Doctored Money Blog

Ten critical financial items new 2018 MDs need to handle today

Congratulations on graduating! You have finally made it through your education. Now it is on to your training and part of that training is going to be learning some financial essentials.

We have created a list of financial topics and actions you need to take ASAP to start things off on the right foot. These include things like: understanding your student loans, filing your taxes, consolidating your loans, learning about PSLF, making a budget, learning about investing and more. Check it out and share it with someone who needs the advice!

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Did you consolidate a student loan? You can probably get a deduction on your taxes for student loan interest “paid”!

Did you pay any student loan interest during 2017? If so, you may be able to deduct this from your taxes and save some money. If you paid any interest, and your income (specifically your Modified Adjusted Gross Income) is less than $80,000 (single) or $165,000 (married), you can deduct at least a portion of your student loan interest paid. You must have some income in 2017 from which to deduct the student loan interest.

The maximum amount of the deduction is $2500. How much this saves you in taxes depends on your federal and state tax bracket. But regardless, if you owe any taxes in 2017, and you paid any interest, you can likely reduce your total taxes paid!

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Some Rank List Advice: Residency is a Job

There are many criteria for a “good job”, and it’s different for everyone. Medicine might be a calling for you, but it is also the mechanism by which you will pay for everything. I.e. it’s still just a job. And you will be a much happier person in the long run if you remember there are realities in life that you need to be aware of, and your salary and benefits as a resident are just a couple of them.

So as your start to sleep with your rank list under your pillow, be sure to consider the financial impact your new job will have on your life. You owe it to yourself.

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Demand Financial Education

Money is a taboo topic that is not often discussed in medicine and medical students and trainees are often discouraged from asking the necessary questions about their financial futures. There needs to be a cultural shift in medicine, a shift to the realization that leaving financial conversations for closed doors is not only unsafe for the well-being of doctors but ultimately detrimental to the safety and health of our patients.

We can’t expect our fellow doctors to provide superb care to patients with a millstone of financial problems hanging around their necks. A stressed-out doctor who regrets the decision to get into medicine is in no one’s best interest.

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Beware: Erroneous or Misleading Advice from Loan Servicers

Loan servicers continue to give poor and/or inaccurate advice to borrowers who call them. We have recently seen examples of this despite on going lawsuits against these servicers. You need to do your own research and understand your loans. You unfortunately cannot rely on your servicer for accurate information.

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Ten critical financial items new MDs need to handle today

Congratulations on graduating! You have finally made it through your education. Now it is on to your training and part of that training is going to be learning some financial essentials.

We have created a list of financial topics and actions you need to take ASAP to start things off on the right foot. These include things like: understanding your student loans, filing your taxes, consolidating your loans, learning about PSLF, making a budget, learning about investing and more. Check it out and share it with someone who needs the advice!

Read More

New Student Loan Scenarios

Here is the brief summary: we now have a page which recommends a specific loan repayment plan based on your demographic information. Look up your demographics and suggested loan repayment plan here.  


The longer, much more meaningful explanation of this update is as follows:

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First off, we want to be explicit that our goal here at DOCTORED MONEY is to be the premier resource for education on financial topics which affect physicians, future physicians, and everyone in between. We will always strive to update, rework, reword and add to the information we bring you so that it is not only informative and unbiased but is also digestible in the time period you have to devote to financial literacy.  

We believe the existing materials on our Student Debt page conform to these three standards (informative, unbiased, and digestible) but we have reason to believe that not all of our many fans agree with us. Much of the feedback we received when we launched the site was that people thought it looked "awesome" and "very professional" but that people were planning on coming back to look at the learning materials later "when [they] have more time." We admit it's nice to have our egos stroked and we enjoy when people call the things we make pretty. But that isn't the point of the site! The point of the site is to help you get a grip on your financial situation and come out feeling less anxious with that "go get 'em" attitude you need to live your life. We want the site to be the proverbial "slap on the butt" you need as you walk back up to the pitching mound; or if baseball metaphors aren't your thing: the quick protein bar and caffeinated beverage you need to get through the next 20 hours of your Whipple procedure.

We digress, but our point is this: everything we put up on our site is meant to be helpful, not "when you have time" but right now! We know you don't have 10 hours to sit down and read through financial material (although we do feel like you owe it to yourself to study up a little); everything on the site can be read, digested and learned from in just a few minutes. Each Prezi presentation can be looked through in 10 mins or less. The W-4 page is arranged in increasing levels of complexity so that you can get the basic info you need up front and come back for additional increments to read more (maybe as you wait for the shuttle or train or whatever else you have to wait for in your life). And if you need to rush off to an emergency before you finish, that's no problem, run off and save the world and come back later to finish. And the last part of our rant is this: it all works on mobile! You don't have to be sitting at your desk, just whip out your million dollar smart gadget and head on over to www.doctoredmoney.org and get started. It is definitely a better time investment than browsing Instagram (unless you are looking at the @dailystoic posts, those are deep).

So now that we have stressed the digestibility of all our resources, let me introduce to you our latest resource that attempts to reach those of you who are extra crunched on time: Loan Scenarios.  

The way this page works is simple. We have created example loan scenarios that apply to people with specific demographics/scenarios. You need to go through and see which set of demographics most closely matches your situation and read the advice that follows. We will give you the repayment plan that will best help you in the long run as well as our rationale behind that advice, some budgeting things to consider, and potential pitfalls of that plan. It also includes an example of the loan balances, payments, and loans forgiveness withg PSLF after 10 years. 

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We really want to stress that understanding your loans and making informed decisions about them is immensely important. We believe these sample loan scenarios give good advice, but how can you know that's true if you don't research it out yourself? Relying on advice like this without studying it out to make sure it matches your situation can have disastrous results in some instances. That being said, if you really have no time, and just need to pick a repayment plan before you are automatically enrolled in the standard 10 year plan, go check out the loans scenarios. But please, come back later and go through the presentations on student loans and educate yourself. You won't regret it.

P.S. We know that the current loan scenarios we have provided currently only includes one scenario. But,  it is the most common situation and we thought it would be better to get that out now to benefit the majority, rather than waiting for every possible scenario  (there are dozens!) to be finished. If your situation is drastically different, send us an email and we can discuss what we think you should do. 

 

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Who knew a W-4 Form could be so exciting?!

Hi all, we have a brand new page up in our taxes section, related to understanding and filling out a W-4. What's that you say? You are graduating medical school and you've never had a real job and you don't know what a W-4 is? Or perhaps you mistakenly think that's the form that requires "One from List A OR one from List B AND List C"?  Well then this page is for you!

But maybe you have indeed filled out out a W-4 before, but threw a random number down in Box 5 and got blindsided by a large tax bill when you filed your taxes and wondered what the heck happened. Well, this page is for you also.

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Most employers won't pay you without a W-4 (AND an I-9 I should add), so it's time to figure it out. A W-4 is the form in which YOU tell your employer how much in federal taxes you may owe, and lets them know how much to withhold and send to the IRS on your behalf. It can be particularly tricky if you have two jobs, a working spouse, or high income. Withhold too little, and you end up owing penalties and interest on the underpaid tax (in ADDITION to a large unexpected tax bill in April). Withhold too MUCH, and you've given the government your money to hold onto for you, for no good reason. 

Many MD's will be transitioning to new jobs this summer and will need to fill one out. So head over to our Taxes section now, read up on W-4 forms, and be prepared! 

Introducing the Blog

We here at DOCTORED MONEY have been debating the best way to keep our extensive fan base apprised of our many machinations and improvements which are constantly occurring here at home base. While that previous sentence may exaggerate the number of updates and new information we are able to churn out, we have nonetheless decided to set up a blog to document our sometimes inane musings regarding physician finances.

The posts will mainly focus on new content we are adding to the site or renovations of current content that has been in need of a face-lift. Posts may also delve deeper into topics that we feel need further explanation or that we have received many questions on. And in the spirit of full disclosure we reserve the right to post anything that tickles our fancy, from opinions on the relative benefits of intermittent fasting to philosophical discussions on the necessity of a sensory deprivation tank to Eleven accessing the Upside Down.

We hope that you will find the periodic updates useful and the posts informative if not always entertaining in the classical sense. Be sure to subscribe to the blog with you RSS reader of choice (my personal favorite is Feedly) or simply sign up to receive an email whenever we post. 

As always, please let us know if you have suggestions or questions about any topic or life in general. We are always happy to pontificate on the mundane. 

 

 

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