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.
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.
- Aggressively worked on acquiring other sources of income outside of medicine. We’ve utilized real estate in the form of rental properties, real estate crowdfunding, and through syndications. We’ve also started our own business through a multi-level marketing company, and of course, this blog. Whatever your preferred source of income, there’s no denying that passive sources are the best.
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.
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.
“Passive Income, MD” is a physician who blogs at his self-titled site, Passive Income M.D.
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