Financially oblivious physician stumbles into serendipitous contact with Financial Independence/Retire Early (FIRE) movement, binge reads related blogs, can’t wait to spread message of hope among the huddled physician masses yearning to be free via his own blog…only to realize a highly talented physician finance geek beat him to the punch.
I’m speaking, of course, of Jim Dahle, who blogs as the White Coat Investor (WCI). I’m a huge fanboy, and to see someone who both personifies physician entrepreneurship and has such in-depth advice applicable to docs with varying levels of financial comfort is impressive. He welcomes newbies with boot camp basics while offering a wealth of advanced placement courses to those who’ve managed their portfolios since emerging from the womb.
His site is a place to find strong opinions (seasoned with humor) that aren’t afraid to buck conventional wisdom (bonds go in taxable!?). It would be easier if Jim’s writing voice were less likeable, but his financial correctives are stern but endearing, like a close friend affectionately giving you a noogie for each financial mistake you’ve made until now. Meandering WCI’s blog posts during your insomnia hours should be considered required reading for financial literacy.
After reading the extensive WCI posts, I was in a short-term funk (this has been done, with excellence, by someone else) until I realized where my blog might fit in: What if I could lay out the road map I wish I’d had for like-minded MDs. WCI has many posts applicable to (if not explicitly seeking) early financial independence, but most advice seems geared toward those looking for a longer medical career. This is understandable, as it likely represents the majority of his readership.
I’d like working as a doc to be a choice before I’m out of my 40s. What if I could examine my current path, publicly review my financial to do list (based on criteria put forth in the wonderful Bogleheads Guide to Investing), and post a road map that younger, more savvy docs could follow as a template out of residency? This blog is my mid-life crisis, a chance to realign priorities and allow my values to dictate the terms of my work life.
I’m specifically interested in the early/hardcore saver subset of physicians, those whose values resonate with Mr. Money Mustache but whose earning potential and desired retirement spending level is a bit higher. Perhaps you travel internationally, and you’re shooting for nicer than a hostel but more local flavor / better value than a hotel, say a modest airbnb or family-run pensione. How else might you know if you and I are financially simpatico? Let’s check it out with everyone’s favorite screening tool, the CAGE questions:
- Do you buy your toys (bikes, kayaks, gear, etc) used on Craigslist?
- Is your Automobile of choice among the biggest beaters in the MD parking lot?
- Do you Gravitate toward clothes shopping at vintage or thrift stores?
- Would you prefer to Eat in a quiet and delicious Ethiopian restaurant over a celebrity chef’s loudest, latest and greatest?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you’ve got the makings of a low burn / high earn lifestyle, and you’re in the right place. Let’s chart a frugal journey together to spend less, save more, and invest the difference.