Let’s talk money for just a moment.
Our retirement fund has not yet caught up with our retirement ambitions. And a significant portion of those funds are in IRAs, which we cannot use until we are 59 1/2 years old without paying a 10% penalty. (We are in our mid-50’s, so we have several years before we plan to access the IRAs.)
Although our nomadic lifestyle is cheap, it still requires funding, and there is still RV maintenance (tires, batteries, engine), diesel fuel, food, cellular data, satellite and insurance (RV, car and health) to pay for.
Our plan has been to fund our adventures by working a few months each year and leave our retirement portfolio alone so it can continue to grow (my job).
Work 4 months, play 8 months. We’re liking that scenario.
OK, so when I say “we” will continue to work, I’m using the royal form of “we”. Wendy can make a ridiculous amount of money per hour as a surgeon, so our focus is on finding her work and I will tag along and try to be useful too (such as camp hosting, online-based jobs and working magic with the investments).
As with many professions, physicians have their own form of temp agencies. And of course, because they are doctors, they felt compelled to come up with a highfalutin name for it, in latin of course. They call it locum tenens (to hold the place of).
Wendy has been working with several of these agencies who have presented assignment options for 2016.
After very little discussion actually, we quickly chose our 2016 work assignment, which will start on January 4th in (drum roll please……….) Lewiston, Maine.
So here’s how the conversation went.
I thought we might just hold off on working for 6 to 12 months to give Wendy a chance to rebound from the physical and emotional weight of being a surgeon after closing our practice in September. She was so psychologically ready to be done.
But these last few months she was getting lots of calls from recruiters and she was starting to bounce around with excitement about the possibilities. (I don’t understand Wendy, but it’s just how she is built. She rebounds very, very quickly and she seems to have an unquenchable need for challenges.)
The single most important thing in choosing a work assignment is to select one that meets Wendy’s strengths. Just like any other profession, there are specialties within specialties. Wendy’s experience and strengths are a result of being a rural ENT doctor. She is an excellent clinician, meaning she is an expert detective. She can figure out what’s wrong with you in a 15-minute appointment. And, she can explain it to you so you understand, order the correct tests and then get you packed and shipped to the right sub-specialist to treat your problem. That is a rare gift.
Her skill set is different from most ENT’s located in urban areas. They must typically sub-specialize into one or two areas. So as we consider assignments, we will be looking for rural settings that need a clinician.
So what type of inZanity would cause us to apply for a job in Maine in January?
- It’s a perfect fit for her strengths as an ENT surgeon/clinician.
- She is ready for a new challenge.
- If you’re going to work, it really doesn’t matter where you are because there’s little or no time for play.
- They will pay us well to work in Maine in January.
So we said yes and they said yes and the recruiting agency is arranging for our paid housing, rental car, flights to and fro, etc. So, in January, Zane and Squirrel will go to an indoor motorhome daycare center in Tucson for the winter, anxiously awaiting our return in April.
Wendy and I love being in a position to be so flexible. One day we’re planning on living in the desert on BLM land for free from January through April, tromping around in sandals, to the next day where instead, we’re thinking snow shoes in Maine. How cool is that?!
Or rather, how Brrrrrrrr is that!