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Archive for November 19, 2009

Why Make $150K when you can make $75K?!

November 19, 2009 3 comments

Americans are drowning in debt and our country continues to go down the tubes. Came across these numbers and was quite frankly blown away. Assuming a 7% interest rate, to service 300K of debt costs 21K a year! This requires roughly 30K of gross income to pay just the interest. And if you consider that the avg income in this country is around 40K, that means 75% of one’s disposable income is used to pay interest on debt. Unbelievable! Is it no wonder why the banks run this country?
If you apply this to physicians, you can throw in an extra 200-300K to account for super sized student loans which is now becoming the “new normal”. Now let’s say you are making 150K a year in good old primary care. According to paycheck city, that leaves roughly 95K for a New Yorker (90K if you are in the city), 92K for a Californian, and 102K for someone in Illinois. Deduct out your 40K in interest payments and let’s say another 10K for property taxes and you are left with 50K to live on. Digest those numbers for a moment. Do you realize that you are now in the same boat as the person making a mere 75K, HALF of your annual salary, who has no debts and eschews living a life of being in debt to others? How can this be? Let’s run some more numbers and see how. After taxes 75K in California is 49K, 51K in NY (48K in NYC), and 53K in IL. Subtract out ZERO interest payments and lower property taxes (by not living in a McMansioin) you are roughly even!!!
By owing money to the banks, you are not only flushing money down the toilet but you are also sacrificing your freedom. The freedom to have more leisure time to do whatever you wish or the ability to work in a job or industry that you would find much more appealing and satisfying. For those in debt, you can easily find yourself in a situation where you are working endless hours a week in a miserable higher paying job just to keep your head above water. So which would you prefer? 60-70 stressful hours a week seeing 35 cranky ass patients a day, filling out reams of paperwork, fighting with HMO’s over billing issues or waking up in the morning going to a job you love 35-40 hrs a week with weekends and evenings off for life? Sounds like a no brainer to me.

If there is any good that can be said of having major student loans like so many other med school grads it is that I have vowed to NEVER take out another loan again. NEVER! Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I am a firm believer that the banks in this country are an outright evil parasite draining this country of so much potential greatness. I also believe that CASH is KING. Everything I have purchased since graduating from med school was in cash and will continue to be in cash. This will include even cars and homes. I believe if you can’t afford it now, you have no business buying it despite what our culture and mass media tells you. Start off with a condo and move yourself up to a ranch and then ultimately buy that waterfront home as you save up money like mad not paying usurious interest rates. Don’t buy a McMansion straight out of the gate with a jumbo loan which is the American way. Need to have that Mercedes to complement your “prestige”. Unless you have 50K in the bank you can’t afford it. Rather than ogling with jealousy at the nice shiny Beamer or latest model Mercedes whenever I am sitting in my clunker at a traffic light, I instead find myself feeling so much richer than they are. It sure feels good having NO monthly payment rather than paying a mini mortgage payment every month. Americans want to live big…than they are going to pay big….with their time! Time away from family, friends, and most of all to yourself which you can never get back. We’ve all heard the saying how no one wishes they could’ve spent another day at the office on their death bed. Sadly for many physicians, we will ironically find ourselves in this very “office” even on our last day.

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