For a Dentist, Mine wasn’t too Bad…

I made an appointment the other day for a dental check-up and was shocked to find that my dentist had had the audacity to retire early!

There’s me planning my own early retirement and yet for some reason, I’m half expecting everyone else around me to continue doing their jobs forever!

This really shouldn’t have come as a surprise – over the years, my dentist has talked about his kids going to uni, then graduating and then all getting jobs in locations around the world.

I’ll Miss Him

If it’s at all possible to miss your dentist, then I will miss him. Always jolly, with a pleasant manner, the kind who liked to chat/crack jokes while your mouth was wide open! But not cheap – I’ve mentioned here and there where I’ve had to fork out for expensive treatment but that’s the price I’m paying now for avoiding appointments when I was too lazy younger. Still, my dental fees paid over the years probably helped with his kids’ education haha!

He was the only dentist I’d seen as an adult – I must have just graduated when I first saw him (as a young dentist) as I remember receiving free treatment! I have now met the new replacement dentist and it’s going to take a while for me to feel at ease in the dentist’s chair again.

I wonder if my old dentist spared a thought for his patients as he swanned off into retirement?

What if this last year was his ‘one more year’?

If I ever saw him in the pub, I would like to ask him!

So where am I going with this post?

Well, until my dentist had retired, I hadn’t previously considered the impact of someone’s surprise early retirement on the people around them.

So I wonder…

People at Work

When I hit FI, RE will follow pretty swiftly, I am quite sure of that.

So when I retire early, I don’t think my boss would be too surprised when I hand in my notice, as she will suddenly recall that I did mention to her about retiring early (when I first met her, before she became my boss, haha!). I do occasionally mention investing to her but of course, no details. I guess it’ll be a shock to everyone else.

My boss and immediate colleagues would miss the work that I do and I’d like to think that they would miss me too!  I’m not trying to make out that my work is so critical or so important but it’s a job which I perform reasonably well and I’m now viewed as someone who ‘knows things’ (I also drink….that was for GOT/Tyrion Lannister fans 🙂 )

Of course, I’m not irreplaceable, someone else will just come along and do my job. Maybe my ex-colleagues could reminisce – “That Weenie, she wasn’t too bad...”

My Close Friends (My Inner Circle)

These friends have some inkling that I plan to retire early. When I pull the plug, I think all will be surprised I did it after all, a few (though not all) will likely ask me how I did it and would be genuinely interested. I’d like to think that all would be happy for me. I suspect, however, the others will just think I’ve been lucky in some way. I hope I’m wrong here and that most/all of them will like to know, so they too can speed up their own retirements (all my friends are younger than me).

I will be making all efforts to maintain my close relationships with these friends and part of that will include trying to not rub it in too much in their faces that I no longer need to work!

My Family

My family will probably wonder how I could retire early having only ever earned a relatively low income but are unlikely to be too surprised – they know I’ve been ‘careful with my money’, that I’ve been investing though not that I’ve been aiming for FIRE. It’s likely that one or two of my siblings could be retiring about the same age (if not before) but their FIRE would definitely be Fat FIRE!

They will be glad that I will be able to spend more time with them, although probably not too much time – you know how it can get with families!

My Other Friends

For friends who are not in my inner circle, I’m not even sure I would tell them I’d retired. Maybe I’d say I was just taking some time out, looking for opportunities. For my old uni friends, I’d tell them I was a ‘lady of leisure’ (being one seemed to be something we talked about a lot as 19 year olds for some reason!) but that too would be taken to mean just taking some time out before getting back into work.

I guess I think not everyone needs to know of what I’ve achieved as not everyone will understand (or be positive about it) and I’m not sure that I can be bothered to explain, unless I really thought they might be interested themselves and might be open to the FIRE ethos.

The Community/Charities

I’ll include this because right now, I think when I retire early, I’d probably do some volunteering to hopefully do some good in the community so that will be a beneficial impact resulting from my early retirement.

Anyway, for a post which started with dentists, this has ended with me feeling quite positive about FIRE, especially during a time when I know that my Future Fund has no doubt been plummeting relentlessly with the markets!

No, I haven’t been checking, I don’t need to and don’t want to know the gory details!

So, how do you think those around you will react when you hit FIRE?

29 thoughts on “For a Dentist, Mine wasn’t too Bad…

  1. Hey, I’ve been quietly lurking around your Blog post for ages now, but never bothered to comment on any post but I thought today might be a good time to show some support.
    Just liked to say, I enjoy reading your blog! You kinda pushed me into planning my own retirement plans and all so big thank you to you and keep doing you

    • Hi Luckman

      Thanks for reading and for stopping by. I really appreciate the feedback and I’m glad that I’ve been able to assist in some way! All the best with your retirement plans!

  2. I am not too surprised that a dentist has retired early. I can’t imagine it being a job that you would do for anything other than money. Do any little kids dream of being a dentist? Probably not.

    I have something of a reverse approach to dentistry. Having had a bad experience as a kid, I’ve never been again (so 30+ years). Teeth are still all there and in decent shape thanks to a good electric brush and low sugar consumption. I know I’ll need work at some point – I’ve chipped a molar due to cracking brazil nut shells, but so far so good. I figure the money I’ve saved over the years will go a decent way towards paying for any future repairs.

    • Hi Chris

      Ow, am sure I felt my teeth go on edge at the thought of you cracking brazil nuts with yours!

      I couldn’t have chanced 30 years of not seeing a dentist – I’ve known a couple of colleagues who have done that who ended up losing teeth! Not that I’m wishing ill on you, fingers crossed you’re ok, sounds like you’ve been looking after yours and that you won’t be hit for a big bill when you do eventually go in for a check up!

  3. I occasionally think about what I would say when I pull the trigger and FIRE. I think that I would probably tell people that I’m moving more to a “portfolio lifestyle”. I think that it would stop some of the potential sniping. If people asked I would definitely promote the FIRE path to them though.

    That should work as my current thinking is that, if I can, I would delay full FIRE for a few years and instead try to work part time for a while. While it would mean that I would be building my FIRE stash much more slowly, it would mean more time and freedom sooner. It would also allow me to manage the transition instead of going cold turkey.
    Caveman recently posted…The incredible, life-changing power of idleness and how you can use it to achieve Financial IndependenceMy Profile

    • Hi Caveman

      I’ve entertained the idea of working part-time, eg I wouldn’t mind doing say a four-day week in the job I’m in right now and the idea of transitioning also appeals to me too, rather than go cold turkey. However, it’s unlikely that work would agree and also, it doesn’t really solve the issue of me wanting to take extended holidays or just going away when I feel like it.

      I don’t know, could still change my mind and it of course depends on how the pot is looking.

      If I told people that I was moving to a ‘portfolio lifestyle’, that would generate more questions than anything, haha!

  4. I’ve been quite upfront with friends at work, openly telling them that i might pack it all in for quite a while now. Then i got called into an office by the boss, who i thought wanted to grill me on it, only to be told by him that the guy i’d sat next to for ten years, and who was the most rock solid member of the team, had just announced his own shock early retirement! I fell off my chair, as i think everyone else did when they heard the news. You think you know someone, but some people are intensely private, and understandably so at work. For me, i’m happy to announce my intentions, so if and when the day comes, those close to me shouldn’t be at all surprised.
    As for dentists, i’ve been to the same surgery all my life and am only on dentist #2. My first dentist was brilliant and looked after me extremely well. He retired a while ago and his son now runs the practice, but even after many years of visiting him i still don’t have that same level of confidence, even though i’m sure he’s very good.
    And as for checking the portfolio, haven’t dared now for 2 months, but am psyching myself up for a 10-15% hit at the next review. It will be tough to swallow, but is all part of the game, and something we’ve all been expecting for a while now.

    • Hi KC

      Hope you’re well.

      Wow, it could be that your colleague heard what you were planning and decided to do the same but secretly? Did you get the chance to speak to him about it to find out how he did it?

      My new dentist seems nice enough but like you, it will take a while before I’ll be totally comfortable with him – think it’s just one of those things as going to the dentist isn’t something most people want to do anyway!

      All the best for your portfolio – perhaps the fabled Santa Rally will help you out there? I actually won’t mind ending the year on a low now; start the new year low and the only way then is up, surely…? 🙂

      • Weenie, sorry for the delay in responding, been a bit distracted of late. I never did get the specific method from my early retirement colleague, as to how he achieved FIRE, but a well paid job and being rather frugal would have played a major part. Probably nothing more scientific than that.

        Now, where the f… is Santa!!!

        Merry Christmas and enjoy HK.

  5. I loved this read Weenie 🙂

    I think on my part when I RE it will be met with a bit of shock by my parents. I’ve discussed my approaches with them before, but I don’t think they’ve ever really believed that I’ll execute anything. In their eyes, I’m still their little boy. It will also be a bit awkward for them I imagine as my father is 62, waiting to access his state pension at 67, I might actually RE before them. I hope I won’t be met with anger.

    I’ll probably not RE though. I imagine I’d either:
    A) Go part-time
    B) Take an extended break and travel
    C) Do ‘my own things’ and just keep running some online businesses

    So, I probably won’t need that awkward conversation with them. I already stopped discussing money with them after my third promotion/job hop. They’ve never earned much and there’s only so much they can be proud of me before they start to get a little bitter. I don’t blame em! They’ve always worked hard.

    • Thank SN, glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      Interesting that you mention that you might RE before your folks – that’s not something I’ve read about in the blogs of those who have FIRE’d in their 30s, ie how do their parents feel if they have to carry on working into old age?

      The great thing is that you will have lots of options, keeping yourself ‘busy’ so that it looks like you are employed 🙂

      Hear what you’re saying regarding money conversations with your folks, I guess there’s no need to go into detail as they know you are doing well.

      As I don’t earn anywhere near as much as my siblings, I hope my folks will be proud when I achieve my goal!

  6. Always love and respect Weenie , Your my first FIRE blog I started to read and enjoy following you on the journey and hope many more to come in the new year .

  7. I don’t think my early retirement (should it actually happen) would surprise many people given I talk about it far too much, although I work in an industry where people tend to stubbonly insist on continuing to work until they are wizened husks so I’m sure it will raise a few eyebrows. On the subject of dentists, never underestimate a good one. I never had the dentist “fear” until I started to see a completely psychopath of a woman when I finally registered with a dentist in London. She used to get really angry with me for not signing up for this health supplement pyramid selling scheme she had going on the side. And when she got angry she would make me bleed…

    • It’s great that you are able to talk about early retirement – where I work, it’s a very young workforce, with many only just starting their careers so retirement isn’t likely to be a common topic to talk about!

      Eek, that dentist sounds horrific – I’m so glad my new one didn’t ask me to sign up to anything!

      Thanks for stopping by and all the best with the blog!

    • Hi Moriah

      If all goes well with my teeth, then I’ll only be seeing this new guy twice a year, so will take a while before I feel at total ease with him, not that I’m suggesting I want more visits, haha!

  8. My dear girl (if I may so address you without undue familiarity), you’ll find they all go. Your dentist, your dentist’s replacement, your GP and her replacement, the practice nurses, your cardiologist, your vet, your cats and dogs, your plumber, your builder, and your bicycle repair man …

    One of our GPs, who had signed a form opining that in spite of my rotten health I had a decent chance of lasting to 70, himself retired and died before 60. They all go, one way or the other. At least you can bury the cats and dogs in the back garden and put a bloom on their graves from time to time.

  9. Hah. I love how inspiration for posts like this can come from the most random of places!

    I think if you work in a company of say 10 or more people your retiring will almost certainly be inconsequential from the work side of things. And I say this as someone who is now the longest serving member of the whole company, I’ve seen many “critical” employees leave and life and business tends to go on fine so I’m under no illusions my departure will be any different.

    Obviously they will miss your personality though! 🙂

    It’s great that you have many younger friends to follow your example, let’s hope some of them have the smarts to show some interest in how you did it, when the time comes!
    theFIREstarter recently posted…september income / expenses report – up and runningMy Profile

    • Hey TFS

      Agree, in a small company, retirement would make a bigger impact. Although the company I work for is smaller than the one I worked at previously, I am just another ‘cog in the wheel’ so absolutely am replaceable. Some of the guys will miss me running the fantasy football league 😀

      Yes, I do hope my friends will consider following my example. None of them are interested in investments and that’s what I need to get them onto – some kind of invest and forget portfolio!

  10. I’m super late here. But thanks for sharing this post Weenie. I’ve been thinking about it a lot over the past week or so. I had never thought before about how Early Retirement can impact those around us. On reflection, I think that it will have a positive impact on most people – particularly so for those nearest and dearest to us. But of course, it will have some negative impact on people too (I think particularly those aflicted with the green-eyed monster).

    • Hi YFG

      I’d like to think that me retiring early would have a positive impact but there will always be a few who will not be (for their reasons) happy about it. I think even when I’ve done the deed, I’m not sure I’d be shouting about it.

  11. It must be funny and weird to realise others in your circle can do the same or earlier then you. I think I would take a leave of 1 year or 2 and try things out, the social cues I would miss I think. I think it’s a huge step when you hand in your notice. Go with the flow they say… Easier said then done…

    Of course they will miss you, but in the daily routine, people tend to forget these things mostly. Think about what gives you strength, energy and start from there.

    Inspiring!

    • Hi TYM

      Yes, the social side of work I will miss – even when meeting up with friends and we’re talking about work, I guess I would talk about something else! I think the first year or so will be very different to the subsequent years.

  12. Hi

    Dont worry Iam a dentist 😛 we can be blogger friends 😀
    And if you come to Sweden I could check your teeths for 90 USD 🙂

    Nice blog btw. Happy new Year!

    Greeting from Swedendivin

  13. Do you know….. that happened to me (dentist retiring early without telling me – the cheek of it) and I was rather miffed, as he was a great dentist.
    Happily his replacement was brilliant, but then I semi-retired and moved away to a new city, which meant I had to find a new dentist.
    I really missed that old/new dentist. Fancy having happier memories of your dentist than of the rest of the town.
    Yet again I have been lucky and found another super dentist – although it took more hard work than I had expected.
    I can’t imagine ever fully retiring, as I’m freelance so I can do what I like when I like. But a colleague retired recently and we were all gutted. Happily things are still hanging on ok without her, although we do miss her 🙁
    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted…Do You Need Your Own Blog – And How To Get OneMy Profile

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