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In celebration of the completion of the medical academic year (yes, it's true that the first week of July is a terrible time to get sick), I thought I'd post a little self-assessment survey for graduating residents to rate themselves on financially. As you might imagine, this survey has never been validated and I pretty much just made the whole thing up. Nevertheless, I think readers may find it useful to see how they compare to their peers. Add up your points and see how you did! Better yet, print it out and pass it around to your students and residents!

1) What is your net worth?

  • 0 points: < – $400K or I don't know how to calculate it
  • 1 point:  -$200K to -$400K
  • 2 points: -$100K to -$200K
  • 3 points: $0 to -$100K
  • 4 points: $1 to $100K
  • 5 points: >$100K

2) What is your starting salary as an attending?

  • 0 points: I'm going to be a fellow
  • 1 point: I have a military commitment
  • 2 points: <$200K
  • 3 points: <$200-300K
  • 4 points: <$300-400K
  • 5 points: >$400K

3) What is your student loan burden?

  • 0 points: >$400K
  • 1 point: $300K-400K
  • 2 points: $200K-300K
  • 3 points $100K-200K
  • 4 points: $1-100K
  • 5 points: No student loans
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Add 2 points if you expect to qualify for PSLF in less than 5 years, 1 point if you expect to qualify in more than one year. Add 1 point also if you have refinanced your student loans to less than 5% fixed or 3% variable. Maximum of 5 points.

4) What is your non-student loan, non-mortgage burden? (credit cards, car loans, personal loans etc)

  • 0 points: >50K
  • 1 point: $30K-50K
  • 2 points: $20K-30K
  • 3 points: $10K-20K
  • 4 points: $1-10K
  • 5 points: $0

5) What is your living situation?

  • 0 points: I'm underwater on a home
  • 3 points: I'm renting or can walk away from a home with $0
  • 4 points: I have a small amount of home equity
  • 5 points: I have more than $100K in home equity!

6) What is your partner's situation?

  • 2 points: Partner will not be working
  • 3 point: Partner will be working part time or no partner
  • 4 points: Partner will be working full-time
  • 5 points: Partner is also a high-income professional working full-time

Subtract one point if partner owes less than $100K in student loans, two points if more.


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7) How did you do with Roth IRAs during residency?

  • 0 points: I didn't put any money toward retirement in residency
  • 1 point: I invested only in a tax-deferred account
  • 3 points: I started a Roth IRA
  • 4 points: I maxed out a personal, and if applicable, a spousal Roth IRA, at least one year of residency.
  • 5 points: I maxed out a personal and if applicable, a spousal Roth IRA every year of residency

8) How is your financial knowledge?

  • 0 points: Who is The White Coat Investor? Someone just handed me this survey
  • 1 point: I have read 10+ posts on the site or a financial book
  • 2 points: I have read 50+ posts on the site or two financial books
  • 3 points: I have read three or more financial books or I have read most of the posts on the site
  • 4 points: I know what brand WCI's bike is or he has accused me of stalking him
  • 5 points: I write guest posts for WCI

9) What is your plan?

  • 0 points: I have no plan
  • 1 point: I'm going to try to get my loans paid off in 10 years or so
  • 2 points: I plan to contribute to my retirement accounts this year
  • 3 points: I have met with a real financial planner
  • 4 points: I have a written financial plan for my first year(s) out of residency
  • 5 points: I plan to live like a resident for 2-5 years after residency, be free of student loans in less than 5 years, and max out every retirement account available to me.

10) What is the overall average expense ratio of your portfolio including advisory fees?

  • 0 points: I don't know or I don't have a portfolio
  • 1 point: >2% per year
  • 2 points: 1%-2% per year
  • 3 points: 0.5%-1% per year
  • 4 points: < 0.5% per year
  • 5 points: < 0.25% per year

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Add up all your points, and then compare yourself to your peers in the comments section!

  • 0 points: Welcome to the site! This is going to be a very high yield experience for you.
  • 1-5 points: You're in terrible financial shape. Basically the equivalent of a blood pressure of 60/40. Do something about it now.
  • 6-10 points: Could be worse. I suggest a plan to live like a resident for 5 full years.
  • 11-15 points: You'll need to spend significant time in the next few months beefing up your knowledge of personal finance and investing as well as your financial habits in order to catch up to your peers.
  • 16-20 points: Good job. You're fairly average among your peers.
  • 21-25 points: Great job! This is going to work out well.
  • 26-30 points: Financially speaking, you are quite advanced compared to your peers
  • 31-35 points: You are in excellent shape and should have been assisting your residency peers and attendings with their finances.
  • 36-40 points: Have you considered submitting a guest post to WCI?
  • 41-45 points: You will be very rich, very soon.
  • 46-49 points: Can I interest you in the purchase of a website?
  • 50 points: Liar!

I figure I would have gotten 40 points at the time of residency graduation, certainly not a perfect score. How would you have done (or are doing if you graduate in 2015) upon residency graduation? Comment below!