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Family wants to know Income?!

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  • #16
    Holy shiz! I had no idea administration in academic settings could be that lucrative. I should have known though. My husband works on the IT side of things at the same place as me. He used to have access to the database that contained everyone's salary information. I remember that the MBA people just in administration in my department made way more than the docs did.


    • #17

      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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      Haha, that is funny. My siblings do the same. Parents say things like, "oh, congrats on the promotion, you must be over six figures now", or "oh great, now that you make x times as a resident you should be doing ok". Some folks really pry, other less so.

      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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      If folks push on it, I remind them that attendings are often paid like plumbers. (that's when I get the googly-eyes). Pay really isn't going to go up unless you fix more leaks, or move to administration, etc.


      • #18

        We know this because our Grammie has lost her filter
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        Must say that made me LOL. And also must say that, yes, there are families of doctors who expect support, typically parents, often it's a cultural thing, but not always. I don't really have the answer, but fwiw don't think your personal earnings or what you spend on cornflakes or travel or anything else is anybody else's business outside your own family's. Same as your sex life. myob. I would just ask, "Why do you want to know?"
        Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087


        • #19
          I've never been asked by a family member but when I completed our estate planning, I absolutely gave my adult children an idea of what our assets are and what they can expect if we don't spend it down.  Also, where they can find all of the information such as account numbers, passwords, etc.  They all work very hard and yes, we/I criticize the millennial generation but there is no doubt in my mind that is is MUCH more difficult for them regarding the expense of living and upward mobility in standard jobs than it was when I was their age; they are not the typical oft criticized young generation.  They ask for nothing and expect nothing but if I can help via my hard work and good fortune, then we should all be thankful.  Though we are not that wealthy, I may create something like a generation/legacy trust so that they money can help family members for many many years.

          Also, if it doesn't hurt me, I believe in helping them a little if needed when they are young and raising families.  They will probably be less likely to need it when they are in their 60-70's than now.  I do this only if they continue to work hard, save via IRA, 401k, 457, etc.


          • #20
            I was surprised when one of my attending's( during residency) told me that majority people in his nice neighborhood are asking to sign waiver basically saying they are not responsible for injuries on their property during any birthdays parties, family/friends gatherings etc. I could not believe it at that time but in my practice I have seen how simple ankle sprain turned out "to be the worst sprain ever with chronic severe pain" only because it happened on the property whose owner is wealthy.

            So going back to original topic. I would be very vague unless you have very close relationship with them and you can trust them so they wont tell everyone else. I think this topic should be in asset protection section

            Otherwise you expose yourself to more risk than you have to. So better have nice umbrella. Avoid driving others kids to games, school etc. unless they have rich parents. Of course it depends on state and mentality of local people and your lifestyle. Ohh,  and do not put on your license plate Cardio MD, obgynMD or similar. Have seen that.


            • #21
              I agree with Johanna's sentiments.  Why do they want to know?  What are they going to do with that information?  How will that information be helpful in any way?  If their child is living a comfortable life, what does it matter?  It's none of their business in my opinion.  I can't stand people being nosy, which is what this amounts to more often than not.  Human nature is unfortunately problematic.  You might try to be frugal with your spending in order to save, but a family member who knows your income with a different approach to personal finance may get a little peeved if you're not buying the nicer things for everyone, taking people out to nicer dinners, offering to pay for things all the time....all because, hey you can afford it, right?  Happiness for your financial position should be derived from net worth, not income, and the soundness of your savings strategy.  But that's not what the inquiry is about here.  Thus, if anything it provides a superficial understanding of what it means to be financially secure, and at worst creates jealousy.  If any family member asked how much I make I'd have a hard time not getting upset.  Talking about it behind my back would make me more upset.


              • #22
                I don't see any good coming of it in my family.  I have no idea what my siblings or siblings-in-law make and will never ask.  If I am asked a question trying to get at how much money I make, I'll try to say something like, "I make almost as much as the nurses with whom I work." Allowing for the tuition cost and lost opportunity years of my training, the hours I am on call, the effects of the graduated tax system, the fact that they get overtime, etc. this is entirely true on a post-tax hourly basis averaged over a career, though my W2 might show a number 5 times higher than theirs.


                If I really want to add emphasis, I might mutter something like, "And to think, they don't have to spend $500/year on a medical license, $250/year for a DEA license, $3,000/year for CME/MOC, $20,000/year on malpractice insurance..."


                • #23
                  If my father or sister asked me how much money I made, I would tell them. If my mother-in-law or brother-in-law asked me, I would tell them to pound sand. I know that the former are always looking out for my best interests while the latter are nosy and not. My wife might have a slightly different response but not much different than mine.


                  • #24
                    Public salaries :

                    Nothing to hide on wages.  The more transparency, the better for all IMHO.  Wage inequality happens when we silo up.

                    In my family's case, being an internist at UC results in the 'poorest' in the family----still, not starving.

                    I readily let F+F who ask and then go on about the 20 years of education and best years of our lives spent hauling ****************** around in the ICU.



                    • #25
                      None of the family ever asked and since it varied so much over the years that this year's number didn't mean that much.  I think living relatively frugally helped people not wonder too much. Liability issues not that big of a deal in Canada thankfully.  I was always interested when these issues came up in discussions with well off friends in the US.


                      • #26
                        Hi there, no they never asked.


                        • #27
                          i tell them that's private information.

                          of course, i support both my and my wife's parents and have sent money to my sister when she needed it.

                          but still, that's private information.



                          • #28
                            We've told family members on both sides. We know what our parents and other siblings make too. It's just money - not a big deal to us to share. There's a wide variation in salaries among people we've told but everyone has a good lifestyle and is not on need of money so I guess that helps.