I'm a part-time doctor earning $250,000 a year and I plan to retire next year at age 43 - here's what a week of my spending looks like
- The Physician on FIRE is a part-time anesthesiologist and blogger who plans to retire next year at age 43.
- He abides by the "Live on Half" strategy: Spending 50% or less of take-home pay and investing in passive index funds.
- For Business Insider's "Real Money" series, he shares how he and his wife spent their money during a week in July.
- Want to share a week of your spending? Email your firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few years ago, I discovered the concept of financial independence. I was 39 years old and planning to work at least another 15 years in my chosen field of anesthesiology. However, I experienced inception of an idea - the idea that I could retire early, and it was an idea I couldn't shake.
I also realized that my wife and I were in a position to pull that trigger at any time. Mine was an unintentional path to financial independence, but a path that got us there in about 10 years, nonetheless. I had been saving, often more than half of my take-home pay, but I never knew what I was saving for. It occurred to me that I had been saving for my freedom; I just didn't know it.Financially, I could have afforded to give 90 days' notice right then and there, but mentally, I was not at all prepared to do so. I had not even worked a decade since finishing residency, and I had a family and a lot to think about.
After spending some time browsing a growing number of FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) blogs and forums, I began to feel more comfortable with the idea of retiring early eventually, but I did not find any sites discussing FIRE from the perspective of a high-income professional.
I decided to start a website of my own to both fill that void and give myself a platform to continue sorting out what an early retirement might look like for my family and me, and how eager I was to pursue this path less chosen.
In January of 2016, I started Physician on FIRE and pledged to donate half of my website profits. By the definition of financial independence, I don't really need the money, and it feels great to pursue a charitable mission while spreading this message.
Today, I'm 42 years old, and I'm still working part-time, but I plan to retire from medicine in 2019 when my replacement, a final-year resident finishing his training in the same program that trained me, arrives and is ready to work on his own.
I started tracking our spending about the same time I started my blog. I had to prove it to myself and to my readers that we were indeed financially independent!My wife, a registered dietitian by training, has mostly stayed home to raise our boys, who are now in third and fourth grade. When I do retire next year, we plan to do some extended travel and "roadschooling" while hopping from one family adventure to the next. I can't wait.
Here's a detailed look at our expenditures from a recent week in July.