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  • #16
    You're doing okay but not awesome. I've definitely seen worse.

    Biggest problem is that you and your spouse aren't on the same page. Consider taking our online Fire Your Financial Advisor course together. If that doesn't work, consider getting a good financial planner to help. If that doesn't work, try a marriage therapist/counselor.

    Second biggest problem is too comfortable with debt. Student loans still at 44? A car loan? AND a lease? And a half million mortgage? If it was just one of those it's probably not big deal. But all four?

    You're almost millionaires though, so it's hard to criticize too much.
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011


    • #17
      Good advice above.
      ~$215K yearly expenses on $400K income before taxes and retirement savings? $70K car loan?
      As you say you know the answer already. I think we need more details on the spending side and family dynamics. Anonymous advice..
      Welcome to WCIF no need to be nervous!


      • #18
        Originally posted by Objn View Post
        Thanks everyone for your quick responses.

        -yes, 529s for kids (not hsa)
        -We save around 45,000 per year (working towards the 20% recommendation always seen on this site)
        -Spending has always been our biggest issue. We have a hard time meeting in the middle (ie, we bicker/argue. Any advice for this?)
        -I suppose I've been fooling myself with 20K efund. I guess I incorrectly considered Roth contributions as a possible type of efund.
        -Am hoping to need <150,000 per year in retirement.
        -is my portfolio too aggressive? I'm at least 18 yrs from retirement.

        I've followed WCI for years, just now got up the nerve to post my financial picture. Somewhat embarrassed, somewhat nervous (anonymous forum?)
        I feel like I know the answers, it's just a matter of making it happen.
        It seems like one of your biggest issues is the order in which you are spending.

        Take income
        minus taxes, heath insurance, etc.
        minus giving (if that is important to you)
        minus fixed expenses (mortgage, utilities, etc)
        THEN save 20% retirement (some people reverse this with debt)
        THEN pay down debt (some people reverse this with retirement)
        THEN other saving goals (college, home improvements, vacation savings, etc)

        THEN anything left over is Spending money.... and you will find that this is a lot less than you are spending now.

        This is all done with a Budget that both spouses agree upon. Agree with others to run the numbers and show the future retirement options if spending is not reined in. That may help the spender(s) see the effects of current spending self on future retired self. "You're money or your life" book...

        Seems like you are spending first and then realizing that you aren't saving for the future. In your case, I would run calcs to see if you actually need to be saving 25-30% for retirement to catch up while figuring out your real retirement needs.


        • #19
          Agree with others. You have barely half a million in assets at age 44 ( I don't count boat as an asset) and yet want to retire at 62. The kids have not gone to college yet and you will see what will happen when those costs skyrocket and the 529K barely cover it.

          A major problem is thinking that I have 400k income so why not have a 800K house, a pool, a boat and a 70K car. That leaves you very little for savings. If you want to improve savings you should lead by example. You cannot keep that 70K car and yet ask others to make sacrifices. Unfortunately in the current climate selling that 70K car won't bring sufficient savings as used car prices have risen sharply. So keep it, pay off the cars and pool loans.

          Take 20% at the top and put in savings before you pay taxes, house, pool, 529 etc etc. Have less money available to spend and learn to live on less. Money not seen and not available is money not available to be spent.

          Look at everything you want to spend and decide if you really want it or is it just a luxury for a nice doctor family.

          Don't want to do either. Just continue to work till you are 70+.
          Last edited by Kamban; 04-08-2022, 08:58 AM.


          • #20
            You're fine so long as you dont buy a plane. You've got all the stuffs, now you focus on building up savings/retirement, which should be easy. No big deal.


            • #21
              You are doing okay, not as well as you could, but you have also made some large purchases which you have hopefully enjoyed, so it's not all bad.

              Going forward, it's prolly wise to stop any 529 contributions. Kids can always pay for college themselves, get a job, or maybe scholarships/grants. At current inflation rates, the loans are okay, but in the future would want to pay off the pool and car loans first. Student loans next, keep the mortgage as long as possible.

              7k taxable in mid-40s seems low, but again, you have spent a lot of your after-tax money on big items, so it's fine I guess. But I would start putting most discretionary income into Vti every month going forward.


              • #22
                My opinion is you need to reel in spending now. If you don't, you are definitely going to need to in retirement.

                You are definitely living the luxurious lifestyle. I recommend auto depositing into retirement and/or saving so you aren't not tempted to touch that money.


                • #23
                  The amount you’re saving per year isn’t enough to discharge the debt you took on to dig a hole in your backyard, so I would say no your not on the right track.


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by fatlittlepig View Post
                    The amount you’re saving per year isn’t enough to discharge the debt you took on to dig a hole in your backyard, so I would say no your not on the right track.
                    FLP is back!?!!??!!?!?!?


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by VentAlarm View Post

                      FLP is back!?!!??!!?!?!?
                      FLP is like a chupacabra, we just think we see him, then he’s gone…


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by HikingDO View Post

                        FLP is like a chupacabra, we just think we see him, then he’s gone…
                        We see the light reflect off his Rolex.


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by VentAlarm View Post

                          We see the light reflect off his Rolex.


                          • #28
                            Welcome back FLP.
                            OP I am OB/GYN. I understand how hard you work. It is hard to focus on anything but your call schedule. The only OBs I know who are working above 62 are those who had a messy divorce or simply did not save. You have time to correct the ship now. I would start tracking your expenses. Develop a spreadsheet and track every thing you and your wife spend. It is not that hard. I use quicken. You will then understand where the money is going. Until you do this it is hard to control.. Make a pledge to never finance anything like a car or a pool again!!!!


                            • #29
                              Thx for your advice. Agree decreasing spending is Home priority followed by paying off loans. We’ll sit down this weekend and work out a plan together. I appreciate everyone’s input, especially flp. Wow, who would have guessed that I would pull the original bad boy of the WCIF out of hibernation my first Beginners helping beginners post.


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Objn View Post
                                Monthly estimates
                                Utilities/internet/cell ~1000-1500 (it's hot in Texas)
                                Texas is both hot and sunny. Any reason not to buy solar panels outright and knock down your AC / electric bill while collecting a federal tax credit at the same time? I don't recommend financing this, but buying your panels outright.

                                Doctors straight out of residency / fellowship need to set aside 20% of gross income in order to retire by 60 or 65. You've been practicing for 14 years, so you probably will need to set aside 25% or more of gross income. Painful, but not so painful as a middle of middle class retirement after decades of living high on the hog.

                                If your wife has $12K in her (back door) Roth IRA, that suggests you've made contributions for 2021 and 2022 and haven't seen any gains in the market. Maybe you contributed for 2020 & 2021 and still can make a 2022 contribution. Until the year you hit 50, you're limited to $6K per year into the IRA.

                                403(b) is $20,500 employee contribution plus typically a 4% match (perhaps more) on the first $305,000 in annual wages. That's $12,200, but it adds to both the numerator of retirement investments and the denominator of gross income.

                                So $412,200 in gross compensation means $103,050 per year in retirement savings to hit 25% of gross income towards retirement. You'd need at least this amount to make up for skimping on retirement contributions for your first 14 years as an attending. 30% of gross income would let you retire before 60, but it might be a stretch with your current debt service, ongoing childcare expenses, and upcoming college costs.

                                Let's take 25% of gross income as a starting point. Once you pay off the pool, you can pay off the car loan and buy the solar panels outright. Each of these actions will reduce the pressure of recurring monthly debt or utility payments and free up space to increase retirement savings and/or restart 529 contributions for the kids. (You're in a lucrative specialty. Stop buying cars and pools on time / interest!)

                                OK, so our annual goal is $103,050 in annual retirement savings. His and hers back door Roth contributions at $6K gets you $12K. In 2022 you can put $20,500 into your 403(b), plus an estimated employer match of at least $12,200. That's $44,700 into qualified funds, so you need an additional $58,350 into a taxable brokerage account earmarked for retirement. (No, your HSA contribution doesn't count at a retirement contribution. Yes, you still should maximize your $7,300 annual family contribution into an HSA, over and above your retirement contributions.)

                                So, $58,350 per annum into a taxable brokerage account is $4,862.50 per month. You still need to pay your taxes, or else men with guns will come and take your stuff and potentially take you to prison. Your kids and your stay at home spouse won't have much to live off of if you're in prison, so you need to pay your taxes.

                                If you can't pay your taxes and set aside enough for retirement while meeting your other wants and needs, you'll need to modify your budget to reduce some wants and perhaps re-evaluate your "needs". The math is simple. Most anyone bright enough to get into med school could do the necessary arithmetic in fourth or fifth grade. But if you've allowed wants and spending to grow to the point where they consume an outsized share of your gross income, then somehow very bright people reach a point where they psychologically are unable to do very simple math. Don't be one of them. Grab the comfortable retirement that 60 year old you so richly deserves, even if it means a little belt tightening in the short term.