Not in the literal sense, but many physicians today are working to ensure that their career is on FIRE. FIRE as in Financial Independence, Retire Early! The acronym stands for something that many of us want to achieve, but so few are able. Physicians are in a high demand, high salary field and have that opportunity if their sights are set in that direction. Let’s take a look at things to consider while getting your career on track for FIRE.
For starters, to learn more directly about other physicians who are working toward FIRE, consider joining almost 10,000 of your fellow MD’s and DO’s who have joined the Physicians on FIRE Facebook page here.
It’s Not All About What You Earn
Sure, salary is a large component of your ability to gain enough financial control for FIRE, but it is equally about how much you spend. It’s never too late to make the necessary changes in your career or in your personal life to regain that control. If you’ve become complacent where you are at, you may be missing out on other opportunities that will improve your earnings power. Still saddled with student loan debt? You are not alone. More than 60% of medical students graduate with over $150,000 in debt. It’s time to find an employer who is willing to help out with that. What about credit card debt? Make a plan to consolidate it and get out from under it. Purposeful spending doesn’t mean you have to give up your lifestyle. It does mean, you have to decide on what is most important and what can be put aside until later.
But I Like What I Do
The beauty of setting yourself up for early retirement and financial independence is that you are creating your own terms. If you truly want to create financial independence for yourself and family, then working toward that goal is merely “setting the table” for you to make a decision when the time is right. According to a 2016 survey, 47% of physicians indicated that they planned to retire earlier than expected. There is a very good chance that when the time comes, and you are financially independent, you will begin thinking about other things that feed your sense of fulfillment. When you have reached FI, no one is going to force you out of practicing medicine, in fact with the continuing doctor shortage, just the opposite will occur, but you will be in the position to practice just how you like.
Practice How You Want
Being a practicing physician has been your focus for the majority of your life. Naturally, it can be disconcerting to think about what comes after you stop seeing patients. Truthfully, that is more of a personal retirement question, than a FIRE scenario. The end goal of FIRE is for you to be free to do what you are really passionate about. If you still want to practice medicine, you’ll be free to do it on your own terms. You might want to transition into teaching or research, and FIRE will allow you to do so without worrying about how that will affect your lifestyle.
Making a commitment to financial independence is within your control. The idea is to reach that point of independence before you begin thinking about life after the practice. Maybe your work and life experiences have created the itch to pen the next great American novel, or you can’t stop thinking about spending all of your time between the beach and the golf course. Whatever it is, you have earned it. By making financial decisions now, your FIRE can be stoked when the right time arrives.
If you want to explore physician career opportunities that can help you achieve financial and personal goals, contact a Jackson Physician Search recruitment professional today.
Each year, a variety of physician salary surveys are published with varying degrees of detail and context. Charts and tables deliver a wealth of information, but you need to read between the lines…