Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Considering retirement earlier than expected

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Considering retirement earlier than expected

    I am looking to hear from those who have had to (or decided to) consider retiring earlier than expected.

     

    I turn 50 next year and due to some health issues have had to cut back on almost all clinical work.  I had never really considered when I would retire in the past because I enjoyed what I was doing and figured I would do it into my 70s.  Although we did not have specific retirement plans, we have always lived below our means, are debt free and put away money for college for the kids and invested in Index funds both inside and outside our tax deferred plans.

    This change in practice has made me think about retiring sooner rather than later.  I am curious to hear from people who are considering, or who have already, retirement earlier than they thought they would whether it be because of disability, change in the practice of medicine, etc.  I am especially interested in hearing from people who may not have hit their retirement "number" but made the decision to retire anyway.  It is easy to walk away once that number is hit but harder to do it before that.  We have saved enough that we could walk away now even though it is obviously less than we would have in another 10 years.  The reality is that we never really looked at what we needed until we started thinking about retirement and now face the decision of continuing to work to save up more for some more cushion which every scenario says we do not need based upon our current spending or walk away now.

     

     

     

     

  • #2
    Financial planning would benefit you greatly at this stage. You would have clarity about what you can expect based upon alternatives you are considering and could play around with "what if?" scenarios that will help you make informed choices that are best for you and your family. You might also find my Doctor Guide for Established Attending/Pre-Retirement helpful.

    http://foxwealthmgmt.com/for-doctors-only#/doctor-resources

     
    Working to protect good doctors from bad advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

    Comment


    • #3
      The posters on this forum will help you if you feel comfortable giving us more details. Specifically how much do you have in your nest egg. How is it allocated. How large is your family. Does your spouse work. College costs. Do you know how much you spend per year?

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks.  I have run a number of analyses and they all seem to work out well.  Having said that, it is a big change to go from doing what you enjoy and not really considering retirement to a job that is no longer what you enjoyed even though it pays well.

        My situation:

        No debt.  College completely covered for 2 kids.  Home paid for and looking to possibly downsize once kids are done school.  House is worth about 750k.  2.5 million in investment.

         

        Income will be wife (about 60k although she may retire if I do), disability coverage which could range from 70-150k per year until 65 (I use this range because of the conservative approach to never knowing if one policy could end).

         

        Hard to say exactly what our annual spending is as it will vary with kids out of the house and the interest in helping them if needed.  It could be anywhere from 80-150k depending on how we want to live.  I would probably rather live on less than keep working if I no longer enjoy it.

         

        So, on paper, I know it looks good but again part of the decision is more than money.

         

        I am curious if anyone else has faced the decision about retiring earlier than they had thought and gone through similar decision making processes?

         

         

        Comment


        • #5
          You need to review your spending. Look at your credit cards, checking etc.  I start d doing this a few years ago.  It is not hard. I semi retired at 56.  I hit my number and did not like some hospital changes with unattached call so I quit Ob.  To retire prior to 65 the rule of thumb is 30-33x your annual spending. It looks like your portfolio will pay 70-100k based on 3-4%swr. If you qualify for the disability insurance of 70-150k with a paid for house and college you should be ok. Again calculate your expenses to be sure!

          Comment


          • #6
            I am in the same boat (sort of), 50 and on the verge of pulling the retirement from practice trigger. It may be as soon as later this week, and I will post on it later in a future message board thread.

            As for your particular circumstances,  you have checked all of the same boxes that I was checking. My numbers are a little bit different, with income coming from different sources, and I agree that much of the decision is non-financial. I am having trouble grappling with the idea that I will no longer be a practicing physician, will not longer have my very good income, will no longer see my co-workers (especially nurses and techs), etc. I am looking very closely at a couple of non-clinical insurance jobs that I can do from home, starting a consulting business, and or other non-medical career pathways, and these are things you might consider, depending on your physical capability to perform the work.

            Best of luck and keep us posted!

            Comment


            • #7
              Life does change when you pull the plug. I am still working but only 3 days per week. It does take some mental attitude adjustments to no longer being tired from work and in the loop. You have to get used to thinking about paying for stuff not with new money but savings. It is an adjustment. I think we all have more of our identity wrapped up in being a doctor than anyone wants to admit

              Comment


              • #8




                I am in the same boat (sort of), 50 and on the verge of pulling the retirement from practice trigger. It may be as soon as later this week, and I will post on it later in a future message board thread.

                As for your particular circumstances,  you have checked all of the same boxes that I was checking. My numbers are a little bit different, with income coming from different sources, and I agree that much of the decision is non-financial. I am having trouble grappling with the idea that I will no longer be a practicing physician, will not longer have my very good income, will no longer see my co-workers (especially nurses and techs), etc. I am looking very closely at a couple of non-clinical insurance jobs that I can do from home, starting a consulting business, and or other non-medical career pathways, and these are things you might consider, depending on your physical capability to perform the work.

                Best of luck and keep us posted!
                Click to expand...


                Looking forward to that post Vagabond. I may pull out in 5 years, we'll see. Mostly because I am mostly getting bored in medicine. May be I'll join academics, but simply, I enjoy outside medicine life more.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Lots of things to consider.  For me, some of these include the following:

                   

                  Practice issues

                  I used to enjoy practicing and looked forward to going into work each day.  Now that I do not operate, that enjoyment for the most part is gone.

                  My group continues to want me to stay for administrative functions and pays me well for this.  I see a few patients but not enough to really add much to that and I stopped operating.  Although I am sure this is doing patients some good by helping our group function well, it is not the same as taking care of people directly.

                  I have been quite involved in teaching in the local residency program and could do some more of that without operating but not really interested in being one of those doctors that "teaches but does not operate".  I remember what most residents thought about those attendings.

                  I could look for other work opportunities but I think I could find plenty to do outside medicine to keep me busy and interested at this point that would not involve getting paid such as volunteer work or travel.  If the goal is to keep an income stream going, I would never do as well as what I am doing now in another job.

                   

                  Financial

                  We have lived below our means and it has always been nice to not ever have to consider an expense we wanted to have.  We did not want the luxury cars, big house, etc but freely spent money on things we enjoyed with no real impact on our savings.  It will be a change (although maybe just philosophical) to think about not having a large income that we mostly did not use.

                   

                  Basically for the first time in my career, I feel like I am just going to work for the paycheck.  I know there are many people who would be very happy to do this given what we make but the change from doing what I really enjoyed to just punching the clock is a really big one and I would probably rather cut back on my lifestyle if needed and start doing things that we enjoy outside medicine than do this for much longer.  That is tempered with the knowledge that continuing to work a couple more years gives us more cushion and once I stop the ability to add significantly to that cushion is done.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It sounds like you will be fine financially.  I understand what you are saying about the OR.  I sometimes miss the camrederie of the staff involve in a stat c section. What I don't miss is the hours and the liability.  I still operate and I am not sure when I will completely stop. I am sure that it really is terrible psychologically to have the decision made for you by your health.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes, it is.  However the good news is that the biggest effect it had was on my ability to operate and do it safely.  With the exception of a few other activities (most of which were leisure activities that I enjoyed) it has very little impact on my day to day life and won't stop a nice retirement.  I made the decision to quit operating before it had more of an impact on my life outside medicine or before I had a bad outcome.  I took awhile to get to a place where I was ok with it, although being around colleagues and in the office probably does not help.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I commend you on making the decision to stop before something bad happened and the MEC forced you to stop.  I think it is hard for many docs to find that second act in life. I hope you will find something that rewards you almost as much as Operating.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Do you have something to retire to?

                          Hatton hit it on the head re: identity issues.. how many docs to you know who "retire" only to start practicing some again?

                          Comment


                          • #14




                            Lots of things to consider.  For me, some of these include the following:

                             

                            Practice issues

                            I used to enjoy practicing and looked forward to going into work each day.  Now that I do not operate, that enjoyment for the most part is gone.

                            My group continues to want me to stay for administrative functions and pays me well for this.  I see a few patients but not enough to really add much to that and I stopped operating.  Although I am sure this is doing patients some good by helping our group function well, it is not the same as taking care of people directly.

                            I have been quite involved in teaching in the local residency program and could do some more of that without operating but not really interested in being one of those doctors that “teaches but does not operate”.  I remember what most residents thought about those attendings.

                            I could look for other work opportunities but I think I could find plenty to do outside medicine to keep me busy and interested at this point that would not involve getting paid such as volunteer work or travel.  If the goal is to keep an income stream going, I would never do as well as what I am doing now in another job.

                             

                            Financial

                            We have lived below our means and it has always been nice to not ever have to consider an expense we wanted to have.  We did not want the luxury cars, big house, etc but freely spent money on things we enjoyed with no real impact on our savings.  It will be a change (although maybe just philosophical) to think about not having a large income that we mostly did not use.

                             

                            Basically for the first time in my career, I feel like I am just going to work for the paycheck.  I know there are many people who would be very happy to do this given what we make but the change from doing what I really enjoyed to just punching the clock is a really big one and I would probably rather cut back on my lifestyle if needed and start doing things that we enjoy outside medicine than do this for much longer.  That is tempered with the knowledge that continuing to work a couple more years gives us more cushion and once I stop the ability to add significantly to that cushion is done.
                            Click to expand...


                            First, I'm sorry to hear about the health concerns, and the fact that you are no longer operating. Losing that part of your identity has got to be difficult. I imagine that's got a lot do with the lack of fulfillment you're now experiencing.

                            Based on the numbers, it appears you will likely be fine. Seeking clarity on your expenses will likely confirm your solid positioning for an early retirement.

                            I'm very likely facing an early retirement by choice. I like my job most days (anesthesiologist), but it can be awfully busy and stressful. Like YJames, I enjoy my life outside of medicine more than my workdays. I've got enough to retire now, and I'll have much more than Enough in about 5 years at age 45. My kids will still be pretty young, and there's a lot I look forward to doing when I have the time and freedom to do what I choose on my own schedule, rather than on someone else's surgery schedule or cervical dilation.

                            Best wishes as you contemplate your options.

                            -PoF

                             

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X