40 Is the New 60

12


Well, it’s really happening. I’m about to cross over the 40-year-old threshold and that means my life is at its glorious midway point. It’s causing me to think quite hard about things – where I came from, where I’m at, and where I want to be. Heck, I’m even starting to wonder How Many Summers I Have Left?

In some ways, it feels like parts of my life are just starting.

  • Career – I’m less than 6 years out of training.
  • Family – My wife and I have two very young children.
  • Blog – I just started this blog one year ago.

However, my perceptions of a long, happy life and career have changed quite dramatically over the last several years. Up until recently, I just lived life accepting the notion that people work and grind until they’re 65, then ride off into the sunset in retirement. I had accepted the notion that you were supposed to just accumulate the biggest nest egg that you could until you retire, then try to live out the rest of your years without spending it all before you die.

Well, like I mentioned, things have changed. I’ve become somewhat obsessed with the notion of gradual retirement. In fact, I’ve already started cutting back on work. I no longer want to wait until I’m 65 to truly enjoy most of life. I don’t want to miss out on my children growing up in order to squirrel away as many nuts as possible.

When I started this blog, I wanted to be financially independent and “retired” on paper by the time I’m 45. (Hopefully, it’ll happen sooner.) I don’t want to be 25 years away from retirement, I want to be 5 years away from retirement.

This is all about choice. I want the option to live life and my career the way I want, on my own terms as much as possible. The best way, in my opinion, is to set myself up financially by building up as many streams of income as possible. The goal is for as many of them to be sources of passive income as possible. I want medicine to be a hobby, something that I do because I’m passionate about, and I plan on doing it for quite a while.

40 Is the New 60

40 is the new 60. 5 years to retirement and financial independence. I’m trying my best to make it happen.

Has anyone else’s notion of retirement changed recently? When do you want to retire or be financially independent and what are you doing about it?

12 COMMENTS

  1. It took me a few reads of the title to understand what you did there 🙂

    Certainly, the FIRE movement has changed how I view retirement. I don’t plan on retiring in my 40s, but I certainly plan to be financially independent before the age of 60.

    -WSP

  2. Great post.

    I’m going to echo WSP’s sentiment. The FIRE community has definitely shifted my perspective of retirement, money, time, frugality, and optimizing for happiness. Since I currently enjoy my work, I don’t see myself retiring in my 40s, but it’d be a great option to have if things change and my work enjoyment/satisfaction decreases.

    I’m on course to be financially independent in my 40s, but I’ll probably actually retire in my 50s. I imagine myself following your lead and doing a phased out gradual retirement. But in the mean time, I want to do multiple mini-retirements in between because I like the idea of really living in the moment and maximizing fun / happiness now while I’m still young. 🙂

    • Honestly, I see myself working my day job as long as I can take care of my patients effectively. There’s definitely some value in working – keeps the mind sharp, ability to help people, sense of accomplishment, etc. What does a mini-retirement look like?

      • I equate mini-retirements to long vacations. I know most people would consider a mini-retirement at least 6 months or at least a “gap year”, but this is not feasible in medicine.

        I get about 9 weeks of paid vacation, so I intend to use them by taking three 3-week long trips throughout the year. Maybe I shouldn’t be misleading by calling my trips “mini-retirements” 😉

  3. This is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. On one side of things, I could go all out and get to FIRE asap, say within 10 years. On the other hand, I could cut back now and take the slow and steady approach, and be FI at age 65. I’m starting to think that something in the middle may be best. Work hard for a few years to until I reach a comfortable percentage of my FI number, then cut back and coast until older retirement age. I see some benefits by staying in the game, it gives me something to do (I enjoy my work and there’s nothing I want to do but can’t while still working), it gives time for compounding to do its thing, and it provides peace of mind to have regular income which can pay for some luxuries, travel, healthcare, and can be a hedge against poor market returns.

  4. Let’s see … in my case….I started around age 30. Had over 1M at 35-36 or so. FI by age 45.
    Since then I work because I want to. Over the last couple years I’ve been cutting back on responsibilities and things I don’t like doing. Still looking at part-time/semi-retirement rather than full stop retirement. Things change over time including environment, energy level, interests, health, etc. so it is great to be FI ASAP. Then you have options to fit your own life choices. Love the title of this blog post!

  5. We always knew we were saving for something. Until the last few years, we were not entirely sure for what. Our next egg benefiting from the 9-10yr bull market nicely coincided with our progressive distaste for the hamster wheel of corporate (big pharma) life and negative impact on our lifestyle.

    For me, I will be 51 next year and Mrs. PIE 44. Not super early retirement but early enough where earning more time with kids (11,9 next year) and pursuing other passions is much higher on our goals list than almost anything else.

  6. Sale of a business, along with 15 years of a decent income made potential retirement in my late 40’s possible. Spent some time looking at all sides of the subject.
    40 can be the new 60. But do you want it to be?

    1) Without work, there is no play. One side of coin makes other enjoyable. Steak/Chicken. Sun/Rain. Fatigue/Sleep. Workout/Sore. If I could eat homemade biscuits and gravy every morning – would I enjoy it as much? Probably not. Fly-fish for tarpon or trout everyday? (wait a second – yes – I would still enjoy fishing everyday – strike that last comment). Random stretches of 4-5 days, or 2-4 days off in between a few shifts here/there make those days off seem much more enjoyable. If I don’t work – what would I do – chase passions seems to be the standard answer.
    Finding other passions to chase – well – maybe I am boring – but I have kids – so chasing a passion is going to be local until they are out of the house. Than I have a wife – so chasing a passion will need to include her if I am going to stay married. (Staying married or never getting married is #1 way to FI by the way.) So what would I do if I wasn’t going to go pull a shift in the ER? Already do some side gigs (medicine related) and side company (medicine related). Already seem to get enough vacations, get to do my reading and financial porn (technical analysis, reading some of the great financial minds out there), lazy weekends.
    I enjoy being in the ER. Haven’t quiet figured out the reason to stop going to those shifts. Have seemingly found a happy spot that pays. Will stay here while the seat is comfortable.
    Maybe in medicine, for those who are happy, we are blessed to have a career that gives us some personal satisfaction along with decent if not great financial benefits.

    2) Inflation and erosion of buying power over 30 years is daunting. The idea of safe withdrawal rates. Lots of data and great research out there (Pfau, etc) – but that erosion of your money after 30+ years of retirement. Life cycles and bio-hacking & medicine/exercise/diet to slow aging process really might put people in a pickle for money if they hit age 90-100 with last true income being nearly 50 years ago. (Assuming you put the side gigs away as well, which is a big assumption)
    At some point, the ability to turn the revenue back on won’t be there. I am much more worried about inflations affect on my retirement monies than I am the market or investments. 3-4% withdrawal rate after 30 years of even 2% inflation is in reality a 1.5-2% withdrawal rate in spending power. That is assuming inflation doesn’t get rampant. If your going to plan on 40 years of retirement – you best have assets into areas that will benefit from inflation.

    3) Tiny house movement and frugality – err….just not my cup of tea. Will freely admit I enjoy spending money on things such as flyfishing, skiing, family vacations, wine, food, and a house that we truly enjoy in a very non FI way. Try to find a balance and continue to save around 30-35% of the income. Have made a conscious decision to actually put off being “FI”, in order to enjoy these things.

    In a way – that is a type of FI – no? Choosing to go to work – and spending some of that money – is really just another form of choice. Is it a hamster wheel of consumerism (gasp – I pay a good chunk in property taxes for a house that most people would consider big, and I purchase “expensive” used cars) – perhaps.

    But for our family – it is the right choice.

    Enjoy your blog…first time I have left a comment anywhere amongst the various FI blogs. Tremendous amount of intelligent people hanging around these parts – only good things can come from that.

    Cheers

    • Love the commentary, maybe you need to start a blog? Sounds like you’ve found a happy place, but the key to what I hear you say is, you have choices. Having that choice and freedom is everything. Thanks so much for stopping by.

LEAVE A REPLY