Financial advice needed for upcoming D1 student

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Is it OK if I still enjoy driving my 11 y/o Subie like it's brand new? Will people look down on me? We usually have the least impressive cars in my neighborhood other than the time we bought a brand new Lexus 13 yrs ago. Too bad I never received any money from Subaru. Most of my neighbors bought one, two, and many more Subies after seeing me drive home uphill on the ice. Too bad many Jettas will become a money pit as soon as the warrantee expires.
Japanese cars are very reliable and you can safely buy the preowned ones. Two years ago, I bought my teenage son a used 2014 Lexus ES 350 for $16k. So far, it hasn’t given him any problem. He has never worked a day in his to me, that’s a very nice car for him…much better my first stick shift Mitsubitshi that my dad bought for me for $1100.

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Are you actually picking up people from their office for networking lunches? Interesting.

I am curious how long it takes to be what you consider a well-known reputable specialist in your city.

Most new grad orthos, perio, and endos are tuition based meaning they haven’t made any money for a few years. They probably shouldn’t be upgrading anything till they have some savings set up
I made it a priority to meet EVERY dentist within a 5 mile radius of my offices. A professional courtesy to introduce myself and the possibility of securing a future referral source. No Zoom back then. I usually picked the dentist up in MY CAR or brought lunch for the dentist and their staff.

I'm not suggesting that you need a nice car, but sometimes .... perception is everything. I'm fully aware that just driving a nice car does not mean you are financially independent. But your appearance, office make-up has to match your type of practice. I did not attract patients with low fees although I understand that low fees works for a particular niche and location. For the longest time ... my practices were FFS. Until there weren't.

In order to have a good reputation as a Specialist ..... you need to get out there and sell yourself. Prove yourself. Job 1 is taking exceptional care of your patients. Communicate with your referral sources. Dentists are all different and they all need something different. Cater to their needs. Join Rotary or community organizations. Local dental gov't. Etc. It's not easy, but necessary. Your name just has to be known.

Back to cars. Of course. If you are a poor new grad dentist (which most are). Don't add more debt thinking you are "owed" a nice new car. Get your finances in order 1st. Have a dependable car. Paid for.

People use cars for different things. Some people use cars as appliances to get from A to B. That's fine. Others like myself are passionate about certain vehicles and reward ourselves with them. I'm not a big watch guy, but I like my cars and trucks.

I work for a Corp that sees mostly low income patients. I drive a small paid for sub-compact suv. 30 miles to the gallon. These patients work hard for their money and I have no reason to drive a nice car to work. Others may choose so and that is fine.

Oh. Subarus. Great cars. I owned a few while growing up in Alaska. Their ability to dirve through ice and snow is amazing.
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Hey another subaru owner! After the first northern midwest winter driving one, not sure I'll ever buy any other car. Luxury brands don't impress me at all. I'll drive my subaru til it dies then go buy another
The main reason Subies are the best when traction is minimal is that they have almost equal power & torque on all 4 wheels (55% on front axle, 45% rear). Most all-wheel drive powertrains are 90% power to front axles and 10% on rear. The negatives are that they are full time all-wheel drive which uses more fuel and they are ugly (according to the wife). The major negative on the older 2.5 L engine is that their head gaskets tend to fail due to different metals on the engine block expanding unevenly when hot. The newer engines tend to consume oil due to faulty piston rings seals (designed for fuel efficiency). Fortunately and unfortunately, I have the 3.6 L beast which has no mechanical problems but is always thirsty for fuel. I tend to drive slower and steadier than some grandmas in a NY rush. In general, all newer (gas) cars need to comply with more strict emissions and fuel efficiency regs which means (including hybrid and electric) more expensive parts, repairs, maintenance and less reliability.
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Strongly consider not going to dental school. Before interest you are talking about 520,000$.

I stopped readying the thread here. This is really the right advice. Just don’t go. Apply again next cycle and don’t apply to schools that are this expensive.
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