Helping Your Parents Financially

Q. I’m the first in my family to receive a significant education and my income is an order of magnitude higher than anyone else’s in my family. I am very grateful to my parents for all they have done for me. However, I worry about their lack of financial acumen and resources. What can I do to make sure they’re taken care of? A. Over the years I have received several requests for a post … Continue reading

Behind in the Retirement Savings Game?

My regular column in ACEP NOW for June is titled “Behind in the Savings Game?” It is not written for the diligent physician who found WCI as an MS4. Instead, it’s written for someone in their 50s or 60s who has realized he is dramatically behind regular WCI readers in saving for retirement. It demonstrates some of the steps that can be taken to still allow for a comfortable retirement. In retrospect, I wish I … Continue reading

Taxes and Your Portfolio – A Guest Post

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Aziz Lalljee, co-founder and co-CEO of Finom, an online platform connecting investors with independent investment advisers. Although this is not a paid post, he is a paid advertiser on this site. He wishes to emphasize that no part of this post is intended, or should be construed, as constituting a specific recommendation, or as tax, legal, investment, or accounting advice. This discussion is general in nature and for … Continue reading

What Mr. Money Mustache Gets Right….and Wrong

I was perusing the Mr. Money Mustache blog the other night on a slow night shift. I really like Pete (yes, he actually does have a name) from meeting him both in person and online. (We first met at a swanky dinner paid for by somebody else.) We’re pretty much the same age, live in similar areas of the country and share lots of interests- we both enjoy personal finance, we hate spending money on stuff … Continue reading

Investing in Life Settlements (Viaticals)

Once people know you’re an “investing guy” you get to hear about all kinds of interesting opportunities. So when I walked into my shift recently, one of my partners handed me a book titled, “Smartest Doctor In The Room: How Doctors and Dentists Are Outwitting Wall Street” written by a local guy who happened to be a friend of the partner. The book was a short, self-published, rarely bought/sold/reviewed paperback that seemed to be primarily … Continue reading

For Profit or Not For Profit, That Is the Question

 [Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Joshua Thompson, CFP, EA, a financial advisor and a frequent blog commenter who submitted a guest post last year on comparing disability insurance contracts. This post is designed to run in conjunction with yesterday’s post on whether to refinance as a resident or stay in the IBR/PAYE program so you can possibly go for PSLF. We have no financial relationship at this time, but he wants readers … Continue reading

Resident Refinance vs PSLF

I’m running two posts this week about student loans, this one today and a guest post tomorrow. Today’s post will be about whether or not to refinance as a resident, a very complicated topic. Tomorrow’s post will deal with the slightly easier topic of whether or not to go work for a non-profit (assuming that’s an option for you) after residency and will demonstrate how to run the numbers. I am now getting almost daily … Continue reading

The Out of State Fellowship Tax Deduction

Many physicians in training go away from their main site for a period of time. This may be a month, a few months, or even an entire year. Most of them aren’t aware that nearly everything they spend on that trip may be tax-deductible. While residents/fellows might not be paying that much in tax anyway, every little bit of savings helps even more when you have a relatively low income. Here is how it works, … Continue reading

The Value of Debt In Retirement – A Review

Earlier this year, Thomas J. Anderson published a follow-up  to his “NYT Bestselling” book The Value of Debt called The Value of Debt in Retirement. (Interestingly, both books are ranked well below my book on Amazon, maybe I should call the NYT.) At any rate a reader wrote in and asked me to review it. Accordingly, I wrote the publisher asking for a review copy and received not the 1-3 I asked for, but 7 … Continue reading

Physicians Investing in BioTech- A Pro/Con

[Editor’s Note: This guest post was submitted by Michael Fishman, MD, MBA. He started his post-graduate training as a surgery resident, where he saw the light on the other side of the curtain. In transitioning to Anesthesiology, he took a year off and did an accelerated MBA at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. After anesthesia residency at Yale, he is now a Multidisciplinary Pain Medicine fellow at Stanford. This Pro/Con series started out like … Continue reading

Starting At Zero

Writing this website, responding to comments and emails, and participating in internet forums makes me a bit insulated to what’s really going on out there sometimes. That’s one reason I really like going out and meeting real docs where they’re at financially. I returned yesterday (I wrote this piece in April) from Tucson, where I had the chance to meet a lot of readers and actually speak to my residency program. It was fun to … Continue reading

Cash Balance Plans – An Extra Retirement Account

My May column in ACEP NOW is entitled Cash Balance Plans Can Be An Extra Retirement Account. I’m constantly running into docs that want to have more retirement accounts. Sometimes, they’re employees and are stuck with what they’re offered. But many groups of self-employed docs have implemented a cash balance plan, which is another tax-deferred account like a 401(k), profit-sharing plan, or SEP-IRA. These plans are like defined contribution plans disguised as a defined benefit … Continue reading

Hitting a Net Worth of $0 As An Intern

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Amanda Liu, DO, a PGY1. She is a single mother of a young child who owns a home. However, what is remarkable about her story is the tiny amount of student loan debt she has. In this post she shares some tips and the story of her financial journey. She enjoyed writing this post so much, she started her own financial blog! We have no financial relationship.] … Continue reading

The Best Ways To Use An HSA

My May monthly column for Physician’s Money Digest comes in the form of  a Q & A about Health Savings Accounts that grew out of an email I received from a reader. It’s all about the best ways to use an HSA. Unfortunately, there is some uncertainty in this topic, mostly because you have no idea what your future health costs will be! Q. I recently ran the numbers and it seems to me it … Continue reading

Which Assets to Spend First?

In his elegant book, Retire Secure!, James Lange, JD, CPA, argues strongly for a specific spending order of your assets. His recommended order is this: After-tax assets generated by income sources. This includes pension distributions, interest, dividends, and capital gains distributions from your mutual funds or generated by mandatory activities like rebalancing. It also includes Social Security and any required minimum distributions (RMD) from tax-deferred accounts or Roth 401(k)s. It also includes rent from investment … Continue reading