A Fifth Physician Revisited: The $10 Million Dream

A young Dr. Findley, the inexplicable fifth of our four physicians, once dreamed of having $10 million. He wasn’t sure why. It may have been the insurance broker who presented to his residency class, showing them how they had all won the career lottery. After all, 40 years of a $250,000 salary is $10 million in income. A few years later, as Dr. F was mowing his lawn and allowing his mind to wander. He realized he was on track to have $2 million by age 40, $5 million by 50, and $10 million by 60. The Rule of 72 and […]

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A Fifth Physician: Dr. F & The Half Time Option

Today, I’d like to introduce a fifth physician, Dr. Findley. This physician shares a few qualities with our other 4 physicians. Like Dr. A, his family budget is about $80,000 per year, and he shares her interest in part-time work. Like Dr. C, he found a job in an area and specialty with excellent pay, and is now earning about $400,000 per year. We’ll pick up the fictional Dr. Findley’s story at the point where he becomes financially independent. Despite some early mistakes, he managed to realize his goal of having 25x annual expenses by age 40. A full-fledged multimillionaire, the […]

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4 Physicians Revisited: The Impact of Specialty Choice

In each of our previous looks at the 4 physicians, each doctor had a baseline salary of $300,000. We looked at the impact of making more money with a job change, and making less by working part-time. We haven’t discussed the impact of a range of salaries on the ability to achieve financial independence, which is what we’re going to do today. For this exercise, we will be dismissing Drs. Anderson, Benson, Carlson, and Dahlgren for a new set of characters, Drs. Altruism, Bettercheck, Cashmoney, and Diamond. Dr. Altruism makes $200,000 a year. What specialties make about $200,000 a year? According […]

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4 Physicians Revisited: Dr. D & the Impact of Retiring before FI

Positano Italy

It’s time to revisit the spendthrift Dr. Dahlgren again. In our last round of puppeteering, Dr. D had a wakeup call and saw the error of his ways. By curbing his lifestyle to a spending level that remained decidedly upper-middle class, Dr. D found it was possible to retire in his late fifties, despite having spent $200,000 a year for the first 11 years of his career, while saving very little. A $120,000 budget put him on a reasonable track to FI, whereas it seemed he would never be able to retire on the path he was on. Today, we […]

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4 Physicians Revisited: Dr. C & the Impact of a Sabbatical

The last time we revisited Dr. Carlson, we explored the impact of a higher salary and learned that a 33% raise shortened her time to FI by a similar percentage. Today, we’ll investigate the ramifications of a completely different scenario: taking a break. As we have done in our other revisits to our 4 physicians, we will alter their fate at a point 11 years after we were first introduced to them, the point where Dr. A became financially independent. So Dr. Carlson has been making a good living, working hard, and starting to feel that 11-year itch. Symptoms of […]

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4 Physicians Revisited: Dr. B & the Impact of Divorce

This is going to be an unpleasant look at one of our beloved 4 physicians as he goes through the Big D… and I don’t mean Dallas. I wouldn’t wish divorce on anyone, but it really breaks my heart to see it happen to the affable Dr. Benson. I don’t believe that all good things must come to an end, but I have heard that phrase somewhere, and sadly, it’s the case with Dr. B’s marriage. We won’t get into the he-said, she-said or point any fingers. This is a personal finance blog first and foremost. The effects of divorce are far-reaching […]

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4 Physicians Revisited: Dr. A & the Impact of Part-Time Work

Today, we’ll add another chapter to the saga of the 4 Physicians. We’ve already explored the benefits of Dr. Anderson continuing to work beyond attaining FI. In today’s remix, we’ll revisit Dr. A and see how things might pan out if she were to work part-time. To recap, Dr. A was relatively frugal when compared to her colleagues, spending $80,000 a year on a $300,000 household income, which gave her a gross savings rate of nearly 50 percent. Content to drive her Honda, live in a nice if not extraordinary home, and send her children to well regarded public schools, […]

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4 Physicians Revisited: Dr. D & The Impact of Lifestyle Deflation

It’s time to tinker with the hypothetical life of another one of our 4 physician friends.  Doctors Anderson, Benson, and Carlson have taken their turns, so we’ll turn our attention to Dr. Dahlgren.  To recap, Dr. D was a big spender, with an annual budget of $200,000.  When your salary is $300,000 and you’ve got to pay taxes, there isn’t much left at the end of the day for saving.  In fact, after funding a 529, he only had $4000 left to put in his 401(k) every year.  At least his employer was contributing $16,000 in profit sharing and match to his […]

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4 Physicians Revisited: Dr. B & the Impact of Lifestyle Inflation

In the Tale of 4 Physicians, we analyzed the impact of different spending budgets on wealth creation.  Each of our 4 physicians was married with 2 kids and had a household income of $300,000.  In the second post in this series, we explored the financial impact of Dr. Anderson working after achieving FI.  Next up is Dr. Benson. Dr. B had the second lowest annual spending at $120,000.  Dr. B heard that Dr. A was considering an early retirement after 11 years in practice and he promptly scoffed at the idea.  With a net savings rate of 44%, Dr. B was […]

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4 Physicians Revisited: Dr. A & the Impact of Working After FI

In the Tale of 4 Physicians, we analyzed the impact of different spending budgets on wealth creation.  Each of our 4 physicians was married with 2 kids and had a household income of $300,000.  I’d like to revisit one of these physicians, crunch some more numbers, and learn what might happen to her nest egg if she were to continue working by choice after achieving financial independence (FI). Dr. Anderson was the most frugal of our 4 physicians.  Dr. A had household spending of $80,000 a year.  She had a net savings rate of 64% and was on track to […]

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A Tale of 4 Physicians: The Impact of Lifestyle

Let’s consider 4 physicians who live decidedly different lifestyles in terms of spending. I like to crunch numbers, and the best way to truly evaluate the effect of lifestyle is to do just that. We’ll establish a baseline that is identical for the 4 physicians in question. Each of them is now debt free, but has not started saving for retirement. Each has purchased a home that suits them. Each has a household income of $300,000 and files taxes as married, jointly. They’ve each got a couple kids and contribute a total of $10,000 to 529 accounts each year. Who Are The […]

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