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Retire or Rewire? Thumbnail

Retire or Rewire?

Physician burnout is a real thing. You know it. I know it. I saw some data recently that is a factor in conversations I have with clients frequently on the topic of retire or maybe rewire instead. This is a quick 2-minute read.


  • The confusing world that is financial advising likes to tell everyone the “perfect” retirement is 65.
  • Retirement is then dressing in linen fabrics and walking along the beach with kids, grandkids and Labradoodles. At least according to the ads.
  • This sounds great, for some people. But retirement is still a new concept and what if you wanted a different type of retirement?
  • Many of my physician clients would rather have a different type of retirement. One that can only be described as a rewired one.

 Rewired Retirement:

  • Some characteristics of a rewired retirement include shifting from your current role to one that may be less demanding and/or more rewarding.
  • This could still be in medicine or it could shift to a totally different profession, like selling peanuts at a local baseball stadium.
  • It can easily involve making this shift well before age 65, but continuing to “work” in some capacity past age 65 by choice.

 Some Data:

  • Over the last 20 years, the labor participation rate for older Americans has risen.
  • Last month, 13% of retired Americans worked because they needed the money.
  • A 2014 study revealed 80% of semi-retired Americans worked because they wanted to.
  • Working after retirement is more common with people who fall into higher socio-economic groups. Most say they continue to work for reasons other than money.
  • Reasons include structure, health (physical and mental) and most important – socialization with others.
  • 40% of people 65 and older who are working were previously retired.


  • My point with all of this is retirement is still a new concept (been around roughly 100 years) and you get to decide how you define your retirement.
  • It could easily be on par with what my industry promotes such as walks on the beach with family.
  • Or it could be rewiring at age 55 and continuing to do something meaningful and maybe a bit rewarding for the next 15 years.
  • The nice thing about being a physician is you have many choices of what you may want your retirement to look like. Now its yours to define.