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  • Poll of Age and Poll of Net Worth

    By popular demand

    [poll id="82"]

    [poll id="83"]
    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

  • #2
    Perhaps you could add a couple of employment parameters like working full time, part time, FI?

    Comment


    • #3
      Fairly even split so far as far as net worth goes, but looks like the vast majority of people on this forum are in their 30's and 40's.  If you divide up millionaires vs non-millionaires, there are currently 40 millionaires and 44 non-millionaires. Would be interesting to see how the members of this forum stack up among the general physician population, however I guess this poll includes non-physician professionals too, so wouldn't be accurate.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you think about it, average medical students and residents should probably have a negative net worth, and then perhaps build up a net worth of around 1M by the time they reach 40 if they are following WCI concepts of paying off loans and investing, then perhaps 3M by 50, and 6M by 60, ready to retire if they so wish.

        These thoughts are perhaps projections that might refer to the theoretical median physician.  Of course individual circumstances vary quite a bit.  Double physician couples have more income and likely way more in childcare expenses.  Highly paid specialists can double my projected numbers if they plan carefully.  Successful entrepreneurial physicians can easily exceed those numbers as well.

        Comment


        • #5
          I had no idea I was so old!  

          Comment


          • #6




            If you think about it, average medical students and residents should probably have a negative net worth, and then perhaps build up a net worth of around 1M by the time they reach 40 if they are following WCI concepts of paying off loans and investing, then perhaps 3M by 50, and 6M by 60, ready to retire if they so wish.

            These thoughts are perhaps projections that might refer to the theoretical median physician.  Of course individual circumstances vary quite a bit.  Double physician couples have more income and likely way more in childcare expenses.  Highly paid specialists can double my projected numbers if they plan carefully.  Successful entrepreneurial physicians can easily exceed those numbers as well.
            Click to expand...


            I would never expect the ‘average’ doctor to be able to reach a million dollar net worth by age 40. In my opinion your numbers are unrealistic for the majority of physicians. You have to have some luck to get to those numbers, because if you are a PCP with an income of $250k and debt of $250k finishing residency around age 32 and supporting a family of four, it will not be easy - maybe impossible - to get where you suggest.

            There’s a huge difference between making $250k and making $400k. In the latter case that’s an extra $75-100k after tax going straight to the bottom line, which is as much as an extra $2 million after 20 years excluding growth - so more like $3 million. That cat can hit your numbers easily if life goes their way. Obviously two physician specialists could clear $750k and be in a different stratosphere.

            I only say this to avoid discouraging younger, lower income physicians. Do the best you can by following the WCI lifestyle, etc., but don’t measure yourself against external benchmarks. Identify what your goals are, write down a plan to get there, and generally you’ll do very well. If you don’t hit $3 milliion by 50 or $1 milliion by 40 it doesn’t mean you aren’t ‘average’.

            I had a lot of luck - under $20k of total debt - graduated residency at age 29, lived in a low tax state and a low cost of living area, made an above average income (more than a PCP), had a working spouse (not a physician, but not making minimum wage), was very frugal for five or six years after residency, saved 40-60% of our income, and felt darn proud of reaching a seven figure net worth in 6 or 7 years. I knew I was way ahead of the typical doctor.

            Comment


            • #7







              If you think about it, average medical students and residents should probably have a negative net worth, and then perhaps build up a net worth of around 1M by the time they reach 40 if they are following WCI concepts of paying off loans and investing, then perhaps 3M by 50, and 6M by 60, ready to retire if they so wish.

              These thoughts are perhaps projections that might refer to the theoretical median physician.  Of course individual circumstances vary quite a bit.  Double physician couples have more income and likely way more in childcare expenses.  Highly paid specialists can double my projected numbers if they plan carefully.  Successful entrepreneurial physicians can easily exceed those numbers as well.
              Click to expand…


              I would never expect the ‘average’ doctor to be able to reach a million dollar net worth by age 40. In my opinion your numbers are unrealistic for the majority of physicians. You have to have some luck to get to those numbers, because if you are a PCP with an income of $250k and debt of $250k finishing residency around age 32 and supporting a family of four, it will not be easy – maybe impossible – to get where you suggest.

              There’s a huge difference between making $250k and making $400k. In the latter case that’s an extra $75-100k after tax going straight to the bottom line, which is as much as an extra $2 million after 20 years excluding growth – so more like $3 million. That cat can hit your numbers easily if life goes their way. Obviously two physician specialists could clear $750k and be in a different stratosphere.

              I only say this to avoid discouraging younger, lower income physicians. Do the best you can by following the WCI lifestyle, etc., but don’t measure yourself against external benchmarks. Identify what your goals are, write down a plan to get there, and generally you’ll do very well. If you don’t hit $3 milliion by 50 or $1 milliion by 40 it doesn’t mean you aren’t ‘average’.

              I had a lot of luck – under $20k of total debt – graduated residency at age 29, lived in a low tax state and a low cost of living area, made an above average income (more than a PCP), had a working spouse (not a physician, but not making minimum wage), was very frugal for five or six years after residency, saved 40-60% of our income, and felt darn proud of reaching a seven figure net worth in 6 or 7 years. I knew I was way ahead of the typical doctor.
              Click to expand...


              I made well under 200k for much of the first decade of my career.  But I still made it to 1M by the time I was 40.

              We bought a nice house during those years.  It kept going up in value every year and that actually helped build our net worth.  For the things that depreciate in value like cars, I bought a Mazda 626, then a Toyota Camry wagon with space for the kids.  I carefully maintained those vehicles and drove them for many years.

              I guess that there are a lot of physicians out there who don't pay careful attention to their finances and don't end up financially secure.  I am quite wealthy now, beyond what would have seemed imaginable to me when I was younger, but it is because of thousands of small choices over decades magnified by the power of compounding investments over three decades.

              I think the numbers that I wrote are easily achieved if a theoretical median physician family pays attention to careful spending and investing, even as a hospitalist, or a general internist, or a psychiatrist, or a neurologist.

              Some folks feel they have "needs" that must be met, like they "need" a Porsche, or they "need" a vacation to Paris.  If you follow WCI advice and live like a resident in the early years, that power of compounding becomes a snowball rolling downhill, pretty soon it becomes a boulder rolling downhill.  That's what we did and it worked out really well.

              Comment


              • #8







                If you think about it, average medical students and residents should probably have a negative net worth, and then perhaps build up a net worth of around 1M by the time they reach 40 if they are following WCI concepts of paying off loans and investing, then perhaps 3M by 50, and 6M by 60, ready to retire if they so wish.

                These thoughts are perhaps projections that might refer to the theoretical median physician.  Of course individual circumstances vary quite a bit.  Double physician couples have more income and likely way more in childcare expenses.  Highly paid specialists can double my projected numbers if they plan carefully.  Successful entrepreneurial physicians can easily exceed those numbers as well.
                Click to expand…


                I would never expect the ‘average’ doctor to be able to reach a million dollar net worth by age 40. In my opinion your numbers are unrealistic for the majority of physicians. You have to have some luck to get to those numbers, because if you are a PCP with an income of $250k and debt of $250k finishing residency around age 32 and supporting a family of four, it will not be easy – maybe impossible – to get where you suggest.

                There’s a huge difference between making $250k and making $400k. In the latter case that’s an extra $75-100k after tax going straight to the bottom line, which is as much as an extra $2 million after 20 years excluding growth – so more like $3 million. That cat can hit your numbers easily if life goes their way. Obviously two physician specialists could clear $750k and be in a different stratosphere.

                I only say this to avoid discouraging younger, lower income physicians. Do the best you can by following the WCI lifestyle, etc., but don’t measure yourself against external benchmarks. Identify what your goals are, write down a plan to get there, and generally you’ll do very well. If you don’t hit $3 milliion by 50 or $1 milliion by 40 it doesn’t mean you aren’t ‘average’.

                I had a lot of luck – under $20k of total debt – graduated residency at age 29, lived in a low tax state and a low cost of living area, made an above average income (more than a PCP), had a working spouse (not a physician, but not making minimum wage), was very frugal for five or six years after residency, saved 40-60% of our income, and felt darn proud of reaching a seven figure net worth in 6 or 7 years. I knew I was way ahead of the typical doctor.
                Click to expand...


                I think the key to White.Beard.Doc's "average" projection was the line "if they follow WCI"

                I fully agree with him that if you follow the advice laid out here for aggressively tackling loans and living like a resident for the first 2-5 years, learn to live well below your means, save aggressively, invest wisely, and make wise decisions elsewhere (not buying expensive cars on credit, not buying too much house, not wasting money on things like whole life insurance or financial advisers, etc), then reaching 1 million net worth by 40 should be relatively easy even for the "average" income.

                From my own personal experience, I did not follow the WCI ways right after residency and have only recently adopted these strategies.  I'm 36 now, have been practicing for nearly 7 years (first 5 were before WCI).  As a hospitalist, I make around $275k/yr, my wife works a "normal" job making ~60k.  Even though I didn't live like a resident the first 5 years, blew a lot of cash on our house, blew a lot of cash on traveling and hobbies, etc and I'm still paying off my loans, I should still be able to hit a net worth of 1 mil by the age of 40 now that I'm on the right track.  I'm confident that if I had started saving aggressively earlier and made wiser decisions along the way, I'd already be close to, if not at 1 mil.  Especially when you consider the run up of the stock market I would have taken advantage of.  I graduated residency in 2011.  If I had poured cash into the market instead of purchasing an old home to renovate, I would have done quite well.  That's life though  And for the record, I don't regret spending money on travel.  Those are memories I cherish and experiences like that are not guaranteed later in life.  But, I'm chilling out a little bit on the traveling now.

                Comment


                • #9
                  @FIREshrink -  agreed.  for the average resident coming out with $250k debt with goal of 20% savings rate on 250,000 salary --- living a resident life for 5 years will get you to payoff (5 yr ave payoff) and $250,000 savings.   By then kids are there entering school age and shifting expenses on cars, home, and living expenses will eat into 1/2 of that previous debt servicing $2300 per month.  the other half toward $2300 per month for 529 for the two kids,

                  By year 10 (42yo) it'll be $500,000 savings accumulated -- through in a moderate 7% ave earnings will amount $630,000.

                   

                  --We were lucky to have wife's part time pediatrician salary for the first 10 years.  It didn't pad the daily cashflow, but we crushed her savings and got insurance bennies -- and the rest of the paycheck paid for the nanny.   As FIREs said; that additional 75-100k goes a LONG way toward retirement.  Double the luck that the primary earnings came during the downturn and got several nice properties for cheap.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I guess I have to say that we have been lucky in many ways and that has helped tremendously with the finances.  Maybe my good fortune skews my perception of what is typical for other physician families.

                    We have a stable marriage.  We inherited a small amount from the grandparents around the time that I finished residency.  The 35k inheritance was not a huge amount, but it helped us come up with a 20% downpayment on our first house that then appreciated substantially over time.

                    The very simple idea to spend less than you make and to invest something every month works out well.  The precise numbers don't really matter.

                    Comment


                    • #11


                      From my own personal experience, I did not follow the WCI ways right after residency and have only recently adopted these strategies.  I’m 36 now, have been practicing for nearly 7 years (first 5 were before WCI).  As a hospitalist, I make around $275k/yr, my wife works a “normal” job making ~60k.  Even though I didn’t live like a resident the first 5 years, blew a lot of cash on our house, blew a lot of cash on traveling and hobbies, etc and I’m still paying off my loans, I should still be able to hit a net worth of 1 mil by the age of 40 now that I’m on the right track.  I’m confident that if I had started saving aggressively earlier and made wiser decisions al
                      Click to expand...


                      Several of us at the WCI conference wanted to give you an award for the most improved in your financial thinking.

                      Comment


                      • #12





                        From my own personal experience, I did not follow the WCI ways right after residency and have only recently adopted these strategies.  I’m 36 now, have been practicing for nearly 7 years (first 5 were before WCI).  As a hospitalist, I make around $275k/yr, my wife works a “normal” job making ~60k.  Even though I didn’t live like a resident the first 5 years, blew a lot of cash on our house, blew a lot of cash on traveling and hobbies, etc and I’m still paying off my loans, I should still be able to hit a net worth of 1 mil by the age of 40 now that I’m on the right track.  I’m confident that if I had started saving aggressively earlier and made wiser decisions al 
                        Click to expand…


                        Several of us at the WCI conference wanted to give you an award for the most improved in your financial thinking.
                        Click to expand...


                        Wow, thanks! That's thoughtful of you to think that!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Maybe white beard’s advice could be modified to indicate number of years after residency/fellowship. Many residents/fellows don’t finish training til 35 or later - my dad finished when he was 49. Maybe that skews my perception that one ‘should’ be able to be a millionaire by 40.

                          Do we even know how old the ‘average’ doc is when she graduates? What her income is? What kind of debt she has, how many kids she has, whether her partner contributes income to the family? It’s helpful to know averages but only to the extent they apply to your own case.

                          Comment


                          • #14




                            If you think about it, average medical students and residents should probably have a negative net worth, and then perhaps build up a net worth of around 1M by the time they reach 40 if they are following WCI concepts of paying off loans and investing, then perhaps 3M by 50, and 6M by 60, ready to retire if they so wish.

                            These thoughts are perhaps projections that might refer to the theoretical median physician.  Of course individual circumstances vary quite a bit.  Double physician couples have more income and likely way more in childcare expenses.  Highly paid specialists can double my projected numbers if they plan carefully.  Successful entrepreneurial physicians can easily exceed those numbers as well.
                            Click to expand...


                            This really depends a lot on market returns (assuming a typical contribution to stock funds), income (obviously), HCOL vs LCOL, how many children (if any), etc.

                            IMO, it is too difficult to generalize.

                            Comment


                            • #15







                              If you think about it, average medical students and residents should probably have a negative net worth, and then perhaps build up a net worth of around 1M by the time they reach 40 if they are following WCI concepts of paying off loans and investing, then perhaps 3M by 50, and 6M by 60, ready to retire if they so wish.

                              These thoughts are perhaps projections that might refer to the theoretical median physician.  Of course individual circumstances vary quite a bit.  Double physician couples have more income and likely way more in childcare expenses.  Highly paid specialists can double my projected numbers if they plan carefully.  Successful entrepreneurial physicians can easily exceed those numbers as well.
                              Click to expand…


                              This really depends a lot on market returns (assuming a typical contribution to stock funds), income (obviously), HCOL vs LCOL, how many children (if any), etc.

                              IMO, it is too difficult to generalize.
                              Click to expand...


                              Yes, and frankly a lot of factors that are not in play anymore.

                              Inflation/work adjusted pay of physicians last 30 years (when medicare started physician pay took off, started to get slightly reined in, but now maybe doing better but definitely more work so people say?).

                              School was a much smaller percentage cost/burden 30 years ago then it is now.

                              Real estate, both commercial/personal was a much better deal.

                              One could reasonably start their own practice and do well, and it would not break the bank or add another half a million to their already stout loan balance.

                              Huge run ups in both stock and treasury markets that were favorable to both sides of the coin.

                              Ability to start lucrative practices or services with almost zero competition anywhere. Imaging, radiation, labs, surgery centers, urgent cares, etc...Yes, being somewhere at the beginning no competition and low start up costs for any of these things is exceedingly profitable. It is neither reasonable cost nor as profitable as before in most markets.

                              We are all very much at the whims of timing in all these things of which we have zero control.

                              Comment

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