What would financial freedom look like to you?
For many of us, there’s one dream that seems to pervade our thoughts almost constantly. We dream about it on the commute to work. We dream about it after a 10-hour clinic day or after a rough call night, and we dream about it when we wake up the next day to do it all over again. It is, of course, the dream of financial freedom.
Take a moment to ask yourself these questions: What does financial freedom mean to you, and what would your practice look like if you had it?
For me, being financially free is, in fact, a state of mind. It’s the feeling of being able to make choices in my life without worrying about the financial implications. It doesn’t mean that I feel I can be careless with money. It simply means that I have the option to choose what’s most important to me.
Financial freedom might mean being able to extend the family vacation by a few days. It could mean the ability to give up some nights of call without worrying how it will impact my bank account.
You see, in all honesty, I don’t think I ever want to stop working completely. At the very least, I want keep my practice going as long as I can. Just today, in fact, a colleague and I were discussing the downsides of life after full retirement. There are several studies that show that after retirement, rates of depression rise dramatically. This is likely due to the loss of structure and identity that occurs when someone stops working completely.
I completely agree with that idea. I’d like to continue working as long as I can, in whatever capacity it might be. After all, as long as I enjoy it and I feel like I’m doing good in this world, then why not?
I’ve come to realize that many of my fellow doctors would love to be financially free, in the exact ways I’ve described. In speaking with friends of mine who are also in the medical field, I hear things like “I’ve got to figure something out,” or “if I had just thought of that, I wouldn’t be doing this.” Without saying the exact words, these doctors are all wishing for the same thing: financial freedom. They realize that a better life is out there, they just don’t know how to reach out and grasp it.
If we were truly financially free, I believe that most of us would probably make some changes in our life this very day. Most of us wouldn’t quit our jobs, but maybe practicing medicine would feel more . . . pure. Perhaps the daily hassles wouldn’t seem to matter as much, and we could focus on what we really love.
Many of us feel financial freedom is out there, we just don’t know what the first step is. Well, I can tell you that it all starts with the motivation, education, and the most important step, action. Stay on this journey with me, and hopefully I’ll be able to provide ways to have all three. Together, we can take the idea of financial freedom out of the realm of daydreams and into the realm of actionable reality.
Passive Income MD blogs on his self-title site Passive Income MD