Christopher Guest Post: Future Proof MD
Welcome to another Christopher Guest Post, a Q&A interview series that I will run every few weeks to get you better acquainted with some excellent fellow writers who have graciously accepted my invitation to be showcased here for you.
Today, I take great pleasure in presenting Future Proof, MD, a radiology resident who has been blogging about personal finance for roughly three times longer than me. We have communicated extensively over the past several months, and he has been very helpful in helping me figure out some of this blogging business. I like to think our correspondence has been mutually beneficial.
What’s a Christopher Guest post?
Inspired by Nigel Tufnel, the character portrayed by Christopher Guest in Spinal Tap, I took Mr. 1500’s ten questions, and amped them up to eleven. If you’re not familiar with the scene, take 50 seconds to watch this video and enjoy the dialog between Nigel and Rob Reiner.
I decided I’d start a Q&A of my own. Not satisfied with just ten questions, this one goes to eleven. Just like Nigel’s amplifiers.
Presenting: Future Proof MD
What is your specialty or subspecialty and why did you choose it? If you could turn back time, would you choose to practice medicine and choose the same specialty? Why?
I am a radiology resident in training. I will be applying for interventional radiology fellowship this winter. If I get to do it all over again, I would choose medicine and I would choose radiology – and I wouldn’t wait until 4th year of medical school this time around.
Why? Because it’s the best fit for me! The diagnostic side appeal to my inner puzzle solver – it’s challenging and fun to piece together what you see on an imaging study to offer a coherent explanation of a patient’s complaints. The interventional side appeals to my desire to see patients and work with my hands. Honestly I would recommend radiology to all medical students looking to decide on a specialty.
[PoF: I was interested in radiology until I did my radiology rotation. Diagnostic was not for me, but I can see the appeal of interventional radiology.]
Describe your blog and tell us why your blog would appeal to a physician seeking FIRE in eleven sentences.
My blog Future Proof, MD (formerly White Coat Money) is written for young physicians. Think medical students, residents, fellows and attending physicians early in their careers.
The focus is on providing digestible personal finance tips. Articles are designed to be succinct – something that can be perused in a short period of time. For example, between patient visits. Posts may not always contain actionable advice, but should always add to the reader’s fund of knowledge.
We live in a complex world. The financial industry goes to even greater length to make their sector especially so. It is completely understandable – the information pay wall is what keeps physicians in the high income bracket. But that doesn’t mean we can’t fight back. Knowledge is power.
[PoF: Right on! If you’ve got the brainpower to be accepted to medical school, you most definitely can figure out personal finance. It’s at least an order of magnitude simpler. The industry tends to complicate and obfuscate to their own benefit.]
What inspired you to start a blog of your own? Was there a particular event you remember that made you feel your blog had arrived? Any big plans for your blog in the future?
I have always been interested in/good at math – blame it on the Chinese genes. So finance naturally came easy to me. But I didn’t develop an interest in it until I took a course in college called “Intro to personal finance”.
I remember specifically one day our professor was citing an example of how a surgeon who came to him for advice wasn’t as smart as a squirrel. I forgot how it went exactly but the idea is that squirrels knew to save nuts for the winter but this cardiothoracic surgeon in his late 50s only managed to save $150,000 on an annual salary of $1-1.5 million. That was the moment when I became interested in finances.
In 2014, I attended a dinner presentation by a “physician-only” financial advisor group where some untruths were being spread, specifically regarding PSLF. That was the time I decided to start blogging on behalf of my colleagues. As far as big plans, stay tuned… 😉
Give me eleven posts you think Physician on FIRE readers might want to read.
- Pay as You Earn (PAYE) vs. Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE)
- 5 Bad Money Habits of White Coat Professionals
- Long Term Investment Returns – A Comparison
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Revisited
- The Opportunity Cost of a Career in Medicine
- Invest Early or Pay Off Your Student Debt?
- Chinese Grandma vs. American Grandma, Which One Are You?
- Just Say NO to Whole Life
- Why I Never Short a Stock…
- So You Wanna Be Rich?
- Investing for Retirement – The Future Proof Way
At what age are you most likely to retire (or at what age did you retire) from full-time work? What are you doing to help realize your retirement target?
I don’t have an age target, but I plan to retire when I have a net worth of $5 million in today’s dollars, however long that may take. To achieve that goal, I do what I can to earn extra income and invest aggressively.
[PoF: That will give you $200,000 a year at a 4% withdrawal rate, or $150,000 at 3%. That’s a very comfortable lifestyle.]
What does an ideal retirement look like for you? What will you do with your time when full-time work is in your rearview mirror?
I’m not sure I have it all planned out, but I would like to be able to take at least 4 weeklong trips each year to destinations of our choosing with my friends and loved ones, preferably to international locations. I would like to be able to say I’ve been to all 7 continents before I lose my marbles. I want to remain active in teaching the next generation of physicians – hopefully working part-time at a medical center with medical students and residents.
I’ll give you eleven sentences to dish out advice to a young physician. Any and all advice is welcome. We talk about personal finance, so money is fair game, but if you have advice on being a better doctor, a better parent / spouse / friend / human, we’re all ears.
- Do what’s right, not what’s easy. (This is often remarkably difficult).
- You can learn from anyone and everyone, soak it up like a sponge.
- When it comes to investing, start early.
- Be respectful to those around you – you never know when you’ll need a bridge.
- You will make mistakes, learn from them. Same goes for enemies.
- You will be awesome at times, be humble when that happens.
- Learn as much as you can about as much as you can.
- Find a role model, or several.
- When it comes to money, remember it’s an instrument of your will, not the other way around.
- You most valuable possession is time – learn to use it wisely.
- Trust, but verify. (Applies to everything I write J).
You’ve got eleven days to visit anyplace in the world with an $11,000 budget. Where do you go and what do you do?
I would like to go to Africa, visit the great pyramids, cruise down the Nile, go on a safari and check out Casablanca. Not sure exactly how much that will add up to, but hopefully $11,000 is enough.
[PoF: Make sure you get your shots! Danger lurks in the form of infectious disease. Also lions. But you can’t be immunized from lions.]
Name eleven beverages you enjoy. You can be as general or specific as you like.
- Glass bottled coke (made with real sugar).
- Moscow Mule (served in a copper mug).
- Strongbow (from a British pub).
- Harbin beer (it tastes nasty anywhere I’ve had it outside of Harbin, but I gotta represent my hometown!)
- Budweiser (I know it’s generic, but I gotta represent my 2nd hometown – STL in the house!)
- Sugarcane juice.
- Long Island Ice Tea
- Canadian ice wine (any brand).
- Ramune (any flavor)
- Seven and Seven
- Rum and Coke
[PoF: Do not drink all eleven in one sitting. Unless you enjoy falling down and next-day headaches.]
Now, eleven foods.
- American BBQ – specifically burnt ends from Joe’s KC (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s) in Kansas City. If you haven’t had them, they’re worth a trip to KC.
- Shao Kao – Chinese BBQ skewers.
- Korean BBQ
- Fried chicken
- Hot Pot
- Ramen (not the instant kind, the kind from a real Japanese kitchen).
- Dim sum – all varieties, but gotta have me some chicken feet!
- Pig’s feet – the way my mom cooks it.
How did you first learn about PhysicianonFIRE.com? What one piece of advice do you have for me?
I was introduced by my fellow physician money blogger Dr. Amanda Liu of Drwisemoney.com. My advice would be to keep up the great work! Also recommend abandoning that unhealthy obsession with the number 11. j/k.
[PoF: To be fair, I sent the questions before publishing the first Christopher Guest Post, or explaining where the Eleven theme came from. By the way, Future Proof MD is also published often @ Physician’s Money Digest ]
Previous Christopher Guest Posts:
My cell phone is on Republic Wireless. I pay closer to $25 a month for 2 lines.