Most people in society 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. If you haven’t heard of it before, FIRE = financial independence / retire early. It’s now a large movement in the world for people who want something different in life than the usual.
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 ungrateful for taking the place of somebody else who could have gotten accepted into medical school and served their community for longer.”
“I want to saddle other doctors with the responsibilities of taking care of society while I go on permanent vacation in paradise…”
My own husband kinda had that reaction.
“I’m sure I will work until I’m 80,” he told me.
But we were naive. That’s not what FIRE is about at all.
FIRE Has Two Components
Turns out, there is FI, which is “financial independence.” And then RE, which is “retire early.”
The difference is FIRE means quitting medicine. FI is working the way you want to without money being a factor.
At this point in our medical journey, since we are still in medical training, we hopefully don’t want to quit medicine. But what we want is early FI.
Early FI is the best remedy that medical families have against the spiral of burnout because it gives you the freedom to practice medicine the way you want to.
The Freedom To Work The Way You Want To
When you reach early FI, your DrSpouse can have the freedom to work the way they want to, and not because it’s good for their paycheck.
Money isn’t an issue anymore. So work the way you want to!
This is how their work could look like:
- No call or work many nights or weekend shifts.
- No mental burden of student loan debt looming on their mind that’s pressing them to take on more shifts.
- Can take a vacation with the rest of the family without being stressed about not making a profit (especially true in private practice).
- No procedures they don’t like.
- Can take a job in a high cost of living to be exactly where you guys want to live.
- Can make decisions that are good for patients, not just good for the bank account.
- Work a job they like, so patients get to experience a good side of them.
Now, your DrSpouse is happy at work and at home!
Now having discovered FIRE, my husband and I see that doctors who are FI are better doctors, so we made it our goal to reach early FI.
Not only is early FI make good doctors, it’s also good for families and communities.
To fight burnout we see in medicine, being FI should be every medical family’s goal, too.
I’m a hugger. I’m hugging and supporting you ❤️
To your strong medical family,
Are you trying to FIRE or FI? Why?