I cannot make the jump and retire

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obgyn65
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I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by obgyn65 »

I have been trying to retire for at least a year but I don't have the courage to make the jump. Turned 49 this year.

The sad truth is that I get some enjoyment from watching my net worth grow every year. But I just feel burnt out.

How did you make the jump and quit your job ? How long did it take between your decision to retire and finally walk out and embark on the phase of your life?

I guess I am looking for inspiration. Thank you in advance.
"The two most important days in someone's life are the day that they are born and the day they discover why." -John Maxwell
letsgobobby
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by letsgobobby »

I don't know but don't ask my dad. He's 79 and still can't quite do it. He did drop down to about 1/2 time a few years ago, and about 1/3 time now with no weekend calls. Maybe you need to ease into it.
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Blister
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by Blister »

It sounds like you need to take a vacation. A long 1-2 month vacation. That would help you to crystalize your thinking. You may decide you really still like working and find you aren't as burned out as you think. Or you may decide not to come back from vacation. :wink:
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sans souliers
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by sans souliers »

You are not alone, getting enjoyment from watching your own net worth go up -- you've been a Boglehead for some time now.
But the quote beneath your post makes me think.
Maybe you can take Blister's advice and make a discovery about yourself.
When you make up your mind to do something - anything - , making an announcement with a target date in mind helps your colleagues to make the transition with you. Their lives will be changed by your decision as well.
Sometimes pessimism leaves me pretty well prepared for when things don't go my way, and pleasantly surprised when they do.
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by tacster »

obgyn65 wrote:I have been trying to retire for at least a year but I don't have the courage to make the jump. Turned 49 this year.

The sad truth is that I get some enjoyment from watching my net worth grow every year. But I just feel burnt out.

How did you make the jump and quit your job ? How long did it take between your decision to retire and finally walk out and embark on the phase of your life?

I guess I am looking for inspiration. Thank you in advance.
Shortly after commencing my post-college career I made the decision to retire as soon as I was able. So from decision to action took almost 30 years.

I agree it was nice seeing my net worth grow, but since retiring (admittedly only a few months ago), the net worth has continued to grow, albeit more slowly.

Actually making the jump - well I filled out the paperwork, cleaned up my desk, turned my back on the rat race for the final time, and stepped into a new life.

It's easier than you think. :beer
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bhsince87
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by bhsince87 »

I'm sorta in the same boat. Just turned 49, and we've got about 50X annual expenses saved up, no debt, no kids, lots of outside interests, and a decent side business going.

But I just can't visualize myself not working. I still like what I'm doing, but it is increasingly tedious.

So I'll be following this thread closely!
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams
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goodenyou
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by goodenyou »

Physician burn-out is common and it is getting worse. Transitioning to a flex-retirement position in clinical medicine can be difficult. At 49, with a (hopefully) long life ahead, it could be possible to outlive your money, especially if you have not yet college-educated your children (if you have any). Having enough to live comfortably (as you are accustomed to with earned income) may be difficult. Also, finding alternate employment as a physician can be tricky; potential employers will be inclined to believe something is wrong with you because you don't "want" to practice medicine and use your 25+ years of training and experience. After you have been out for several years, it would be difficult to restart, especially for those who have to keep up their surgical skills. That leads to the reluctance to quit. A lot of doctors are savings as much as they can in order to get out of medicine with enough money to quit altogether. Unfortunately, most doctors have very few skill sets outside of medicine, especially those who have practiced for 20 years. Just don't make any risky investments in business opportunities (new phase) that may put your nest egg at risk. I have seen disasters with retired physicians trying to do that. If you have reached critical mass, you can take time off and follow whatever path feels right. You are under no pressure at that point. Golden Handcuffs shackled to a treadmill is no fun.
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by dumbbunny »

obgyn65 wrote:I have been trying to retire for at least a year but I don't have the courage to make the jump. Turned 49 this year.

The sad truth is that I get some enjoyment from watching my net worth grow every year. But I just feel burnt out.

How did you make the jump and quit your job ? How long did it take between your decision to retire and finally walk out and embark on the phase of your life?

I guess I am looking for inspiration. Thank you in advance.
I had the same thoughts and tapped on the brakes to my career when I had reached critical mass. I was terminated for "lack of drive." After a mission trip to Nicaragua - a kind of a place where one's net worth takes a back seat - I came back and made the decision not to work anymore. Now I just volunteer my skills.
“It’s the curse of old men to realize that in the end we control nothing." "Homeland" episode, "Gerontion"
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by livesoft »

Here is some inspiration: Don't retire, but get fired instead. That way someone else is making the decision for you. Maybe you can get a severance package as well.
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davebarnes
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Good advice

Post by davebarnes »

Blister wrote:It sounds like you need to take a vacation. A long 1-2 month vacation.
Great idea.
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Zabar
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by Zabar »

Taking a long vacation sounds like a good first step.

From my experience as a psychologist who's dealt with physicians struggling with burnout (please forgive me if my assumption is incorrect), they generally fall into one of two groups: those who are running away from something they dislike and those who are running towards something that they like more. The latter are happier.

You mentioned what you don't want to do. What do you think might be exciting/rewarding/fulfilling for you to do?
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pteam
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by pteam »

I agree , take a long vacation. then see how you feel

If you want more info from us tell us your assets, and your expenses, and your plans.
Last edited by pteam on Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
DualIncomeNoDebt
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by DualIncomeNoDebt »

Why don't you make a transition to part-time, or reduced hours/rotation? Couple days on, rest of the week off. Smooth the transition.
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by cheese_breath »

Retired at age 56. I was between consulting jobs and decided to develop a detailed financial projection during my time off. When I determined I had enough to retire I decided to do so about two seconds later.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
island
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by island »

What else do you enjoy other than counting your money? Do you spend any on enjoyable activities?
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BHCadet
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by BHCadet »

I could have retired at 55 two years ago.
But, it took me two years to pull the trigger.
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6miths
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by 6miths »

I just retired from clinical practice at the start of May. A week shy of 53. I followed some of the advice given above. I had a plan to retire when my youngest finished high school but considered that I would do it sooner if possible. Two years before I retired I took 3 months off to see if that would rejuvenate me to the point that I would like to hang in longer. Taking the time off demonstrated a few things to me: 1) I missed patient contact, 2) this negative was more than offset by the relief of not dealing with administration and making life and death decisions, 3) I had so many things that I enjoyed doing outside of work, 4) I didn't miss the income at all, 5) it was wonderful to be on my own clock, and 6) taking 3 months off did not make me want to stay in the trenches any longer than necessary. So I packed it in with two kids still in high school but no worry. I still continue to teach and have become more involved in med ed programme development but I consider this more of a hobby and given how much I am paid to do it, it pretty much is!

It's definitely hard to leave it all behind but at the end of the day one has to say 'Enough' at some point. When that is varies greatly for all of us. This past Monday I went to a funeral for a high school classmate. One of the nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of knowing, star running back, point guard, track but humble beyond belief. Our time on this earth is fleeting and indeterminate - it's a tough call. All the best.
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steve roy
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by steve roy »

I can't count myself as a shining model for early retirement, but here's a couple that successfully did it:

https://sites.google.com/site/paulvicgroup/Home

http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/pau ... erview.htm
hmw
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by hmw »

If the OP is in a small private practice, taking an extended vacation will be easy. Coverage and overheads will be problematic.
hmw
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by hmw »

Will not be easy...
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by LeeMKE »

Somewhere I got the idea to start jotting down things for my bucket list.

At one point, the items on that list became more attractive to me than doing the work I was doing.
The mightiest Oak is just a nut who stayed the course.
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by Jazztonight »

My experience and personal observation is that physicians identify themselves by their profession, and have extreme difficulty separating themselves from that "identity."

Let's assume for a moment that you have "enough" to retire. The reality is that you are very young. What the heck are you going to do for the rest of your life?

Golf, tennis, sailing, etc., really don't make for a meaningful life in any way equal to the life you've been leading. My belief is that one needs to retire to something that nourishes one's soul. It may be the pursuit of an art form, a noble undertaking, or a quest to discover what inner talents you might possess.

But if you're feeling burned-out, it's certainly time to step back and seriously evaluate the next stage of your life. Working as a physician just to watch your portfolio grow doesn't sound too good, does it?

There are other roles you could pursue in the health field. Or you could jump to another stream of work.

It sounds like it might be time to "heal thyself."
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by lululu »

My obgyn changed his practice to not dealing with insurance companies, but having patients pay on the spot. My impression is that that was a major relief. Patients get a detailed receipt and duke it out with the insurance companies themselves, or not if they don't want to be bothered for minor charges.

He wound up treating his practice like an old-time country doctor. He and his assistant were the entire staff, and there was no in and out in the minimum time possible for patients. I think he eventually went to three office days a week or something, and brought in a partner who was there five days a week and ran a more conventional practice in an adjacent office. I had moved away at that point, so I'm not sure. He was always available via the phone, but with a reduced patient load I don't know how much of his time that soaked up.

Of course, you have to be working in a geographical area where people can afford to and are willing to pay the additional required for having this better care.
J295
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by J295 »

I spent three years working through my professional transition from full time to part time so that my partners and clients would be well served. That time, and the 1.5 years that I have been part time have allowed an evolutionary process that has worked very well for my wife and I.

In terms of pulling the trigger, my observation is that indeed it is hard. For most, change is not easy. I was fortunate that I have close friends that choose non-traditional paths and have extremely rewarding lives, I have a spouse I am madly in love with after 32 years of marriage, elderly parents who are in good health (but won't be forever), many outside interests (including volunteering I enjoy), a meaningful spiritual life, etc. Successful cancer surgery at age 53 reminded me that this is not a dress rehearsal.

I've often remembered you can't follow you own path if you are on the road to another man's city. I don't know your path, but I'm confident you will do well, and wish you the best.
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by VictoriaF »

Blister wrote:It sounds like you need to take a vacation. A long 1-2 month vacation. That would help you to crystalize your thinking. You may decide you really still like working and find you aren't as burned out as you think. Or you may decide not to come back from vacation. :wink:
Like others, I think this is a fantastic suggestion. For me, it worked the other way around. I was not considering a retirement until I started taking long vacations. After being away from work and out of the country for four to nine weeks at a time, my mind expanded, my viewpoints got reset, and my priorities changed. Then I had a streak of four years without real vacations that have mostly erased my previous gains. But after I started traveling again, it all came back.

I was planning to retire in early 2014 and walk el Camino de Santiago in April-May of this year. That would have provided an excellent reset into the retirement mode. As it happens, I won't be retiring until September, and I am delaying el Camino until the spring of 2015.

Victoria
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obgyn65
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by obgyn65 »

I had a vacation a couple of weeks ago and will travel in 2 weeks time again for mission clinical work in Central America. I just find it is harder and harder to come back home, face Monday mornings - which I dread - and go the clinics and research center. Can't do it anymore.
Blister wrote:It sounds like you need to take a vacation. A long 1-2 month vacation. That would help you to crystalize your thinking. You may decide you really still like working and find you aren't as burned out as you think. Or you may decide not to come back from vacation. :wink:
Last edited by obgyn65 on Sat Jun 14, 2014 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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obgyn65
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by obgyn65 »

To answer your question I have found out that what makes me truly happy is to set up free clinics in third world countries and run them to take care of people free of charge. Trying to save lives each time I go, about 3 or 4 times a year. There is nothing like it.
sans souliers wrote:You are not alone, getting enjoyment from watching your own net worth go up -- you've been a Boglehead for some time now.
But the quote beneath your post makes me think.
Maybe you can take Blister's advice and make a discovery about yourself.
When you make up your mind to do something - anything - , making an announcement with a target date in mind helps your colleagues to make the transition with you. Their lives will be changed by your decision as well.
"The two most important days in someone's life are the day that they are born and the day they discover why." -John Maxwell
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obgyn65
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by obgyn65 »

I wish it was that easy...
livesoft wrote:Here is some inspiration: Don't retire, but get fired instead. That way someone else is making the decision for you. Maybe you can get a severance package as well.
"The two most important days in someone's life are the day that they are born and the day they discover why." -John Maxwell
mptfan
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by mptfan »

I don't know the details of your work situation or if it is feasible for you, but I would suggest starting to pull back on the number of hours you work. Start with a target of working 75% of the hours that you work now, and see how that feels. If you still feel burnt out, try 50%. If you still feel burnt out, then it may be time for you to retire.
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by obgyn65 »

I am more in the latter category. My dream is to continue to set up and run free clinics in third world countries. Saving a few lives during each trip, educate hundreds of other patients to keep them safe. This is my destiny.
Zabar wrote:Taking a long vacation sounds like a good first step.

From my experience as a psychologist who's dealt with physicians struggling with burnout (please forgive me if my assumption is incorrect), they generally fall into one of two groups: those who are running away from something they dislike and those who are running towards something that they like more. The latter are happier.

You mentioned what you don't want to do. What do you think might be exciting/rewarding/fulfilling for you to do?
"The two most important days in someone's life are the day that they are born and the day they discover why." -John Maxwell
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obgyn65
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by obgyn65 »

There is nothing extraordinary about my assets. I am about average when I look at the bogleheads net worth survey. About mid seven figure, depending on how I count the value of my deferred annuities.

But I am single with no kids, so expenses are less than 50k a year.

The big difference is that I am much more conservative than most here, as about 95% of my assets are in CDs or munis. So I watch my accounts carefully since I don't know much about finance.
pteam wrote:
If you want more info from us tell us your assets, and your expenses, and your plans.
"The two most important days in someone's life are the day that they are born and the day they discover why." -John Maxwell
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midareff
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by midareff »

obgyn65 wrote:I have been trying to retire for at least a year but I don't have the courage to make the jump. Turned 49 this year.

The sad truth is that I get some enjoyment from watching my net worth grow every year. But I just feel burnt out.

How did you make the jump and quit your job ? How long did it take between your decision to retire and finally walk out and embark on the phase of your life?

I guess I am looking for inspiration. Thank you in advance.
I too was burnt out and the work place had become inhospitable due to large wage and benefit cuts, personnel layoffs and a generally horrid attitude towards the new mayor and his new team of over paid assistants across the board. I has wanted to go at 62 but since I wanted to make retirement permanent, not even consulting or continuing to write for the trade mags, the numbers said be on the safe side and stay a couple. Had I known Mr. Roaring Bull was staying so long I would have gone then. But more to topic, I left by using my final vacation time on Safari to Kenya and Tanzania for 3 + weeks and then back for a couple to close files, assign remaining work to staff and (of course) the retirement party. Then I left to spend 7 weeks in Thailand.

My time is my own now... do whatever I want.... want to take a trip just go, no approvals (other than wifey) needed. Work really is a four letter word, I miss NOT AT ALL.
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obgyn65
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by obgyn65 »

Thank you for sharing. May I ask you what made you start taking longer vacations in the first place ? What is to get away from your job or was it because you realized early there is more to life than our paycheck?
VictoriaF wrote:
Blister wrote:It sounds like you need to take a vacation. A long 1-2 month vacation. That would help you to crystalize your thinking. You may decide you really still like working and find you aren't as burned out as you think. Or you may decide not to come back from vacation. :wink:
Like others, I think this is a fantastic suggestion. For me, it worked the other way around. I was not considering a retirement until I started taking long vacations. After being away from work and out of the country for four to nine weeks at a time, my mind expanded, my viewpoints got reset, and my priorities changed. Then I had a streak of four years without real vacations that have mostly erased my previous gains. But after I started traveling again, it all came back.

I was planning to retire in early 2014 and walk el Camino de Santiago in April-May of this year. That would have provided an excellent reset into the retirement mode. As it happens, I won't be retiring until September, and I am delaying el Camino until the spring of 2015.

Victoria
"The two most important days in someone's life are the day that they are born and the day they discover why." -John Maxwell
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cheese_breath
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by cheese_breath »

livesoft wrote:Here is some inspiration: Don't retire, but get fired instead. That way someone else is making the decision for you. Maybe you can get a severance package as well.
Don't get fired for the sake of a few bucks. It could bite you if you ever want to go back to work again,
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.
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VictoriaF
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by VictoriaF »

obgyn65 wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Blister wrote:It sounds like you need to take a vacation. A long 1-2 month vacation. That would help you to crystalize your thinking. You may decide you really still like working and find you aren't as burned out as you think. Or you may decide not to come back from vacation. :wink:
Like others, I think this is a fantastic suggestion. For me, it worked the other way around. I was not considering a retirement until I started taking long vacations. After being away from work and out of the country for four to nine weeks at a time, my mind expanded, my viewpoints got reset, and my priorities changed. Then I had a streak of four years without real vacations that have mostly erased my previous gains. But after I started traveling again, it all came back.

I was planning to retire in early 2014 and walk el Camino de Santiago in April-May of this year. That would have provided an excellent reset into the retirement mode. As it happens, I won't be retiring until September, and I am delaying el Camino until the spring of 2015.

Victoria
Thank you for sharing. May I ask you what made you start taking vacation in the first place ? What is to get away from your job or was it because you realized early there is more to life than our paycheck?
In 1994, I decided to walk in Europe with my daughter, a couple years before she had to leave for college. I took all my vacations and some time without pay, and we went to France to walk GR3 along Loire from Orléans to Guérande, and then across Brittany. We walked with backpacks for eight weeks and made about 800 kilometers. The mileage does not include the days when we did not walk along the path but were exploring châteaus, museums, and parks.

We did not carry too much weight in our packs; I think I had 25-30 lbs depending on the amount of food and water, and my daughter had a bit less. However, we frequently were walking in open fields in extreme heat, which was exhausting. We did not have access to the news, and only later I've learned that the summer was particularly hot and several Tour de France participants had fainted from heat.

A major challenge was losing the trail. It was before smart phones and Google maps. We were carrying books with the trail maps, which were somewhat outdated. Sometimes, we would see a road sign in French and could not figure out what it meant. Sometimes, we would arrive to a small village after a long day's walk to find out that the only hostel was closed because the owners went on vacation. And so we had to walk another five kilometers to the next village. Getting by in our highly limited French was a challenge of its own. But most of the time it was fun, and beauty, and the sense of accomplishment.

After concurring various challenges with flying colors, getting back to the mundane work issues felt anticlimactic. A trip of the lifetime turned into a desire for the lifetime of trips. When my daughter has left for college in 1996, I knew that I would be missing her tremendously, and so I signed for a trek to the Everest Basecamp to get distracted. When I reached Kalapatar at the altitude 18,514 feet, I was much more concerned about my breathing than any other things in the world. I returned to Nepal in 1997, this time on my own. In Kathmandu, I hired a guide and a porter, and together we did the Annapurna circuit including a side trip to the Annapurna Sanctuary. In 1998-1999, I took multi-week vacations in Ecuador and Peru, respectively. In 2000, I was planning to return to Peru and see other parts of the country, but for a variety of reasons it did not happen.

Now, I am looking forward to retiring in September of this year and being able to do all the things that were on hold.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
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windhog
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by windhog »

There is nothing extraordinary about my assets. I am about average when I look at the bogleheads net worth survey. About mid seven figure, depending on how I count the value of my deferred annuities.

But I am single with no kids, so expenses are less than 50k a year.

The big difference is that I am much more conservative than most here, as about 95% of my assets are in CDs or munis. So I watch my accounts carefully since I don't know much about finance.
After writing a long page of reflections on medicine, physician culture and my own retirement at age 61, I have deleted it all. The real question here is one of financial security. Your resources would seem to be more than adequate, but having a mid-seven figure portfolio 95% in fixed income says a great deal about aversion to risk and/or discomfort with your own financial management.

I see two options. You should seriously consider getting a fee-only CFP and give up management of your finances, and/or you should buy multiple SPIAs to guarantee income for life and stop worrying about this. Then you will enjoy doing clinics abroad and sleep well.

I hope this helps.
Paul
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Zabar
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by Zabar »

obgyn65 wrote:My dream is to continue to set up and run free clinics in third world countries. Saving a few lives during each trip, educate hundreds of other patients to keep them safe. This is my destiny.
That sounds wonderful. It also means that you're not really retiring. You're simply shifting the focus of your profession and your life, and need to be sure that this choice is economically sustainable. It should be.

Perhaps one way to ease into it is to accept a paid or volunteer assignment through Project Hope or some similar organization to broaden your experiences beyond the mission work you've participated in.
MP1233
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by MP1233 »

cheese_breath wrote:
livesoft wrote:Here is some inspiration: Don't retire, but get fired instead. That way someone else is making the decision for you. Maybe you can get a severance package as well.
Don't get fired for the sake of a few bucks. It could bite you if you ever want to go back to work again,
I agree. Never act in a way that compromises your integrity.
Boglemama
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by Boglemama »

You should be so thankful that you have found what you love to do! Setting up clinics in 3rd world countries and saving lives is AWESOME! Now to transition to doing it all the time.

Retiring is sometimes a dramatic jump into a new life, but it can also be an easy transition instead. You need to set up a "TO DO" list and a timeline. You have your own business, a practice, and you can't just cancel the entire thing overnight. Your "to do" list will help you to get to your goal of SELF DIRECTED TIME that excites you. So make a list of what you need to do in order to close your practice. My guess is that it will take you a lot longer than you anticipate to close your practice. Maybe 6 months to a year? What does your lease state about notice to landlord, or do you own and have to sell the building, what about patients and giving them notice, do you want to finish out the pregnancies of current patients, what about your own health insurance? So many questions!

Do your "TO DO" list and timeline and you may be surprised. Just writing it down may be mentally freeing enough to get to started to your life of self directed time that excites you.
lululu
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by lululu »

obgyn65 wrote:I am more in the latter category. My dream is to continue to set up and run free clinics in third world countries. Saving a few lives during each trip, educate hundreds of other patients to keep them safe. This is my destiny.
Unfortunately there is a need for free clinics here as well, although the ACA may have some impact on that. I recall seeing news stories within the last year or two where free clinics were set up for a couple of days and the lines were gigantic. Some people had had no medical care for years.
Gattamelata
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by Gattamelata »

windhog wrote:After writing a long page of reflections on medicine, physician culture and my own retirement at age 61, I have deleted it all.
Too bad! One of the immense benefits I get from this forum is reading about various other "roads to Dublin."
obgyn65 wrote:I am more in the latter category. My dream is to continue to set up and run free clinics in third world countries. Saving a few lives during each trip, educate hundreds of other patients to keep them safe. This is my destiny.
One of the few things I regret about my chosen career is that my professional skills are not so readily applied to the common good. For that reason (and few others) I am intensely jealous of my friends with medical training, and moderately jealous of my friends with legal training.

Good for you! Regardless of our relative assets and expenses, I think in this sense you'll have a much richer retirement than I will.
Dandy
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by Dandy »

49 is pretty young but if you are pretty sure that you have sufficient retirement assets and you don't enjoy your job -- what are you waiting for? Almost everyone I know that is retired, and seems to have enough money, loves it. Many had fears of what will I do.

Hey, I get the joy out of watching my asset level grow - but it is only a number not your life. Your life is what you do not a number. A close friend retired last year and had plans to spend several months in different locations around the world. He has been very sick and the prospects of living that dream are out the window most likely. I'm sure he has more than enough money - just lacks health and maybe time to enjoy it.
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TheTimeLord
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by TheTimeLord »

obgyn65 wrote:I have been trying to retire for at least a year but I don't have the courage to make the jump. Turned 49 this year.

The sad truth is that I get some enjoyment from watching my net worth grow every year. But I just feel burnt out.

How did you make the jump and quit your job ? How long did it take between your decision to retire and finally walk out and embark on the phase of your life?

I guess I am looking for inspiration. Thank you in advance.
IMHO until you have an activity to go to in retirement there is zero reason to retire. Don't just retire for the sake of retiring. Age wise you aren't going to fit in with most retirees anyway. Find a passion that can keep you engaged in life whether it be reading, volunteering, travel, a sport just something or you might end up with a huge void in life. For many people a huge percentage of their social life revolves around work and losing that with nothing to replace it could be a very difficult adjustment. Best of luck on whatever path you take.
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VictoriaF
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by VictoriaF »

windhog wrote:
There is nothing extraordinary about my assets. I am about average when I look at the bogleheads net worth survey. About mid seven figure, depending on how I count the value of my deferred annuities.

But I am single with no kids, so expenses are less than 50k a year.

The big difference is that I am much more conservative than most here, as about 95% of my assets are in CDs or munis. So I watch my accounts carefully since I don't know much about finance.
After writing a long page of reflections on medicine, physician culture and my own retirement at age 61, I have deleted it all. The real question here is one of financial security. Your resources would seem to be more than adequate, but having a mid-seven figure portfolio 95% in fixed income says a great deal about aversion to risk and/or discomfort with your own financial management.

I see two options. You should seriously consider getting a fee-only CFP and give up management of your finances, and/or you should buy multiple SPIAs to guarantee income for life and stop worrying about this. Then you will enjoy doing clinics abroad and sleep well.

I hope this helps.
Paul
I don't think the OP is uncomfortable with financial management. He can live without risk and he chooses to live without risk; that's his "management." It's consistent with the approach recommended by many others here, "If you have won the game you can stop playing." Most financial planners cause more harm that good; the OP does not need one and probably does not want one. And he is too young for buying SPIAs.

Victoria
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obgyn65
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by obgyn65 »

Thank you to everyone who has answered. I appreciate everyone's input.
"The two most important days in someone's life are the day that they are born and the day they discover why." -John Maxwell
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windhog
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by windhog »

Sorry to have to disagree with you Victoria. Admittedly we are all doing plenty of arm-chair psychology on an almost trivial amount of data, but that's pretty much what we all do here when the question posed is behavioral. I only wanted to bring up one possibility that had not been discussed. Only the OP can decide about what comments resonate in a helpful way.

As I suggested in my post, after writing extensively along the lines of physician behavior and my own retirement decision it struck me that the OP's discomfort was more likely tied to financial issues that had not been addressed. The following are the comments that pointed me in that direction.
I have been trying to retire for at least a year but I don't have the courage to make the jump.
Framing the problem as a lack of courage says (to me) that the conflict is about fear and uncertainty, not so much about numbers.
The sad truth is that I get some enjoyment from watching my net worth grow every year.
What is sad about watching one's net worth grow? Maybe the watching is really an unhealthy preoccupation: that would be sad.
But I just feel burnt out.
I get this. Are you burned out from the work, the work environment, or from something else (like feeling cut off from your destiny)?
To answer your question I have found out that what makes me truly happy is to set up free clinics in third world countries and run them to take care of people free of charge. Trying to save lives each time I go, about 3 or 4 times a year. There is nothing like it.
Seems to me this is not about the work, it's about the environment, and you have found a rewarding alternative. Since you have successfully re-imagined your professional life, it would seem like an easy choice to make this change, unless your finances are the problem.
There is nothing extraordinary about my assets. I am about average when I look at the bogleheads net worth survey. About mid seven figure, depending on how I count the value of my deferred annuities.

But I am single with no kids, so expenses are less than 50k a year.

The big difference is that I am much more conservative than most here, as about 95% of my assets are in CDs or munis. So I watch my accounts carefully since I don't know much about finance.
So your assets amount to something in the mid seven figure range, and your expenses are 50k. While most of us are pretty comfortable with 25-30x expenses as a retirement nest egg, you appear to have 100x. I understand taking money off the table when you have won: I have done the same. I have added emphasis to your statement just because it hit me between the eyes. You have won the game at 49 and you don't know much about finance? What exactly does it mean that you watch your accounts carefully? With most of your assets in fixed income, what surprises have you encountered and, more importantly, what would you do differently if they did not grow at an essentially predictable rate? I cannot escape the impression that your behavior is being driven (and restricted) by something other than realistic concerns.

As I wrote my previous post and settled on the notion of financial insecurity, I only offered two options. With a bit more reflection I would offer a third. Educate yourself financially so you can understand where you are and confidently move ahead with your chosen life and your destiny. Only you can decide if you need the services of a professional planner to help you understand your situation and the range of realistic options.

Congratulations! You have done exceptionally well and you understand the option to do good with your training and skills. I sincerely hope you can find a way to take hold of the amazing opportunity you have.

Paul
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VictoriaF
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by VictoriaF »

windhog wrote:Sorry to have to disagree with you Victoria.
Paul,

Well-argued disagreements are healthy and should help the OP.
windhog wrote:As I wrote my previous post and settled on the notion of financial insecurity, I only offered two options. With a bit more reflection I would offer a third. Educate yourself financially so you can understand where you are and confidently move ahead with your chosen life and your destiny. Only you can decide if you need the services of a professional planner to help you understand your situation and the range of realistic options.
I like the third option.

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
EnjoyIt
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by EnjoyIt »

If you don't mind, can you please specify what you are burned out from?

Is it the patients? Is it the insurance companies? Is it your colleagues? Is it your call schedule? Is it the myriad of regulations?

Unfortunately medicine is becoming more and more difficult to practice these days. Much of the BS you must put up with can easily distract you from some of the great things you do. If you enjoy your profession and truly want to help people that actually appreciate your knowledge, your skill and what you do, then I fully agree with the above comment. Stop taking insurance, and switch to a fee for service practice. The few people I have read about who have done this claim to have grown a new passion for their work. They work less hours, get paid appropriately for their services and their patients actually appreciate what the doctor does for them instead of feel like the doctor owes them something.
Last edited by EnjoyIt on Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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wshang
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by wshang »

Just got back from visiting one of my residency buds. After I retired last year, we got together with him and his wife. That got them thinking and the two physicians, pathologist and radiologist are recently retired. (When asked, they reply, "We retired young, still young enough to enjoy life.") A brother of one of theirs, a rheumatologist saw how happy they were and now he announced retirement.

Butterfly effect = OMG, I am now responsible for removing four 50-ish y/o physicians from the healthcare system. GDP just dropped by several million. Cumulative stress level dropped by even more! :D
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Re: I cannot make the jump and retire

Post by bhsince87 »

StarbuxInvestor wrote:
IMHO until you have an activity to go to in retirement there is zero reason to retire. Don't just retire for the sake of retiring. Age wise you aren't going to fit in with most retirees anyway. Find a passion that can keep you engaged in life whether it be reading, volunteering, travel, a sport just something or you might end up with a huge void in life. For many people a huge percentage of their social life revolves around work and losing that with nothing to replace it could be a very difficult adjustment. Best of luck on whatever path you take.

This is the most insightful quote of the thread for me.

What a surprise to find it comes from starbux investor!

Apparently, you're learning something here, starbux. Me too! :sharebeer
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams
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