Hey everyone, it’s Medicine Mondays again. I had a few topics I was considering writing about today, but decided to just kind of do a stream of consciousness kind of post today instead. So let’s talk about “Medicine Monday Musings”.
Medicine Monday Musings
My family went to hang out with some friends this weekend. We all met up at a friend’s house and went to their community pool and then had a little bbq after. It was great. The kids all get along great so we were able to just hang out at their house and talk.
It’s kind of hard to explain, but as a doctor and a young family, I would like to think I’m doing a good job. However, I don’t really know. Luckily, my friends are a little older than me so I can kind of gauge “how I’m doing” relative to them. Let me first explain that there was a total of three families there.
- Me (radiologist) and I (psychiatrist)
- My friend (radiologist) and his wife (internist)
- My other friend (radiologist) and his wife (geriatrician)
Yea, we’re all doctors. Remember I talked about doctors marrying other doctors before…? Well we’re kind of all a case study in that I guess. We all met in medical school and got married during residency. Anyways, like I said, my other colleagues are a little older than me so it was nice to be able to talk to them and learn from their experience.
In particular one of my friends has made it a point to pay off all their student Loan debt, and as of this year it’s all gone. I’m so envious. Interestingly, they mentioned to me that 5 years ago, they were in a very similar boat to my wife and I. They wanted to pay more on their loans, but weren’t quite able to yet because of the mortgage and other expenses. However, they said something just kind of happened, and once you get settled you begin to be able to put more and more toward your loans.
In other words, they did what I had planned to do… and it worked out for them. That’s good to hear. I don’t have all the answers, all I have is a plan, and I’m glad to hear that these guys were in nearly the same situation that I was in. In general, I advise people to pay off their loans in 5-7 years post fellowship. I think that is a reasonable goal. However, for me, it was looking more like 10 years because of the mortgage and other expenses. Living in Hawaii doesn’t help with paying off your loans faster.
How were they able to do it?
I think things kind of settle down after 3-4 years post-training. Your jobs are hopefully stable by then and there shouldn’t be any huge surprise expenses anymore. You have a pretty good idea of how much money you need a month to keep things running.
Like I said, this year it seems my wife and I will get a small bumps in salary this year. We also got rid of the monthly car payment. Luckily, we were also able to refinance our home loans at a lower rate as well. Kylie will start public school in August and so we will down to one preschool monthly payment instead of two. I think they key is that once you’ve established a reasonable lifestyle and can stick to it, extra money is really just extra.
Once I have a better grasp of our finances, I will start making regular extra payments on our loans and get rid of them one at a time. My goal is to get our student loans mostly paid off 5 years from now. However, since my wife does have some loans at 1.5% (very low), we may just leave those since they aren’t a huge priority, when you account for inflation.
Having good friends who can empathize and understand you are very important. Sometimes you just need to hang out with your friends and relax.
Give yourself a break. It’s ok to be human.
Also, the steak was good, ribeye and filet mignon. I think I ate more than everyone else, so I’ll host the next BBQ maybe.
Having someone more experienced than you to guide you is helpful.
A plan is only as good as its execution. I’m optimistic about my plan because of the success of theirs.
Sometimes all you need is a good BBQ with friends, to remind you that you’re doing ok.
Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.
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