Qualified Personal Residence Trusts

My October submission to Physicians Money Digest is all about Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT). Most of you won’t need one of these, but some of you might find it useful, especially if you live in an expensive part of the country. Some high-net-worth physicians may end up with what I call an “estate tax problem,” although the percentage of physicians likely to have this issue is dramatically lower than it used to be. The … Continue reading


Deducting Mileage vs Actual Expenses

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from a physician and regular reader named Alex, who wanted to share some of his insights regarding the deduction of vehicle expenses.  At any rate, it’s a good post and we don’t have any financial relationship.] Have you ever wondered what is the most tax-efficient way to deduct your vehicle for business purposes? Is it more profitable to deduct mileage or actual expenses? The Mileage Method When using … Continue reading


The 6 “Catches” of Section 79 Plans

Doctors hate to pay taxes. Insurance agents love to sell insurance. Combine the two with a tax deduction the IRS offers to encourage employers to offer some life insurance to their employees and you end up with situations like Section 79 plans. The Pitch The basic pitch behind section 79 plans is the opportunity to buy cash value life insurance using pre-tax dollars. The returns on cash value life insurance tend to be low, but … Continue reading


The Medical Entrepreneur – A Review

A reader recommended Dr. Steven Hacker’s book, The Medical Entrepreneur, to me this summer. I contacted Dr. Hacker and he sent me a review copy. I read 3/4 of it over the next few weeks, and then set it down, only to recently pick it back up and finish it. The Medical Entrepreneur is really two books in one. The first is a guide for a graduating resident who wishes to go into solo practice. … Continue reading


Should you make an “all cash” offer?

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Eris Saari, President of AmeriFund Home Mortgage, LLC based out of New Jersey. He has been doing residential mortgage lending for 25 years. We have no financial relationship.] Let’s say you’ve started looking for a home. At some point, your realtor may say, “If you really want the house, you should make an all cash offer!” What does that mean – you come to the closing with … Continue reading


Real Estate as a College Savings Tool

As regular readers may or may not know, my main college savings tool is Utah’s excellent 529 plan, with funds in the plan invested very aggressively (50% international and 50% small value.) There are other, inferior ways to save for college, each of which has their own issues, including taxable accounts (high taxes), UGMAs (loss of control,) Coverdell ESAs (low contribution limits and no state tax break,) and even cash value life insurance (low returns.)  … Continue reading


Not All Target Retirement Plans Are Created Equal

[Editor’s Note: This is my favorite kind of guest post. If I could get enough posts like this I’d quit writing myself. I solicit these all the time, but rarely get them. This is written by a regular WCI reader, well-researched, and well-written. Joshua Lerner, MD, is an emergency physician and a blogger, although he blogs about his dog and photography rather than personal finance and investing. We have no financial relationship. Enjoy the post … Continue reading


I Forgot to Save For Retirement Part 2

This is part 2 of this post. In part 1 I introduced the topic and gave the first three suggestions for those who have undersaved and are nearing retirement with not nearly enough money to support their desired lifestyle. In this post, I continue with solutions # 4-13. Solution # 4 Move! This one seems dramatic, of course, but can be very beneficial, despite the cost of moving, especially if you’re moving to a community … Continue reading


I Forgot to Save For Retirement!

This is the first of a two part series dealing with the high earner who finds himself just a few years away from retirement with not nearly enough money to have the retirement he would like. This could be for many reasons. It could involve a late entry into medicine, a costly personal or professional divorce, making poor investment choices, having your money grow too slowly due to an incompetent or overly costly advisor, poor … Continue reading


Putting All Your Eggs In One Basket

Thanks to a post a Boglehead made, I recently became aware of a company called GT Advanced (ticket symbol GTAT.) I’ve apparently owned a tiny amount of stock in this company for several years (along with stock in thousands of other companies.) This company was apparently making something called Saphire Crystal, which was going to be used in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Except then Apple decided not to use it. GTAT subsequently went … Continue reading


Not All Who Wander Are Lost Part 2

[Editor’s Note: Yesterday, Dr. Mom, a regular WCI reader and commenter who wishes to remain anonymous, shared her family’s financial journey to relative wealth. Today, she continues her post with some tips for readers. We have no financial relationship.] Now that you have had a chance to comment on our financial lives, here are the points that are most important to me.  They are vastly more personal than financial.  Remember that in personal finance, the … Continue reading


Not All Who Wander Are Lost Part 1

[Editor’s Note: This is the first post of a two part guest post from frequent blog commenter “Dr. Mom,” a female physician who wishes to maintain her anonymity for now. The title is hers, and since I like Tolkien at least as much as she does, I kept it. We have no financial relationship.] This guest post is in response to requests from several regular blog readers.  WCI was gracious enough to humor them and … Continue reading


Backdoor Roth IRAs and Why You Should Be Funding Them

My most recent ACEP NOW column concerns the Backdoor Roth IRA. It takes a while to wrap your head around this one, so I don’t mind addressing the subject multiple times. I’m still getting emails, forum posts, and blog comments every week with good questions about the Backdoor Roth. If you’re an attending physician, and not already funding one of these for yourself and your spouse, you’re probably making a mistake. Here’s an excerpt: The … Continue reading


Top 6 Reasons People Bail Out In A Bear Market

It has been a long time since our last bear market. There is now a decent percentage of investors, particularly young physicians, who did not experience it personally. There is really no better gauge for your risk tolerance than what you actually did during the last bear market. If you weren’t investing then, I suggest you err on the conservative side when setting your asset allocation. Far better to be a little less aggressive (especially … Continue reading


The Young Dentist’s $40,000 per Year Decision

[Editor’s Note: This is another in our ongoing series aimed at dentists by columnist Doug Carlsen, DDS. The principles espoused are useful for high-income professionals of all persuasions.] Two months ago, I wrote of a recent dental graduate who has $10,000 per month payments for school loans, a mortgage, an auto, a new dental practice, and credit cards.  His total debt is $1.175M. The responses on The White Coat Investor blog ranged from outrage to … Continue reading