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Old 08-14-2007, 02:11 AM   #21
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Rich, my perspective is option 2, but there are some caveats, as that is what I am doing right now. I'm half-timing, although it's even less structured then what you are contemplating. I do phone conferences, architecture reviews, and security evaluations, with the occasional mentoring discussion (formal). I carry a blackberry equivelent, primarily to get corporate email. Most weeks, I work half or less, albeit on a fixed salary.
Now the gotchas:
-If your DW is already retired/at home, she now feels, due to your increased presence, that she can over schedule you for the honey dos, at prime times of the day.
-Although you can use this time to get your affairs in order around the house - i.e. actually be at home when the cable guy comes knocking, it also means that you now have a new set of schedules, meetings, etc for all of those home/family related activities that you balance around the work times.
-Friends/neighbors, knowing that you are home in the daytime, feel free to drop in for coffee/chit-chat, and burn up some of the daylight hours that you had previously planned to accomplish 1 & 2 above.
-You might be tempted to try and take phone calls and computer work from a campsite or beach, similar to the commercial for one of the wireless companies - hard to get the roar of the ocean quiet enough for your cell phone conversation to occur, without them asking what's that noise every few minutes.
-Finally, with the above style of "working", you may be tempted to continue working more years, as the stress and hardship paradigm has changed to one of relaxation and even enjoyment of the work calls to break up the rest of the day.
IMHO
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Old 08-14-2007, 02:39 AM   #22
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A full 40 hr. week is considered part-time & even "slacking off" in medicine is it not? 60 to 70 hrs is just starting to carry one's load?
Way too much work(lucrative though it may be).

Maybe some variation of locum tenens?
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Old 08-14-2007, 03:34 AM   #23
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Rich - Congrats on having the options to consider.


I would assume that you have crunched the numbers at a high level to get an idea of which fits your situation best in financial terms. It sounds like you are a little concerned about being a little shy of your FI target. That would be a concern of mine... but it really depends on how far off target


The next statement is something that I am getting comfortable with myself. Not sure if you will agree with it. Your Retirement target may be somewhat arbitrary in the sense that you likely set a conservative target (best case scenario). Let's face it, you are not dealing with exact numbers (in portfolio growth) anyway, instead you are dealing with a range (some realistic min/max). You have some idea of your minimally acceptable FIRE position (not talking bare bones here)... that is, accumulated portfolio plus income streams due to you (i.e., SS, pension, etc). Are you above that min number?


As far as option 1 vs option 2.
  • Can you take option 1 and fall back on option 2 if things do not turn out to suit you?
  • Does option 1 give you a professional experience that you want to try? Or is it just further complicate your life?
  • It is a time/complication vs money trade-off. Do you have concrete ER plans where you can use the time now? Or do you want the time to just take it easy?
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Old 08-14-2007, 06:01 AM   #24
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Well, it is a very personal decision. The first criteria would be if the actual duties of one assignment appealed to you more than the other.

If you are about to burn out - then the half-time work could be a lifesaver.

If it were me, I'd do the not-quite-full-time (dropping the on-call duties) because a year or two will go by quickly. Practice saying the word "no" a lot or you'll be working more-than-full-time anyway.

When they want to know "why" you can't take on one more committee assignment, tell them your doctor has you under strict orders to comply with your 9/10 FTE salary...
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:21 AM   #25
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A full 40 hr. week is considered part-time & even "slacking off" in medicine is it not? 60 to 70 hrs is just starting to carry one's load?
Way too much work(lucrative though it may be).

Maybe some variation of locum tenens?
Locum tenens is in line for the end-game (career-wise, that is ) - a fun way to travel, stay up-to-date, and earn a few bucks on the side. At this point I'd have to do too much of it (say, 5 months away from home) to make it comfortable for DW and me. But later on, a couple or 3 months a year will be perfect.

Yep, in this profession full time means, FULL time. We don't count hours. It can be a big trap when part-time becomes a 40+ hour week.
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Old 08-14-2007, 07:24 AM   #26
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After the years of medical training and working, it has probably been a long time since you have worked close to a 40 hour week.
To quote Rosanne Rosannadanna when you are a practicing physician "It's always something." There are courses to take and other professional requirements, meeting to attend, calls from patients, etc.
I would be concerned going from a high powered time consuming job to nothing would be quite the jolt. Could you really do that? Are you able to fill the many hours you used to work with something that will satisfy your emotional needs?
Would going half time now allow you to develop a life outside of work?

It is great to be needed and to have the skills to save lives, educate patients and medical students and be a highly respected and very important person. I would consider these emotional aspects very carefully.

I know this from watching my engineer DH, he cut down from the middle of the night calls and going in extra days and having a tough time getting out of the workplace to a part time gig and in the beginning had quite a bit of difficulty. He had to re-invent his whole life. He was not interested in volunteering and had some hobbies he thought he always wanted to do that did not pan out. I was very glad for him he still had a job connection as he developed his life. He still is part time and may go on for a long time, he loves his work and gets tremendous satisfaction from it. His personal life continues to develop.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:21 AM   #27
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The National Physician Survey of 2004 (in Canada) clearly shows a correlation between shorter working hours and satisfaction. That said, this is a very personal decision for Rich and the content, context and meaning of those hours would be different in Choices 1 and 2.

Having gotten to "know" Rich over the past year I think he really wants Choice 1.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:27 AM   #28
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Having gotten to "know" Rich over the past year I think he really wants Choice 1.


That's what REW said. Am I that obvious?

We'll see what happens. Either way, this thread has given me a lot to think about.

I don't trust my workplace culture to guide me, since this dilemma would not be seen as a "decision" but more of an implied, unquestioned career progression (choice 1). The reactions of a broad-based and partially sane group like this helps keep me grounded.
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:31 AM   #29
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The reactions of a broad-based and partially sane group like this helps keep me grounded.
Now if you only knew which part...
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Old 08-14-2007, 11:45 AM   #30
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That's what REW said. Am I that obvious?
Uhhh, yes!

I can sense your enthusiasm about Choice #1, as if you see it as the cap on your career. If you can provide the right momentum for positive change for just 1-2 years, your job satisfaction would be great and you would go out on a high.

I'm willing to bet you'll go for it if the opportunity arises.

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Old 08-14-2007, 10:48 PM   #31
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I go with option #1 to expedite ER.
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