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At what net worth did you start to cut down on your clinical schedule?

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  • At what net worth did you start to cut down on your clinical schedule?

    I've been an attending now for a few years and I'm starting to check off multiple financial milestones. I still very much enjoy what I do but was curious if any of the more senior forum members started to cut back on time once they attained a certain net worth. I know people reduce their schedule in a variety of ways (no night shifts, give up call, no Friday, etc...) and for a variety of reasons (burnout, family commitments, etc...) but I was curious if anybody started to cut their schedule when they hit a certain net worth and what that net worth was (1 mil, 5 mil, FI....). One of the many things I read/hear about is using money to buy time back and I envision this is something I'd like to consider in the next few years as I continue to hit additional financial goals.

  • #2
    I am cutting back my % ICU vs clinic time this year (10 years out of fellowship). For me it wasn't a NW number per se, but knowing my net worth and accumulation rate helped me know that I could sacrifice some income for sanity and still be financially secure. Of course, this is a flexible decision (and I still could be called on to work extra shifts if COVID gets bad enough) so not burning any bridges if I decide to go back to the old schedule. High NW gives you options.

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    • #3
      6.5 plus paid off house and funded 529s, 21 years into my career.
      I wish I had done it earlier, but probably not much earlier.

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      • #4
        I cut back for non financial reasons, but after doing it I realized I can still reach my financial goals while not having to kill myself to get there. It may take me 2-3 more years to get to FI, but the experience along the way is much better (for me). Working a few more years part time >>> killing yourself working >65 hrs/week until FI and abruptly quitting. I actually brought home the least amount in salary this year that I ever have as an attending, but was able to invest the most I ever have since I no longer have student loans and my EF is well stocked.

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        • #5
          When I realized that our net worth was on the path to being more than enough, I stopped working the overnights. I hated being up at night. And I still marvel at how great it feels to put my head down in my own bed at home Every. Single. Night.

          When I realized we were on the path to even greater wealth, I cut back my hours to part time.

          Now we are perhaps at 60x or even more than our annual spend, so I work very part time. But I still work an occasional weekend, not because I have to, but I like helping out my colleagues. Now I can do whatever I want with my time. I work a bit as a doc, I do some consulting, I enjoy various investments and growing our wealth, but investing is more for sport at this point. We are going to have to figure out how to effectively give more money to charity, with some left over for the heirs, and then some for the government.

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          • #6
            I radically decreased my work time at 5 million with a paid off house. I stopped OB and did 3 days a week GYN for several years.

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            • #7
              A bit over 3 years out, I'm considering dropping to 4-4.5 days/week and adding a scribe

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              • #8
                It wasn't at any number for me. When I went from academic to private it was pretty clear that I wasn't going to have an issue reaching FI pretty easily. Had a pretty sweet gig with 11 weeks a year off from the outset so that was certainly cutting back and then dropped to 5 half days per week and 1 in 10 call while picking up more teaching which I found improved my disposition. Then dropped the night call. Once kids' educations were funded and they each had enough for home down payments and we were FI then stopping clinical altogether didn't take all that long.

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                • #9
                  Right out of residency I went part time with a networth of maybe 50-100k? Did that for 5 years and have been working full-time for 2 years and considering when to cut back again. I really enjoy the work life balance with part time work. But it's also nice to make a ton of money. So really depends on your life stage/situation.

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                  • #10
                    I'm into year 22 post residency. I'm going from 70hr/2weeks to 80hr/2weeks. I'm needed and I feel good about it. It's only an incremental amount. If the soldiers in the US military can man their post. I feel like I certainly can. As I have been apprised in a previous post, their work is infinitely worse than ours. So what do I really have to whine about?

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                    • #11
                      VA+Academia salaries - steady full time 8-5, M-F work -- x22 years - Passed FI two years ago.

                      No plans for the turtle to back off; maybe truncate to 4 days when daughter done with college to have a consistent mid-week day off. Being in Primary care, it's hard to dial back without clear benefit of time back as people message 24/7 and expect answers relatively quickly.

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                      • #12
                        If you read the posts, the answer is …. “You do you.” It is different for each of us. Figure out what matters to you and then put your best foot forward to achieve that.

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                        • #13
                          Pleasantly surprised at the responses. My take is that once physicians reach a relative level of financial comfort, they naturally realize that the "need" for creating wealth is drastically reduced in the work/life balance. It comes from the correct feeling that financial they have climbed out of the "middle class" and this is likely due to busting a$$ in practicing medicine. The changes that should be made is not a number, it is using your time and optimizing the productivity. Most of the responses were not simply backing off, it was more of a redirection of the time for improving the rewards. Not less work per se, but the personal satisfaction along the lines of working toward personal goals.

                          Climbing the ladder financially is pretty easy for a physician to a point. Most say the first million is the hardest. However, each rung of the ladder is less obvious. Yes, financial capital adds momentum, but the personal capital contribution is important in the long run. It is helpful to have an idea where you stack up.
                          The two common measures are top 1% income and top 1% wealth. It is not just physicians to be measured, but where you stand in society.
                          • The minimum net worth of the top 1% is roughly $11.1 million.
                          • A person would need to earn an average of $758,434 per year in order to join the top 1%.
                          https://www.investopedia.com/financi...edium=referral
                          Averages obviously not the same as median distributions. Depends on how you want to use statistics.

                          To stay in the top 1% (or 10%) is going to be the challenge. Most hope to reach equilibrium. Unfortunately, life is not static.If you’re not moving forward, you’re going backward. Tons of competition.



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                          • #14
                            When my investment returns surpassed my clinical income. Knowing that I make more money watching a ticker symbol than listening to a ticker.

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                            • #15
                              I will let you know. I am still grinding!

                              However net worth is probably not going to be the primary factor. Most likely it will be when I have more important use of my time. Kids have more going on and I will want time to be able to participate more. NW is just a secondary factor. If I wanted to cut back but my NW was 200K it is not a good idea. If FI or approaching it then do as you please.

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