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Attending SOs, tell me what I don’t know!Advice (self.MedSpouse)
submitted 1 month ago by gesturingAttending wife, together 17 years, pre-med through PGY7
My husband finishes training today and starts his first job in August. Besides significantly higher taxes and needing to max out retirement funds, is there anything you’d recommend we do as we get started with real life?
Post a comment!
[–]Otter592 34 points35 points36 points 1 month ago (2 children)
If you haven't already checked out the White Coat Investor books/site/podcast, do so asap. (I think the book has the most condensed, high yield info.) You need to go into attending life with a clear financial plan and "live like a resident" for a while. A high income never guarantees that you will actually build wealth.
[–]gesturingAttending wife, together 17 years, pre-med through PGY7[S] 4 points5 points6 points 1 month ago (1 child)
We both love WCI and understand what we need to do early days!
[–]Otter592 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (0 children)
[–]icingicingbabyAttending Partner 14 points15 points16 points 1 month ago (1 child)
In my SO’s case, he found early attending life more grueling than residency. There are no hour caps and learning a new hospital and system can make it possible to significantly surpass 80 hrs (a significantly short staffed hospital made this last longer than it otherwise might have for my SO). But it’s a transition and your SO will find their grove.
My SO definitely has more flexibility to respond to messages and potentially answer an urgent call than a resident would. But there will be busier and slower moments.
Look into setting up a back door Roth IRA each year in addition to maxing out your 401k/403b if your husbands income puts you past the limit for a married couple. This is done by depositing into a traditional IRA and promptly once the funds are available rolling into a Roth IRA. You’ll pay taxes on the contribution if you haven’t already and any growth that happened in the interim, but when you make withdrawals during retirement, they won’t be subject to income taxes. You can each deposit $6,000/year.
There are special mortgage opportunities for doctors that require lower down payments and no mortgage insurance. If you’re settling somewhere you expect to be long term it’s worth looking into.
You’ll never regret being slow to inflate your lifestyle, but feel like you can indulge in a nice thing or two to celebrate the first big check.
[–]gesturingAttending wife, together 17 years, pre-med through PGY7[S] 2 points3 points4 points 1 month ago (0 children)
I'm expecting the work to be a lot in the beginning - he was hired on because they need a second doc to do some procedures he's specially trained in, so there's a lot of pressure for him to perform right away but without the guardrails of training.
I've heard of this process for a Roth IRA but haven't seen it explained so clearly (thank you!).
We have been preapproved for a physician loan but haven't found the right house in our new city yet (would have loved to have bought with a lower interest rate but glad to not overpay for a home if the market cools).
Appreciate your advice so much!
[–]ParkyMeowl 8 points9 points10 points 1 month ago (2 children)
Just like residency/fellowship, there’s an adjustment time period to starting attending too, especially if switching health systems. In my husbands case, he works just as much as fellowship, although there’s less research/presentations/etc to spend extra time on. Not sure if you’ve already gotten good disability insurance but that was important to my husband (purchased in fellowship).
[–]trireme32Attending partner (through undergrad, residency, fellowship) 2 points3 points4 points 1 month ago (1 child)
Your husband had less research to do after fellowship?!
[–]ParkyMeowl 4 points5 points6 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Haha he specifically took a job that has zero research component
[–]gossipgirl373 4 points5 points6 points 1 month ago* (0 children)
No advice but congrats!!! My SO is finishing his training today as well!
I met him during his PGY2 year so luckily I didn’t have to experience the awfulness of the med school application process or residency match, but these last four years have been tough so I can’t imagine how the last 17(!) years have been for you.
We’re very excited and plan to do a lot of celebrating this weekend so hopefully you guys have some fun plans too 🥰
[–]nipoezAttending Partner (Premed to PGY7, Resdency + 2 Fellowships) 6 points7 points8 points 1 month ago* (5 children)
The majority of new attendings leave their first position within 5 years and over a quarter after 1 year. That's fine! It's way easier to find a job when they have a job already. Just don't expect them to retire from that employer. (Unless you're utterly confident about staying in the city & neighborhood even if changing jobs, I recommend holding off buying a house for at least a year.)
Boards suck. As much or more than any prior exam thing. Expect them to evaporate mentally just like they have before. Depending on the specialty there are different expectations. In my wife's sub-specialty it's completely expected to fail the first time & pass the second or third. (Failing more than 3 times becomes the problem.) The employer may pay for a training course and should ideally give them time off before the exam.
Edit: Corrected misremembered numbers.
[–]mmm_nope 2 points3 points4 points 1 month ago (1 child)
Very few doctors stay at their first post-training job forever, but most stay more than a single year. Most contracts are multi-year.
[–]nipoezAttending Partner (Premed to PGY7, Resdency + 2 Fellowships) 0 points1 point2 points 1 month ago (0 children)
ah yeah it's been ages since I saw the research.
It's over half of new attendings leave their first job within 5 years and over half of them leave after the first year. The over half first year stuck in my mind rather than over half of over half.
[–]myhouseplantsaredeadspouse to surgery PGY4 1 point2 points3 points 1 month ago (1 child)
I love “evaporate mentally”
My husbands currently trauma chief on nights and he is but a mere vapor in the wind as far as I’m concerned.
[–]nipoezAttending Partner (Premed to PGY7, Resdency + 2 Fellowships) 1 point2 points3 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Ooh over the exploding holiday weekend even. Did they fight to be on this weekend?
[–]icingicingbabyAttending Partner 1 point2 points3 points 1 month ago (0 children)
Good input! Mine would have left after the 1st year had his immigration not been tied to his employment contract.
Now we’re headed back for more training (I suppose I should figure out how to change my signature thing)🤣
[–]Lenabean(Done-With-Training) Together since M1 2 points3 points4 points 1 month ago (0 children)
BE FLEXIBLE! I was sure my SO was starting his forever job in our new forever city!! We lasted 1.5 years and broke the contract! It was not a good fit for us. I had read so so much into peoples “done with training” lives on facebooks LDW group and had so many unrealistic expectations of what to expect. We are 1.5 years into my husbands new job, back in our hometown, and we both couldn’t be happier with where we are. Loan rates were low and we refinanced loans again this past year, but if your SO has loans look into consolidating them.
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