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  • When did/do you stop worrying about money.

    So a little background, we grew up dirt cheap and father passed away when I was young. Put myself through all of my education with loans and some scholarships. So my net worth had been like minus 400k for like a decade before I started my real job. Therefore, money wasn’t anything I ever knew. Working 7 years, I have a NW over 2M, but I keep obsessing over it. I watch my accounts daily and write everything down and calculate all sorts of ‘what ifs’. I can’t seem to not want to track my NW and try not to spend too much. If I had been this dedicated, I would have been ‘AOA’ in medical school

    Do you guys check your portfolio daily? Weekly? At what point did/do you guys just check you accounts weekly, monthly? Or does that not ever happen?


  • #2
    Tracking things does not mean you are worrying. I tend to check things daily too. I am retired now and I think it is important to keep an eye on things. This does not mean you trade more. The less you do the better. I am 63 now. It is easy to track spending and net worth now so why not.

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    • #3
      In terms of “worrying” about money.. never...

      not once In my life have I had any money stresses, but I had support through med school (plus loans) than I moonlighted a bunch during residency and now work as hard as anyone in my job.

      I look at my accounts randomly.. maybe once a month to once in 6 months

      I never worry about what I spend as long as things aren’t crazy and cc balances are zero at the end of the month.

      Obviously for some it can turn into a mental health thing. You’ll find a bunch here that will relate to you. I don’t get it but at the same time we all have something and if that’s it at least you’re trying to figure out how to deal with being incredibly wealthy. Guess that’s a good problem to have. Good luck and try to enjoy things before it’s too late-

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      • #4
        i think you have to define "worry."

        basically everyone who posts on here "worries" about money every day: thinking, planning, projecting etc.

        if the question is "when did money stop being a source of real stress in your life?" that for me was probably when i became an attending. your NW is what it is esp early on but if you are bringing in American doctor money you have to be kind of rational and realize that you've won the game at that point and are only going to run up the scoreboard from that point on unless you are just committed to losing.

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        • #5
          When would I stop worrying about money? When I have 2x the amount I need to stop working. But I check all my accounts 1-3 times a week. I will probably do that forever.
          $1 saved = >$1 earned. ✓

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          • #6
            There are probably various milestones in the physician career where some level of worry can be shed. They may not be in the same order for all physicians, but many are probably milestones for most.

            1. Match for residency
            2. Graduate from medical school
            3. Complete residency
            4. Pass board exams
            5. Get/start an attending job
            6. Pay off student loans
            7. Have stable attending job with reasonably predictable income
            8. Some target of net worth reached
            9. Dependents (children, parents) become no longer dependent
            10. Pay off mortgage (become debt-free)
            11. Create and execute exit plan

            There are probably more items on this checklist that others would add. Whenever you cross an item from the list, the level of concern decreases.

            There is also a list of negative milestone events that may add to the worry like divorce, illness, job termination, lawsuits, practice break-ups, business failure, child/parent bounce back, etc.

            So I guess I would say that there is a continuum of financial worry in life which ideally decreases over time.

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            • #7
              Worrying never stops if you let negative thinking run wild. Even if you had a billion dollars you'd find something to worry about if you don't have control over your negative thoughts.
              It's a constant struggle for me to tame negativity. But it works

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              • #8
                There is a difference between doing something because you worry and doing something because you enjoy it.

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                • #9
                  "Worry" may not be the word I'd use but for me, looking back, being a broke undergrad was the best in terms of lack of money stress. Then I got married, then kids, and while I wasn't exactly worried, money became a bigger focus than before (where before it took little attention to manage zero dollars).

                  I am a little more anxious now as I get within a few years of retirement, more just a bunch of constant double and triple checking our plans.

                  The closest I've been to not thinking about money lately was during covid shutdown (2.5 months for us). After we had a plan for the practice and staff and things fell into a routine maybe 4/5weeks in, I found myself enjoying my family and time more and thinking less about money/finances. It was great and a real eye opener for me too.

                  I also think once you once you create and then believe in your financial plan alot of the stress drops off and you can just get to work (worked for me anyway)

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                  • #10
                    My reasoning is the same as OP but we come to different conclusions. I probably stopped worrying about a year after my spouse finished fellowship, which is about how long it took to develop confidence that we were making sound decisions. Grew up poor as well but I guess that makes me less attached to wealth. During residency / fellowship we wanted for nothing. I was quite certain, and remain so, if it weren't for student debt we could have stayed in the $75-95k income range for the rest of our lives and been perfectly happy. Our spending has certainly increased but even with a 50% loss of income all that would mean is slower debt reduction / wealth building. We'd probably move into a less expensive apartment because if you can afford it, why not? But our sense of wellbeing is not wrapped up in that. And it's not like we're super frugal people!!

                    I am also rather shocked by how often people check into their accounts. Probably in or nearing retirement I would do the same but we're so far out. If I don't have a reason to log in it's easily 3-6 months before I check into retirement accounts. Everything else once a month when I pay bills but never so much as once a week.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by STATscans View Post
                      So a little background, we grew up dirt cheap and father passed away when I was young. Put myself through all of my education with loans and some scholarships. So my net worth had been like minus 400k for like a decade before I started my real job. Therefore, money wasn’t anything I ever knew. Working 7 years, I have a NW over 2M, but I keep obsessing over it. I watch my accounts daily and write everything down and calculate all sorts of ‘what ifs’. I can’t seem to not want to track my NW and try not to spend too much. If I had been this dedicated, I would have been ‘AOA’ in medical school

                      Do you guys check your portfolio daily? Weekly? At what point did/do you guys just check you accounts weekly, monthly? Or does that not ever happen?
                      There is a difference between worrying whether you will have enough and tracking, unless the tracking becomes obsessive that it impairs your enjoyment of life.

                      I grew up in a middle class family and my dad paid for my medical school. I started earning small amounts in internship and from then on I have always earned money to support myself. I don't have money worries. My Quicken downloads quotes every time I open it and updates my net worth. But I have real estate and business investments whose value is not so clearly definable until it is sold so my NW could be higher or lower ( as is the case during this pandemic). I get to see my NW once in 2-3 weeks.

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                      • #12
                        I have a personal capital account but I don’t think it’s healthy to be able to check it daily or multiple times a day so I deleted the app from my phone.

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                        • #13
                          I manage my cash flow (checking account) close to daily but check in quarterly on my investment accounts. About thirty years ago I read the advice that the best way to avoid reacting wrongly to market declines is to not see them. Most market fluctuations are gone before I ever see them.

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                          • #14
                            OP, I check often. If I'm just relaxing at home, I might check the market several times a day to see what is going on.

                            I find it amusing/reassuring to keep an eye on my NW. I would not consider it a disorder because it does not adversely affect my ADLs and I can leave for a month and not look at things (super paranoid about checking any account from anything other than my home computer--that might actually be a disorder).

                            As others have said, it isn't really worry. I think I stopped worrying about money when my student loans were paid off and I knew that I had enough money in the bank to pay off my mortgage, so combined with disability insurance, I knew that I could survive in some fashion indefinitely.

                            Oh, then I had a kid. And started worrying again, a lot, but only a slice of that worry is related to money.

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                            • #15
                              In the pre-app era, I would check my net worth at least yearly, sometimes monthly. It was a pen and paper affair back when I was in med school, and then later an excel spreadsheet affair, and now it is a click of the mouse. I don't worry about having enough, but I still check my accounts with a click on any day when the market is up. On days when the market is down, I have a rule not to look.

                              For me, worry about money stems from spending more than one earns and as a result not having sufficient reserve capital. That happens even with people earning millions, like some of the sports champions who go broke spending more than they make. Good financial habits lead to healthy reserve funds for a rainy day. That leads most people not to worry about money, although in some cases worry is simply not based on rational thought.

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