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Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 04-28-2005, 08:42 PM   #1
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Hello, so glad to have found you all!

I am so glad to have found this site (and the Retire Early Home Page). It's good to know that there is a supportive community of like-minded people.

I was going to wait until I had time to compose a brilliant letter of introduction but I find that there are discussions I want to participate in NOW so you will have to suffer through the rough draft.

I am 31 and my goal is to retire at 50 and I KNOW it can be done! I watched my parents LB(their)M always! And dad retired at 51. They have always been, and continue to be, an inspiration to me (and my two sisters). I could (and have and will) talk about my parents and their lessons for hours but some more about me...

I am a family physician. I have found that many people think that doctors are rich. While the income IS good (once you get there) - basically, you start late and with a lot of debt.

Here's my personal chronology:

1974 - I am born and spend the next 18 years soaking up the frugal mindset and lessons of my frugal family. (definately genetic - maybe that Scottish ancestry you read about in "The Millionaire Next Door")

1992 - Go to Penn State with a full tuition scholarship - stretching the college fund $, working summers for $ and credit in the Bio lab and doing the research for my honors thesis, and since I had to pay living expenses anyway, talking summer classes...

1995 - Graduate from Penn State one year early and start Medical School

1996 - marry husband - acquiring his Student Loan debt BUT he works overtime and I am doing Work Study at the medical school library and we live well on little $

1999 - Graduate from Medical School with $115,000 in Student Loan Debt - not including his, despite no undergrad loans, despite 1/2 tuition scholarship and Work Study, etc. And I was at the low end of the scale - most in my class had student loan debt (with undergrad) over $1/4 milllion.

1999-2002. Family Practice Residency. The program I went to has an (comparatively) EXCELLENT benefits package - salary of $35K increasing to $45K and a house to live in while you're there - for this you work 80-100 hours/week. In the meantme hubby racks up another $15K of Student Loan Debt at a trade school.

2002 - Graduate from Residency. Start making "doctor money" - 1st year salary $132K - excellent for this area. Plus $50K Loan Repayment from employer (for 5 year commitment). Buy House. Buy new Roof for house. Buy 2nd Car. Max to 403(b), Max to Roth IRAs with Vanguard Index Funds. Get to work on those student loans.

2005 - Financial picture coming together. Consolidated loans now, before interest rates go up in July. Paid off Dad (got screwed on hubby's initial student loan consolidation from undergrad - borrowed from Bank of Dad at 7% to pay it off). Paid off Mom (borrowed at 5% from Bank of Mom to avoid PMI on house. Paid off Car Loan (I am NEVER buying a new car again even at 3.9%).

Currently sittling on:
Mortgage: $133,500 at 6.125% fixed
Hubby Student Loan (consolidated): $15,500 at 2.875% fixed
Medical School Loans: $57,000 at 4% fixed
no other debt.

Retirement savings: About $62K - mostly in IRAs/403(b)(will be contributing max/year to 403(b) and Roths from here on out). Now vested in small non-COLA pension.

Got my 6 mos of emergency cash. Saving up for some foundation repairs on house.

19 years to retirement. I can SOOOO do this.

Current issues:
1.) Where to put money for retirement outside of 403(b) and Roths. I'm leaning toward a taxable account at Vanguard - Total Stock Market Index Fund. I've also got about 5% in physical gold/silver and 5% in old EE Savings Bonds (earning 4-6% - graduation presents). Looking into I-bonds.
2.) Where's the crossover for paying down my current debt vs. investing more? The loan at 2.875% I'll probably let ride as I can get around 4% on a 5 yr CD. At current salary the student loan interest is not deductable so the 4% loan is kind of a wash. I like the idea of paying down mortgage (do not plan on having any mortgage into retirement) BUT this is not our "real" house.

Well, that was a lot of typing and I don't think I did a good job of giving you the short version. But I am very excited to find a forum to discuss these matters. At work I get the "You think you want to retire early but you wouldn't know what to do with yourself." or "It can't be done, you'll work until you drop." or ...I'm sure you have heard them all. I have SO many outside interests I can't imagine EVER being bored - I play piano/clarinet/recorder and am taking lessons on the drum set. I collect coins/silver/gold. I scrapbook. I GeoCache. I read at least 4 hours a day of (mainly science) fiction. I research asset allocation and read personal money management websites . I've been to all 50 states and want to go back - I drove to Alaska with my family as a kid and want to do it again with my husband. I collect National Parks. I have a dog and a cat. HOW IT THE WORLD DOES ANYONE GET BORED !!

Well, anyway, I'll be seeing you around. Probably in the "Young Dreamers" section.

DrLLLong
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 04-28-2005, 08:44 PM   #2
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

PS. Actually, I'm not at all confused about dryer sheets. I'm in the "tear them in half and use them twice in the dryer before dusting the TV" camp. DrL
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 04-29-2005, 03:24 AM   #3
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Welcome a-board doc. You are very busy. But it sounds like you're busy doing the right things (except maybe for the drums). You'll get plently of opinions and advice on asset allocation from others. Whats up with hubby? Did I miss something? He's generated loans what about income? Whats he doing? Got baby plans? Who stays home? Parents nearby?

On the professional scene. Going it alone? Partnership? LLC? or MegaPractice Corporation? All of my friends/associates/customers are doctors and the common issue with all of them is their organizations. Seems all they can fuss about is partner problems. However few complain about money problems. They struggle to keep what they have stuck together... me too until I FIRE'd in January at 53. The money was waaaaaaaay good. The challenge for you is to keep the snowball going down the mountain. Stay physically and mentally fit, have a family plan, have a professional perspective about the practice. Save, invest wisely...... oh yeah and heal the sick.

BUM
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 04-29-2005, 04:43 AM   #4
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Hello BUM and everyone. One of my best friends is a retired dentist and another a retired MD. I don't recall
either ever complaining about the money. If they
did any fussing around me it was over partners,
employees, building issues. So, I guess my experience backs up BUMs.

JG
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 04-29-2005, 09:49 AM   #5
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Hi DrLLLong!

Welcome to the board! I share a few of your interests...Geocaching, music, coins... I agree...how does anyone get bored

In addition to the 403b, some public employers also have a Deferred Compensation (457) plan. The current contribution limit to both of these is $14,000 so if you have a 457 plan available, you could shelter up to $28,000. Pretty cool.

It sounds like you're well on your way.
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 04-29-2005, 03:57 PM   #6
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Thanks all for the welcome!

To fill in a few more of the blanks -

Easy Question
Professionally: Employee on straight salary. I was hired as faculty by the residency program that trained me, so I am an employee of the hospital. Technically this is an Academic position although 90% of my job is clinical.

Hard Question:
Hubby: This is a short answer/long answer type question. Occupation on 1040 is "homemaker." Sometimes we say "full time husband." When/If we have kids (probably in the next 1-2 years) his primary responsibility will be childcare. Basically, I do the go get paycheck and manage the money part and he does the "everything else" part. Packing my lunch, doing the shopping, cleaning, cooking, researching major purchases (like the house), fixing the toilets, mowing the lawn, errands, etc - basically all the stuff mom and dad did that didn't earn a paycheck. When we had no money he did work at "jobbie-jobs" for hourly wage - but with a doctor's salary don't feel this is necessary any longer. My evenings and weekends I am free to spend time with my husband and recreate because the "everything else" is done. When pressed with "Yes, but what does he do FOR MONEY?" - he plays poker (math major in college). I don't include this in the regular household financial planning as the income is irregular, so this is where the money comes from for the "luxury" items - 2nd computer, that drum set I mentioned in the first post, snowboarding weekends, the Garmen Rhinos for Geocaching, etc. The trade school education was for "Master Gunsmith" - he works on his own and for family members. Theoretically, this could turn into income stream but the start up capital costs are high and I'm not ready for the financial risks associated with starting a business. Perhaps when I'm closer to RE and we've moved to our "real" house out in the country.

No one at work has ever mentioned a 457 plan. The hospital is a non-profit (hence the 403(b)) but I believe still a private (not public) institution. However, I will double check to be sure.

DrLLLong
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 04-29-2005, 03:59 PM   #7
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Dusting the TV with dryer sheets - I never thought of that! They would make great dusters. Thanks!
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-01-2005, 05:55 PM   #8
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

hi DrLLLong,

Sounds like you have all the ingredients for FIRE in a decade or two.

Anybody who asks "What does he do for money?" tell them "He does whatever I say." That should shut them up. Good luck.

BUM
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-01-2005, 09:14 PM   #9
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

DrLLLong, it sounds like you two have an enlightened relationship. Congratulations! Welcome to the board, you are well on your way and "get it" already for the essential ingredients of the board. One comment, your mortgage interest rate seems a little high.
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 06:43 AM   #10
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Hey doc, my sister in law is a pediatrician and her husband stayed home with the children. The ended up having five kids. My best friend works for a power company making sure nuclear power plants are safe. Her husband is a "do everything else" husband as well. My husband has ERed so he also does all the household stuff.

As Judy said in another post, it's nice to have a man around the house.
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 10:03 AM   #11
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

"What does your DH do at home?"* About $131K worth of work is what he does, if you read this article...* If he's fixing toilets on TOP of that, I'd say you've got more than a fair exchange.

Just out of curiosity, does he have any brothers?

Caroline


"Just in time for Mother's Day, an informal study conducted by Web site Salary.com shows that stay-at-home moms would earn an average of $131,471 annually, including overtime, if they received a paycheck."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/economy_m...VjBHNlYwNtcA--
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 01:03 PM   #12
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Well ladies, I am glad your lovelies enjoy this situation. I guess I am just unreconstructed and non-metro-sexual, but I would prefer to carry a 100# load up a hill all day, and then be in charge of myself when I got done. In my own house, with my own food, with my own mess, and no one making lists for me.

Come to think of it, make that 200#. If need be, I can work up to it.

Mikey
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 01:14 PM   #13
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

But Mikey, we make it worth their while.
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 01:20 PM   #14
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Since I'm outvoted 3 to 1 - I shall refrain from comment. Sometimes I take the dog for a long drive in the pickup.

Heh, heh, heh!
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 04:00 PM   #15
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

My while feels very, very well made.

Heck, without my honey-do list I wouldnt know what to do with myself all day long.

On the other hand, my wife wont ever ask me to dust again. And any sudden movements towards the gas blower shortly after she asks me to do something causes a sudden rethinking.

I swear to god, a gas blower is the most versatile tool on earth, with the possible exception of a five pound hammer.
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 08:55 PM   #16
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Thank you all for your replies! Some thoughts as I read through them...
In general honey makes his own honey-do list...the person who DOES the job gets to determine how its DONE. The more efficient he is the more time he has to do other stuff -- hunting and fishing rate high on that list. Since he is responsible for food acquisition and preparation it doesn't matter to me if he gets it at the market or in the woods. He kills it, cleans it, cooks it and serves it -- all I do is eat it, and I eat pretty much anything. Theoretically, I am supposed to load the dishwasher... but...(I've been told that I don't do it right and there are bits of food stuck to the forks -- my point being that with the amount of electricity and water that cycles through the thing it should be STERILIZED food at that point, besides I can take off my glasses when I eat, besides which we have an immune system for a REASON)

I believe DH solved the "gas blower in the house" vs "carpet with astroturf" dilemma by buying a Dyson vacuum on Ebay. I believe it operates by generating a moderate sized cyclone which sweeps throught the house and out the chimney. I'm not really certain as the device scares me (it's bigger than I am)... For those who have never seen one -- it is safety yellow and steel grey -- weighs about 40# and has transformer-like capabilities -- I believe that it is as close to OPE (outdoor power equipment) as you can get and operate without safety glasses (although that might be a good idea). For the rest of it ... I don't think "dusting" is much of an issue -- if it can't be washed with clorox and pine oil it won't last long...

As to the $131K value of a stay at home spouse - I'm sure that included childcare, but you could probably figure out some value based on the cost of hiring a lawn service, housecleaning service, personal shopper, non-packed lunches, auto/tire service (DH researched the new tires+wheels for my 10 year Subaru, bought them online and installed them in the garage), plumber (don't forget those toilets), computer support tech, travel agent, electrician (best $99 value was the Home Electrical Wiring Course at the local community college for DH -- when the range stopped heating DH had it going in about 20 min - a service the last homeowner paid $425 to Sears for ... I know because he had the receipt stapled to the manual that I found while DH found that the range was only getting 110V instead of 220V due to a loose fuse -- double that as the same problem with the dryer the next week). What's the hourly wage for "Jack of All Trades and Answers to None"? He did research and hire roofers for our new roof... but then he and dad rented nail guns and removed and reinstalled the roof of the pig barn up at the farm. (Do I include the value of a husband for rent to family in the salary calculations?) No he has no brothers -- hehehe, I got the last one...(women are sooo comptetitive )!

To the poster who mentioned that my mortgage rate seemed a little high at 6.125% -- I agree. Somehow in the time between looking for a house and the closing the rate jumped from 5.85% (this was Aug to Nov 2002). We did compare from 3 different companies and got some run around at the end. I have considered refinancing but from what I have read, it may not be worth it unless you are going to get a full percent off and are going to live in the house long enough to recoup the closing costs. This is on my "continue to research" list.

DrLLLong

PS. I'd argue adze vs the 5# hammer...
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 09:09 PM   #17
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

You've never seen me swing a hammer...
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 09:16 PM   #18
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

Quote:
Originally Posted by th
You've never seen me swing a hammer...
th, are you saying you are a good hammerer or a bad adze...r?

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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 09:35 PM   #19
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

I use my 5 pound sledge at least once a month, last time to hammer in my grounding rod for the jacuzzi! Plus it kinda makes me feel tough like Thor....is that wierd?
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!
Old 05-02-2005, 10:23 PM   #20
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Re: Hello, so glad to have found you all!

This reminds me of a story...(you all don't know me well yet, but pretty much everything reminds me of a story)...

So, must be about 10-12 years ago (because my husband is my boyfriend and not my husband yet) and I'm at the boardwalk in Ocean City NJ with my parents and my sisters and my boyfriend and my aunt and HER new husband. And we come up to one of those "Strong Man" booths -- you know...hit the target with the sledge hammer and the weight slides up at rings the bell, you get three tries. So of course all of us girls say come on boys let's see how well you can do... win us a prize (have I mentioned that girls can be EVIL ?). So my boyfriend -- all 6 ft, 165 skinny pounds of him (at the time) of course, has to show his testosterone. 1st hit - almost gets its, 2nd hit - just gets there >ding<, 3rd hit - bingo <<DONG>>. So he steps back, pleased with himself, turns out he had to chop firewood a few years as a kid and learned to swing -- just had to get back in stride. Of course Dad can't let himself be outdone by his daughter's boyfriend - so he steps up - Dad's 5'9" at about 250# and built like a lumberjack, course it probably helps that he grew up on a farm -- hauls off, perfect form, <<DONG>>, <<DONG>>, <<DONG>>. Lastly, my brandnew uncle - Navy man, 'bout as big as a chicken (my size ), city boy - doesn't know an adze from a hole in the ground....winds himself all up and practically tries to PUSH the mallet down on the target, gets the weight about 3 ft off the ground...gets all read and stomps around about...honor at stake here... does no better the second time around...3rd time I think the hammer bounced off the side...He stomps off, ego crushed, while us (evil) girls are giggling...Now, my dad is a REALLY nice guy and tried to explain to him that it really wasn't about strength -- it's a matter of knowing how to make the HAMMER do most of the work...Uncle wasn't hearing any of it... And of course, us (evil) girls can't let a family reunion go by where we don't bring up "That time in Ocean City..." He has since learned to take it with grace.

DrLLLong
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