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43, FI, inheritance, psychology
Old 06-23-2017, 04:56 PM   #1
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43, FI, inheritance, psychology

Hello.

I am married, mid 40s, 2 kids in elementary school, household income $400k including company match, retirement portfolio $2.7M, college $400k. Net worth $3.5M. Still owe $650k on house. Annual spending about $125k-150k, annual savings about the same or a little greater.

Recently my parents died and I inherited an additional $4M. The income and RMDs alone from this will total around $125k to begin with. Clearly I don't need that money but on the other hand, it essentially makes me FI.

Now I feel I'm too young to retire but also don't want to work so much. I am director of my department and my patients rely heavily on me. I'm in a medical specialty which would be very hard to replace and my patients would likely go without care or in some cases with inferior care for some time before a replacement would be found. In other words it's not easy to even cut back and psychologically I feel I'm not ready, even though physically I'd like to and I have plenty of other interests and hobbies.

Your feedback, suggestions, thoughts, experiences would be appreciated. Note I would not take any imminent action. I would defer any decisions for a year at least.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:06 PM   #2
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So lets fast forward, when your older, say mid 60's or early 70's whats your exit plan for your patients then? The same should apply.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:34 PM   #3
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It's very honorable that you are thinking of your patients. For most people who say they are irreplaceable at work, the common reply here, usually correct, is that you are kidding yourself and you certainly are replaceable, but I can see your position. Can you start training your replacement now, or as soon as you are ready to start the exit strategy? If you don't take action to extract yourself from this critical spot, you'll just dig yourself in deeper. It's good for everyone, because if you got sick or hit by a truck tomorrow, they need a backup. Maybe you'd be able to cut back hours in a consulting role as your heir gets on board.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:44 PM   #4
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So instead of giving 2 weeks notice, give 6 months. That should enable most motivated orgs to replace virtually anyone. Offer to help scout the replacement and transition.

No one is irreplaceable. ER or not, anyone at a Director level in any field should have a "hit by a bus" plan anyway. Now it time to invoke yours, with whatever runway is reasonable.

And my condolences on the loss of your parents.

ETA
Oh and re being too young to retire: (poppycock) but ok sure, but that doesn't mean you have to work for a paycheck (and you don't). With your kids being so young that's a huge amount of time you can invest in them, in a charity, or convert a hobby to a business. Figuring it what to retire "to" is more important than focusing on how to retire "from".
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:44 PM   #5
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As director of the department, succession planning and recruitment is part of your job. If I were in your shoes (which I once was, except with a lower NW) I would start by working with the relevant hospital executive (e.g. VP of HR or Chief of Medical Staff) to develop a five year recruitment strategy to recruit and/or train new physicians with clinical and leadership skills. The goal should be to strengthen the department, improve patient access, and ultimately make it easier for you to step back. During those years, you can assume more of a mentoring role, while you become more psychologically ready for ER.
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Old 06-23-2017, 05:47 PM   #6
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So instead of giving 2 weeks notice, give 6 months. That should enable most motivated orgs to replace virtually anyone. Offer to help scout the replacement and transition.
I think that timeframe is unrealistic in this situation.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:02 PM   #7
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You may want to consider transitioning to part time work rather than just quitting completely, and see how it goes. Not everyone enjoys being fully retired at your age, so you will just have to see for yourself how it feels for you.
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Old 06-23-2017, 06:27 PM   #8
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Part of my ambivalence is about honoring my parents, not just my patients. My parents worked really hard and it is my responsibility (in part legally, as part of this is in trust and I am trustee) to ensure the longevity of the assets. I don't plan to be the generation that quit to go fishing and started the inevitable dilution of the legacy. If my kids do that then so be it.

Before the inheritance I had a plan to cut back in the next few years anyway, to 0.8 FTE. I had planned to give 2 years' notice.

Now, I have other options but the suddenness of the inheritance has me verklempt.
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Old 06-23-2017, 07:04 PM   #9
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No hurry to decide or change anything as long as work is fine then. As far as the trust goes, you're not that far from FI without the inheritance, so it's not like you're really draining it, and in fact can probably add to it.
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:10 PM   #10
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It is not necessary to make any big decision right now. In fact, it is probably better to wait a year or so until everything is finished, the moving parts are all still and you're through the grieving process. Put the inheritance on auto-pilot and just do what is absolutely necessary for now while you figure out your next steps by reading and researching and talking it over with friends or family (or forums). Then once you're ready, you'll have a clearer head, a better idea of what you might want to work towards - total retirement or part time it for 5-10 years or whatever.
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Old 06-23-2017, 08:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by brainsqueeze View Post
Part of my ambivalence is about honoring my parents, not just my patients. My parents worked really hard and it is my responsibility (in part legally, as part of this is in trust and I am trustee) to ensure the longevity of the assets. I don't plan to be the generation that quit to go fishing and started the inevitable dilution of the legacy. If my kids do that then so be it.

Before the inheritance I had a plan to cut back in the next few years anyway, to 0.8 FTE. I had planned to give 2 years' notice.

Now, I have other options but the suddenness of the inheritance has me verklempt.
Why not just keep going the way you had planned. I think once you're FI, you can think of your job as doing charity work. No stress that is.
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:21 AM   #12
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So instead of giving 2 weeks notice, give 6 months. That should enable most motivated orgs to replace virtually anyone. Offer to help scout the replacement and transition.

No one is irreplaceable. ER or not, anyone at a Director level in any field should have a "hit by a bus" plan anyway. Now it time to invoke yours, with whatever runway is reasonable.

And my condolences on the loss of your parents.

ETA
Oh and re being too young to retire: (poppycock) but ok sure, but that doesn't mean you have to work for a paycheck (and you don't). With your kids being so young that's a huge amount of time you can invest in them, in a charity, or convert a hobby to a business. Figuring it what to retire "to" is more important than focusing on how to retire "from".
+1
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:48 AM   #13
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No

So after all life and society has given you, you want to retire? Assuming you are a doctor then you have only been working for 10-15 years. You inherit all this money and want to do what good with it? Retire?
Good grief, why not donate half you money to helping autism, poverty, child abuse, etc... and then continue to work to support yourself. Or take all your money and open a homeless shelter and work there.
Society has invested all this education in you just so you can sit on beach and do what, drink and smoke too much?
Think about how how fortunate you are and do something good with your life.
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Old 06-24-2017, 05:58 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
As director of the department, succession planning and recruitment is part of your job. If I were in your shoes (which I once was, except with a lower NW) I would start by working with the relevant hospital executive (e.g. VP of HR or Chief of Medical Staff) to develop a five year recruitment strategy to recruit and/or train new physicians with clinical and leadership skills. The goal should be to strengthen the department, improve patient access, and ultimately make it easier for you to step back. During those years, you can assume more of a mentoring role, while you become more psychologically ready for ER.
+1. Good advice
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:44 AM   #15
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You do need to have a plan for what you'll do with the rest of your life. Are you in a position to pick up expert witness work to support malpractice cases? You need to be able to stand up to hostile cross-examination and be credible to a judge/jury but it's lucrative and not 9-5. Can you do "pro bono" medical care after retirement or is your specialty too exotic? I retired at 61, currently widowed with no kids at home and have enough volunteer stuff to keep a good balance between keeping the house and yard maintained, goofing off, travel and doing good for others. As BlueSkies said, you've been given a gift and you need to figure out how to use it.
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Old 06-24-2017, 06:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Blueskies123 View Post
So after all life and society has given you, you want to retire? Assuming you are a doctor then you have only been working for 10-15 years. You inherit all this money and want to do what good with it? Retire?
Good grief, why not donate half you money to helping autism, poverty, child abuse, etc... and then continue to work to support yourself. Or take all your money and open a homeless shelter and work there.
Society has invested all this education in you just so you can sit on beach and do what, drink and smoke too much?
Think about how how fortunate you are and do something good with your life.
I disagree with that perspective. A medical career is a series of jobs like any other. It is not indentured servitude. I'm sure the OP did not come here to be lectured on how to behave.
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:21 AM   #17
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I am not looking to retire completely but my days are long and I would like to work fewer of them. I currently work 200 days per year and would like to work 100-150. It would make sense to simultaneously give up the directorship and cut back my clinical hours. In that way the number of patients I see would probably not have to be reduced too much. I could make a plan to do this just as I did before, beginning about 2 years from now. I could give notice in a year, giving a year to find a replacement and also giving me a year to sit on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueskies123 View Post
So after all life and society has given you, you want to retire? Assuming you are a doctor then you have only been working for 10-15 years. You inherit all this money and want to do what good with it? Retire?
Good grief, why not donate half you money to helping autism, poverty, child abuse, etc... and then continue to work to support yourself. Or take all your money and open a homeless shelter and work there.
Society has invested all this education in you just so you can sit on beach and do what, drink and smoke too much?
Think about how how fortunate you are and do something good with your life.
There are additional complications and I didn't know I needed to justify ER to anonymous strangers on an ER board. I have health problems, and my only sister has cancer. I don't smoke and rarely drink. You, are entitled to your opinion about my debt to society but the rest of your comments are out of line.
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:44 AM   #18
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I didn't know I needed to justify ER to anonymous strangers on an ER board.

You are entitled to your opinion about my debt to society but the rest of your comments are out of line.
+1
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Old 06-24-2017, 07:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueskies123 View Post
So after all life and society has given you, you want to retire? Assuming you are a doctor then you have only been working for 10-15 years. You inherit all this money and want to do what good with it? Retire?
Good grief, why not donate half you money to helping autism, poverty, child abuse, etc... and then continue to work to support yourself. Or take all your money and open a homeless shelter and work there.
Society has invested all this education in you just so you can sit on beach and do what, drink and smoke too much?
Think about how how fortunate you are and do something good with your life.
This is a very odd comment to post in a forum about early retirement. Was this a joke?
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Old 06-24-2017, 08:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Blueskies123 View Post
So after all life and society has given you, you want to retire? Assuming you are a doctor then you have only been working for 10-15 years. You inherit all this money and want to do what good with it? Retire?
Good grief, why not donate half you money to helping autism, poverty, child abuse, etc... and then continue to work to support yourself. Or take all your money and open a homeless shelter and work there.
Society has invested all this education in you just so you can sit on beach and do what, drink and smoke too much?
Think about how how fortunate you are and do something good with your life.
If I was the OP I'm sure my reply to you would get me banned in short order.
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