Disability Insurance – To COLA or Not to COLA

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from insurance agent Lawrence B. Keller, CLU, ChFC, CFP®, a long-time contributor and reader who now also sponsors both the blog and The WCI Scholarship (have you contributed yet?) This particular post discusses a common rider that is usually offered as part of a disability insurance policy. Enjoy!] The Cost Of Living Adjustment Rider (COLA), which is optional, is designed to help your disability insurance benefits keep pace … Continue reading

Big Debt Without an Income – A Med School Disaster

A medical school graduate recently published an account of the financial disaster she is facing due to a failure to match into a residency program two years running. After attending OHSU, where she ran up a $400,000 tab despite resident tuition, fees, and insurance of under $45K per year, she was unable to accomplish her dream of practicing medicine. While she didn’t post her transcript, board scores, essays, and letters of recommendation, reading her account … Continue reading

Doctor Mortgage Loans- What’s New in 2015

Well, Match Day has come and gone. Most US MS4s are giddy with excitement about moving on to the next phase of life (where they actually start getting paid, even if it is relatively meager payment.) A few are heartbroken as well, and there will be a post about that on Monday. But this weekend, we’re going to do a brief update about what’s going on in the doctor mortgage marketplace. These posts are relatively … Continue reading

Some More Thoughts on Roth 401(k) Contributions

As a general rule, Roth accounts are for people who are not in their peak earnings years, and tax-deferred accounts are for those in their peak earnings years. There are lots of exceptions to this general rule, of course. One of the most well-known ones is the Backdoor Roth IRA. But in that case, you’re really comparing a Roth account to a taxable account. Of course the Roth wins hands down. In a 401(k), you … Continue reading

Do Not Be The Sucker

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Chris who has a blog titled Eat The Financial Elephant. He and his wife blog about do-it-yourself wealth building, financial planning, and investing with a focus on achieving financial independence and retiring at an early age simply by eliminating waste and living efficiently to create a high savings rate, in their case over 50%.  I bet he doesn’t buy $11K tables or waste money on expensive boats! … Continue reading

Relative Frugality

I have a confession to make. I’m not frugal. I used to be. In fact, I was pretty frugal for a good portion of my life. Maybe I still am in the view of many physicians, since I drive a 13 year old car I bought for $4K four years ago. But I don’t see myself as frugal at all. However, what I am, and what most physicians need to be if they hope to … Continue reading

Retire Secure – A Review

Retire Secure, by CPA/JD James Lange, is the best financial book I have read in the last year. I recommend you buy it and read it. However, it is not the first financial book you should read. But after years and years of reading pretty much everything I can get my hands on, I admit I learned a number of things I did not know while reading this book. If I’m still learning from it, … Continue reading

Late Contributions To The Backdoor Roth IRA

[Editor’s Note: Many high-income professional investors first learned about the Backdoor Roth IRA on this site. One of my most popular posts is the tutorial on the process. In the lengthy comments section of that post many people asked how to handle a Backdoor Roth IRA (especially form 8606) if you contributed in the next calendar year. While it is “cleaner” to make your contribution and your conversion all in the same calendar tax year, … Continue reading

Four Ways to Improve Your Financial Life

I was invited to submit a guest post on the Sermo blog. So many of the posts on Sermo seem so pessimistic to me sometimes. They are full of whining, complaining, fretting, and venting etc. I don’t know if that’s the nature of docs, the nature of anonymous internet forums, or whether people are just blowing off steam, but I thought I’d write a post that might help offset some of that pessimism. I have … Continue reading

One House, One Spouse, One Job

My February column for Physician’s Money Digest is all about the big picture. We spend way too much time discussing minor details of mutual funds, retirement accounts, and insurance policies and probably too little time discussing what really matters in personal finance. That can be summed up in the phrase One House, One Spouse, One Job. Go to PMD and read the whole thing, or take a look at the excerpt below: The truth is … Continue reading

Disability Insurance Limitations and Exclusions

  [Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Rick Warren, who is an insurance agent and one of the owners of Insuring Income, a long-time WCI advertiser and a sponsor of The WCI Scholarship. In this post, Rick discusses exclusions and limitations of disability insurance. This is a topic near and dear to me, as my individual disability insurance carries a climbing exclusion, meaning if I’m disabled climbing, it won’t pay out. I periodically … Continue reading

SoFi and the Rheumatologists

I recently returned from a trip to San Francisco. Now, as you might imagine knowing my hobbies, I’m not a huge city-lover. However, as cities go, San Francisco is one of my favorites. I love the architecture, the views, and the people and there is always so much to do there. I was actually in San Francisco when the recent post on making the blog more inclusive ran, which I thought was appropriate, given that … Continue reading

What I Learned From Doing My 2014 Taxes

Each of the last three years I have done a post about taxes where I “revealed” the tax rate I’m paying. I’m not sure why people find that so interesting (voyeuristic maybe), but I’ve had a bunch of requests to do something similar this year. The last four years my tax bill has increased dramatically. I only paid 8% in federal income taxes in 2011, and I thought that was a lot since I had … Continue reading

Betterment Tax Loss Harvesting

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post submitted to me months ago by radiologist Toshi Clark, MD, with whom I have no financial relationship. It is about Betterment, one of the “robo-advisors,” which is trying to fill a niche between do-it-yourselfers and a full-service “human” advisor. Dr. Clark has no financial relationship with Betterment (not even as a client), but I technically do. I don’t think I’ve ever made much money off an affiliate advertising … Continue reading

Tips To Avoid Paying Alternative Minimum Tax

My February column for ACEP NOW is all about The Alternative Minimum Tax. Typical physician incomes ($150K-400K) fall right smack in the middle of the range of folks hit by the AMT each year, so many physicians know they get hit by this, even if they’re not sure exactly why. This column will help you understand how the AMT works as well as some ideas to possibly decrease your tax bill as a result of … Continue reading