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  • reddit dissects $1m NW physician's financial advice

    I didn't see this posted here yet and thought some might be interested.

     

    https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/6l6taz/reached_1_million_no_windfalls_slow_and_steady/?limit=500

     

    From invenio78's post on reddit:


    • Be goal oriented.

    • Work hard toward your goals.

    • Invest in yourself. Education, reading, training, experience, networking, and hobbies.

    • Don't spend more than what you make/have. This is true regardless of income. I save roughly 50% of my post tax income. Even when I was in college I never spent more money than I had in my bank account.

    • Pay off your credit cards fully at the end of the month.

    • Hang around with smart people. If you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room.

    • Don't be (close) friends with people who are self destructive. I think at a subconscious level the behavior of our peers does influence us to a certain degree.

    • Have hobbies outside of your line of work. Continue to pick up new hobbies and skills. Don't stagnate.

    • Like your job. Doesn't mean you have to necessarily like going in every Monday morning. But if you absolutely hate your work 100% time, you really need to rethink the career choice.

    • Be realistic. Everyone says you should be optimistic,... but in all honesty I think a healthy dose of realism is the best. You may like art, but unless you really have the talent of Da Vinci, getting that bachelors in Art is probably not going to pay off.

    • Be relatively healthy. Take care of your body. You don't have to be a health nut but try to eat healthy, a few hours of exercise per week, and don't do drugs (more on this below).

    • I know this is going to be controversial,... but I'm going to say it. Don't do drugs (legal or otherwise). Not because they are evil, ethically wrong, or some morality BS,... but rather because I have never seen drugs (which includes excessive alcohol) improve people's lives and I have seen it destroy many. They are typically expensive "hobbies" that at best are neutral for your well-being and at worst can completely destroy your life both legally and from a health perspective.

    • Don't "settle" on your choice of a SO. This may be the most important thing. We all fall in love but look very hard at the potential faults of your SO. If there are some big red flags, heavy drug use, dishonesty, violence,... move on. There are other fish in the sea. It's ok not to compromise on core values. And no, you won't be able to "fix them."

    • Don't lie, cheat, be dishonest or vindictive. It never helps you in the long term.

    • Buy things and spend money on things that make YOU happy. Don't worry about what other people think as you can never "keep up with the Jones's".

    • Try to fix things yourself when when they break. It's amazing how daunting it can be to try and fix a leaky toilet the first time. But you watch a youtube video, by the $8 in parts, and spend 20 minutes doing the actual work. You learn a new skill, save $200 on the plumber's fee, and won't panic the next time it breaks.

    • Care and try to help others (but not to the point where it will directly hurt you or your loved ones). I think the act of giving is underrated. I personally feel that directly helping others with tasks or advice is better than directly giving money.

    • Last, enjoy life. Saving money is not the actual goal, it's about being free to do what you want in life. I travel, buy "toys", fund my hobbies, build things myself, and generally spend on things make us happy. Money = Freedom and peace of mind.



     

    Much of the advice (from a primary care physician, 10 years in, 250k/yr salary per subsequent posts) is in line with what is posted here on WCI and over on Bogleheads. I personally would add an asterisk to the "try to fix things when they break"...  one should also know when to stop (or when to never start) and use some of that hard earned money to get a professional to fix things up. The last time I tried to fix a toilet lead to the demise of a now unrepairable toilet.

    The biggest takeaway for me (from reading through the comments) is that I am thankful for a place like the WCI forums to discuss financial issues for higher income professionals. Within the reddit thread, participants didn't seem to be a lot of ability to look past the salary and MD degree to hold much of a discussion. (there was a lot of "of course it is easy to save a million when you make >100-200k per year" and many suggestions of real estate areas where one could (if possessed of a time machine) buy several years ago on the cheap and now be an automatic millionaire. I'm not sure how helpful those particular tips are but one is the top point getter at the moment). To be honest, I do understand what the time machine people are saying (ie too late to go back to medical school for many people) but I don't think that automatically away all inherent value in what the OP was trying to do. We are certainly fortunate to be in the positions that we are in, but that doesn't mean that self reflection/introspection is a helpful thing.

    So, thanks WCI and the many posters here! It's nice to have a "safe space!" (or at least a "safer space")  

     

     

  • #2
    I might add...Make personal finance one of those hobbies outside of your job.

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    • #3
      I browsed through some of the comments and some are harsh.  We can also reflect on how other people view us as physicians.  OP's recommendations are on point though.  I wonder if there's WCI counterpart for professional athletes?!

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      • #4
        I read that thread while it was going on.  It was painfully difficult not to chime in after all the "Of course it's easy, you're a doctor so you're automatically rich!" comments. I don't pretend that I'll have the same financial situation as the average American when I'm an attending - but I guarantee the average American doesn't owe $350k in student loans either.  A tiny bit of understanding would go a long way.

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        • #5
          Nobody gives a crap about physicians. Physicians are not allowed to have problems. Get used to it. .

          My hat is off to anyone who can regularly save 50 percent post tax income. It gives new meaning to delayed gratification. And for me begs question of whether one is optimizing happiness but certainly if happiness = early retirement then 50 percent post tax savings is leaving nothing to chance.

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          • #6
            Bogleheads and WCI are skewed towards professionals and high income earners whereas the FIRE forum on reddit is more skewed towards "average" earners. It's also, in general, a far less collegial website. I saw this thread as it was going on as well and was a bit surprised by some of the responses but, to be fair, OP also should have known his audience.

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            • #7
              I do not think that physicians are especially targeted in the real world. Anyone who makes more than average is. It could be lawyers, teachers, plumbers, truck drivers, business owners, politicians, name it and you will find hate towards them...there is a lot of entitlement out there. Most of it seems to come from the 49% who do not pay a dime in taxes and have time to hate and be jealous of other people's accomplishments. If they put their mind to something worthwhile they'd stop hating.

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              • #8




                Most of it seems to come from the 49% who do not pay a dime in taxes and have time to hate and be jealous of other people’s accomplishments. If they put their mind to something worthwhile they’d stop hating.
                Click to expand...


                I believe Prof. Romney's fabled statistic was 47%. But to say that everyone poor is full of hateful and jealous, is quite similar to suggesting that all rich people are ruthless thieves.

                 

                However, your observation about class warfare is true.

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                • #9




                  Nobody gives a crap about physicians. Physicians are not allowed to have problems. Get used to it. .

                  My hat is off to anyone who can regularly save 50 percent post tax income. It gives new meaning to delayed gratification. And for me begs question of whether one is optimizing happiness but certainly if happiness = early retirement then 50 percent post tax savings is leaving nothing to chance.
                  Click to expand...


                  I save more than 50% of gross income. My happiness is probably not optimized, but spending more money would not improve it.

                  I was happier in my 20s when I didn't have two nickels to rub together.
                  Erstwhile Dance Theatre of Dayton performer cum bellhop. Carried (many) bags for a lovely and gracious 59 yo Cyd Charisse. (RIP) Hosted epic company parties after Friday night rehearsals.

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                  • #10
                    Hats off to you, sir or madam.

                    Amazing! I hope you find happiness

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