When my colleague/collaborator White Coat Money published my guest post: How I Contributed $23.5k to Roth IRA/Roth 403b in 2015 as PGY2, he began the post with this editorial caveat:
The following post describes a task that requires significant financial discipline and willpower to achieve. I don’t expect most WCM readers to follow guest author Dr. Wise Money’s lead.
White Coat Investor also commented on the Dr. Wise Money’s Way, “My general recommendation for attendings is 20% of gross income toward retirement. But anything you do as a resident is great. [Dr. Wise Money] is a crazy super-saving resident who will be very wealthy, very quickly. She saves far more as a resident than I ever did, but she also paid off her student loans as an intern. Interesting story that.”
These comments make Dr. Wise Money a bit radical and un-relatable to many PGY’s.
The truth is, Dr. Wise Money does not differ much from any other resident or fellow. In other words, there’s a Dr. Wise Money in every one of us.
- I chose a career in medicine, knowing well that there’s much easier way to make much more money in other professions.
- I believe the rewards of serving others go far beyond financial gain.
- My medical education was costly, financially and personally; I would have trained for 10 years beyond my college degree to become an attending radiologist.
- I spend money on what I care about, without blinking an eye.
- I skimp on things I don’t care for, without ever feeling that I’m depriving myself.
- I’m a planner. I plan my career; I plan vacations; I also have goals and plans for my personal finances.
- I’m a go-getter. I got into medical school, survived it, matched where I wanted, and now training hard to become a competent radiologist. I apply my proactive approach towards my career to my financial life.
- I’m a collaborator. Just as I would share any radiological feature & sign to make an imaging diagnosis, I’d also share monetary tips to achieve financial success.
- I’m a maximizer. I like getting the most accomplished with the least amount of energy & time. Most of us in medicine are over-achievers. We like getting the job done, well and efficiently.
- Yes it seems extreme that I can retire at age 38, or 3 years after completing fellowship. Fact is anyone can retire way earlier than they expected if they focus on what matters most/brings them the most happiness.
What do you think? Is Dr. Wise Money still a crazy saver who defers gratification 100% till retirement? Do you see DWM in you? What makes you happy? Do you notice yourself spending money on things you later regret? Have you ever sit down and inspect where your money goes? Find out if you are spending on what matters the most to you.