Is it fair to say that a lot of people spend their careers dreaming of retirement? And if so, is it fair to say that doctors are not an exception to the rule? That is up to each individual to decide, but there are doctors definitely working hard now so they can enjoy their retirement in the future. Some are even hoping to retire early.
Retiring early as a doctor is not a crazy, unattainable dream. It is actually quite possible. There are even professional organizations devoted to helping doctors do just that. They all promote the same basic principles that can help doctors make the most of their working years so that they can retire early while still being financially independent.
Interested in knowing more? Here is an overview of how to retire early without having to worry about money.
Pay Student Loans First
That six-figure income you earn as a doctor is awfully pleasing. Why not turn it into a tool for facilitating early retirement? Why not use it to pay off your student loans first, before buying a big house and an expensive car?
Indebtedness is one of the biggest obstacles that new clinicians face during the early years of their careers. But retiring that debt as quickly as possible really opens future possibilities. The faster that debt is paid off, the more money a doctor will have to devote to retirement.
Save, Save, Save
Having enough money to retire on requires saving quite a bit along the way. It goes without saying that saving is second only to paying off student loans in terms of importance. Moreover, the key to saving for retirement is starting as quickly as possible. That means as soon as the student debts are paid off, all that money you were putting into debt reduction should immediately go to saving.
Live Below Your Means
Determining your current and future lifestyles is really nothing more than making a series of choices. So if you hope to retire early and still be financially independent, step back and ask yourself what is truly important. If it is important that you be able to retire at 55 and enjoy a fairly modest lifestyle, adopt that same modest lifestyle today.
Let’s say you think you can live comfortably on $70,000 annually during retirement. That’s great. Adopt a $70,000 lifestyle today. Everything over and above that amount can be put toward retirement. With any luck and a few good investments, you may be living a $120,000 lifestyle in retirement. Isn’t that better than spending $120,000 annually now and being forced to live a $20,000 lifestyle in retirement?
Look Beyond Your Role as a Doctor
One of the most difficult aspects of retirement for doctors has nothing to do with finances at all. It has everything to do with leaving behind the work itself. Clinicians practice for so long that they find themselves seeking identity in medicine. They cannot retire because they can’t leave doctoring behind.
You became a doctor because you love practicing medicine. That’s wonderful. What else do you love? Put everything you have into doctoring during your working years, then take that energy and put it into something else you love during retirement. If you can leave doctoring behind, your retirement years will be rife with other opportunities that are equally fulfilling and perhaps more exciting.
It is very possible to retire early as a doctor. And because of the money doctors make, they are afforded more resources for doing so. It really is just a matter of learning how to harness those resources effectively.