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  • MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    Having gone through this in family practice myself just a few years ago be wary of high starting salaries and make sure that she will be able to maintain hr salary after a few years.  The job I took had one of the lower starting salaries but due to the way my productivity is calculated I have tremendous potential for growth.  I happened to have a fried who worked at the place offering the highest starting salary and signing bonus but after 2 years his pay dropped significantly because he could not ramp up production enough.

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    This is of course a great point and something we are wary of. Right now her “home” system is totally salary based, which is appealing. May be a lower salary than what she could be making, but it is guaranteed. In truth, I care much more about her being happy, fulfilled with her work, and minimal amounts of stress rather than making a little more money. So we’re looking for the best fit, not necessarily the flashiest income.

     

    Congrats on joining the doctor’s wives club.

    Yeah send out them CVs far and wide.  I would aim for the department heads, CEOs, etc and less for trying to find in-house recruiters or simply submitting an online application.

    Also good to be friends with and talk to resident/fellow classmates in the years above who are already out there.  The intel you can get from communication is tremendous.  Details on jobs and contracts, introductions to the decisionmakers are what you want.

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    She is definitely plugged into past classes and seniors now graduating. We have a good feel for what is out there in terms of salary, especially in our area. However we’re also looking to potentially move to a different state, which means we have less connection with those working there.

    in reply to: Pursuing first physician job out of residency #209748 Reply
    Liked by Craigy
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    Very rarely will “great jobs” find new attendings”. For whatever reason (money) an additional 1/2 physician seems to get covered by existing staff. General discussions lead to potential additions and she may get a call 3 months later. The timing of the need of the hospital or group is the key. Don’t hold your breath on details of the offer until after an interview and details are discussed, with the intent of extending.

    The problem is, the timing of multiple offers. Be prepared to communicate a job search timeline for making a decision. 9 months lead time for credentialing if out of state is reasonable. She may end up turning down a position that she later wants due to indecision.
    Thumbnail expectations of compensation are available on MGMA and AMGA surveys. Good luck.

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    Thanks for the input. Since she’s still got a year of residency left, this is just a high level discussion. Plenty of time to credential out-of-state.

    She is interested in doing something in addition to seeing patients, such as academia, leadership, or research. To find a position with options for one or many of these opportunities requires some investigation and discussion with systems on expectations.

    Will pursue MGMA and AMGA. Thanks.

    in reply to: Pursuing first physician job out of residency #209704 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    Thanks everyone for the positive and useful feedback. I will convey this to her – we’ll definitely reach out to the system in hopes of getting more info and potentially setting up an interview. I am also a proponent of being proactive when it comes to job hunting, but that comes from someone who’s been in the software industry for a decade. Nice to know we can take a similar approach to physician roles.

     

    in reply to: Pursuing first physician job out of residency #209595 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017
    Earnest refinancing bonus

    Just as a follow up (since WCI featured this thread in his monthly newsletter) we got a decent rate of 3.5% quoted from ELFI for a 10 year variable that puts our payments around ~$1300 a month, which is palatable for us considering our income, emphasis on retirement, and other obligations. We are building up our “emergency fund” after my savings got depleted from the wedding and honeymoon, so once that’s at a comfortable point we’ll start attacking these loans.

    We are planning on maxing my Roth 401k, and opening her a Roth IRA (no roth option offered through her work). The numbers look pretty good, and I ran her through some “conservative” growth scenarios considering our retirement contributions, to see where we’d be at later in life. Since she’s only 27, she has a ton of time for that nest egg to grow, as long as we can find tax-safe places to put it early in her attending career.

    in reply to: Federal Interest Subsidy – Recently Married #63283 Reply
    Liked by adventure
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    First of all it sounds like you are doing very well. I admire you discipline to spend so little on a house.

    I’m confused by your salary. Your husband is a fellow, you are an attending, and your salary is 600k? Are you making 500k by yourself? Making 400k in cardiology is not particularly difficult by my understanding. Is your salary about to jump to $1M?

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    I think she is implying her husband’s first attending job post-fellowship will bump them to a combined 600k salary.

    in reply to: Opinions on our financial plan #62065 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    Avoid NWM like the plague.

    If for some reason you do go to the meeting, you might want to offer the following questions:

    1. What’s a fiduciary?
    2. Are you a fiduciary?
    3. How do get paid?
    4. Why am I still at this meeting?

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    😆 Part of me wants to print this out and just keep it in my stack of papers I bring to the meeting to see if he catches a glimpse.

    in reply to: Northwestern Mutual #61985 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    Even with disability insurance,you want a company with true own occ.

    I can’t think of a reason why you want the relationship. You will constantly need to fend off sales of things you shouldn’t purchase.

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    Thanks for the follow up. My only hesitation in cancelling the meeting outright is (or perhaps was) to discuss student loan payoff strategies. He suggested a RePAYE with Federal interest subsidy, which at the time I wasn’t aware of. After doing some research we may want to just bite the bullet and pay down the loan ASAP. I created a thread for this here, so I won’t rehash it.

    I think it also will give my wife some amount of peace of mind, so we’re not making loan payoff and retirement decisions based on “stuff I read in this online forum.” Nevertheless, I don’t expect NWM will get a $ of ours, and we’ll be pursuing DI for her on our own.

    in reply to: Northwestern Mutual #61963 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    My wife’s residency program offers up free advising from NWM for the duration of residency. We met with him once and I felt like he had some good boilerplate information, especially for my wife who has never really thought about retirement, but he was also teeing himself up for the big WL pitch. “Term life is like renting a house, Whole life is like buying one” he says. I fortunately got a copy of WCI and have since educated myself.

    I have another meeting with him next week. Armed with what I’ve learned I am returning to see if the relationship is worthwhile, even at no cost to us. Suffice to say, I’m glad I found the book/website/forum to keep me from being sold something I don’t want or need.

    in reply to: Northwestern Mutual #61948 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are fascinating to me (my education is in Software Engineering).

    I started following it seriously back in about 2012. I remember bitcoins being a few hundred bucks thinking that was ridiculous considering how “underground” it was. The average person would have no idea what a bitcoin was, yet this little string of numbers could be worth hundreds of dollars. It really rose to prominence because of its anonymity and appeal to those who don’t want people seeing their finances (read: Dark Web).

    Mining for bitcoin, even at that point, was a losing effort. I got into some smaller cryptos for fun where I would mine for Dogecoin, a sort of parody crypto that withstood the test of time (there have been hundreds of failed cryptos). After a couple years I kind of got out of it… 1000 dogecoin translated to about $.12, and there was no hope in sight for any significant rises. We did manage to fund the Jamaican bobsled team in 2014 and sponsor a NASCAR team, which was fun.

    I recently looked up the price of Doge and realized I actually had a few hundred dollars worth sitting on one of my old phones. I can certainly see the appeal of making a quick buck on these types of things but don’t be fooled: there are people who devote their life to playing this market. It is constantly manipulated and can be wildly volatile. Even with a solid understanding of hashing, blockchains, and mining, I avoid putting anything besides “fun” money in it.

    Just $.02 (or 11.5 doge) from a computer nerd.

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    I actually mined some dogecoin a couple years ago myself.  Not sure what happened to it.

    That’s the thing, this coin market is, by definition, completely artificial, and it swings wildly at the hands of a small population of people dedicated to manipulating the market.

    As long as there are individuals out there excited by the prospect of big returns, the coins will stay alive. But without the constant infusion of new, uneducated money, hard to see a future…

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    The thing with cryptocurrencies is that although they are a (albeit risky) investment mechanism, they are also just a form of currency. In fact they are currencies with significant upsides compared to traditional currency. I think bitcoin has its place as an instant, anonymous, and safe form of transacting “cash” for goods and services. In this regard, I think it is bound to stick around. In fact, with economic turmoil in world markets, I imagine many will turn to cryptos as a way of safely transacting internationally.

    in reply to: Let's talk about cryptocurrency… #61944 Reply
    Liked by Craigy
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are fascinating to me (my education is in Software Engineering).

    I started following it seriously back in about 2012. I remember bitcoins being a few hundred bucks thinking that was ridiculous considering how “underground” it was. The average person would have no idea what a bitcoin was, yet this little string of numbers could be worth hundreds of dollars. It really rose to prominence because of its anonymity and appeal to those who don’t want people seeing their finances (read: Dark Web).

    Mining for bitcoin, even at that point, was a losing effort. I got into some smaller cryptos for fun where I would mine for Dogecoin, a sort of parody crypto that withstood the test of time (there have been hundreds of failed cryptos). After a couple years I kind of got out of it… 1000 dogecoin translated to about $.12, and there was no hope in sight for any significant rises. We did manage to fund the Jamaican bobsled team in 2014 and sponsor a NASCAR team, which was fun.

    I recently looked up the price of Doge and realized I actually had a few hundred dollars worth sitting on one of my old phones. I can certainly see the appeal of making a quick buck on these types of things but don’t be fooled: there are people who devote their life to playing this market. It is constantly manipulated and can be wildly volatile. Even with a solid understanding of hashing, blockchains, and mining, I avoid putting anything besides “fun” money in it.

    Just $.02 (or 11.5 doge) from a computer nerd.

    in reply to: Let's talk about cryptocurrency… #61770 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    In terms of refinancing, will places like SOFI refinance people so young into residency? Will the rate be so close (i.e. ~6%) That it really doesn’t matter if we simply consolidate or refinance? According to my budget we could afford about a $2500/mo loan payment if we live well below our means (effectively using her after retirement & tax income, as suggested).

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    1) Yes. We refi’d during my wife’s intern year.

    2) The rates should be much better than federal loans (6.8%). We’re at 3.5%…so it is significant.

    3) Our payments are right around $2500/mo, which is almost all of my wife’s take home (after HSA & 401k contributions). If you can live off of one salary, it can be done.

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    Thanks for the follow up. After reading some of your other posts, I see we’re in a pretty similar situation, except you’re a couple years ahead of me. I think we will apply for a refinance soon at a number of recommended places and see how the numbers come out. We may do something like a 7 year variable and then refinance once she reaches attendinghood. (She’s 50/50 on a fellowship). This would put our payment around $1,600 a month which is manageable, and we can always pay more if we feel comfortable.

    /tangent: I noticed you’re also considering a home purchase. Did you decide on that route? We went through the doctor loan program with fifth third, and while I don’t recommend the bank, the loan itself was pretty solid. We did little down, got 3.75% on a 7 year ARM. We will most likely be out of the house by then, so we took the low interest rate. I think it’s a good option to focus on killing loans an taking on more of a mortgage rather than putting 20% down. The big benefit of the 20% is the no PMI, which you already get with the doctor loan.

    in reply to: Federal Interest Subsidy – Recently Married #61765 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

     

    Our adviser suggested taking advantage of the federal interest subsidy with RePAYE, as they only take into account the previous year’s tax returns when determining AGI. Since we were not married in 2016 and her income was below the poverty line, this should amount to a $0 monthly payment. If I’m reading things right, this will only be recalculated after 1 year (meaning November 2018) in which case we may want to change to PAYE or refinance. So instead of making payments on the loans between now and Nov 2018, our adviser suggested using my ally savings to dump what we would be paying, and then make a large payment before refinancing or switching to PAYE.

     

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    This is true as far as I know, and the same happened to me.  During my intern year, I submitted my previous year tax returns (which showed no income), and my payments for the entire first year were $0 a month.  The next year, I submitted my tax returns from my first year of internship (which was only half the year as you mentioned), and my payments were minimal.

    But for you guys the situation is more complicated, as you are married and your combined AGI will be higher.  You’ll have to take that into account, and decide whether or not filing taxes separately makes sense in order to take advantage of her lower income.  There are a lot of downsides to this however.

    Also, remember that the federal interest subsidy covers only 50% of the interest accrued on UN-subsidized loans.  So considering your low loan burden (which is all un-subsidized, why is this exactly?!?), reasonable combined income, and your self-serving “get rid of this debt” mentality, it may make sense for you to just refinance as others have indicated above.  But you need to run the numbers for yourself to make that decision.

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    I believe with RePAYE both of our incomes are taken into account regardless if we file jointly or separately. That is the only IDR with the interest subsidy on unsubsidized loans.

    in reply to: Federal Interest Subsidy – Recently Married #61747 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

     

    Our adviser suggested taking advantage of the federal interest subsidy with RePAYE, as they only take into account the previous year’s tax returns when determining AGI. Since we were not married in 2016 and her income was below the poverty line, this should amount to a $0 monthly payment. If I’m reading things right, this will only be recalculated after 1 year (meaning November 2018) in which case we may want to change to PAYE or refinance. So instead of making payments on the loans between now and Nov 2018, our adviser suggested using my ally savings to dump what we would be paying, and then make a large payment before refinancing or switching to PAYE.

     

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    This is true as far as I know, and the same happened to me.  During my intern year, I submitted my previous year tax returns (which showed no income), and my payments for the entire first year were $0 a month.  The next year, I submitted my tax returns from my first year of internship (which was only half the year as you mentioned), and my payments were minimal.

    But for you guys the situation is more complicated, as you are married and your combined AGI will be higher.  You’ll have to take that into account, and decide whether or not filing taxes separately makes sense in order to take advantage of her lower income.  There are a lot of downsides to this however.

    Also, remember that the federal interest subsidy covers only 50% of the interest accrued on UN-subsidized loans.  So considering your low loan burden (which is all un-subsidized, why is this exactly?!?), reasonable combined income, and your self-serving “get rid of this debt” mentality, it may make sense for you to just refinance as others have indicated above.  But you need to run the numbers for yourself to make that decision.

    Good question on the unsubsidized loans. She technically has one subsidized loan for about $1,100 from undergrad. The rest of her loans were from living expenses while in med school. She had no med school tuition.

    I think we will be applying to some refi’s to see the rates we can get. Our credit is good-ish (mine’s like 720, hers is like 770), and I think we could handle like a 7 year variable, which would get us a decent rate. I think she would prefer just to throw money at it rather than try to dip and duck and get the little scraps the government gives out.

    in reply to: Federal Interest Subsidy – Recently Married #61746 Reply
    MDHubby MDHubby 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 17
    Joined: 08/23/2017

    Thank you both for your quick responses. I’ll fill in my thoughts below:

    My wife & I were in a very similar position 2 years ago (she is now a PGY3). Those ‘advisors’ are there to gain clients and make commission selling products, plain & simple. Be wary of them. Finding this website & researching as much as you can will much better prepare you financially than that advisor can, bc you have your best interests in mind. I did all of the analysis you are going through, and I ultimately decided to keep things simple and straightforward. You may save a few extra dollars with the approach you’re taking with Repaye, but not as much as just being completely done with the debt by paying it off asap.

    What we decided to do was refinance through SOFI as soon as the grace period ended, and we both committed to paying the loans off (~$130k) asap. We refi’d to a 5 year fixed and have been dumping as much as we can into it, with the goal of being done in less than 5 years. Tactically, we live of my income and use her entire residency income (not counting HSA/401k investments) to pay down the loans. We budget it that way and it has worked well for us so far. You will need to run the numbers so see if that could work for your family, maybe a 10 year refi would make things easier?

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    I agree with your adviser sentiment. I think he genuinely knows what he’s doing, but is ultimately trying to “get ’em while they’re young” so to speak. I have a meeting again with him next week to discuss our loan payment strategy, hence the hardcore research.

    In terms of refinancing, will places like SOFI refinance people so young into residency? Will the rate be so close (i.e. ~6%) That it really doesn’t matter if we simply consolidate or refinance? According to my budget we could afford about a $2500/mo loan payment if we live well below our means (effectively using her after retirement & tax income, as suggested).

    Do the Excel thing and run the numbers but I have two comments.

     

    1. Are you actually going to get any interest subsidy? Quick back of the napkin math suggests her interest is probably accruing at 600-700/month – your REPAYE based payments are likely to be around that depending on how your AGI works out with tax deferred savings etc. could be more in which case you receive no subsidy.

    2. Her loan amounts are so low (Can’t believe I just typed that) that regardless of what kind of job she goes into she would never have any forgiven so deferring payments has no other advantage than giving you more money in the budget during residency.

    If you can make the budget work I’d consider starting to pay on a 5 year term now in which case it doesn’t matter what payment plan you are on (in fact I think making principle payments is more of a hassle if you are on an IDR plan). You can look into refinancing but from my research and her likely interest rates it might no be beneficial unless you wait until she is PGY-3 and can go through SOFI or the like – there are very limited lenders willing to refi residents and the rates aren’t much better if at all then what she has now.

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    1) If we use her AGI from 2016’s tax returns, then yes definitely. That was $15,000, which is well below 150% of the poverty line. Since we were not married at that point I think they won’t take my income into account when the grace period ends. But this may be a risk.

    2) That’s kind of where I’m at. The adviser made it sound like “if you can get the government to pay half your interest for a year, then why not take it?” But I’d rather that interest not accrue in the first place, if at all possible.

     

    One question I have is regarding interest capitalization. Does the interest we’ve accrued before beginning payments always get capitalized when the grace period ends? If we used one of the IDR’s, does the interest not capitalize? Or is it only the negative amortized interest that accrues during payments? If it is the former, then it seems like there is still value in using an IDR. Also it gives us “breathing room” if we have a month where the minimum payment is uncomfortably high.

     

    Thanks again for responses!

    in reply to: Federal Interest Subsidy – Recently Married #61745 Reply
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