Author Topic: Career path for early retirement  (Read 6971 times)

beyondhuman

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Career path for early retirement
« on: May 25, 2013, 12:46:40 PM »
Hello MMM community, I am new and have a question.

I recently graduated college and am applying to medical school.  My scores, etc. are good and I will probably get in, somewhere.  However, due to recent changes in my personal philosophy I have become much less interested in medicine and much more interested in financial independence.  I still enjoy the field and type of work but I am beginning to think that I could probably enjoy work in another field as well and also enjoy life more and be on target for FI sooner.

The problem with medicine is that by the time I finish school at ~33-35 I will have about #300k in debt at about 7% interest.  Even with the 100-200k I will make after taxes and hardcore saving I would acquire the same net worth as a median earner who started work the same year I enter med school and also saves hardcore by the time I am ~44.  After that point the doctor me would quickly out pace the middle class me but since my goal isn't get get stupid rich but instead to be happy and free...well I'm not sure.  It is beginning to look like medicine might be a fine career choice but perhaps a poor life choice in comparison to some quick retraining and a longer career earning less.  There are of course other trade offs, Dr.s have solid job security but also I would work about 5 more years worth of work by 44 than if I got a 40 hour a week job for 40-50k, etc.

1) I'd welcome any thoughts on this situation.
2) what are good career paths for early retirement that I may begin considering?

Khan

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 01:02:08 PM »
Do you love medicine? Are you interested in going through all the pain of residency and all the other stuff of medicine to be a Doctor? If you became a doctor and paid off your loans, and acquired FI, what meaning would you find in your life above and beyond the alternative, such as Doctors without borders, etc?

What I'm getting at is this: Do you want to be a doctor, FI, or both? For me, it's not about the FI and retiring from work, it's more about the freedom that that entails. I have no interest in not working, I just want to switch to work that I love doing, which has not been the jobs I've done for my life so far. I've enjoyed parts of my job, but not the whole of working, but I imagine there are jobs that not only would I enjoy doing, but I would find further meaning to my life -by- doing, so whilst I work towards FI, I'm also working towards attaining the skills necessary to do those jobs, and, free from the requirement to work, my employment takes on a whole different meaning, ya know? I'm looking at around ~35 if I stay in my current job, almost definitely having the ability to be FI, however I'm also analyzing the possibility of switching to going to college and graduating by the time I'm 30-32'ish, and having a large 'stash at that point to allow me the freedom to make life choices that are far more interesting then just FI... -not working-. I'm 25 now.

abpa

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2013, 01:11:23 PM »
It sounds like there's some serious soul searching in order here.  Yes, working in medicine can produce a high income (though not without considerable sacrifice).  But do yourself and your future patients a favor; if you do not have a deep need to serve others, if you don't like people, if you are only thinking about making enough money to retire early DO NOT GO TO MEDICAL SCHOOL!  Just don't.  Be an administrator, an accountant, anything that does not have direct patient contact.  You'll be happier, your patients will be happier and safer.  If you want to retire early in order to do medical work that feeds your soul and cares for the most vulnerable then please do so.

Also, the National Health Service Corps will repay your student loans in exchange for work in underserved areas (Including Hawaii and the Virgin Islands!), which is how I paid off Physician Assistant School.  By spending a few years in the boonies I'm now debt free except for the mortgage.

chesebert

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2013, 01:17:28 PM »
The fastest career path that I know of to get to guaranteed FI is IB followed by PE.

The FI plan is conceptually very simple:
1. Graduate top 1% in your class at a top 50 university (any math/engineering/science major is fine)
2. Get hired by GS/MS or any one of the bulge bracket IBD as an analyst
3. Work your ass off (100+ hours/week) for 2-3 years, where you will earn 100K salary + 100% bonus (assuming a regular year) - now you will be around 24-25yrs old
4. Stay in IBD or lateral to buy-side and work as an associate for another 3-5 years, where you will earn 150k salary + 50-100% bonus - now you will be around 29-30yrs old.

If you do the math, assuming you save 60% of your total pay, you should be sitting at 1.4M, assuming no investment and no interest. If you invest that money, you will probably be able to hit 2.5M+, which should be more than enough to retire on.  I think the beauty of the plan is that if you go to an in-state school, you can pretty much graduate debt free. If you think 60% savings is aggressive, you have quite a bit room to increase your spending but still have 2M by the time you hit 30.

However, out of the people in IB I know of, I don't think any of them has retired yet. I wonder why.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 01:28:03 PM by chesebert »

Baylor3217

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 01:27:15 PM »
Why?  Greed?  Spend too much?

The fastest career path that I know of to get to guaranteed FI is IB followed by PE.

The FI plan is conceptually very simple:
1. Graduate top 1% in your class at a top 50 university (any math/engineering/science major is fine)
2. Get hired by GS/MS or any one of the bulge bracket IBD as an analyst
3. Work your ass off (100+ hours/week) for 2-3 years, where you will earn 100K salary + 100% bonus (assuming a regular year) - now you will be around 24-25yrs old
4. Stay in IBD or lateral to buy-side and work as an associate for another 3-5 years, where you will earn 150k salary + 50-100% bonus - now you will be around 29-30yrs old.

If you do the math, assuming you save 60% of your total pay, you should be sitting at 1.4M, assuming no investment and no interest. If you invest that money, you will probably be able to hit 2.5M+, which should be more than enough to retire on.

However, out of the people in IB I know of, I don't think any of them has retired yet. I wonder why.

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 03:15:33 PM »
The fastest career path that I know of to get to guaranteed FI is IB followed by PE.

The FI plan is conceptually very simple:
1. Graduate top 1% in your class at a top 50 university (any math/engineering/science major is fine)
2. Get hired by GS/MS or any one of the bulge bracket IBD as an analyst
3. Work your ass off (100+ hours/week) for 2-3 years, where you will earn 100K salary + 100% bonus (assuming a regular year) - now you will be around 24-25yrs old
4. Stay in IBD or lateral to buy-side and work as an associate for another 3-5 years, where you will earn 150k salary + 50-100% bonus - now you will be around 29-30yrs old.

If you do the math, assuming you save 60% of your total pay, you should be sitting at 1.4M, assuming no investment and no interest. If you invest that money, you will probably be able to hit 2.5M+, which should be more than enough to retire on.  I think the beauty of the plan is that if you go to an in-state school, you can pretty much graduate debt free. If you think 60% savings is aggressive, you have quite a bit room to increase your spending but still have 2M by the time you hit 30.

However, out of the people in IB I know of, I don't think any of them has retired yet. I wonder why.

Except for FI, I don't know what ANY of your acronyms mean. :(
Please, explain. I doubt IBD means inflammatory bowel disease, which was google's best guess.

Freestyler

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 03:45:52 PM »
IB: investment banking.
PE: private equity

I would say the D in IBD could be a typo, though it is repeated twice and the D could complement the investment banking even though I donīt see how.

Being a physician myself I would say abpaīs comment has an excess of judgement and I dare to say maybe also a lack of enough varied experiences to make him/her understand the nuances and conflicts of different motivations and circumstances. You may, for instance, want to serve people but not to be a slave to politicians, administrators and others as well as to have other different goals (like a family and having time to spend and care for them YOURSELF, etc).

Having said that I also agree that if your priority is FI, medicine is most likely not the best path.

Having been an air traffic controller would have gotten myself into FI at around 25 in that time.

marty998

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 03:53:06 PM »
The other 2 (GS/MS) are Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley

nktokyo

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 04:50:35 PM »
I worked for GS. Suggest avoiding.

As for the doctor route... can you work a bit on your way through school to make the debt a bit lower?

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2013, 05:16:52 PM »
The other 2 (GS/MS) are Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley
Oh! "The Dark Side."
I had a prof suggest I try getting financial modeling if I can't stay in the academe, but the opportunities in Canada are slimmer, and since I have a bad habit of finishing degrees when the financial industry is , haven't seemed too promising thus far.

You should look into tuition defrayment opportunities if you're serious about medicine. For example, the local med school is set up such that if you agree to stay in Northern Ontario (which is facing a serious doctor shortage) your fees will be forgiven. Some towns here are so desperate for doctors you could probably get a free house. (I think I saw something in the paper a while back). You could see if there's a similar program for under-serviced rural areas in your country.
(Oh, there is. And it includes Hawaii? Holy crap! Go for it.)

-- that said, I've always thought medicine was supposed to be a calling, not a meal ticket. If you're only in it for the cash, like other posters have said, you might want to look for something with a better ROI.

chesebert

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2013, 11:01:55 PM »
I worked for GS. Suggest avoiding.

As for the doctor route... can you work a bit on your way through school to make the debt a bit lower?
the "FI plan" was just "in theory"

GS is a hard one to work for - sleeping is optional, as is everything else in life other than the active deals.

nktokyo

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2013, 02:52:20 AM »
I worked for GS. Suggest avoiding.

As for the doctor route... can you work a bit on your way through school to make the debt a bit lower?
the "FI plan" was just "in theory"

GS is a hard one to work for - sleeping is optional, as is everything else in life other than the active deals.

Yup.

nktokyo

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 02:53:47 AM »
The good thing about having a very high income is banks will give you good lending. I would start to research becoming a landlord and property investment because that might be your quickest path to build up secondary income.

Fortunately you have a few years to study before it's going to be an issue :-)

abpa

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 08:02:28 AM »
Reply to Freestyler:  I'm not sure where you're picking up an excessively judgmental tone.  We've both worked with people who are only in medicine for the money and they are not pleasant people to work with.  It's not a career path for everyone. Great care and reflection should be taken before choosing it.  Also, if health care providers do not make sure they have a balanced life it leads to a poor outcome for everyone involved.  There were some pretty big leaps in logic and some equally big assumptions about my experience and motivations, Doc.  Work-life balance and smart financial choices are topics I cover with my students ad nauseum.  Currently my goal is to have paid employment for 6 months of the year so that the other 6 can be spent continuing the medical volunteer work I already do in developing countries, which brings me unimaginable joy, and to spend time enjoying the people that I love, traveling, biking, gardening, etc.   So, there are ways to do this work that don't kill you and irreparably damage your soul if you are willing to shift perspective and take a mustachian views.  But don't do it for the money alone.

beyondhuman

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2013, 04:00:35 PM »
I would definitely not say my one and only goal in life is to make a bunch of money and quite all productive endeavors as soon as possible.  Sorry if that was the impression I gave.  I enjoy the work involved in medicine greatly.  However, I am questioning the notion that I might find another career that is still fulfilling and satisfying but allows me to skip the massive debt struggle required by medicine and reach FI sooner.  If both fulfillment and FI are imporant goals, and I think most here would agree that they are, then it seems I should try and maximize and expedite both.  Additionally, I would say it is not a zero sum game.  A person can both enjoy and care about their job while wanting to make a lot of money to support other interests.

I'm not sure a good career for FI would necessarily be measured in ROI.  Other factors might play in such as ability to work part-time, switch between part and full time, quite for several years and then return.  These factors may end up playing a significant role if something goes wrong with all your meticulous retirement planning.  Also considering FI is more about freedom and less about escape I think its probably better to pick a career that you might want to work at part-time even if retired rather than a career that you just put up with (Investment banking) to quickly stockpile the cash needed to get out.

air traffic controller is an interesting suggestion.  I've never considered it but should look into it.

grantmeaname

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2013, 12:55:29 PM »
Don't think you have to give up on medicine entirely just because you have to give up on an MD, either. Explore other medical careers in addition to other fields.

shelfins

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2013, 10:23:50 PM »
Ditto what grantmeaname said. I don't know much about it personally, but I've heard that the return on investment for nurse practitioner and physician's assistant degrees is actually higher than for MDs because you're spending so many fewer years in school. And that's presumably assuming retirement at 65 or thereabouts, so it would be even more true if your plan is to retire early. Pharmacy school is also something to consider. Health care is a major growth industry right now, what with the baby boomers getting old, so if you stay in that field you'll probably never have trouble finding work.

Freestyler

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Re: Career path for early retirement
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2013, 04:02:52 PM »
Itīs true that work-wise (even living in the south of Spain) I could never complain. However, itīs a major commitment if you have financial independence on sight. Try to make sure (though I am afraid thatīs hardly posible) youīll enjoy practicing enough for a relatively extended period as to pay off, also financially.

About air traffic controllers, I donīt know how it is in the US, but in Spain they had the best of life till the end of 2010 when they stretched so much the rope they tore it. Before, they were making 360,000 euros a year on average (some of them quite a lot more) on civil-servant assimilated status and with great hours (even with overtime). Among other perks they can travel the world for free and retire at 55 with full benefits. All you needed at the time was three years of ANY college education and outperform the others in a series of non academic tests. Yes, all that in bankrupt Spain. After they truly pissed off the government and Spanish society they "agreed" (the army overtook them) to "only" make 200,000 a year. I believe you in the US had a more or less parallel episode during the Reagan era.