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First year resident wanting to get started on the right track

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  • First year resident wanting to get started on the right track

    I am a first year resident who will be doing a five year residency with an additional 1-2 year fellowship. I am going for PSLF because my program is technically a non-profit. I have approximately $330,000 in all federal loans. I have a $20,000 emergency fund set up. I just opened a Roth account at Vanguard and put in $1,000.


    My question is how should I manage my finances from this point on? I have been told to maximize my roth account. Also I want to know where should I store money? should I move any of my emergency fund to a better savings account that will make more than what wells fargo makes? (which is nothing)? Thanks for the guidance everyone.

  • #2
    Yes Ally

    Yes max rIRA.


    • #3
      Does your employer have a retirement plan and a match? If there is a match, you may want to contribute enough to get that match. Are you pursuing PSLF? You could increase your tax deferred contribution to decrease your AGI and reduce your overall payment. You can also refinance your loans to a better rate and have a $100/month payment if you decide to forgo PSLF.

      Emergency should go into high yield savings. The online banks have good rates, but some local and regional banks have better rates (just search the web).

      Do what you can to reduce spending.

      If they have a free financial advisor, be weary of signing up for anything.

      Also, if you can do a 1 year fellowship instead of 2, do that (assuming it's the same work).



      • #4
        make you are doing meticulous tracking of your PSLF qualified payments after you make triple sure you are on a qualified repayment plan.

        i would recommend a dropbox folder with subfolders for each of your individual 120 payments where you scan the receipts and statements.

        that's a lot of debt and you want to be the poster child for how to be in PSLF compliance.


        personally i think your e-fund is probably rich by about half but it's a very personal decision. difficult for me to see how any resident would need an e-fund more than $5-10k.

        i'd hate to see you deprive yourself of a vacation or a night out having beers with your co-residents while you're sitting on $20k as a resident.


        • #5
          What does technically a non profit mean? A 501c3? Or not? If not, you'll want to make sure this qualifies.


          • #6
            Yes it does qualify, I have already done my paper work and made sure that it does. And to better specify I my fellowship depends on what branch of Radiology I will specialize in. I will definitely start keeping track of every payment for PSLF to stay on top of it.


            For your roth accounts, do you typically set them up in a more aggressive allocation manner? I'm trying to determine how to best set up my vanguard fund


            • #7
              Some people are more aggressive with their Roth accounts. You probably wouldn't go wrong with going 100% VTSAX.

              Do not do a 2 year fellowship. If you decide IR, do it early and get into ESIR. If you do neuro, then find a 1 year fellowship unless you're ************************ bent on academics. Of the neuro people I know that did 2 year fellowships, I know of only 1 person who was happy doing a 2 year fellowship. Mammo, MSK, peds, Chest, body... all 1 year fellowships.

              In terms of IR, you may want to find a radiology specific forum and ask about it. I would get some real world non-academic thoughts as to where the field is going.

              From a career standpoint, I would try to get some independent moonlighting your R4 or fellowship year. Preferably something where you dictate and sign off your own reports. It was a huge plus for me in the application process and also very helpful in the transition to full time private practice.

              Feel free to PM me about radiology specific advice.

              Good luck.


              • #8
                Thank you for the advice, I really do appreciate the input and help!