DocWorking’s Financial Independence Series
Have you ever stopped to wonder what your physician life might look like if you were financially independent? What would that elusive nest egg have to be in order to meet your needs and wants sufficiently and indefinitely? Would you continue practicing medicine the same way you do now, or would you make some adjustments?
Stop and imagine for a moment the options that financial independence could unlock for you.
As explained in the prior post, “ ‘FIORE,’ Financial Independence with the Option to Retire Early, Empowers Physicians to Pursue Life on Their Terms,” it’s those options that matter most to physicians regarding financial independence. That’s why I prefer to call it FIORE–emphasizing O for options–rather than the traditional Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) nomenclature. Options give physicians agency in the way we choose to practice medicine or perhaps to pursue other dreams, or both.
I’m hoping you’ll join me on the learning curve about FI. My fascination with the FIRE Movement in general has pointed me to a number of FI practitioners who offer guidance for those looking to do more with less. I’m sharing some of my favorite blogs, podcasts, and books here.
Websites that Link to some of the Best FI and FIRE Movement Blogs, Podcasts and YouTube Channels
Your Money or Your Life | Everything you find on the YMOYL website is rooted in transforming your relationship with money, not just changing your money habits. The goal is to find and have “enough” rather than always seeking “more.” No matter what you think money is, there’s one truth that applies to everyone: Money is something you trade for your life energy. Among the many valuable resources available here is a Life Energy Calculator to calculate your Real Hourly Wage. Use this tool to make more conscious choices about your time and money. Note: Information about the book, Your Money or Your Life, is included under the BOOK section below. The authors of this book are largely credited with starting the FIRE Movement, and it is a great place to start in understanding the movement. I found the concepts in this book transformational, so I gave copies to my kids as gifts when they were in high school, and it has sparked many interesting and thought-provoking conversations.
Mr. Money Mustache | Pete Adeney began blogging about FIRE in 2011, six years after retiring at age 30 from his job as a software engineer, to share secrets for living a richer life by spending less. “The whole country seemed to be displaying the same odd behavior: living ridiculously expensive lifestyles while thinking they were completely normal, and then being baffled when they had no money left over to buy their own freedom. All while being so busy that they didn’t even have time to understand the science behind why this behavior is trashing the very home that makes our lives even possible.”
Pete’s no-nonsense blog is credited as one of the first in the FIRE movement, and inspired many who have since become leaders in this niche. His blog has multiple resources and inspires anyone looking for an example of how to live a frugal lifestyle that allows financial independence without saving a fortune. He also sets a wonderful example of how, once financial independence is achieved and you can pursue your passions, your earnings can grow considerably, and with less stress: the Retire Early part of FIRE doesn’t mean to stop working. It means: Do work that you care about, minus the stress of worrying about how much money you make.
The White Coat Investor Network is a partnership between four FI-focused physician bloggers. Each maintains his own website and brings his own perspective and tools to the FIRE conversation:
- The White Coat Investor | Jim Dahle, MD, a practicing emergency physician, dove into the field of finance mid-way through residency when he “got sick of financial professionals ripping him off.” He launched the WCI in 2011 as the first blogger to focus on FIRE from a physician’s point of view.
- Physician on Fire (PoF) | Leif Dahleen, MD started PoF in 2016 to enlighten, educate, and entertain his fellow physicians and patients interested in achieving financial independence. Dr. Dahleen retired early from his anesthesia job in 2019 at the age of 43.
- Passive Income MD | Peter Kim MD is an anesthesiologist living and practicing in Los Angeles. He loves being a physician (and his wife is an MD too) but sees passive income and multiple streams of income as opportunities to get his money to work smarter, especially living in a high-cost city like L.A.
- The Physician Philosopher | Jimmy Turner, MD is a practicing anesthesiologist who is passionate about teaching other doctors how to find financial freedom by helping them pay down debt, learn about efficient investing, and master the psychology of money.
Afford Anything | Paula Pant writes about building investments, taking control of your finances and enjoying more freedom. Her philosophy is: You can afford anything, but not everything — and that’s true not only for your money, but also your time, focus, energy and attention. Thus Paula writes from the intersection between money and life, focusing on aligning money with your personal values, goals and dreams.
Rich and Regular | Husband and wife bloggers Julien and Kiersten Saunders are on a mission to inspire better conversations about money. They even have a YouTube program called Money on The Table during which they prepare a meal then sit down to talk money. In addition to exploring entrepreneurial ventures, the couple is passionate about raising their young son, connecting with women around the world who want to use money to create a better quality of life, inspiring the Black community to build generational wealth, and coaching people to eat better on a budget.
The Mad Fientist | Brandon Ganch believes that when you want to do something, find others who have already done it and learn everything you can from them. That’s exactly what he did when he launched his Financial Independence Podcast in 2012. As the Mad Fientist, Brandon “dissects the brains of some of the most well-respected fientists in the field to discover their techniques and strategies for achieving financial independence.” His website is chock-full of advanced strategies, spreadsheets and software tools for people planning to break away from full-time employment very early in life. Check out Brandon’s FI Laboratory for web-based tools including a FI tracker, FIRE calculators, and travel hacking.
Learn Hustle Grow | Reshawn and Rob Lee (Mr. and Mrs. LHG) both grew up poor, raised by teenage single mothers. They each joined the military and attended college to change their circumstances. When they met in 2008, each had a good corporate job and planned to work hard, make lots of money and enjoy a good life. The couple blended their family units the following year, each bringing a son into the marriage and a dream to one day leave a legacy for those sons. Their FI journey began with Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover and includes real estate investing. Today, Mr. and Mrs. LHG enjoy traveling the world and coaching others to Learn, Hustle and Grow their way to wealth and freedom.
Financial Samurai | Sam Dogen grew up in the Philippines, Zambia, Japan, Taiwan, and Malaysia for 13 years before coming to the United States for high school and college. He began writing about FIRE in 2009 while attempting to make sense of the financial crisis. He draws on his 20+ years as a financial professional to delve deeper into investing, real estate, retirement planning, career strategies, and more, to demonstrate how to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.
Go With Less | Amy and Tim Rutherford are a financially-independent couple who both retired in their forties. They prioritize travel and living a frugal but enriched nomadic lifestyle. They have gravitated toward building their YouTube following, which is growing quickly, and away from their blog. They share their monthly budget and spending in detail, and offer travel tips for fun, frugal (or free) and fulfilling activities.
BiggerPockets and BiggerPockets Money are podcasts and websites that have built a community of 1.3 million people that motivate and help each other move toward financial success through real estate. They provide valuable tips, and help you find partners, deals, and financing to make sound investment decisions—whether that means landing your first investment property, expanding your current portfolio, networking with fellow investors and vendors, or simply bettering your financial situation. Resources range from free content in the form of forums, blog articles, podcasts, and videos to deal-evaluating calculators and a paid suite of tools and perks for Plus, Pro, and Premium members. BiggerPockets also features a Marketplace—where real estate investors can list and search for off-market, investor-centric real estate deals—and a bookstore with published materials on investment techniques and real estate strategies for beginners and experts alike. The BiggerPockets website was referenced in DocWorking: The Whole Physician Podcast Episode 31 by Dr. Saira Ahmed in her discussion with me about using the BRRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) method of financing her real estate investments.