Many people mark the traditional company “silver pen” at age 65 as the milestone of being retired.

At one point, my husband and I were one of them. We had no idea what retirement meant. We also assumed age 65 was it.

Then we came across the idea of FIRE.

FIRE = financial independence / retire early

Most Doctors Are (At First) Very Skeptical Of FIRE

To those who aren’t familiar with FIRE, it sounds like this:

“I hate medicine, I’m lazy, I’m ungrateful. And I want to walk away from from it all. I’m going to saddle other doctors with the responsibilities of taking care of society while I go on permanent vacation in paradise…”

My own husband had that reaction.

“I’m sure I will work until I’m 80,”

he told me.

But that’s not what FIRE is about at all. We were missing a very important concept of FIRE, which is this:

FIRE Has Two Components

There is FI, which is financial independence. And then RE, which is retire early.

The difference is FIRE means quitting medicine, and FI is working the way you want to.

At this point in our medical journey, what we want is FI.

The Remedy To Burnout

The medical profession has a common occurrence called burnout.

Burnout happens when doctors feel out of control:

Employers change rules. Medicare and Medicaid affect their decisions. Their schedule is out of hand. They feel they must do procedures they don’t like.

It doesn’t have to be medicine that’s stressing him out, it’s the job. And being FI is a remedy to burnout.

The Freedom To Work The Way You Want To

When FI, your DrSpouse can have the freedom to work the way he wants to, and not because it’s good for his paycheck.

This is how his work could look like:

  • He doesn’t have to take call or work many nights or weekend shifts.
  • He doesn’t have the mental burden of student loan debt looming on his mind that’s pressing him to take on more shifts.
  • He can take a vacation with the rest of the family without being stressed about not making a profit (especially true in private practice).
  • He can eliminate doing procedures he doesn’t like.
  • He can take a job in a high cost of living to be exactly where you guys want to live.
  • He makes decisions that are good for patients, not just good for the bank account.
  • He works a job he likes, so patients get to experience a good side of him.

Now, your DrSpouse is happy at work and at home!

In Summary

Now, my husband and I see that doctors who are FI are better doctors, so we made it our goal to be early FI.

Not only that, it’s also good for families and communities.

To fight burnout we see in medicine, I think being FI should be every medical family’s goal, too.

I’m hugging and supporting you ❤️

To strong medical families,

Your Turn

Are you trying to FIRE or FI? Why?