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LOL – there’s no such thing as a home offer contingent on the sale of your current home on the West Coast. The seller will laugh at the offer and take one of the 2-6 other offers (many paying all cash).
Agree with others, 1 year isn’t long and 180K in VTSAX versus high yield savings account…run the numbers the scant amount of money you’d make ‘if’ the market doesn’t fall in the next year is assuredly not worth it.
Good luck on house hunting!
Nice to reminisce, basically I’ve been legally employed since 14yo.
1. neighborhood entrepreneur: selling lemonade 10-12ish, bake sales 10-14 😉
2. baby-sitter starting 13-15
3. waitress at retirement home 14-16
4. bagel maker/baker/supervisor 15-19 (so many free bagels!!)
5. lifeguard 16-19 (best teenage job ever. getting paid to hang w friends, people-watch everyone in bathing suits all whilst getting a rockin tan and paid daily work-outs)
6. college gym/pool attendant 20-21
7. holiday season retail at The Limited 20 (worst job ever, I despised retail)
8. organic chemistry TA 21
9. psych-lab cleaning lady 22
10. medical research assistant 22-23
11. med school cell-biology tutor 25July 26, 2019 at 12:36 am MST in reply to: How many paid jobs did you have before being an MD? #233676
So much sincere advice here.
The amount of debt is scary but not insurmountable if you/wife make changes on how you view money. No need to focus on mistakes made in the past, acknowledge them and if the two of you truly desire in your heart to make changes in how you manage money then it can be done. But like a smoker who doesn’t want to quit smoking, or obese person who eats all day long, spending money is the same thing but instead of lung tar and a fat mid-drift instead you/wife are chained to insane amounts of debt from every direction (school loan, home mortgage, car loan, car loan, RV, not including bankruptcy) – none of these appreciable assets, they are all hurting you at this point, even the home you bought. Get rid of the ones you can asap and your situation will feel better.
No you don’t have to live like a pauper but you have to live frugally. BTW frugal is not a dirty word, it’s how smart people become rich. Read Millionaire Next Door as your first financial book if you haven’t yet. With nearly 1 million debt at 32 your family has to make sacrifices. There is no other way. Sorry you have to deal with rude surgeons at work, but as a surgeon I’m going to be blunt, here are some of my recs below. All with the best intentions, I hope this helps!
A little background, I understand educational debt. I had nearly 225,000 debt during fellowship 7 yrs ago — and freaked out when I saw the number balloon that high. Called my Dad, he agreed, gave good advice “Well I guess you should start paying more of it off”. From that point on I did, every week I’d look at my finances and if I had $100 extra, I would send it to loans. And on and on. While making less than $200,000/yr I starting paying off $3-5K/month to loans. Still I enjoyed my life, went on frugal international trips, out to eat (moderate or cheaply, nothing expensive, etc. But at your level of debt the reality is no trips, no eating out, cook all meals at home except for maybe birthday and anniversary while on a tight budget in fellowship and after, for the next few years – you can do it!
From your list of expenses here’s the most glaring where I see you can trim $ and send ALL that saved money to debt, don’t save and build up emergency fund. Have a 5K emergency fund, that is plenty, the rest could be floated on a credit card if truly necessary. And it goes without saying I hope you have disability insurance already in place, if not get asap.
1. do the fellowship if critical care is your goal. Accept that if that’s what you love it’s time to sit down with wife and budget everything you spend. It must be done if you want to get out of debt in the next 10 years, otherwise you’re looking at many decades of debt/interest being paid.
2. consider geographic arbitrage after fellowship. This means leaving ‘home’ but going to a larger city for 2-5 years where you can make $$$ and majorly pay off debt will greatly help your situation. Also go to a city where wife can find a job, her career is important too. Then you can always go back home and ‘settle’ a few years later when debt is gone or nearly gone. Remember you’re young, at 32 if you return at 38 you’ll still have a 20-30 year career ahead of you. You will still have your contacts from this time. Having family help is nice, but if they’re not paying down debt for you or being free daily childcare so your wife can work, the future living situation doesn’t make much sense now. When you have no debt, sure makes sense, but not now or in the near future until you’re closer to that point. Like people mentioned the two of you need a bigger shovel.
3. sell house. see #2 as part of the reasoning. however, just because it made sense since you were ‘staying’ taking on mortgage debt when your family already has 600K in educational debt is poor poor financial decision making. I almost took on a 600K mortgage when my debt was 180K, but that made me so so uncomfortable. So glad I didn’t. Instead I decided to move from home for a new job and absolutely demolished my debt with my more than double sized paycheck. Sure I’m not living in my home right now either, and it sucks not having family nearby. But I can move back in a couple years with millions in the bank. You can do the same, but again it means making decisions with finances first in mind for the next few 5+ years. For the past 32 years you/wife haven’t made decisions with finances first-foremost, reality is now is the time, you/wife can’t put it off any longer.
4. sell both cars and RV. Buy a cheaper car with low/no interest, safe and good on gas. $1000 per month in car payments is crazy high for your family’s financial situation.
My cheap paid-off car died in fellowship and had to buy a new one. In retrospect I made the wrong financial decision and bought brand new. Still my brand new Subaru car payment was only $350 with 2K trade-in value. Please please you’re flushing so much money down the drain on cars! The two of you will need to share a car, that’s the reality of your debt, it requires sacrifice, no way around it. And gas bills are insane! Living where gas is most expensive in the country I spend less than $100 per month. Also with cheaper car gas should go down…I hope you’re not driving a gas guzzling truck (sorry that’s the MMM in me). Just from car/gas alone you can send an extra $1000 to loans per month.
5. You can do it! Seems insurmountable, but if critical care is what you truly want than do it. But realize with your amounts of debt your hair is on fire. Every extra dollar paid helps. For me that meant packing lunch daily, only drinking 1 expensive coffee-shop cappuccino/week, and multiple times per week sending payments to your loans. Sit down with Excel run some numbers and make quarterly debt pay-off goals. It feels seriously good when you start bringing down that principle – it makes you pay it down even more quickly when you actually start to see numbers drop! When the debt is below $100,000 it will feel amazing. Let’s make sure that’s soon and not 20 years from now.
6. read MMM blog if you haven’t already – I discovered him year after fellowship and that even more put my finances/debt into perspective and taught me the tools I needed to be enlightened about $ and debt. You don’t have to agree with everything he says/does but there are many good lessons in there and hopefully you’ll realize why everyone is so excited about your amounts of debt. It’s scary, not unmanageable but very scary.
Good luck we truly wish you the best and hope you appreciate the advice as ‘tough love’ from your fellow docs that want you to have a long, happy, successful career/life.
When I bought a tail in 2016 I called my medmal insurance, they quoted a 4 figure $ paid as a lump sum. This covered the full statute of limitations (4 year I think in CA).
My initial thought was that with OB/GYN you’d need to be covered for pediatric statute – 18yrs. But with no OB then you should be more than covered by now! Agree sounds more like you continued the old policy and didn’t pay for a tail. Who knows, but call your insurance broker tomorrow AM!May 7, 2019 at 11:14 pm MST in reply to: How long do I have to keep paying for malpractice tail coverage? #213076
Agree with others, crank up the base pay. I had this happening 2 years into a new job once I was busy the base pay was too low. Then I’d get a large 30-100K quarterly bonus depending on the months. Hard to plan esp w 401K deductions. What annoyed me more is that you are basically giving the company an interest free loan during that time. Far better to have your base pay just slightly below production (i.e. 85-90%) and then quarterly bonuses (or biannual in your case) won’t be much. I did this a year ago and now my quarterly bonuses are typically 1-5K, but I still get one large profit sharing bonus a year. Nice to just quickly stuff that one away in taxable. Good luck!
I went with a skinny EF for about 2 months after purchasing a home (and my final loan payment). Honestly I don’t think there’s a wrong answer here. During the 2ish years I was saving up for a house downpayment I also considered that my E fund, and depending on the month would throw the rest at loans (typically 5K/mo). Then once I bought my home my E fund probably dropped to 20K –which seemed really light (especially after building up to nearly 200K). However after a couple paychecks (and skipping loan payments for 2 months), I’d rebuilt my E fund to a comfortable level. For me that’s over 50K.
I did the same think when I finished the student loans, last payment was 32K, drained my E fund to probably 10K. So many ways to do it, but I figured I could always float a 1 month credit card bill, if needed, for some large expense.
Good luck you’re almost done – and it feels amazing!
Steve Holt from arrested development was working as a bartender at the restaurant where my sister was the pastry chef. She introduced us and I have the best pic with us, arms raised, shouting “Steve Holt”. I would never have approached him or any other celebrity though without an introduction, I’m way too shy. I don’t even think I said hi to WCI at the conference
What kinda neighborhood do you need to live in to have neighbors that are famous?!?!?Click to expand…
I love Arrested Development – it’d be hard not wanting a never nude photo with David Cross!!
My neighborhood is nice, not the fanciest, but it’s one of the oldest neighborhoods around with some really grand old homes-on the hill with views. Not mine, new townhouse on top of a prior teardown. The city has many famous bands that still have lead singers/band-mates around, I think they’ve stayed because it’s a low-key place. Nice to know not every musician leaves for LA, Austin or Nashville.
Glad to hear other people felt similarly, and that it wasn’t just me being shy/private. Next time I see him I’ll smile and say hi like I do to most people when on walks nearby 😉
G – The CBP story is amazing! I’m glad I’m not the only sassy American to have been harassed by the Canadian Border Patrol. Driving up to ski in Whistler, driving my friend’s car and stupidly was honest that it wasn’t my car. (PS she’s a hand surgeon, was absolutely confident there weren’t kilos of coke hidden in the bumper) The jerks thought I was carrying drugs from the US. I was warned, “I’ve searched and arrested plenty of bankers, doctors, lawyers”. Hours later, they found nothing mostly I was pissed because I was late to my hot tub time machine time! grrr – now I just keep my mouth shut
Some of us peripheral medicine folks still respond to emergencies. My inflight emergency experience was a decade ago, somewhere over the Atlantic. As an ophthalmologist I still respond to the call, but my strategy has been to wait for the second overhead page. By then I was feeling guilty & made it back to the patient, there was already a nurse, paramedic, and nearly retired senior endocrine surgeon. I knew him immediately. No ID asked for (nor do I carry a badge), after talking with the RN and paramedic the passenger’s syncopal episode was improving, vital signs stable – they had it under control. Surgeon and I chatted for a while, later he laughed and admitted he wouldn’t know what to do and that I was closer to the action after having more recently finished a year of internal medicine 🙂
Haha no you’re definitely not chopped liver! Sorry I missed that. Interesting that both women who commented don’t think it’s a strange gift 😊
Honestly, I think it’s thoughtful and generous.
SLC-OB Thanks for the 529 advice! You’ve inspired me to get off my lazy bum and help out a friend. I’d much rather contribute $25 Bday gifts to that rather than toys!
I’ll be the dissenter from the group. Assuredly these young ski instructors have little to nothing saved for retirement. Sure cold hard cash is always nice, but you’re right it’ll get spent immediately on food/rent/beer/etc. If you are as close to them as you mention, and have a somewhat maternal/paternal relationship with them then I think there’s nothing wrong with helping them out with some retirement savings as a gift. I would have loved that money at their age, knowing I was saving 0 for retirement back then. Not sure what the minimums are in accounts, but that’ll be your limiting factor. Perhaps $ made out to Fidelity in their name for a Roth account? Sure they have to set up account, but wouldn’t be too onerous.
I’m thinking about doing something similar opening up a 529 for a college friend. She’s married w 3 kids, they both work hard (teachers in LA) but are unable to start college saving for the kids because monthly daycare expenses are equal to mortgage expenses. I know they want to start saving, but the money is just too tight.
Honestly, what a nice gift to receive $500 every year (I would round up, 300 is an odd number) as a bonus for retirement. Gadgets break easily and are obsolete after a few years anyway. I say go for it 🙂
I love my admin day. And lucked out on getting Fridays based on prior doc’s schedule. My partner takes Wednesdays (has a new baby) and loves it.
For your wife ‘s situation I’d vote for Wednesday — breaks up the work week, only working 2 days in a row. Not hit by holidays as often, also easier to take a longer weekend, tag on that day and she won’t have to use as much vacation days for those trips home.
RENT, listen to all the smart people above! Another example, I was that said roommate who rented M4 year from my classmate who bought a 3 bedroom home 3 years prior. College town, two of us med school roommates moved out May 2008, I had a great deal- only paid $400/mo in rent with 2 housemates. He had another year May 2009 – the market had tanked.
I have no idea how much he lost, but like everyone else he needed to move for residency. Also, in 2008 there was severe flooding in the Midwest and during my last few months living there I helped clean out the basement from flood waters, there were constant repairs and it wasn’t an old crappy house.
Do the opposite of your plan- use your down-payment money for rent the next 4 years, take out a little less in loans. And you be the renter/roommate. The risk/reward is a no brainer, especially when you’ll have physician income in 8+ years time.
SValleyMD – I agree, obviously this depends on the field, but I can’t imagine how that covering cardiologist would know those details about his partner’s patient. If the patient can’t give a history it seems completely reasonable to work-up, place in obs and find out info in the morning when records can be faxed.
During my days of paper charts in private practice ophthalmology we had a big call group, sharing call with 12+ other doctors (all were/most still are on paper charts – so we knew nothing about their patients or ours really until the next day). The late night calls are when I honed my history taking: quick cc, hpi, past history, surgeries, eye drops, etc. I think this speaks volumes to attending a solid residency training where residents are properly busy, seeing true ocular emergencies/surgeries and able to learn what you can and can’t distinguish over the phone. Now, usually within 1-2 minutes of talking/questions I can determine the urgency of the problem.
Some cases –see me tomorrow in clinic. Many others –go to the ER, call ER give them a heads up and ask to be called by nurse so I can drive in while they’re checking in.
My post-operative patients are the ones I worry about the most, and telling them warning signs/symptoms with clear post-op instructions saves on many many phone calls.March 18, 2019 at 10:47 pm MST in reply to: "Go to the ED or call back in morning" evening/weekend voicemail #199556Liked by Eye3md
One of my all time favorite attendings in medical school wore cowboy boots (black and impeccably clean), daily.
He is a neuro-ophthalmologist, probably the smartest physician I’ve ever met. Neuro-op doesn’t operate, but if he was in the OR I’m sure he would have rocked them and looked great. This was very far from Texas, though he’s since moved back.
Go for it, as long as they’re clean! Nothing worse than seeing physicians wearing professional clothes and some out of stye (circa 1990), worn down, dirty shoes. I’ve never understood people not caring about nice shoes, we stand in them constantly, worthy of quality leathers. Then again, I may have a shoe problem…
Another way to look at it –
Is it worth working 5 days per week for 4-5 years then FIRE versus 3 days per week for 5-6 years then FIRE.
Diminishing returns for only 1 less year of job…appears like a lot more work. Guess it comes down to how badly do you want out of career or PT job.
Either way, not a bad problem to have. Let us know what you decide!