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Timing Retirement - Financial or state of mind -- what is your primary driver+plan?

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  • Notsobad
    replied
    What is interesting is that there is a movement to FIRE and escape from employment.

    however, when you look at high achievers, those who are able to define the terms of their work load, retirement is later or never. I am thinking of entrepreneurs, cEOs (who may retire but continue on multiple boards, paid and unpaid) professors, those in creative professions. Certainly, if somebody can do a job on a project basis rather than punching a clock, one can work intermittently as long as they feel fulfilled. It’s hard to do in medicine, especially surgery, where you need a certain amount of volume to be current and maintain skills.

    Many of my happier older patients are still working, often just to be busy. There’s a certain physical and psychic and benefit to being productive. It does not have to be work, but it could be.

    it all about what to retire to…

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  • Tim
    replied
    Originally posted by Larry Ragman View Post

    I get the sense that yours is a common sentiment. But if so, something fundamental is broken in the leadership of our medical institutions if they cannot inspire enough loyalty for the employed professionals to even want to improve them.
    There is a sense of loyalty, but not to the institution. You may be loyal to a leader, but the leader builds a team. Your team may be loyal to you, but not to the institution. Your personal brand is what puts wind in the sails of the boat.

    Similar to an ace pitcher. You depend on many, but when the next batter comes up, it’s all on you. Ortho needs to be able to go on game day. Only so many spots on a roster, do you want to be a spot starter or a reliever? Yes there is ego, but the institution will move on, be it employed or private. Difficult to be an Ace pitcher as a part timer.
    I disagree that an medical institution leadership is failing by not focusing on loyalty.

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  • Hatton
    replied
    Originally posted by StarTrekDoc View Post
    Went to an orthopedic conference this week to see how you surgeons do things and was a great experience. I sat in a lunchtime discussion about 3 year retirement planning and surprised about how many in the room had no plans whatsoever.

    In fact, most cited no financial issues (poor orthopods clear $600k+ yearly easily per all the citations throughout the week) and primary issues from them retirement cited were: loss of power and loss of status/identity. That kind of surprised me. I didn't realize the need to be a 'king/queen' was a significant factor. There's always been the mantra 'have something to retire to' and I think it's harder for the surgeons to have this as they simply work longer hours by nature of typical career.

    Also very clearly private practices had no glidepath exit plans and reduction in time beyond a few hours was downright nonexistent (makes sense in high overhead private practices which they cited 30-50% typically).

    This especially was meaningful session as I had recently started my glidepath at 50 towards 60 retirement -- am I in the small minority of planning such where many looked simply to go from 110% to 0%?
    Interesting thread. The loss of identity is a factor for many I think. OB/GYN is a blend of surgery and office work. The sense of being captain of the ship is hard to replace in regular life. I do not even try. I do not want to be in charge of anything in my retirement. You do have to work at finding things to fill up your time. Retirement is not just financial planning. Retirement is all about slowing down because frankly you probably need to.

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  • VentAlarm
    replied
    Originally posted by Larry Ragman View Post

    I get the sense that yours is a common sentiment. But if so, something fundamental is broken in the leadership of our medical institutions if they cannot inspire enough loyalty for the employed professionals to even want to improve them.
    It’s not that I don’t want to improve medicine (although I agree the system is profoundly broken), I do. It’s just that I’m not going to stick around longer than necessary to accomplish my goals in order to achieve that goal in the same way you describe a business owner making sure the business is steady before leaving. I’m happy to work towards that end, but the second the hospital no longer fits into helping me achieve my goals, I’m out. It’s clear to me that the second I don’t fit into their goals, I’m out - they wouldn’t keep around one pay cycle longer than necessary if I no longer help them achieve their goals, so why should I give up any more if my precious few days on this earth?

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  • Larry Ragman
    replied
    Originally posted by VentAlarm View Post

    Nope.

    The hospital won’t love you back and those that went before me pilfered they system for nearly all it’s worth. I didn’t break the system; and it’s too big and broken and life is too short.
    I get the sense that yours is a common sentiment. But if so, something fundamental is broken in the leadership of our medical institutions if they cannot inspire enough loyalty for the employed professionals to even want to improve them.

    Leave a comment:


  • VentAlarm
    replied
    Originally posted by Larry Ragman View Post
    One “state of mind” factor that drives me is the commitments I’ve made along the way. I’d probably retire this year but I have an informal agreement to stick around two more years to help accomplish a few things to set the business up for the future. I don’t see that discussed much in the Forum, but I wonder if it might be a factor? For example, many here comment on the irritations dealing with rules and administration, but do you feel a responsibility to leave behind a better situation? Or, if you are a owner/partner, to leave behind a viable practice?
    Nope.

    The hospital won’t love you back and those that went before me pilfered they system for nearly all it’s worth. I didn’t break the system; and it’s too big and broken and life is too short.

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  • Larry Ragman
    replied
    One “state of mind” factor that drives me is the commitments I’ve made along the way. I’d probably retire this year but I have an informal agreement to stick around two more years to help accomplish a few things to set the business up for the future. I don’t see that discussed much in the Forum, but I wonder if it might be a factor? For example, many here comment on the irritations dealing with rules and administration, but do you feel a responsibility to leave behind a better situation? Or, if you are a owner/partner, to leave behind a viable practice?

    Leave a comment:


  • SpacemanSpiff12
    replied
    Interesting and timely post: https://www.whitecoatinvestor.com/di...ire-at-age-52/

    Leave a comment:


  • StarTrekDoc
    replied
    Originally posted by Turf Doc View Post
    Maybe pick up a new hobby like this doc?

    I've never actually ran into him on Mission Beach as it's a bit south than our usual haunts; but several patients did roll with him frequently.

    TheDangerZone - it was a pretty open floor discussion and there were several attestations of if they weren't working and when got sick, wouldn't have gotten the care they received or efficiently in the ED if they were retired. One did talk about finding a career coach and moved her practice to boutique cash only and smaller office for her transition and there was a lot of envy looking people in the room - and people asking her for POC.

    uksho - yeah, I believe academia and foundational (society speak for W2 employed) have easier paths with ability to transition non-op duties whether in admin or teaching/supervising to let the young ones do the surgeries themselves or clinic only settings. There was one doc who managed this in his group practice where he was bought out and functioned like a super PA with set hours in clinic.

    --this is kind of ironic cause it came right at the heels of a session discussion on what's better for ortho - Private vs W2 work. Neither talked about getting to retirement and what it means.

    --One salient point that I want to emphasize -- Unless your name is on the building, Your workplace will largely NOT Remember you 5 years after you're gone. This was one point agreed upon with little dispute. - And being in several institutions -- that's pretty much true.

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  • TheDangerZone
    replied
    Maybe the open setting was not conducive to honest discussion? Doubt most physicians really want to put it our there in front of dozens of their colleagues that they are in tough financial shape or haven’t saved enough. Isn’t it against the ortho bro code to show any signs of weakness?

    I’ve been planning my exit for years, and I’m relatively early career. I don’t think I’ll miss the “authority” or “power.” Working on having plenty to retire to when the time comes.

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  • Turf Doc
    replied
    Maybe pick up a new hobby like this doc?

    Leave a comment:


  • nephron
    replied
    I suspect that I will continue working far past the time when I can financially retire. I have been thinking about getting a job as receipt checker at Costco or something. I don't like the idea of being in the last phase of my life waiting to die. I was talking with a fairly active 75 year old the other day and he telling me how before I knew it, I would be his age. I remember being my 20's not being able to imagine myself as middle aged. Life does go by quickly.

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  • uksho
    replied
    I am a surgeon( not a Neurosurgeon or orthopod, nor do I make that kind of money). I am approaching mid 40s. But still so far from retirement, financially, that I can't even think about it, I am in academics and most of the surgeons I know take up some admin/education roles and slow down,
    The old time surgeons I knew all worked late till 60s or 70s , there is some component of control/power issues as mentioned, but mostly I think it is to maintain the lifestyle.
    Nysoz recently retired ( I think) , probably he can shed more light on this.

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  • GasFIRE
    replied
    This is just an observation regarding the many surgeons (not just orthopedic) I've worked with over the years. I have seen the 110 -> 0 which unfortunately more than once was caused by disability. The surgeons that really wanted to slow down often did so by limiting the "tough" cases and getting rid of call by any means possible. Not necessarily fewer hours, but less stressful ones. This can work in private practice but I'm not sure how well this works in an employed position with an overlord in charge of the billing. It's much easier to retirement plan in specialties that work in shifts like anesthesia, rads, ER.

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  • CordMcNally
    replied
    Despite its faults, this is one of the things I enjoy about EM. A soft landing is actually possible.

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