I Am Financially Free From Medicine

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I am so excited to write this post. It’s been a long time coming, but in fact, it’s come years sooner than I had even dared to hope. Now, I can finally say that I am truly financially free from medicine and I wholeheartedly believe that anyone can achieve this.

Setting the Scene

First, a little background. My wife and I are both physicians and we’re both about six years out of training. We’ve been somewhat aggressive over the last couple of years in order to achieve this goal. We haven’t lived frugally, necessarily–but we haven’t gone crazy with our spending either.

We live on the west coast, in an area with a high cost of living, and so our expenses are somewhat high. Yet in spite of heavy expenses, we’ve been able to reach this point by building up additional sources of income. Most of these are passive, but some are on the active side, with a residual component to them.

The Blueprint

Now, to break it down even further, I present the blueprint to how we’ve achieved financial independence from medicine:

  • Both of us have decent paying jobs. Sometimes, it does take a little money to make a little money. Admittedly, both being physicians helps with that.
  • We’ve maxed out our tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts. Saving as much as physically possible and beginning early are the keys to achieving financial freedom later in life.
  • Bought a house and didn’t overextend for it. Paying more for a house we couldn’t afford would have greatly increased the time it took to reach this point.

Through these methods, we’ve now finally reached the point where our income from these sources exceeds our expenses. What does that mean? Well, at this point, our doctor incomes are just a bonus.

My wife has already gone part time and I’ve been cutting down my hours. So now, I feel I’ve truly made medicine a hobby. Will I ever quit medicine? No, I don’t think so. I truly enjoy my job and the privilege to help people, so I’ll continue. My plan is simply to cut back on the hours at work to find that right balance between my career, my family, and enjoying life, all on my own terms.

The Benefits of Financial Freedom

If financial freedom is not yet a reality for you, what do you think it would look like? How would it affect your life? Well, here’s what it’s done for me (so far).

First, I’m less stressed about the political and regulatory changes happening in medicine. You’ve likely felt that burden for yourself; it’s affecting doctors more and more, after all. While freeing myself of the financial pressures of medicine, that stress has slowly been leaving my shoulders.

Second, I can choose to spend more time with ones I love doing the things I love. This was my biggest goal when I started out. I love my job, but it has always and will always be second priority to my family.

Third, I can pursue some other passions that I avoided doing before because I didn’t have the time. This was another big consideration when I started out. What’s the point of living if you can’t enjoy it? My wife and I have scheduled four vacations over the next 6-8 months and we’re so looking forward to them.

Fourth and lastly, I can continue to give freely, making an impact with time and money in places that are important to me. This isn’t something I initially had at the forefront, but as I’ve started to reach my goals, my wife and I have realized the joys of giving back. We wouldn’t trade that for anything.

This week, I’ll be sharing this income report with newsletter subscribers. Follow me if you’d like to see this in further detail.

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Ultimately, I feel that a tremendous weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I feel that I have flexibility and choice – and that’s a powerful thing. But I also know that I must make sure that these other sources of income continue to bear fruit. I will continue contributing to my retirement funds and continue to cultivate my passive sources of income. When it comes down to it, the freedom these sources have given me is truly priceless.

Please realize this is our own personal blueprint. It may not apply to everyone. All I’m trying to show is that if you make it a focus, it can work, and ultimately I believe it’s worth it.

 

40 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulations on the great news! It must be a great feeling to know that all of your hard work and dedication have paid off.

    It’s amazing how you and your wife have been so proactive and successful at finding alternative sources of extra income!

  2. Congratulations!! Wow 6 years out of training is an amazing feat to be financially free! enjoy your vacation time- where is your family planning to go?

  3. Awesome!

    One of my own financial goals is to learn from you how to build this into my own financial approach.

    Do you have a primer article on the real estate that can walk a noob like me through it?

    • I think my whole approach to finances comes down to income, and specifically monthly income. In the end, that’s how we live, everything is paid monthly. Cover your monthly nut and you’re good. The best resource hands down for real estate investors, in my opinion, is Biggerpockets. I’ve learned so much from their blog, their podcasts, and their forum. I also really like how Jay Papasan explains things here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kv4ZbbEx5rI

    • Well, I like to say it’s a combination, little pieces make up the whole type thing. The businesses have actually been the largest components but I have no doubt the real estate will only continue to grow with time.

  4. Congrats! I’ve learned a lot from this blog. Must feel good knowing you could walk away from medicine. The practice of medicine has turned into a huge mess with regulations, documentation, insurance BS, on and on. I don’t practice oncology. The insurance companies do! Look forward to reading about more passive income ideas.

  5. That is awesome! It sounds like you’ve really worked hard on your passive income streams. Very impressive. One question: do you still have student loan debt from med school? I would think it would take longer than six years to pay off, but just wondering. Sounds like your side income exceeds your expenses in this case regardless.

    • Actually my wife and I still have student loan debt. That’s just part of our expenses and the good thing is that the income coming in covers it. We were fortunate to be able to consolidate them at very low rates (me <2% and her <2.5%) so we haven't been in a rush to pay them off. At some point we will turn to aggressively paying off debt when we feel our income streams are where we want them to be.

  6. Strong work PIMD! I think the biggest point that stands out to me, whether you meant it to or not, is that arriving at this point has been very intentional. It’s not by accident or luck that you have arrived at this point but by taking deliberate, active steps toward the goals to get there. We can all learn from that. Congrats and enjoy!

  7. Congratulations, but WE!

    WE are financially free from medicine.

    I tend to use “I” and “we” somewhat interchangeably when I talk about our FI status, but we’ve basically been a one-income household. Give your dear wife credit where credit is due!

    Cheers!
    -PoF

  8. Congratulations! That is such an impressive accomplishment. I’m about 3.5 years post-residency, and it would be a miracle if I was financially independent by 6 years post-residency. Keep up the great work!

  9. Nice work from you and the wife. I love hearing when people become FI, it’s so motivating! My wife is a PA and I’m a doc. We will be FI basically…….whenever we want. The more time from now the more secure the FI. It’s so liberating. I especially like that I can say no at work whenever I want.
    Admin: “Can you put in a note for such and such?”
    Me: “No, I don’t see the relevance, but you can put in that note : )”

    Great Post, Mahalo!
    See you in Hawaii!

  10. Congratulations! I’m a relatively new physician (two years in), and it’s encouraging to me to see how quickly physicians can achieve financial independence. I’m estimating approximately 5 more years until I achieve my minimal level of financial independence, so not too far off from how long it took you and your wife.

  11. Welcome to the club. It is liberating to know you can leave medicine behind. You no longer have to jump through the next ridiculous stressful hoop (MACRA/MIPS or whatever). Passive income is power.

  12. Well I’m late to the party!!! I remember getting post updates before but they stopped? The issue is most likely my end because I tried to switch email host thingies improperly. I’ll sign up with my other email 🙂

    BIG Congratuations doc!!!

  13. Congratulations Passive Income MD! What a great feeling. Not there yet myself but I am working toward it. The great thing about working towards Financial Independence is that its not a binary switch. As you get close and work harder on your passive income you start to feel the pressure at work ease. Its a great feeling and it motivates you to dig into making more passive income.

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