My blog is called “DiverseFi” because my path to financial independence was not the typical one. Although I’ll talk more about this in another post, my journey neither started from humble beginnings nor was frugality my guiding principle. In fact, it was only after discovering the FIRE community, did I realize that I was indeed financially independent.
That changed my life. Changed my habits. I slowly became more frugal than even before. I fired my financial advisor. Cut out bad spending habits. I started to question even the most minute expenditures.
That’s when the irony truly hit me.
It’s kinda sad, kinda uplifting
I didn’t pay for college. I didn’t pay for medical school. In fact, I started my adult life with zero debt. Unlike some, it wasn’t because I won scholarships, or had a mentor, or created a stupendous hack to break the system. I didn’t even work my way through (I’ve always worked, but never enough to pay off such debts).
Nope. My mom paid for it. Every single cent.
But it wasn’t free.
My dad died. When I was eight years old. He had a brain aneurysm and collapsed while rounding at the hospital. A life’s worth of hopes and dreams. Gone. My mom, me, and two brothers left behind.
My mother, the accountant, took the two hundred thousand dollars of life insurance and invested it in the early eighties. And it grew, and grew, and grew. Compounding through a wild ride in the stock market.
That money sent three children through college. Both my brothers through graduate school. Me through medical school. The last was distributed to each of us in the form of fifteen thousand dollar checks in the early 2000s.
Cutting the fat
So when it came time to renew my own term life insurance policy recently, I couldn’t help but think of my dad. His legacy had driven me to become a doctor, and his insurance had paved the way.
But the payout from my policy, bought years ago, was for about half of my current net worth. I am financially independent. I can self-insure. If my wife and I can stop working at any time, we certainly no longer need to insure our lives. Our children will be fine with what we have already. They won’t need more.
So it was with a feeling of great heaviness and irony that I canceled my policy. A policy similar to the one my father had lovingly left us.
A policy that I no longer had any use for.
“DocG” is a physician who blogs at DiverseFI.
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