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  • Getting a "doctors car?"

    I'm practical, I've got an eight year old civic, the Mrs drives a five year old civic and we pride ourselves on our pretty luxurious rides (cruise control, working AC, decent suspension, and an acceptable amount of power all wrapped up in an attractive body).

    But...

    Residency graduation is just around the corner, we have zero debt, $80k in retirement accounts, $40k in the emergency fund, and live on 60% of take home as is.

    So I'm thinking of adding a current body style used manual corvette or maybe a mustang gt to the garage (not for regular commuting, but for the occasional trip to work and weekend drives).

    With milmed we don't know if our next assignment will be sports car friendly (overseas, Alaska, maybe the NE, PNW, and MW just because of the bad weather half the year), and there is plenty of room in the budget (an extra $30k/yr take home) after completing residency to add a car payment, so I figured a short term loan wouldn't be the end of the world.

    Is this crazy? I feel like it's a little crazy as a $4,000 used Miata would provide a good chunk of the fun at a substantially lower cost, but it seems like a newer car would be turn key reliable and I feel like I already have more money than time and I rather spend the former to enjoy the latter.

    Thanks.


  • #2
    Still like the WCI advice of still "living like a resident" even after post residency .

    Another way to think about it, any money you spend now means more time you'll need to work at the end before retirement .

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    • #3
      My personal advice would be to buy something nicer that you can drive every day and get rid of the civic.  Nothing wrong with a civic.  I just find it silly to buy a car and then not drive it.  I would try to find a middle ground luxury car with good horse power and a better ride.

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      • #4
        I don't think it's unreasonable to treat yourself to something upon residency graduation. A car is a bit more money than I'd recommend for doing that, especially since you won't be having a very high salary. Milmed salaries are typically only 2X residency salaries.

        That said, I'm obviously not a car guy and I think it's not only dumb to buy a car on credit (especially an unneeded one and especially especially one that will suck big time in Alaska which is apparently a possible assignment for you) but to replace cars I view as practically brand new. I mean, you're a resident with a 5 year old car and an 8 year old car. I'm an attending with an 11 year old car and a 14 year old car.

        I'd probably hold off on this one until you can pay cash for it and know your next assignment and until you actually start making that higher salary instead of just dreaming about it. This is kind of classic "grow rapidly into your income" behavior.

        But if you really want mine, I'm willing to part with it.
        Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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        • #5
          .

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          • #6
            You are doing incredibly well with your current assets and living expenses.  Few graduating residents have a positive net worth, while yours is six figures.  I'm not you, but if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't blow the budget on a "doctors car".  Don't emulate what other doctors do, half of them are spending like there's no tomorrow.

            Find a way to reward yourself that will make you happy without erasing half your emergency fund.  You $ Mrs. Medmil could go on a pretty great vacation together for about 10% of that emergency fund.  Or get a fancy new computer, a pair of mountain bikes or kayaks, or skis & snowshoes if you end up in Alaska, something along those lines.

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            • #7
              Gotta get out of the "doctor's car" mentality. I know doctors that drive a little Toyota Yaris....to doctors that drive Maserati and BMWs.

              A fun small powered RWD roadster will be lot of fun and less likely to wrap yourself around a tree vs a higher powered Corvette.

              I agree with WCI in that you shall wait until you can buy it cash and until you are more defined in where geographically you will be.

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              • #8
                Lots of good advice in this thread.

                Some people are not car people, some (like myself) are cursed with a car vice.  You are doing awesome for where you are in life but you are still early in your career.  Like some have mentioned, I personally would wait a bit to 1. pay for the car with cash and 2. once you know where you will be moving to.

                Something to consider - you are a car guy, perhaps go ahead and splurge when you are ready.  Eventually, other obligations such as kids/house purchase/helping out your parents/etc may come along and shift your priorities.

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                • #9
                  You are doing great right now.  Nice savings and you are doing it right living below your income.

                  You come with your first post asking permission to waste money.  It is yours.  Do as you please.  But lose the idea that there are "doctor cars".  I just can't handle that idea.  You would be laughed out of town if you showed up in Alaska in a Corvette.

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                  • #10
                    It's 20 or bust for me, so I'm not sure I'll ever be geographically stable (hence the third car, I don't want to sell my civics only to get short cycled to a must fill in an area where I can't drive the car 365).


                    Definitely not about to spend lavishly, even living on 60% of residency pay seems about as comfortable as I can imagine. And I'm kind of clueless as to what to do with the pay bump (we vacation, we eat well, we have kids, we have 529's, we aren't going to buy homes as we will never be in then long enough to recoup the transaction costs, and have no interest in becoming landlords). But there is always the chance my family will get exhausted by the military lifestyle and we will call it quits (although the contracted time frame is so long it's hard to think of something that would force us out).

                    Either way, I think I'll be paying cash for a used Miata as soon as assignments are published.

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                    • #11
                      The Miata does sounds like the way to go. Not a car guy at all but the most recent edition of Consumer Reports still raves about the Miata as the most practical and affordable of the impractical and 'fun' cars.  The entire 'doctor's car' thing is ridiculous.  I still drive my 9 year old Acura CSX which is an Acura version of the Civic only available in Canada.  I can still recall how every new addition to our high flying group was almost bullied into 'upgrading' to high end car. Silly. IMHO.

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                      • #12




                        It’s 20 or bust for me, so I’m not sure I’ll ever be geographically stable (hence the third car, I don’t want to sell my civics only to get short cycled to a must fill in an area where I can’t drive the car 365).

                        Definitely not about to spend lavishly, even living on 60% of residency pay seems about as comfortable as I can imagine. And I’m kind of clueless as to what to do with the pay bump (we vacation, we eat well, we have kids, we have 529’s, we aren’t going to buy homes as we will never be in then long enough to recoup the transaction costs, and have no interest in becoming landlords). But there is always the chance my family will get exhausted by the military lifestyle and we will call it quits (although the contracted time frame is so long it’s hard to think of something that would force us out).

                        Either way, I think I’ll be paying cash for a used Miata as soon as assignments are published.
                        Click to expand...


                        Sounds like a great plan.  Start up a taxable account and keep working towards FI so you could call it quits if the military lifestyle becomes too much for you and the family.

                        I bought a Mustang convertible in residency.  I loved it, but sold it when I knew I'd be heading north.

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                        • #13




                          Either way, I think I’ll be paying cash for a used Miata as soon as assignments are published.
                          Click to expand...


                          I think that's a smart move.
                          Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                          • #14
                            Just to add to the discussion: are there types of cars that are reasonable to buy/keep that don't loose or even increase in value? Ex., Acura NSX would be one (the 1990's model).

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                            • #15




                              Just to add to the discussion: are there types of cars that are reasonable to buy/keep that don’t loose or even increase in value? Ex., Acura NSX would be one (the 1990’s model).
                              Click to expand...


                              That's kind of the holy grail of budgeting, right? A use item that appreciates rather than depreciates. Another example would be expensive antique furniture that appreciates over time instead of stuff from Ikea or Crate and Barrel that slowly falls apart. I'm sure such things exist, but just like that Louis XIV dining set you've been eyeing, if your 1995 Acura NSX breaks or gets into an accident it may be very costly to repair and/or significantly lose resale value and wipe out all of your speculative collector's gains.

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