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When this post goes live, I will have 3 more days left to say that I am in my 40s.
I know in the past I have mentioned that we place way too much emphasis on certain numbers just because they end in 0 or 5.
But I can’t help but place a bit more significance for this upcoming birthday.
April 23, 2021 will definitely be a milestone for me as I turn 50, which is bittersweet.
Cut down in the prime of life.
The biggest thing that has been weighing on my mind is that I will be officially the same age as my father when he passed away at the age of 50 from pancreatic cancer (when I was 14).
My father, who has always been a huge inspiration in my life, has been on my mind a lot more lately because of this.
There have been several occasions at work where quite a few tears have been shed as I contemplated what went through my father’s mind when he had been given what essentially amounted to a death sentence.
The fact that my daughter, now 15, would be of similar age as I was, made it even more emotional/impactful.
I thought to myself if I left now I would never truly get to see how she developed as an adult.
Sure I know she would continue to do well academically, like I did all those decades ago, and she could indeed become a physician, which is her current desire, following my footsteps.
But I would never truly know if that happened if I was to leave this life prior to my 51st birthday, like my father.
I would never get to see her get married or have kids.
I would never be able to hold a grandchild.
This is the point where I get at my emotional lowest because I truly wish my father could see his granddaughter, whom I know would have made him incredibly proud.
“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”-Robert Burns.
My best friend from college happens to have a birthday just 2 days after mine.
A few years ago we had started planning some big event so we could celebrate 50 together.
I think the frontrunner for the celebration was a week-long cruise with our families.
I am pretty sure you can guess what happened to those plans as 2020 and 2021 have put a lot of planned travel on pause.
Even though I have received both doses of the Moderna vaccine, I still felt that long distance traveling was not in the cards (my friend felt the same way).
So what a planned weekend birthday extravaganza ended up being is more of a quiet birthday weekend getaway with my fiancee in a nearby all-inclusive luxury cabin (about a 70 minute drive from my home).
You want to put that thing where?!?!?!?
As I sort of hinted in a previous post, “Steps To Consider If You Are Turning 50 Next Year,” turning 50 triggers all sorts of medical maintenance issues, the least of which I am looking forward to is the dreaded colonoscopy.
I think physicians make the worst patients.
We put off things because we self-diagnose medical problems and only seek help from colleagues when things get more dire.
I honestly have not had a true history and physical done on me my entire adult life.
If it wasn’t for gout, which got to the point where I finally went to my rheumatologist, I would not have had any routine blood work either.
Just the other day my fiancee mentioned that it would probably be wise to schedule myself for some blood work (as well as getting seen by a primary doctor).
So I guess doing it at the age of 50 is as good a time as any to get plugged into the primary care medical system.
It’s not all doom and gloom turning 50 (although no matter what I still would take turning 40 any day over this).
As outlined in my previously referenced turning 50 next year post, the IRS allows you to funnel more money into retirement accounts via catch-up contributions (which can total $7,500).
Although the impact of these contributions will not be as much as if the IRS allowed it do be done at a younger age, secondary to less time to compound, it still allows you to lower your current tax bill and boost your retirement savings.
Work routine down pat.
At this stage of my career I have become incredibly efficient and my knowledge base far larger than when I first became an attending.
I highly doubt I could handle the volume I am currently seeing fresh out of residency.
A fledgling attending is far more hesitant and more likely to peruse literature or consult colleagues for certain cases.
However with time these types of cases becomes far less frequent as your confidence in your medical knowledge and skill grows.
Most physicians hit “the zone” in the mid 40s to mid 50s as knowledge and physical ability hit their peaks.
Finally In A Good financial and head space.
I cannot speak for everyone, but for me, all the financial and emotional turmoil I went through in my late 30s and early 40s (magnified by an awful marriage and contentious divorce) have essentially vanished as I am about to turn 50.
I became debt free a week before my 44th birthday.
Last year my non-retirement passive income streams exceeded what I originally wanted for living expenses in retirement (and I am currently on track to exceed last year’s total), making me feel like I truly hit financial independence.
When I first started the journey, financially reeling from the divorce I had just gone through, I had a “pie in the sky” net worth number I chased (it truly was pie in the sky as I had a negative net worth of over $800k at the time).
Much to my surprise, I surpassed that number this year, if you do not count my home value, and last year if you do.
Emotionally I am glad to say that I am in an incredible space right now.
I am in a great relationship, engaged to a wonderful woman (more importantly of MY choosing).
I have had full custody of my daughter, who is blossoming into an amazing young intelligent adult, which is in stark contrast to my early 40s when I did not see her or even know what she looked like from age 6-10.
I know the next couple of decades will allow me to design the life I would like to live with an early retirement (still shooting for age 53) just in eyesight.
I am starting to enjoy writing on this blog again after a recent dark period.
Xrayvsn, the site.
My 50th birthday also marks my blog turning 3.
It still amazes me that this blog is chugging along after all these years.
I went into this endeavor after my radiology partner kept insisting that I should start one (it only took him 2 years for it to finally register and allow me to take that first step and break the bonds of inertia.)
This will officially be the 399th post I have released onto this website.
That number is absolutely mind blowing.
When I first started this blog I had no idea that I had this much to write or share.
Every blogger dreads the ink drying up in their creative well.
Fortunately the limiting factor for me is time more than ideas.
It is hard to keep this blog a secret from my daughter (I do this just because of the divorce posts I have written) so I am typically writing posts on my days off when she is at school (like this one) or before she gets up on the weekends (like her father she likes to sleep in late).
One of the most fascinating aspects is just how far reaching this blog is.
Courtesy of Google Analytics, I know citizens of 167 countries have at one point opened my website and taken a look.
The global map continues to fill in as the years go by (for some reason central Africa is currently an apparent Xrayvsn-free zone so please encourage anyone you know who will be in that area to click on the site at least once for me so I can fill that portion of the map in).
Hopefully I can continue putting out content that keeps your interest and allow the site to continue to grow.
My dream would be that this blog (and myself) can last so that I have something productive and stimulating to do in retirement to keep my mind sharp.
Thank you again so much for being a part of this journey with me, you have truly made it special and I always enjoy interacting with my readers.
I hope the following year bring all much love and happiness.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN