TPP Blogging Manifesto-Part 2

By Jimmy Turner, MD
The Physician Philosopher

If you made it through Part 1 (My background), congrats.

That was probably not what you expected to read, but hopefully it was helpful to understand how I think and why.  As for what you were expecting, I bet the rest of this post will be it.  FIRE bloggers have been charged to come clean, and so here it goes! The TPP Blogging Manifesto Part 2: Coming clean.

The following sections are based on Our Next Life’s post where the FIRE community was called out.

The parameters of my (future) financial independence

I plan to be financially independent by the age of 42 to 44.  45 at the latest. I finished training at the age of 32 in July of 2017.  So, when my plan comes to fruition that will be roughly 10 to 12 years of being in practice.

You’ve read about my family history in Part 1 linked above.  That is really where I come from and what shapes me (And my full-on hatred of debt once my eyes were opened).

Advantages I’ve had 

First, I am a white male physician, which has provided me some privilege and opportunity not afforded to others.  I received a full-ride (tuition, room, and board) in undergrad and a full-tuition scholarship in medical school.  I wrote about this in Part 1.

So, after med school I had a total of $100,000 which accumulated to $140,000 by the end of training.  I should have honestly come out with no debt, but I just didn’t know better back then. Hindsight is 20/20.  That said, I came out with $100,000 when the national average is around $190,000.  So, about half as much debt as most.  That’s also an advantage.

I have a high annual income (top 5% of our country).  This is going to allow me to get to my financial goals faster than others with a lower income.  I’ll be able to shed debt quicker and build wealth faster.  While an advantage, this should be no different for the target reader of this website.

Future Plans

Performance Tire

We all take different roads to get to our goals. Each of them unique, but (hopefully) helpful to others following along in our prior steps.

Though I plan to be financially independent by 42 to 44; I plan to work until age 50 when I’ll retire early unless I continue to be hopelessly in love with part time work in resident education or clinical work. I do love what I do, and so that’s a possibility.  I guess I’ll call this period a partial-FIRE.

Doing a partial FIRE will only increase my net worth and savings.  So, this will allow me to live well below the 4% rule of the Trinity study (POF writes about how this was not specifically describing people in early retirement anyway).

In early retirement, I’ll also probably have sources of passive income at that time (like this website and a medical invention I made recently that looks like will be purchased soon).

That said, I have other plans to bridge my early retirement gap from age 50 to 59.5 when I can access my 403B.

I plan to draw my money out around 3% in retirement.  But, hey, I am not there yet.

The side gigs

If you should, for some reason, be reading this post in the future; this site is a for-profit enterprise. I plan to make money from this website through affiliate deals to products I support, through sponsorship once my readership grows, and (maybe, but probably not) through advertising that is not obnoxious… hate turning off advertisements when I read other sites, too.

That said, if this site grows, then this website might be part of my ability to obtain financial independence early.  At this current moment, that’s just a pipe dream though!  It definitely is contributing to slowing down my retirement at this point.  The Physician Philosopher website is all cost and no profit right now.

The invention I mentioned above…I have no idea how much that might make.  It might be 5 dollars. It might be $500,000.  I’ve got no idea.

In addition to the website and invention, I perform side medical legal expert witness work whenever the opportunity presents itself.  So, my income streams are multiple at times and singular at others.

If you can relate, read on.  If not, please take what I say with all of this in context.

In the mean time…

I’d love to hear your stories!  Leave a comment about whether you can relate or not?  Did your parents teach you about finances?  Did they leave you the wolves?  What’s your story?



  1. drmcfrugal

    Great series of posts. It’s great a great story about the past, the present, and your future plans.

    It’s crazy how your loan balance increased from $100k to $140k just from loan payment forbearance. I was fortunate to have financial savvy parents who told me that it was a bad idea to forbear my loans. So that’s what I did, I started paying off my loans in residency. It really forced me to be super frugal. I detail this on my latest post.

    Also, you’re future plans are very similar to mine. 🙂

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      Thanks, Dr. McFrugal. Yeah, I should have done REPAYE when it came out (if I had existed and used it all five years, it would have saved me 20k in just the subsidy from the government) and been doing anything else prior to that. My payment would have been zero dollars my intern year.

      Hindsight for me is 20/20. I am hoping to prevent these mistakes for those following behind us! Now I am going to go check out your post!

  2. Gasem

    I didn’t even go to med school till I was 29 and finished training at 38, then went anchors aweigh for a couple years bringing me to 40 before the big moolah. I did locums, moonlighted when I was in the Navy, a side practice, aka worked hard. My program chair told me told me “don’t worry you’re going to have plenty of money, so focus on living right”. So I just kept my head down and did what was right. One day I was at a party over at my Church and there were about 50 people there from babies to geezers. I looked around and realized I had been the anesthesiologist to 48 of them at one time or another by the time you count doing mama’s labor epidural and Grampa’s ESI. This is called living right.

    I adopted a couple of abandoned kids from China and saw them through to adulthood. What a trip! My oldest graduates cum laude in 2 weeks and I just bought her a car for graduation. My other kid is tearing it up also. Recall the words of my old chief. You’re gonna have plenty of money. Unless you’re a moron (and clearly you’re not) the money just happens. I just started a book by John Bogel called “Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life” This is the Zen I seek in retirement. The intimate knowledge of enough.

    A portfolio, side gigs bla bla does not buy you wealth. It buys you security. An excessive portfolio just buys you excessive security. Seek wealth elsewhere.

    I was thinking about your residents, my suggestion is before you teach them anything have them open a brokerage account at Vanguard. I decided because of the fund structures Vanguard funds hold the most value. Bogel says the mutuals are a better bet than ETF’s over the long term. Even if they have debt have them put some in at least a Roth. If your program has a 401k still make them start a Roth. Then teach them something. Do this every year. You’ll be a legend and giving the investment talks at ASA

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      That book sounds awesome! I am going to have to check that out. Being a philosophy guy, I am very much interested in this idea of enough. This website has provided me an outlet to feel human again. I can write and express ideas outside of medicine, and look forward to writing each day. If it helps me build a little wealth faster, great. If not, I am still okay with it because it is helping me remember my identity outside of medicine.

      I like your idea about the Vanguard account, and making them do that. Having them fund an IRA during training (and getting the tax benefit for that) is not a bad deal at all. Having them learn to save early is key. I wish someone had done that for me.

      Thanks for the good advice!

  3. hatton1

    Great couple of posts. Always remember it is ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.

  4. The Locums Life

    Congratulations on your success, but also on your dedication! I find it interesting that we need to present our financial success in an almost apologetic manner, as if we should feel bad for putting in the hard work to master this complex aspect of life. Although I value experiences and relationships much more than possessions, I still find myself having to appear like my colleagues and pretend to enjoy their new porsches and mansions. I always wonder if it is my obligation to “shed some light” on my vision for happiness and work/life balance. Its fantastic to find other like minded doctors writing about their balance in life and find it like minded. Thank you and keep up the great content!

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      Thanks Loucms Life!

      I tend to do a bit of both. I learned from my college roommate to enjoy and celebrate the highs with people and to be there and ride through the tough parts.

      So, if someone is excited about something they bought I simply say it sounds like fun.

      However, if they ask my opinion they know I’ll give them a straight answer, too. When they ask, I try to help open their eyes a bit.

      Thanks for stopping by!



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