In this episode, Money Mechanic and Chrissy interview Dr. FIREfly, a Canadian trainee doctor. We discuss Canadian student loans, lifestyle creep, and much more. It’s a revealing look into the life of a young doctor and how pursuing FI has influenced her career and life choices.
- When she found there wasn’t a medical trainee perspective on FI, Dr. FIREfly decided to start her blog in November 2018.
Canadian vs. American student loans
- Her impression is that the student loan burden is lower in Canada, maybe in the low six-figures. She doesn’t even think it needs to be that high for most students.
- Chrissy thinks that’s encouraging, given the news about the dentist who ran up $1,000,000 in student loans.
- Dr. FIREfly paid back $50,702 of her $109,846 in student loans in 23 months!
Lifestyle creep and doctors
- Like most of us, Dr. FIREfly went a little too hardcore when she discovered the FIRE movement!
- Finding FIRE helped her to prevent the lifestyle creep that typically befalls most doctors (who are notorious for being horrible with their money).
- Money Mechanic quips that doctors, as medical students, get so good at delayed gratification by spending so long in school… but once they finish, they can’t wait to spend their money!
- Dr. FIREfly mentions the ways that a young doctor might be influenced to spend more (e.g. they see their more-established peers buying nice cars).
Why of FI
- Dr. FIREfly would like to move into systems improvement in the medical system.
- It may not be compensated work, so it would help to have a good financial base.
- It’s tough to see healthcare providers in their 70s who wanted to retire years ago, but still can’t afford to.
- As a patient, it makes a huge difference when your nurse or physician wants to be there and cares about you and their work.
- She wants to be that kind of doctor; it’s the kind that most people would want.
FI vs FIRE
- When she discovered FIRE, she was into full FIRE (RE included).
- She finds her work very meaningful, so isn’t so sure about the RE part now.
- Doctors are very type-A and driven, so there can be a lot of guilt and a sense of duty when considering retirement.
Burnout and having no regrets
- It’s a very real issue in the medical community and one that’s talked about more often now.
- She tries to talk about how FI can help; mostly with peers or medical students.
- FI also gives you the freedom to choose a life of no regrets.
Healthcare costs later in life
- Dr. FIREfly wrote an article about caring for ourselves and/or our parents or children if we needed to pay for uncovered medical costs.
- Despite the excellent coverage we have in Canada, there’s a lot that’s not covered.
- It’s important to consider these costs and to plan for them so affordability doesn’t get in the way of accessing the best care for us or our loved ones.
- Team FI or Team FIRE?
- She started on Team FIRE, but now is Team FI.
- DIY anything?
- She’s not very hands-on, but she meal preps and cooks at home so that she doesn’t have to buy lunch out.
- Tim Hortons order?
- She loves to order their Iced Capp Chocolate Milk.
- Dr. FIREfly.com
- The dentist who ran up $1,000,000 in student loans.
- In the Beginning (Dr. FIREfly outlines her early years and student loan payoff.)
- Millionaire Teacher by Andrew Hallam
- Hemorrhage in Your Pocket? Stem the Tide! (Dr. FIREfly outlines her early years and student loan payoff.)
- FIRE Considerations – Health and Help (Dr. FIREfly’s article about healthcare costs as we and our parents age.)
- The RRSP Secret by Greg Habstritt
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