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  • Medical School Graduation Gift for Son?

    Our son is graduating from med school this spring and I am currently pondering what to give him as a meaningful graduation gift. He has been fortunate to attend med school and do all 3rd/4th year rotations in our hometown while living at home rent-free. Also, we have made all tuition payments with the initial agreement that he would pay back $120K for the the last two years of tuition after residency. However, we are contemplating forgiving the parent loan since we are in good FI shape (although we've taken a bit of hit this year with the 2022 stock market thus far). Since we have been supporting him for 28 years, it seems very hard to come up with something that he really needs - we could give him a certificate that we are forgiving 50% of the loan (and if we are in a good position 4 years from now, we could forgive the other half of the loan). However, we are wondering if we need to give a tangible gift as a tribute to his hard work as well. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    I think you have been more than generous and are letting him start off in great shape. How about a family trip before residency?

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    • #3
      I got an “attaboy” when I graduated eons ago! Seriously though starting a career with a minimum of debt is a great headstart so I’m sure any loan forgiveness will be much appreciated. That was one of my main goals for my 2 kids, graduate debt-free as they started their chosen careers. Mission accomplished and both know and appreciate this. Going to college with peers needing loans was a good observational life lesson for both.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Baseballmom94 View Post
        Since we have been supporting him for 28 years, it seems very hard to come up with something that he really needs - we could give him a certificate that we are forgiving 50% of the loan (and if we are in a good position 4 years from now, we could forgive the other half of the loan). However, we are wondering if we need to give a tangible gift as a tribute to his hard work as well. Any thoughts?
        My personal opinion and not meaning any offense - That certificate idea of forgiving half his loans is tacky. Even one that forgives all his loans. Just forgive it at 4-6 years when he is ready to start paying it back, if you are well beyond regular FI.

        A trip as mentioned above sounds nice. Ask him if he needs any specific item in residency and just get him - in the <1K range. A personalized handwritten card might be the best gift of all.

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        • #5
          Loan forgiveness will obviously be the best for him long-term, which it sounds like you can + want to swing.

          In terms of something to “celebrate,” the trip idea sounds great and serves as a good way to unwind a bit and mark the transition to residency.

          Not sure what his tastes are, but a nice watch would be an excellent tangible, mark-the-occasion gift if that’s his style.

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          • #6
            Take him to dinner and drop the loan. What I would do if I was set financially and didn’t have to equalize things amongst other kids.

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            • #7
              "Yes, our child is fully aware that we'll be setting up a payment plan starting in residency. The reason why we are thinking of having our child pay half..."
              I think the loan thing is in the future. The reason is not that is does not have value, it lacks the sentimental value you are looking for.

              For medical school graduation we hosted a fairly large dinner at a hotel for invited guests, mostly family. Open bar, nice food etc.
              I bought my daughter some rather expensive diamond earrings for residency graduation. At the time it went over like a lump of coal. We did take a nice family vacation to Los Cabos at nice all inclusive resort. That went over big. Did the same after fellowship.

              Funny thing, the diamond earrings she wears almost constantly two years into practice. Now they have meaning.
              Med School- the graduation party/dinner works.
              A trip with family or with a companion that he would not take otherwise.
              I would think a watch of some kind that can be a sentimental token that lasts would make sense as well.

              The loan forgiveness probably has the most value, but save it for later. Then it will have a much more sentimental value. A gift certificate for relocation expenses for residency would mean more now. Good luck with the match. That will have an immediate value.

              I don't think graduation is the time that long term financial value carries sentimental value.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sundance View Post
                Take him to dinner and drop the loan. What I would do if I was set financially and didn’t have to equalize things amongst other kids.
                even more hilarious would be to take him to dinner and make him pay, then tell him you are forgiving the loan!!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bovie View Post
                  Loan forgiveness will obviously be the best for him long-term, which it sounds like you can + want to swing.

                  In terms of something to “celebrate,” the trip idea sounds great and serves as a good way to unwind a bit and mark the transition to residency.

                  Not sure what his tastes are, but a nice watch would be an excellent tangible, mark-the-occasion gift if that’s his style.
                  totally agree with this.

                  watch is such a nice thing to have.

                  can go with a Garmin if he's active or a Hamilton for dress.

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                  • #10
                    i want to get a nice watch (few k) to celebrate graduating med school, but ill prob buy it myself since i dont want my parents to swing it. if they were very well off id love it as a gift from them. assumes your kid likes watches though...

                    i think a nice dinner with family/extended family/friends would be really fun, and a fun vacation before they start residency is great too, something they wouldnt necessarily be comfortable buying themselves

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                    • #11
                      My parents drove the (small) moving truck across the country from med school to residency and let me keep the money the military reimbursed me for the move. Win win—I got a stress free move (I took a plane), got some cash, and my parents always wanted to do a cross country drive together anyway so gave them the excuse to do that. So you could cover moving expenses/give security deposit for first apartment/something like that.

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                      • #12
                        Rolex is the blue Chip choice
                        grand seiko is the stealth option
                        nomos glaschutte the reasonable enthusiast choice
                        Or if you are feeling real flush….A. Lange & Söhne

                        but I wouldn’t give a watch to someone who isn’t into watches or is happy with their Apple Watch
                        Last edited by Eyemd356; 02-15-2022, 06:31 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Turf Doc View Post
                          i want to get a nice watch (few k) to celebrate graduating med school, but ill prob buy it myself since i dont want my parents to swing it. if they were very well off id love it as a gift from them. assumes your kid likes watches though...

                          i think a nice dinner with family/extended family/friends would be really fun, and a fun vacation before they start residency is great too, something they wouldnt necessarily be comfortable buying themselves
                          I really do not get spending a ton on a watch. What are you getting? More accurate time? Some extra feature? Nah it is just man jewelry.

                          My father had a nice looking Citizen watch that ran for about $200. I commented how I liked it and I got a matching one the next birthday. Great gift I still wear it 5 years later. It is on my wrist right now. Last time we were together he motioned towards his watch so I did the same to mine figuring he was just commenting on how we still have matching watches. But then he told me he got a Tag Heuer and it was like 2500 bucks. Under closer scrutiny I could see the label was different but to be honest it looked so much the same! I said how nice it looked and whatnot but I do not expect to get one of those.

                          To get back on topic it sounds like there are very few material things that would be very meaningful. I think the trip idea is a nice one. If only because it will be so much harder to do so after he starts residency. Of the material things I got I only have a couple that still have and I can remember who gave them too me.
                          I got a skeleton. I named him McCoy and he has been a royal PITA to move around with me over the years but he is settled into my office now and I still appreciate it.
                          The other thing is a buddy of mine gave me a framed copy of the game Dr. Mario. Which is also hanging in my office.

                          All the other trinkets and junk I got is either gone or if it is around I forgot where it came from.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lordosis View Post

                            I really do not get spending a ton on a watch. What are you getting? More accurate time? Some extra feature? Nah it is just man jewelry.
                            Some people get it, some people don’t.

                            It’s engineering, history, and style—a quality piece that can be passed on to future children on a similar monumental occasion.

                            For those who appreciate it, there are few gifts that will be better received or more treasured.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Lordosis View Post

                              I really do not get spending a ton on a watch. What are you getting? More accurate time? Some extra feature? Nah it is just man jewelry.

                              My father had a nice looking Citizen watch that ran for about $200. I commented how I liked it and I got a matching one the next birthday. Great gift I still wear it 5 years later. It is on my wrist right now. Last time we were together he motioned towards his watch so I did the same to mine figuring he was just commenting on how we still have matching watches. But then he told me he got a Tag Heuer and it was like 2500 bucks. Under closer scrutiny I could see the label was different but to be honest it looked so much the same! I said how nice it looked and whatnot but I do not expect to get one of those.

                              To get back on topic it sounds like there are very few material things that would be very meaningful. I think the trip idea is a nice one. If only because it will be so much harder to do so after he starts residency. Of the material things I got I only have a couple that still have and I can remember who gave them too me.
                              I got a skeleton. I named him McCoy and he has been a royal PITA to move around with me over the years but he is settled into my office now and I still appreciate it.
                              The other thing is a buddy of mine gave me a framed copy of the game Dr. Mario. Which is also hanging in my office.

                              All the other trinkets and junk I got is either gone or if it is around I forgot where it came from.
                              Well I already own real actual man jewelry so that argument doesn’t work on me

                              But I totally agree it’s basically jewelry. I think it’s cool though to have something that feels like it has some real heft and thoughtfulness to it that looks cool. One downside is I usually don’t like things that are too ostentatious but if you like Rolex you’re kind of stuck in between a rock and a hard place. Maybe I get one and never wear it and sell it and agree with you, but as of now I’d like to have a few nice ones.

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