tuftsdent

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Has anyone received the bill from Tufts? Thanks
 

Hopin'

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tuftsdent said:
Has anyone received the bill from Tufts? Thanks
not yet..... i thought we'd get it by mid july.....
 
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Utes

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Yes, the bill came today along with a slip about health insurance. It listed the credits from the student loans as well.
 

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Utes said:
Yes, the bill came today along with a slip about health insurance. It listed the credits from the student loans as well.

Just out of curiosity, how much was the tuition bill? For my first year at Tufts the tuitition bill was $7600.
 

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ivyleaguediver said:
Just out of curiosity, how much was the tuition bill? For my first year at Tufts the tuitition bill was $7600.
tuition by itself was 22750 for Fall 06. That does not include activity fees, health insurance, dental kits, sterilization etc.
 

Cold Front

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ivyleaguediver said:
Just out of curiosity, how much was the tuition bill? For my first year at Tufts the tuitition bill was $7600.
A friend of mine will be attending Tufts this fall, this is what he is expecting...
Tufts Tuition
 

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Cold Front said:
A friend of mine will be attending Tufts this fall, this is what he is expecting...
Tufts Tuition
DANG that is sooo high, why are dental schools so expensive. I know my state dental school jump sky high in tuition over the years too. Is it just a supply and demand thing, or just to milik students out of their money. THATS A LOT OF DEBT.
 

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Cold Front said:
A friend of mine will be attending Tufts this fall, this is what he is expecting...
Tufts Tuition
DANG that is sooo high, why are dental schools so expensive. I know my state dental school jump sky high in tuition over the years too. Is it just a supply and demand thing, or just to milik students out of their money. THATS A LOT OF DEBT. And I thought my friend at UOP was paying a killing, at least its 3 years there.
 

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MD2b20004 said:
DANG that is sooo high, why are dental schools so expensive. I know my state dental school jump sky high in tuition over the years too. Is it just a supply and demand thing, or just to milik students out of their money. THATS A LOT OF DEBT. And I thought my friend at UOP was paying a killing, at least its 3 years there.

Pacific is not much cheaper than Tufts, Boston, USC, Columbia, NYU,.....The cost of attendance is about $300,000+ for four years, three at Pacific, not including price increases over the four years or the cost of unsubsidized interest during deferment. The program is condensed into three years intead of four which allows students to earn their degree and start making money sooner. A plus.

An article now available on MSN from Business Week, Business > Personal, states the cost of college books from 1986 - 2004 has almost tripled, going up 186% while tuition has gone up 240%. Dental School may have gone up even more.
 

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Lesley said:
Pacific is not much cheaper than Tufts, Boston, USC, Columbia, NYU,.....The cost of attendance is about $300,000+ for four years, three at Pacific, not including price increases over the four years or the cost of unsubsidized interest during deferment. The program is condensed into three years intead of four which allows students to earn their degree and start making money sooner. A plus.

An article now available on MSN from Business Week, Business > Personal, states the cost of college books from 1986 - 2004 has almost tripled, going up 186% while tuition has gone up 240%. Dental School may have gone up even more.


We recently used the finaid.com calculator, a great site for student loan calculators, to discuss with our children what their future graduate school debt will mean to them, additionally we plugged in the following scenario of a dental student.


Assuming about $300,000 cost of dental school over a 3/4 year period, for someone starting this year,

assuming about $10,000 - 15,000 price increases over 3/4 years,

assuming about $40,000 accumulated, unsubsidized interest over the four years while in dental school,

Repayment will begin with you about $350,000 in debt.

Assuming current student loan interest rates of 6.8 and 8.5% the monthly payment for 30 years will be about $2,400/month.

Almost $30,000/year.

As per current tax laws, if your income is over $60,000, none of your student loan interest will be tax deductible.

Someone with the above scenario would need an income of at least $45,000, possibly $50,000, over the next 30 years because of the FICA deduction in addition to state and federal taxes, just to repay their dental school debt. This assumes no additional private loans or undergraduate debt, and that the dental student is paying for their education and living expenses entirely on their own.

This is doable on an income of $100,000, but your student loan debt service alone will absorb almost 50% of your income for the next 30 years. On an income of $150,000, 33% of your income, $200,000, 25% of your income.

The finaid calculator cautions that a student loan burden of 10-15% of your income is appropriate. For dental students especially, and other professionals, it will be more significant.

I'm not sure how many of you have looked at it this way, but this is how we discuss the cost of education and it's future impact with our children. Education and having a profession is very important. Everyone needs a marketable skill. If you enjoy doing dentistry and are willing to work after you graduate, everything will work out, it really will, and you will have a rewarding career. Consider paying off the debt sooner if it works for you. It could save an enormous amount of interest. Good luck.
 

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Lesley said:
We recently used the finaid.com calculator, a great site for student loan calculators, to discuss with our children what their future graduate school debt will mean to them, additionally we plugged in the following scenario of a dental student.


Assuming about $300,000 cost of dental school over a 3/4 year period, for someone starting this year,

assuming about $10,000 - 15,000 price increases over 3/4 years,

assuming about $40,000 accumulated, unsubsidized interest over the four years while in dental school,

Repayment will begin with you about $350,000 in debt.

Assuming current student loan interest rates of 6.8 and 8.5% the monthly payment for 30 years will be about $2,400/month.

Almost $30,000/year.

As per current tax laws, if your income is over $60,000, none of your student loan interest will be tax deductible.

Someone with the above scenario would need an income of at least $45,000, possibly $50,000, over the next 30 years because of the FICA deduction in addition to state and federal taxes, just to repay their dental school debt. This assumes no additional private loans or undergraduate debt, and that the dental student is paying for their education and living expenses entirely on their own.

This is doable on an income of $100,000, but your student loan debt service alone will absorb almost 50% of your income for the next 30 years. On an income of $150,000, 33% of your income, $200,000, 25% of your income.

The finaid calculator cautions that a student loan burden of 10-15% of your income is appropriate. For dental students especially, and other professionals, it will be more significant.

I'm not sure how many of you have looked at it this way, but this is how we discuss the cost of education and it's future impact with our children. Education and having a profession is very important. Everyone needs a marketable skill. If you enjoy doing dentistry and are willing to work after you graduate, everything will work out, it really will, and you will have a rewarding career. Consider paying off the debt sooner if it works for you. It could save an enormous amount of interest. Good luck.
But we have to keep in mind, as the dentist experience increases, so does the pay. Unless you want to work as an associate all your life and make 120K then your senerio is accurate, but that is not the norm. The norm is that new dentist's salaries increase as they become partners and sole owners of their practice, so the loans wil suck a lot of your income in your first few years, but not for 30 years if you play it smart. 3 out of 5 of my best friends have their debt already paid off 4 years out. There is one almost done with her pedo residency sitting on 250+K in loans, but her first offer (which she is getting offers 10 months before she is suppose to complete her residency, granted ofcourse that she completes it of about 350K. So I do not think she will need 30 years to pay off her loans with a starting salary like that, especially with her humble lifestyle.
 

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MD2b20004 said:
But we have to keep in mind, as the dentist experience increases, so does the pay. Unless you want to work as an associate all your life and make 120K then your senerio is accurate, but that is not the norm. The norm is that new dentist's salaries increase as they become partners and sole owners of their practice, so the loans wil suck a lot of your income in your first few years, but not for 30 years if you play it smart. 3 out of 5 of my best friends have their debt already paid off 4 years out. There is one almost done with her pedo residency sitting on 250+K in loans, but her first offer (which she is getting offers 10 months before she is suppose to complete her residency, granted ofcourse that she completes it of about 350K. So I do not think she will need 30 years to pay off her loans with a starting salary like that, especially with her humble lifestyle.[/QUOTE




Hi MD2b20004,

Sure, things can always work out if you're willing to work and are commited to finishing what you start. Patience and persistance are virtues. As a specialist your friend's opportunity for making a larger income as an associate is greater than a GP, and I think for the most part, you are correct, if a dentist wants to make more they will have to open their own practice, run a business and do dentistry, but that involves more debt and doing two jobs well. Work is work, and you make money by spending money, investing in your education and your business. I hope your friend is successful in paying off her debt as early as she hopes. It sounds like she will.

My numbers were based on what many of the private dental schools suggest their costs are. I may have even low balled the costs a little bit. But even for a state school like Temple, my husband's and my alma mata, tuition and fees for an in-stater next year will be $31,500, $43,500 for an out-of stater, equipment and books $10,000, and about $20,000 for living expenses, health insurance,... attending summer sessions is extra, at least this was so in the past. The likelihood of graduating on time without attending most of the summer sessions was slim back then. I don't know if that is the case now. Four years at a Temple for an in-stater, Pitt about the same, will be about $240,000, plus $25,000 interest on defered, unsubsidized loans and about $10,000 in price increases over the years, about $275,000, maybe more, before specializing, if one were doing it all on their own.

Based on the previous scenario, $350,000 debt at interest rates of 6.8/8.5%, it would require an income of approximately $45,000 a year for 30 years, $1,300,000 income, just to satisfy the dental school debt. For $275,000 debt, under the same circumstances, $1,800/month, approximately $30,000 a year for 30 years, $900,000 income to satisfy the student loan, assuming before tax income in both cases.

When you use most student loan calculators, because the debt is so large, many automatically defer to a 30 year repayment schedule. However, you can use any variables you choose. Paying off debt sooner will reduce the cost of the loan, the higher the interest rate the more significant the savings.

There are some but relatively few inexpensive dental schools, and, on average, many dental students are coming into school with $20,000+ in undergraduate loans.

I was listening to a business show not long ago. One of the fundamentals of business as per the show was, "How long is it going to take to get back your investment." With dentistry the wait may be a little longer than with other businesses.

However, the nice thing about education is that once you make the investment of time and money, that degree is yours, no one can take it away from you. As education is getting more expensive each year, if you want to do it, the sooner the better.

As I've said before school loans can not be discharged easily, almost impossible, and as the capital investment becomes larger, I think it's a good idea to look at the profession before you start school and be relatively sure that this is what you want to do with your life. Dentistry can be very rewarding. Very best wishes to you and your friend. :)
 

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Is it me, or does Lesley sound bitter in all of his/her posts? You're a dentist right? Are you bankrupt or living on government subsidies? I'm getting the impression that life didn't turn out so grand for you, maybe not being as succesful as you had hoped. A dentist, and a spouse whose a dentist should have no worries financially...this coming from someone who is related to/knows of many people in the profession. I would hate to be your kid from what you've described as "discussing" their future prospects. If they want to be get a Phd, DDS, or work at burger king, you should support their decision. Just because some things are difficult and/or require a large investment, doesn't mean that they shouldn't be pursued.
 

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nothen2do said:
Is it me, or does Lesley sound bitter in all of his/her posts? You're a dentist right? Are you bankrupt or living on government subsidies? I'm getting the impression that life didn't turn out so grand for you, maybe not being as succesful as you had hoped. A dentist, and a spouse whose a dentist should have no worries financially...this coming from someone who is related to/knows of many people in the profession. I would hate to be your kid from what you've described as "discussing" their future prospects. If they want to be get a Phd, DDS, or work at burger king, you should support their decision. Just because some things are difficult and/or require a large investment, doesn't mean that they shouldn't be pursued.
I don't necassarilly think lesley post air on the side of bitterness at all. What she is trying to show is the flip side to dentistry. As predents, we tend to look at things in rose tinted glasses, there is no doom and gloom and everything is positive. There is nothing wrong with that at all.. Once and a while we've got to take off those glasses and see whats really going on. Sort of a reality check...
 

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nothen2do said:
Is it me, or does Lesley sound bitter in all of his/her posts? You're a dentist right? Are you bankrupt or living on government subsidies? I'm getting the impression that life didn't turn out so grand for you, maybe not being as succesful as you had hoped. A dentist, and a spouse whose a dentist should have no worries financially...this coming from someone who is related to/knows of many people in the profession. I would hate to be your kid from what you've described as "discussing" their future prospects. If they want to be get a Phd, DDS, or work at burger king, you should support their decision. Just because some things are difficult and/or require a large investment, doesn't mean that they shouldn't be pursued.

Hi Nothen2do,

I'm in between patients, so very short on time. I think you should do what you want to do. Period. As a parent and as a dentist, and not knowing anything about finances prior to starting dental school, it's my choice and privilege to share my knowledge with my children. Both my kids are doing what they have chosen to do. No, it's not dentistry, and both will owe some money at the end of the day. The numbers I posted were not fictitious, they may be someone's reality. Does that make you uncomfortable? It does me. These just seem like such large numbers. I'm sorry if my uncomfortableness mistakenly sounds like bitterness to you. But it really isn't. I do not mean to tell anyone not to go into any profession, these are just cautionary words. Good luck with your choices.
 

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Lesley said:
Hi Nothen2do,

I'm in between patients, so very short on time. I think you should do what you want to do. Period. As a parent and as a dentist, and not knowing anything about finances prior to starting dental school, it's my choice and privilege to share my knowledge with my children. Both my kids are doing what they have chosen to do. No, it's not dentistry, and both will owe some money at the end of the day. The numbers I posted were not fictitious, they may be someone's reality. Does that make you uncomfortable? It does me. These just seem like such large numbers. I'm sorry if my uncomfortableness mistakenly sounds like bitterness to you. But it really isn't. I do not mean to tell anyone not to go into any profession, these are just cautionary words. Good luck with your choices.
So out of curiousity, how long have you and your husband been out of dental school? How long have you been practicing? How much do you net alone?(sorry if invasive). How much does your husband net? And what careers are your kids in and what wil they net?
 

Lesley

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MD2b20004 said:
So out of curiousity, how long have you and your husband been out of dental school? How long have you been practicing? How much do you net alone?(sorry if invasive). How much does your husband net? And what careers are your kids in and what wil they net?

Hi MD2b20004,

Sorry, your questions are invasive, so I won't be too specific. But, my family and I are doing fine. We were lucky, even inspite of very high interest rates on our student loans. We stuck to our plan and accomplished our goal of getting rid of our debt asap.

We both worked. The kids went in day care, starting at 4 weeks old for the older one and 12 weeks for the younger one. We minimized it as much and as soon possible by staggering our hours.

I enjoy our practice, and I enjoy my patients and staff. I especially enjoy my hours, as I can appreciate what it is like to work a lot of hours when compared to my hours in the Navy right after dental school graduation and our hours during the first 10+ years after purchasing our practice.

I really think we were very lucky. We both graduated by age 26, bought our house by age 27, had our first child and bought our practice by age 28 and our last child by 31. We have been at our office going 23 years now. It was a lot to undertake, but we have always been focused on our family and our business. It was a lot to accomplish. It was very industrious of us especially since we have had no family help, not for college for my husband, either of us for dental school or even our wedding. We really did accomplish a lot and as a result things are going very smoothly. We know how lucky we are. Not a day goes by without one of us saying this.

Our children are very happy and healthy. They may want to change their career choices in the future, but they will at least have a base, a good field with good income potential with some but not an onerous amount of debt for the graduate portion of their educations only. They have chosen their fields based on their interests and job opportunities that appeal to them. While I might discuss their choices at another time, their choices remain independent of the cost of their education. Regardless, we find it highly appropriate and responsible to discuss this issue with our children. How you will handle this with your children, is your choice.

As I tell my children, you would not buy a car without knowing how much that monthly payment will be, why an education? It should not be a taboo subject. It may effect you and your decisions down the road, but as I can see from the comments on this board, no one wants to deal with it and anyone who does, is "bitter, negative, or just not nice." It is everyone's choice to evaluate information, store, use or disgard it.

Why our concern? My husband and I feel that we just made it, in terms of being able to accomplish what we did, in the time frame we did, even with a lot of hard work, because things have changed economically. Maybe everyone will prove us wrong. I am really hoping this is true. Maybe we're old, not really that old! When I look at the board, I'm only about 15 years older than some graduating students, maybe less. The cost of education is so high that thirty year repayment schedules are common. I joked to my husband we're going to see 40 year repayment schedules soon! We have already progressed to 50 year mortgages. Not that long ago ten year repayment plans were common, even for professionals. We feel lucky to have gotten in just in under the wire. It is not a reflection on dentistry. I like what I do. I feel privileged to have a profession that is respected. I find this especially so when you treat your patients well and do good work. They will keep coming back to you and say good things about you to other potential patients.

The scandels at UMDMJ and UNLV are particularly concerning. They involved a large portion of the fourth year dental students in both cases, for UMDNJ almost 25% of the class. I honestly don't remember anything like this happening while we were in school. We were fortunate to get our requirements done a little early and both did very well on the boards the first time round. As I said before, we're very diligent, but more than half my class and my husband's graduated late. They weren't concerned if they went another summer, or took the boards in August or later. So, something has changed. But what? Is it possible that the financial pressure is so huge now, that they are desperate to graduate so that they don't incur any more debt? While these may have been naive mistakes for many, they were dishonest regardless. You do that to an insurance company, and you will be in big trouble. In dentistry, you have to be honest with yourself, refer out that case that is beyond you, be honest to your patients, do what they need done, not what your wallet is telling you, and be good to your staff, they will support you especially when they know you are kind and honest. Yes, they want to be paid well too, but it is your sincerity that they will recognize, that will motivate them and make them proud to work for you.

We are young and have done a lot. We can provide for our family well and and are healthy. But, no, it's not a slam dunk. We will continue to work for a long time, if we are lucky. So while retirement, isn't even remotely in the picture, life has gotten too expensive for that, we are very happy and, yes, very lucky. Life can be very good. Good luck. :luck:
 

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MD2b20004 said:
So out of curiousity, how long have you and your husband been out of dental school? How long have you been practicing? How much do you net alone?(sorry if invasive). How much does your husband net? And what careers are your kids in and what wil they net?

.
 

Lesley

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MD2b20004 said:
So out of curiousity, how long have you and your husband been out of dental school? How long have you been practicing? How much do you net alone?(sorry if invasive). How much does your husband net? And what careers are your kids in and what wil they net?

..
 

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Lesley said:
Hi MD2b20004,

Sorry, your questions are invasive, so I won't be too specific. But, my family and I are doing fine. We were lucky, even inspite of very high interest rates on our student loans. We stuck to our plan and accomplished our goal of getting rid of our debt asap.

We both worked. The kids went in day care, starting at 4 weeks old for the older one and 12 weeks for the younger one. We minimized it as much and as soon possible by staggering our hours.

I enjoy our practice, and I enjoy my patients and staff. I especially enjoy my hours, as I can appreciate what it is like to work a lot of hours when compared to my hours in the Navy right after dental school graduation and our hours during the first 10+ years after purchasing our practice.

I really think we were very lucky. We both graduated by age 26, bought our house by age 27, had our first child and bought our practice by age 28 and our last child by 31. We have been at our office going 23 years now. It was a lot to undertake, but we have always been focused on our family and our business. It was a lot to accomplish. It was very industrious of us especially since we have had no family help, not for college for my husband, either of us for dental school or even our wedding. We really did accomplish a lot and as a result things are going very smoothly. We know how lucky we are. Not a day goes by without one of us saying this.

Our children are very happy and healthy. They may want to change their career choices in the future, but they will at least have a base, a good field with good income potential with some but not an onerous amount of debt for the graduate portion of their educations only. They have chosen their fields based on their interests and job opportunities that appeal to them. While I might discuss their choices at another time, their choices remain independent of the cost of their education. Regardless, we find it highly appropriate and responsible to discuss this issue with our children. How you will handle this with your children, is your choice.

As I tell my children, you would not buy a car without knowing how much that monthly payment will be, why an education? It should not be a taboo subject. It may effect you and your decisions down the road, but as I can see from the comments on this board, no one wants to deal with it and anyone who does, is "bitter, negative, or just not nice." It is everyone's choice to evaluate information, store, use or disgard it.

Why our concern? My husband and I feel that we just made it, in terms of being able to accomplish what we did, in the time frame we did, even with a lot of hard work, because things have changed economically. Maybe everyone will prove us wrong. I am really hoping this is true. Maybe we're old, not really that old! When I look at the board, I'm only about 15 years older than some graduating students, maybe less. The cost of education is so high that thirty year repayment schedules are common. I joked to my husband we're going to see 40 year repayment schedules soon! We have already progressed to 50 year mortgages. Not that long ago ten year repayment plans were common, even for professionals. We feel lucky to have gotten in just in under the wire. It is not a reflection on dentistry. I like what I do. I feel privileged to have a profession that is respected. I find this especially so when you treat your patients well and do good work. They will keep coming back to you and say good things about you to other potential patients.

The scandels at UMDMJ and UNLV are particularly concerning. They involved a large portion of the fourth year dental students in both cases, for UMDNJ almost 25% of the class. I honestly don't remember anything like this happening while we were in school. We were fortunate to get our requirements done a little early and both did very well on the boards the first time round. As I said before, we're very diligent, but more than half my class and my husband's graduated late. They weren't concerned if they went another summer, or took the boards in August or later. So, something has changed. But what? Is it possible that the financial pressure is so huge now, that they are desperate to graduate so that they don't incur any more debt? While these may have been naive mistakes for many, they were dishonest regardless. You do that to an insurance company, and you will be in big trouble. In dentistry, you have to be honest with yourself, refer out that case that is beyond you, be honest to your patients, do what they need done, not what your wallet is telling you, and be good to your staff, they will support you especially when they know you are kind and honest. Yes, they want to be paid well too, but it is your sincerity that they will recognize, that will motivate them and make them proud to work for you.

We are young and have done a lot. We can provide for our family well and and are healthy. But, no, it's not a slam dunk. We will continue to work for a long time, if we are lucky. So while retirement, isn't even remotely in the picture, life has gotten too expensive for that, we are very happy and, yes, very lucky. Life can be very good. Good luck. :luck:
Thanks for the detailed response, and sorry if my questions were invasive. I just wanted others to get the opportunity of where you are coming from. We all have to understand economy varies, interest rate varies, and luck plays a big role in stuff (as well as having a good business/financial plan). Take for example MDs in the same specialties as Internist. I know of some barely getting by with their 150K salary, and those who have multiple clinics and are millionaires, was their education different? No. Did they graduate around the same time frame? Yes. Does that make the rich internist smart and the one with the 150K working as a hospitalist dumb. No. It is all about what you want in life, what your goals in life are, what interests you, and what type of personality you have. For example, for my gf have a Don Vutch or whatever those other 1200 purses that she can pay off some of my poor loans off are important to her, she is a rich girl who does not understand struggle and hard work, so her decision to chose her field of study was based soley on potential salary. Is that smart or the right thing, NO. Because you will be successful in any field you enjoy and financial success can not be measured by any means compared to the happiness that comes with the money. I rather be middle class and happy (which I am not, live on my own and self-financed my life and education since the age of 17). But hopefully I will be middle class once I succeed in defeating my illness and continuing with school. I do not mind struggling and not having the BMW my friends have as long as I can have a career that will provide an acceptable living style for my future kids and wife (not even thinking about marriage yet, but since I came from a dysfunctional family, having a future loving family is my main priority and goal in life. Others my have other priorities or dreams, so i guess it is all relative.
 

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MD2b20004 said:
Thanks for the detailed response, and sorry if my questions were invasive. I just wanted others to get the opportunity of where you are coming from. We all have to understand economy varies, interest rate varies, and luck plays a big role in stuff (as well as having a good business/financial plan). Take for example MDs in the same specialties as Internist. I know of some barely getting by with their 150K salary, and those who have multiple clinics and are millionaires, was their education different? No. Did they graduate around the same time frame? Yes. Does that make the rich internist smart and the one with the 150K working as a hospitalist dumb. No. It is all about what you want in life, what your goals in life are, what interests you, and what type of personality you have. For example, for my gf have a Don Vutch or whatever those other 1200 purses that she can pay off some of my poor loans off are important to her, she is a rich girl who does not understand struggle and hard work, so her decision to chose her field of study was based soley on potential salary. Is that smart or the right thing, NO. Because you will be successful in any field you enjoy and financial success can not be measured by any means compared to the happiness that comes with the money. I rather be middle class and happy (which I am not, live on my own and self-financed my life and education since the age of 17). But hopefully I will be middle class once I succeed in defeating my illness and continuing with school. I do not mind struggling and not having the BMW my friends have as long as I can have a career that will provide an acceptable living style for my future kids and wife (not even thinking about marriage yet, but since I came from a dysfunctional family, having a future loving family is my main priority and goal in life. Others my have other priorities or dreams, so i guess it is all relative.

Hi MD200042B,

Thanks for your post. In dentistry, luck and having your own practice may initially dictate income, along with how many hours you want to work, etc.

When we purchased our practice, we had nothing. We leverged our home which only had a small amount of equity. With our limited resources, we bought a practice in a blue collar area that was available in our price range and in tune with our finances.

We thought of opening our own practice from the start, but due to our dental school debt burden, we would not have been able to get through the lean times that occur when first opening a new practice. I am also pretty sure we would not have been able to get adequate financing either. My B-I-L the accountant was delighted when we obtained financing essentially by leveraging our home. We purchased an affordable up and running practice.

Over the years, we could have leveraged more, moved our practice and started over, but it's not that easy to do. After a while, you get sick of making payments. It's hard to start over. Ultimately, it's just not what we desired or were focused on. We were raising a family which takes an enormous amount of energy. Our patients are loyal, we don't advertise and we are working at a very nice pace and have a nice schedule, especially for the past year. So, while luck and any financial help from any resource can make a big difference, it is who we are that makes the biggest difference.

But you are correct, without any family help, life can be more difficult. A lot of people can be very ignorant to this. Even relatives. My S-I-L, very rich, commented to me, after I told her during dental school that I had no money, literally no money, she didn't either. She later went to the phone booth, no cell phones at the time, and called her rich dad to have her wire her some money. Problems can be solved for some, very simply.

It's best not to compare, but that is not easy. Focus on your goals and wants, and you will be surpised at not only what you can accomplish, but how happy you can be sorting things out for yourself. I have had been told by many friends and family that it was "easy" for us to achive.

It is funny, I think being a woman I get this directed at me more than my husband. I'm not sure if it's jealously or if they are just trying to minimize our efforts. You can not get them to realize otherwise. Believe me, I tried. I really felt a need when I was younger for them to acknowledge that things had not been "easy." I guess I wanted validation. They remain to this day steadfast in their view. Often, I think they are just trying to justify their lack of success with the excuse that it would have been "harder" for them. Bottom line, you can not figure anyone else out, nor should you bother trying, just try to figure out your needs and live your life.

It is definitly not all about money. It just may feel that way when you first graduate and are buying that car, house, business, paying off school loans, saving for your children's education and retirement. When I reflect on my life, as I get older, it is less and less about the money. I measure my life differently.

I have my health. I have a degree and a profession not everyone has. I have passed my boards and will never take another one! I have served my country. I have licenses in several states. Licensure by credential is a wonderful thing. I have a supportive husband of 25 years, two children that I'm proud of who have made my life infinitely more worthwhile, one almost done undergrad and another set to start, an office, patients and staff, a lovely, but not big, home and garden, and I even have possibilities! Maybe we'll move to another, warmer state someday. I have dreams, they're about living, not money.

We all struggle with different issues including our health. Be proud of what you have accomplished so far. Value yourself always. Try not to be hard on yourself. Do the best you can, it may not always be the very best you can do some days, but at least you will know you have tried. No one can do more than that. Be patient, good things will happen including having a loving family some day. It would be nice to find someone who while may be different from you, can see things from your perspective, is empathic and has similar goals. These things go a long way to soothing the heart and soul. Wishing us all Health and Happiness. Very Best wishes, Lesley
 
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