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Old 12-27-2015, 03:29 PM   #21
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Jump right in! Locum work can be very lucrative and there is no shortage of firms that will find you a job anywhere in the country (and most will help you get licensed in different states). Based on your income, I'd guess that you are a specialist - again, no shortage of jobs and the locum work can have some alternative scheduling. Buy that RV and start exploring, picking up a locum position here and there.

You will still be paying into SS as locum is 1099 work and you will be responsible for your own FICA taxes.
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Old 12-27-2015, 06:40 PM   #22
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Too bad with doctors it's either all or nothing.

If OP could work just one day/week at 1/5 what he's now making, that's ~85K. Seems like the OP would be happy at half that.
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:19 AM   #23
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It isn't all or nothing.

Hospitalists frequently work in chunks of time, or a fixed number of 12 hour shifts per month. ER physicians can do the same. A specialist in an outpatient setting may only need to see patients one or two days a week in any given location. The biggest problem is follow up of labs and other tests if you are not there.

I found working one week on, one week off was delightful. It was if I had two one week vacations per month.

I worked nights through the week, always had Saturday off, and worked 24 on Sunday. I traded with another pediatrician. When either of us wanted a long vacation, we would swap weeks and hire a moonlighted for Monday nights so the person doing 3 weeks in a row had a 36 HR break each week. Then both of us got 3 weeks off instead of one!

I could have done that forever.

The biggest hurdle is malpractice insurance. In many surgical specialties, depending on the state, malpractice insurance premiums can be up to $200K, whereas primary care can be under $15K. Surprisingly, due to malpractice insurance reform in 1975 in California, that state has much lower costs.

With locum tenens work, the company arranging your work also covers your malpractice insurance. You apply with the company, they vet you then they offer you positions. They help you get licenses for many states. If you work in the Indian Health Services or at VA or military facilities, any state license will do.

The OP may want to check out: There are a ton of jobs, even in Hawaii.

It's pretty eye opening. For someone without kids, it could really rejuvenate one's career. Have another 5 happier years, save some more for retirement, see the country at the same time. If DW likes to travel, it could really be fun.

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Old 12-28-2015, 08:14 AM   #24
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IMO you biggest factor here is kids.

I'm also 40. My DW isn't gainfully employed. Our burn rate is closer to 120 but LNW is around 4.2. We also have 2 kids (1 and 3).

ER for me means going from 60 hrs/week of pretty interesting high paying work to 60 hrs additional family time at 0 pay . Family time is great, but young kids are A LOT of work.

Eg. Wake up at 630 w 1 year old, make food, clean bottles, go for a walk, go back home. 830 DW and DD wake up. Make breakfast, coffee eat. At 9-930 go to park. At 10:30 go home... Do some kid fun stuff. At 11:30 lunch. 12:30put 1 yo to nap. 1:00 put 3 year old down. 2 hours for chores/clean house. Kids wake up at 3. Play/ go to park till 5 ish. Start dinner, feed, bath, play a bit more. 630pm 1 year old to bed. Relax till 730. Read books/sing 3 year old to bed by 830. 1 hour of clean up/ chores. 930-? Relax sleep...

That's a normal day. 7 days a week... No vacation. They get sick hang out with friends, take classes, etc.

The retirement picture is 180 degrees different if it just DW and I .

Financially I just whack about 250k for school. Personally I haven't found them that expensive because really they just want time which means you don't have time to spend much money .

My DD gets VERY car sick so we don't really travel much either .

Work is WAY easier than staying home but also way less satisfying.

So I think decide that part before ER.

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Old 12-28-2015, 10:39 AM   #25
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Your spouse and you should have long discussions on this and be in complete agreement on your leaving your job - at whatever age. A divorce in ER is disastrous as some here will confirm.
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Old 12-28-2015, 06:56 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by rvbound View Post
Current income is 420k...So my assets are a 450k home with no mortgage, 450k in retirement accounts, $1.2 million in non-retirement accounts. Spending currently is about $80k per year. Married, no kids at the moment
Shouldn't you have a lot more saved if you are only spending $80K a year?

Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
Also, I don't think you have quite enough saved. The likely market correction in the next few years has me concerned, and I'm 16 years older and have not quite double your assets.
My thoughts too. I have about double that you have as well, and am 56 year old. I will not have any kids (snip), while you seem to have left open the possibility.

You might want to think about a plan B... Working part time might be a good option, as a physician, not a park ranger. Do some volunteer park ranger stuff, if you want the adventure.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:10 AM   #27
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If you don't want kids I would suggest setting a time limit and retiring then, otherwise you will continue to work yet another year.

As a doctor I guess you realize people don't get any younger. There are a lot of things you can do in your 40s that really are not practical in your 60s.
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:57 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by rodi View Post
As for the kid thing ... I had my older son at 39 and my younger son at 41... so I'm familiar with the late to parenting thing. Kids are a cost and a joy and a PITA. (I say that on Christmas as they bicker over stupid stuff... sigh). It will change your life - mostly for the better. But I'll admit I'm envious of friends who are child-free... more often than most will admit. But then again - my kids are young teens... a less than easy stage.
It's so funny and sincere and very true . Maybe because it's not politically correct, people don't say such things about their kids. Of course, you'd never ever say this to your kids' faces.
I actually share your opinion, though my X'mas day was very nice (OTOH, my kids are not teens yet).

To OP: like others have said, I also agree that another 3-5 extra years of work would go a long way. In addition to your savings of $130k/year, you also save in your 401k, right? If the market is going down (if your crystal ball is working correctly), you'd be buying low and then retire at the end of the bear market.

Healthcare is the scariest part and I wouldn't say it's of the best quality either. But it makes me wonder why people curse Obamacare and how the healthcare before it was any better. I know so little about either one.
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5 year-follow up
Old 12-25-2020, 01:39 PM   #29
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5 year-follow up

Merry Christmas, everyone! I thought I'd provide a 5 year update for all of you, but mostly for myself, as I have found myself returning to this thread many times over the past 5 years to just see how things have gone, and how much farther I have to go.

I took the advice of most responders, and decided to continue plugging away at the same job. Still married to DW, still no kids, still living in the same house. So that's all the same. I've become somewhat accustomed to the daily grind of employed life, even making some effort to take on new projects and responsibilities at work, and I have no doubt that I could do this for the long haul if required, and I would even derive some satisfaction from retiring at a more typical age from a more typical career with a standard list of accomplishments. No doubt, if we had kids, that's exactly what I would be doing.

But in my heart of hearts, if I did that, even with kids, I know I will have felt some regret for having squandered an opportunity to live life to the fullest, to have no regrets about not having spent enough time with those I love, and to have not travelled to places I have always wanted to go, to not have seen more sunsets or sunrises, and to have not taken the time to really just appreciate life. The last year has only strengthened my conviction to retire early, as I have learned how precious our time is on this earth, and that money is only a means to an ends, and should not be the ends in itself.

So here is where I am financially:
Retirement funds: 1.5m (from 450k in 2015)
Non-retirement funds: 5.8m (from 1.2m in 2015)
House: 500k (from 450k in 2015)
Total NW: 7.8m (from 2.1m in 2015)

Non-retirement funds have grown significantly due to some wise (/lucky) investments in mostly tech stocks. In retirement, for the first several years at least, we would likely move closer to family, where the COL is significantly higher, so I expect an equivalent home in the suburbs would be in the 1.0m range, though we could conceivably spend in the 3-4m range in order to actually be in the city. This is perhaps the only reason I can think of to continue working for a couple more years.

All FireCalc calculations I have done with various conditions are 100%. ACA seems to be on a more solid footing than in 2015. So all signs seem Go for ER in 2021!
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Old 12-25-2020, 08:17 PM   #30
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With $7.8M, I have to think that you will be fine so long as you keep your annual spending below say $250k/yr....
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Old 12-26-2020, 08:58 AM   #31
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Congrats. Gaining 5.6 mil in 5 years ? That's amazing .. how ?? Great job.
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Old 12-26-2020, 09:09 AM   #32
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You did very well!! I wish as much success in the next 5 years.
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Old 12-26-2020, 10:38 AM   #33
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How have your expenses tracked during the last five years? Are you still living an $80K life?
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Old 12-26-2020, 11:16 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by cyber888 View Post
Congrats. Gaining 5.6 mil in 5 years ? That's amazing .. how ?? Great job.
Thanks. Mostly due to a high savings rate, and buy-and-hold gains in tech stocks. But now sitting on a lot of capital gains, which is yet another reason to retire early, so that I can lower my income to the 0% capital gains bracket.
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Old 12-26-2020, 11:18 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by street View Post
You did very well!! I wish as much success in the next 5 years.
Thank you. I was incredibly lucky over the past 5 years.
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Old 12-26-2020, 11:34 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by TriumphTR3fan View Post
How have your expenses tracked during the last five years? Are you still living an $80K life?
Yes, have still been tracking expenses closely and have averaged around 80k per year, but it fluctuates. From 2015-2017, there was a bit of an increase in living expenses from 80k to around 100k, as the toll from work started to weigh heavier and we decided to indulge in some pricy vacations. But this past year, travel has been completely cut out of our budget, so expenses have dropped to 60k. And I still feel like we are living very comfortably on that 60k, with much that could be cut out if needed.

Of course, with COVID on everyone's mind, health insurance in early retirement remains an issue. Health insurance premiums for a couple will be around 12k per year in the area we are planning to live, so I would estimate around 20k per year for new medical/dental expenses that are currently essentially covered by employer insurance, bringing expected annual expenses in retirement to 100k.

Cost of living in a new location will also be hard to predict. We will likely be moving close to family in a higher COL area, with much higher housing costs. The options are to purchase a home in a suburban area at about 2x the cost of our current home, purchase a home in a city center at about 4x the cost of our current home, or rent for the first few years. I'm leaning towards renting for a while to at least see how things shake out with the anticipated commercial real estate apocalypse.
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