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  • Family wants to know Income?!

    Know some people have been through this and hoping for some helpful anecdotes/advice on both sides . . .

     

    Graduating fellowship in next few months, signed on to a job (that I am extremely excited about) in a place where my wife and I are both excited to start building our family!  Employee salary on the new job is NICE (nice compared to fellowship and 20% above the national average for my specialty) . . .

     

    The question my wife and I have is her parents in law and family don't have docs in the family and are pretty interested in what our income will be.  We know this because our Grammie has lost her filter and tells us that everyonce in a while the subject comes up when we are not around (not in a malicious way, just kind of "wonder what they will make, do you think it is above $150,000).  We love are family and wouldn't mind telling them as in general we don't keep many secrets, but was wondering what other docs have been through . . .

     

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Yes probably lots of folks have been through this.  My father asked brother what I made but he never directly asked me.  My father also asked me what my brother a lawyer made as well.  I told him I had no idea.

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    • #3
      Neither of our families have ever asked.  I'm sure they can google the average for your specialty and that should be sufficient just for their curiosity..

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      • #4
        Just keep it vague.  "OH WELL NOT AS MUCH AS IT SHOULD BE."  "FEELS LIKE PENNIES AFTER I MAKE MY LOAN PAYMENTS."  That sort of thing.

        If they are smart, they can look it up themselves and get a rough idea.

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        • #5
          I put my business income on the internet. I don't find it that big of a deal. I make more than some and make less than others.

          Readily accessible salary surveys point out my clinical income very easily with 10 seconds on Google.

          If you're not comfortable telling them, suggest they google "what does a gastroenterologist make". That'll get them in the ballpark and that's all they want to know anyway.
          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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          • #6
            My physician income is so low that people might pity me if I told them the real number.

            Luckily not many know of my investment income so that does not come up in conversations.

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            • #7
              Quoth the Rain Man

              "About a million dollars, definitely about a million dollars".  :P

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              • #8
                Every family is different. My family has never once asked details. My wife's family is much more involved in our family's lives in general and it has come up several times wanting to know details. It's not jealousy, it's not "you're a rich doctor now, let me tell you my great investing idea", I think it is just general interest in our lives and the satisfaction of knowing that their daughter's family is doing ok financially. Whether you decide to disclose is up to you. If you're not comfortable giving a number, you can always do the "I think I did well, I'm told it's above average for (specialty)" and if they are nosy 5 minutes on google will give them a ballpark.

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                • #9
                  I personally agree with keeping it vague.  No one in my family has ever asked. I like it that way.

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                  • #10
                    If they are family, especially close family, I just tell them. Doesn't bother me. Why should income be so taboo. People share WAY more about things in their lives that make me uncomfortable - income is not one of them.

                    I'm trying to teach my kids that finances and family money are not taboo subjects. Better in my opinion to be upfront about what I make. If they make googly-eyes, I remind them of the amount of work it took (starting a career 10-12 years later than my siblings), the sacrifices I made and continue to make around schedules, etc.

                    BTW, I fully applauded WCI for posting his income as that was very refreshing.

                     

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                    • #11
                      My wife's family asks, also just out of sheer curiosity. They don't care one way or the other, and money is not a remotely taboo topic to them. Luckily my brother in law is an investment banker so I'll always be second in line in the salary category. Anyway, I have told them my base, and they know I make more on top of that.

                      Money/income is very taboo in my family so I've never been asked and never will be. I would probably tell them my base salary and say something vague about bonuses if I was ever asked (I won't be). But I have siblings that are doctors so they probably have a ballpark idea anyway.

                      As others have said a quick google search can give an idea for anyone who's curious but too timid to ask directly.

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                      • #12




                        If they are family, especially close family, I just tell them. Doesn’t bother me. Why should income be so taboo. People share WAY more about things in their lives that make me uncomfortable – income is not one of them.

                        I’m trying to teach my kids that finances and family money are not taboo subjects. Better in my opinion to be upfront about what I make. If they make googly-eyes, I remind them of the amount of work it took (starting a career 10-12 years later than my siblings), the sacrifices I made and continue to make around schedules, etc.

                        BTW, I fully applauded WCI for posting his income as that was very refreshing.

                         
                        Click to expand...


                        It's taboo when family uses that knowledge to suggest that you owe them money.

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                        • #13
                          I've never had anyone ask but I would just tell them if they did. My salary is public record anyway. But I also don't have any worries that if my income was known it would invite requests for money.

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                          • #14




                            I’ve never had anyone ask but I would just tell them if they did. My salary is public record anyway. But I also don’t have any worries that if my income was known it would invite requests for money.
                            Click to expand...


                            Absolutely. I looked up a neighbor's income that other day after the partner made some off-hand comment about being a poor public servant. The income was higher than the average doctor's! No biggie. He works hard and he's good at what he does. But life might be easier in a lot of ways if all salaries were posted on the internet.

                            But just about any academic doc's salary is on the internet if you know where to look. For example:

                            Dean of the Utah med school $1.44 M

                             
                            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                            • #15
                              In Norway, any taxpayer can look up any other taxpayer's income - it's public record.  In my career as a BigLaw partner, family members couldn't tell exactly what I made (and they didn't directly ask), but the American Lawyer magazine publishes an annual list of "profits per partner" for each of the big firms, and people likely assumed that I made something akin to that number for my firm (which was pretty close to reality).

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