your income or cover the essential requirements of living if you needed too.  I would hate for you to hold off on all those wonderful things because you were waiting to have another million.

                            5 million: Ultimate goal.  Complete the formation of my “Ideal” medical practice, likely working 3 days per week with 12 weeks of vacation.  Continue to work on the bucket list.  Let the good times roll.

                            *This too could easily be done around 3M without any worries.  If you shift to that schedule with 3M, you would have no trouble ultimately getting to 5M.  Compound interest is powerful at those wealth levels.

                            Best of luck.  No matter where you put down your markers, your future looks bright to me!

                             

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                            • Those are all reasonable critiques.  I think this timeline will be a work in progress.  

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                              • A rookie question for you all; when you talk about the target number (for example, the 2.5mil, assuming you spend 100k a year and 4%SWR), is that number in Future dollar? for example, lets say I'm retiring in 30yr, or 2047, and have 2.5mil (in 2047 dollar) in the bank in 2047, does that mean I've reached the target? or is the target number of 2.5mil in today's dollar so that by 2047 I really should have something like 6mil (in 2047 dollar) assuming inflation rate of 3%? thanks for your help!!

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