The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure.
Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:
So this is pretty cool. Of Mice and Money took my Tale of 4 Physicians post and did some serious number crunching, creating all sorts of new graphs and comparing best and worst case scenarios for Drs. A, B, C, and D. Case 3: The Four Physicians.
- Morgan Housel of CollaborativeFund shares Useful Hacks that are not exactly what one would expect when thinking of hacks.
- Ben Carlson of A Wealth of Common Sense countered with the polar opposite. Useless Hacks. Some great lessons to be learned from all the “hacks” in the dueling posts.
Speaking of useless hacks, I believe The White Coat Investor has been called exactly that by an unscrupulous financial advisor or two. I’ve compiled a list of some of the best low-cost fee-only financial advisors with scruples. And the WCI recently discussed The Value of an Advisor.
Will an advisor help you beat the market? Highly unlikely, at least not consistently. The Wall Street Physician examines The Seven Types of Investors Who Beat the Market (and Why You Aren’t One of Them).
Can’t beat the market? Win with student loans! If you’re planning to have student loans forgiven via PSLF, Travis Hornsby of Student Loan Planner, who married a physician with some serious student loan debt, implores Physicians Planning on PSLF Desperately Need to Invest More Money.
There’s no good way to segue from that to this, but I think you’ll find this money story fascinating and disheartening. From our accountant friend living in South America, the Corporate Monkey CPA tells a sordid tale of Money, Greed, & Blood (in that order): A Peruvian Potato-Field War.
Go Curry Cracker, Trip Planning, GCC style.
Or perhaps you’d rather get the lowdown from a physician who’s mastered the digital nomad life. Dr. Mo of Urgent Care Career gives a thorough breakdown of the logistics involved in Planning an Extended Stay Overseas.
Some people spread their wings to travel the world. Others like to lay down roots. Hedge fund escapee Chelsea from Mama Fish Saves visits Keep Thrifty to discuss Creating Our Dream Life: Work & A Little Homestead.
Jon from ESI Money retired from the corporate world at 52, continued blogging, and bought another business. He explains how and why in this guest post at Financial Samurai. Why I Bought A Business After Retiring: The Rockstar Finance Acquisition.
Why Do You Work?
I recognized the username of a reader when browsing the Bogleheads forum the other day. The doctor, who goes by the moniker EnjoyIt, posed the following question in this thread:
“I can see working for some goals such as making sure you are debt free and the kids get a college education. But then why do you work? Sure make sure we have a roof over our heads and well fed. Okay but after those are covered why do you keep earning money?
What I notice is that there is no limit to how much one can spend. And there is no limit to “more.” If someone has a reasonable car to get around, one can always work to buy a nicer car. I wonder though when considering the cost of the nicer car, after taxes over long-term this difference can be hundreds of thousands if invested. What about other items. A nicer TV can cost an extra thousand, a nicer coffee pot, nicer plates, nicer watch, it all adds up over the years. It gets even more interesting when we want a slightly bigger home or a slightly nicer location. Some areas will cost 10-20 times as much for a similar home simply because it is in a nicer location. Does all the extra time spent earning money provide the benefit of “better stuff?” I ask especially because there is no end to “better.” There is always something better.
For example, I was recently looking at homes in a nicer part of town that will cost about 40% more than our current home. As a reference this home would be 2.5x salary and our current home has 9 years left in a 15 year mortgage. The home is a bit bigger with nicer amenities. I calculate to own this home, pay for the extra property tax, extra maintenance, extra utilities, as well as save up the extra money needed to retire and still be able to live in this home, I will have to work an extra 5333 hours or 664 days or 132 weeks. for me, all that extra time working just seems silly to live in a slightly nicer area but that is just me. Although I enjoy my work it so much more enjoyable when working part time. Plus, my life outside of work is so much more enjoyable when working part time.
I have a friend that works 6 days a week to be able to afford a 8,000 sqft home in an amazing neighborhood. The place is gorgeous. But is it worth the time she is losing away from family, friends, and hobbies?” -EnjoyIt
Why do I work?
The answer has changed several times in my now 12-year post-residency career.
At first, I worked because I was excited to work! I had, in some capacity, been working my whole life towards gaining the ability to perform this one particular job, and now I could actually do it and get paid really well! I finished residency on Friday, June 30th and started working Monday, July 3rd.
That initial excitement lost its shine over time, but I was still happy to work and required to work, because I had obligations. Student loans, a half-a-million dollar construction loan, and a wife and two little boys to support.we became debt-free. No student loans, no mortgage, no car note. I worked because that’s what grown-ups do. They work, enjoy a handful of weeks off every year, and most weekends, too. I worked because I knew I’d want to retire someday, and I figured I’d need a lot of money to do that.
A few years ago, I figured out about how much money we’d actually need to retire, and lo and behold, we had it. It wasn’t until then that I actually started to ask myself why I work. It never occurred to me that work could indeed be optional in one’s forties, at least not for me.
But now, I continue to work purely by choice, and I haven’t found enough good reasons to continue indefinitely, so I’m planning to wrap up this career in medicine soon enough, perhaps as early as next year.
Why wait? This is why I work:
- Loyalty. My employer has hired my replacement, and he arrives a year from July. Leaving in the interim would leave my colleagues and the facilities in which we work in a bit of a bind. I don’t want to do that to them.
- Charity. I’ve been donating heavily to donor advised funds with the not-necessarily necessary money I’ve been earning in recent years.
- Love. There are things I despise about the job. But there are aspects that I love and I know I will miss. I get to be a part of some pretty amazing days in people’s lives.
- Fear. Of retiring on the verge of a market crash, of what people will think of my lazy a**, and of regretting a too-early retirement later on. The fear of regret is strong.
I’ll ask you again. Why do you work?
A Recommended Insurance Agent
I’ll be featuring one of our recommended disability and term life insurance agents here from time to time. If you’re finishing residency or fellowship and about to move on, this would be an ideal time to compare rates before and after graduation and / or a move.
To find the list, click here or find them under the “Recommended” tab in the header.
You may recognize Jamie Fleischner from her recent guest post on obtaining discounts on disability insurance. Her banner has graced the top of my page for a couple years now, and she has given great advice and quality service to numerous readers.
Set For Life Insurance
Since 1993, Set For Life Insurance has been a national leader in helping thousands of physicians with their disability insurance needs. They have the largest portfolio of available exclusive discounts in the country. Set for Life also has the largest availability of unisex rates nationwide helping women save significantly. As independent brokers, they shop around and help compare plans to find the most suitable policy at the best available price. Jamie Fleischner, President of Set for Life, is known for her responsive, knowledgeable, and down to earth manner when working with her clients. Set for Life Insurance Application
Have an insightful week!
-Physician on FIRE