Taking early retirement sounds good when you’re in the trenches every day. It means not having to deal with third-party payers, irritated practice managers, late nights, weekend or holiday calls or bureaucratic tasks that have stripped away the joy you once savored practicing medicine. After years of sacrificing your personal life and free time in favor of medical education, you realize that practicing is almost the same deal: lengthy shifts, little time to yourself, and a mountain of paperwork. Retiring might sound like freedom. You could get enough sleep, go out with friends, and slow down and savor each day.