What can I be doing different Financially??

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gaspusher

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Hi everyone,

Early in my career, have about 25 years left in me God willing. I know this isn't White Coat Investors, nor are we Wealth Management professionals. I would just like some humble opinions of elders who have navigated the financial waters.

Since I last posted months ago, we have moved - albeit to just another VHCOL area.

I still bring home about $25-30,0000 a month post tax and 401k. My wife still brings home about $10,000 a month post tax and 401k. We signed a three year rental agreement for a house that Zillows estimates ~ $3.5 million for $8500 a month (utilities included). The house is 2 years old and our absolute dream house. Yes, I know it is an inexcusably large waste of money to spend this type of money on rent, but for the quality of life my wife wants, it's unfortunately the price here. Student loans are all paid off. I still feel we are making zero lead way to financial stability despite our high earnings (and it's disheartening to see the house next to us bought by a VC punk only 6 years out of COLLEGE).

Please let me know where we are going wrong:

Investments -

1) Tax deferred portfolio:
Max'ing out 401k and cash balance plan (we both are putting a combined nearly $100k away in retirement each year). I'm only getting about 7% on my 401k from VTI/VOO/VXUS/QQQ combo. Do I need to be less conservative and if so what do I do? I will not pay a wealth manager 1% to actively trade, that is a financial death sentence.

2) Taxed portfolio:
HYSA. This is where a majority of our liquid cash goes. Anywhere from $13-19,000 a month. We get about 4.5% APY ROI. I want to be liquid if/when a recession comes and all the VC/PE go under and we can finally get a house for a discount.
We both back door Roth the full amount. Again VTI and some QQQ. We also buy about $2-3,000 in stocks each month (mostly QQQ). After we buy a house we will ramp our stock portfolio substantially (if we can ever get a mortgage for what we pay in rent).

3) Real Estate????:
This is obviously a wish someday, and should get us 4% ROI each year compounded (vs the 8% I hope in the stock market - again I don't know how to get higher amounts without risk in the stock market). Being that I can't even get a personal home, I would safely say investment properties are not happening for us any time soon, nor are commercial or industrial real estate. Neither of us can get a professional real estate license anyway so the tax write off won't likely be enough. The 1% rule for renting is impossible in this area.

Costs -

1) Rent. Easily the largest and most painful expense. I don't get 4% ROI on it, as I would owning and the rent could go up after 3 years unlike the mortgage. However, this house would cost us $22,000 a month with $1,000,000 down to buy with a mortgage at 7.5%.

2) All the expenses included food, baby supplies, car finance payments. About $4,000 a month, but a few larger purchases / international trips in the past 6 months have set us back. We need to be better about this. We only buy top tier items on sale that will hopefully last a long time.

In summary: We are only getting 7% return on retirement investments and only 4.5% on liquid investments (and losing on rent when a house would get us 4% ROI each year). We spend an unGodly amount on rent because it's nearly impossible to buy in the Bay Area with these rates (we would be living paycheck to paycheck with no savings other than retirement - see what I said before about rent to mortgage ratio). I know the answer is to move because physicians will never be able to compete with VC/PE/Wealth Management/Tech IPOs/FAANG but we really like the area and would be willingly to change up our investment portfolio to make it work. I just don't see breaking $10 million by 55 at this rate and reaching financial freedom.

How would you change things (other than moving to Wyoming/Idaho) re: investments. Thank you!

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$8500 rent a month for a $3.5 million home seems solid ?
 
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I don't see any obvious errors. Your rent seems like a good deal. Just look at a rent vs buy calculator and I am sure you are way ahead. Your house is worth 8x mine but if that's what your wife wants then it is cheaper than a divorce. Investments seem fine. I'm not tech heavy like you but I am not going to criticize that. I doubt your portfolio performs much different than mine which is basically VTI/VXUS. Agree that real estate investments seems odd if you don't own your own house (in theory it could make sense if rent:buy ratio is more favorable in a different part of the country from where you live, but this just seems stupid). I don't think there is some magical secret. It all comes down to how much you make and how much you spend. If you are unwilling to sacrifice your location or lifestyle, then you either must make more money or work longer.
 
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Hi everyone,

Early in my career, have about 25 years left in me God willing. I know this isn't White Coat Investors, nor are we Wealth Management professionals. I would just like some humble opinions of elders who have navigated the financial waters.

Since I last posted months ago, we have moved - albeit to just another VHCOL area.

I still bring home about $25-30,0000 a month post tax and 401k. My wife still brings home about $10,000 a month post tax and 401k. We signed a three year rental agreement for a house that Zillows estimates ~ $3.5 million for $8500 a month (utilities included). The house is 2 years old and our absolute dream house. Yes, I know it is an inexcusably large waste of money to spend this type of money on rent, but for the quality of life my wife wants, it's unfortunately the price here. Student loans are all paid off. I still feel we are making zero lead way to financial stability despite our high earnings (and it's disheartening to see the house next to us bought by a VC punk only 6 years out of COLLEGE).

Please let me know where we are going wrong:

Investments -

1) Tax deferred portfolio:
Max'ing out 401k and cash balance plan (we both are putting a combined nearly $100k away in retirement each year). I'm only getting about 7% on my 401k from VTI/VOO/VXUS/QQQ combo. Do I need to be less conservative and if so what do I do? I will not pay a wealth manager 1% to actively trade, that is a financial death sentence.

2) Taxed portfolio:
HYSA. This is where a majority of our liquid cash goes. Anywhere from $13-19,000 a month. We get about 4.5% APY ROI. I want to be liquid if/when a recession comes and all the VC/PE go under and we can finally get a house for a discount.
We both back door Roth the full amount. Again VTI and some QQQ. We also buy about $2-3,000 in stocks each month (mostly QQQ). After we buy a house we will ramp our stock portfolio substantially (if we can ever get a mortgage for what we pay in rent).

3) Real Estate????:
This is obviously a wish someday, and should get us 4% ROI each year compounded (vs the 8% I hope in the stock market - again I don't know how to get higher amounts without risk in the stock market). Being that I can't even get a personal home, I would safely say investment properties are not happening for us any time soon, nor are commercial or industrial real estate. Neither of us can get a professional real estate license anyway so the tax write off won't likely be enough. The 1% rule for renting is impossible in this area.

Costs -

1) Rent. Easily the largest and most painful expense. I don't get 4% ROI on it, as I would owning and the rent could go up after 3 years unlike the mortgage. However, this house would cost us $22,000 a month with $1,000,000 down to buy with a mortgage at 7.5%.

2) All the expenses included food, baby supplies, car finance payments. About $4,000 a month, but a few larger purchases / international trips in the past 6 months have set us back. We need to be better about this. We only buy top tier items on sale that will hopefully last a long time.

In summary: We are only getting 7% return on retirement investments and only 4.5% on liquid investments (and losing on rent when a house would get us 4% ROI each year). We spend an unGodly amount on rent because it's nearly impossible to buy in the Bay Area with these rates (we would be living paycheck to paycheck with no savings other than retirement - see what I said before about rent to mortgage ratio). I know the answer is to move because physicians will never be able to compete with VC/PE/Wealth Management/Tech IPOs/FAANG but we really like the area and would be willingly to change up our investment portfolio to make it work. I just don't see breaking $10 million by 55 at this rate and reaching financial freedom.

How would you change things (other than moving to Wyoming/Idaho) re: investments. Thank you!

Any reason why you're heavily investing into QQQ? Is this a long term hold? I know it is tech heavy but since it is leveraged I don't know if I would consider it a long term play. The decay will eat into your earnings.

When the market goes down, you will feel it since it is buying high and selling low essentially.

Have you sat down with your wife and written down your goals?

What do you want to do exactly? Early retire? Make $10 million? Buy a house and just settle in a specific area?

Money is a tool to do what you want in life.

Renting is fine especially in an area where you are at.

Also, why do you have a car payment? You should be able to pay for most cars cash without any issues or within a few months.
 
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You’re always going to feel a bit strapped if your goal is to buy a $4m dollar home. Even in the Bay Area that’s a fairly ridiculous home. Plenty of very nice homes in high end areas for $2m.

You’ve made it pretty clear you’re aware of it, but the post is a still a bit like “Hey all, short of taking the nail out of my skull, how can I make this headache go away?”
 
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7% isn’t that bad a return depending on when you started the account? If you started the account in 2021 then you probably took a hit in 2022 and recovered a bit. Those funds have all performed well except VXUS so if your returns are lower it’s probably bc you have high international exposure.

At that rent to home value ratio I’d probably just keep renting, you don’t have to worry about repairs or insurance or any other nonsense. Or suck it up and buy a slightly cheaper, slightly less nice house. You seem to understand that buying a nice house in the Bay Area is a luxury good and your investing will suffer as a result. On the other hand, your property should appreciate more than in most markets.
 
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Choose VOO or VTI. Likely don’t invest in both as there is massive overlap as to dilute your portfolio. VOO or VTI with QQQ would likely be a good balance 50/50. If you really want to, I’d only put like 5-10% in VXUS (US markets are well versed globally already).

Yes rent is high but actually manageable. It is less than 30% of your take home. Your monthly spending is good. Maybe you’re saving too much? Get to 1-2years (or even 3 years ultra conservative) of expenses and then go to investing the rest. A recession typically lasts 3 years.
 
Hi everyone,

Early in my career, have about 25 years left in me God willing. I know this isn't White Coat Investors, nor are we Wealth Management professionals. I would just like some humble opinions of elders who have navigated the financial waters.

Since I last posted months ago, we have moved - albeit to just another VHCOL area.

I still bring home about $25-30,0000 a month post tax and 401k. My wife still brings home about $10,000 a month post tax and 401k. We signed a three year rental agreement for a house that Zillows estimates ~ $3.5 million for $8500 a month (utilities included). The house is 2 years old and our absolute dream house. Yes, I know it is an inexcusably large waste of money to spend this type of money on rent, but for the quality of life my wife wants, it's unfortunately the price here. Student loans are all paid off. I still feel we are making zero lead way to financial stability despite our high earnings (and it's disheartening to see the house next to us bought by a VC punk only 6 years out of COLLEGE).

Please let me know where we are going wrong:

Investments -

1) Tax deferred portfolio:
Max'ing out 401k and cash balance plan (we both are putting a combined nearly $100k away in retirement each year). I'm only getting about 7% on my 401k from VTI/VOO/VXUS/QQQ combo. Do I need to be less conservative and if so what do I do? I will not pay a wealth manager 1% to actively trade, that is a financial death sentence.

2) Taxed portfolio:
HYSA. This is where a majority of our liquid cash goes. Anywhere from $13-19,000 a month. We get about 4.5% APY ROI. I want to be liquid if/when a recession comes and all the VC/PE go under and we can finally get a house for a discount.
We both back door Roth the full amount. Again VTI and some QQQ. We also buy about $2-3,000 in stocks each month (mostly QQQ). After we buy a house we will ramp our stock portfolio substantially (if we can ever get a mortgage for what we pay in rent).

3) Real Estate????:
This is obviously a wish someday, and should get us 4% ROI each year compounded (vs the 8% I hope in the stock market - again I don't know how to get higher amounts without risk in the stock market). Being that I can't even get a personal home, I would safely say investment properties are not happening for us any time soon, nor are commercial or industrial real estate. Neither of us can get a professional real estate license anyway so the tax write off won't likely be enough. The 1% rule for renting is impossible in this area.

Costs -

1) Rent. Easily the largest and most painful expense. I don't get 4% ROI on it, as I would owning and the rent could go up after 3 years unlike the mortgage. However, this house would cost us $22,000 a month with $1,000,000 down to buy with a mortgage at 7.5%.

2) All the expenses included food, baby supplies, car finance payments. About $4,000 a month, but a few larger purchases / international trips in the past 6 months have set us back. We need to be better about this. We only buy top tier items on sale that will hopefully last a long time.

In summary: We are only getting 7% return on retirement investments and only 4.5% on liquid investments (and losing on rent when a house would get us 4% ROI each year). We spend an unGodly amount on rent because it's nearly impossible to buy in the Bay Area with these rates (we would be living paycheck to paycheck with no savings other than retirement - see what I said before about rent to mortgage ratio). I know the answer is to move because physicians will never be able to compete with VC/PE/Wealth Management/Tech IPOs/FAANG but we really like the area and would be willingly to change up our investment portfolio to make it work. I just don't see breaking $10 million by 55 at this rate and reaching financial freedom.

How would you change things (other than moving to Wyoming/Idaho) re: investments. Thank you!

I dont think its terrible that you are renting, especially given the situation.

The only thing that would concern me would be the idea of retiring without a paid off place to live.

You have to factor rent now into retirement.

When I think about retiring I'm running my numbers based on just paying property taxes. I think most are.

Maybe save 3-4k per month now in a separate HYSA or safe ETF for as many years as you plan to be retired. Then maybe buy a smaller place when your needs are less so you have the security of no debts.

In some ways your situation makes it easy to retire. No big house to sell and worry about as you get older
 
I don’t get it with California guys… is San Diego and LA and San Francisco really worth it? SF is a 💩 hole…. I wouldn’t live there for anything. The markets in LA and San Diego seem terrible. For gods sake move somewhere else -
 
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I stopped funding my hysa and put it into a money market fund. Vanguard's default is giving over 5%.

You don't have to pay 7.5%. You could easily get under 7. I just got quoted under 6 with 1 point.
 
Any reason why you're heavily investing into QQQ? Is this a long term hold? I know it is tech heavy but since it is leveraged I don't know if I would consider it a long term play. The decay will eat into your earnings.

When the market goes down, you will feel it since it is buying high and selling low essentially.

Have you sat down with your wife and written down your goals?

What do you want to do exactly? Early retire? Make $10 million? Buy a house and just settle in a specific area?

Money is a tool to do what you want in life.

Renting is fine especially in an area where you are at.

Also, why do you have a car payment? You should be able to pay for most cars cash without any issues or within a few months.
If you've got car payments with 0% financing (not uncommon just a few years ago), you could pay them off immediately... or put that money in a CD/MMF paying >5%.
 
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You’re always going to feel a bit strapped if your goal is to buy a $4m dollar home. Even in the Bay Area that’s a fairly ridiculous home. Plenty of very nice homes in high end areas for $2m.

You’ve made it pretty clear you’re aware of it, but the post is a still a bit like “Hey all, short of taking the nail out of my skull, how can I make this headache go away?”
This response is gold!!
 
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I don’t get it with California guys… is San Diego and LA and San Francisco really worth it? SF is a 💩 hole…. I wouldn’t live there for anything. The markets in LA and San Diego seem terrible. For gods sake move somewhere else -
No. I bet the wife wants to be there more than OP.
 
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How big of a house does one get for $8500 in SF area? I am just curious. In my mind I am seeing 2500 SF or so but really I have no clue.
Why do you feel you need $10Mil to retire? Because @blade said so?
 
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Hi!

1.99% financing so I'm keeping the loan. All stocks are hold until retirement - whether pretax or taxed account. Money market is a good idea, I think once we peak over $250,000 in the HYSA in the next month or two, we will start putting in the money market from Schwab. The idea is to buy a house at some time (hence all the savings and not putting money directly in stocks) and I'm hoping for a market downturn (but know that that will unfortunately accompany a recession and I hate for that to happen). 7% is ytd. I've been averaging 7-8% over the past about 2 years.

Yes, those of us who came in the past two years have had a more challenging landscape. Salaries are higher but the economy is kinda working against us a little.
 

Our house is a much newer, slightly smaller version of this house. We pay less than they want too. Redfin, realtor, Zillow estimate in the 3.5 million range.
 
If you are bringing home ~30k + 10k post tax plus 401k’s, that’s a post tax income over 500k. Rent is 100k and you spend 4k/month plus some extra vacations. That should leave well over 300k/yr for investing. Where is the extra money going? Are you maybe spending way more than you realize? Please tell more about the big expenses you gloss over, sounds like that could be the issue?
 
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Tell your wife that you're packing up and moving to the south or midwest and you're going to find a reasonably priced place to live. She can come with or stay. This woman is going to cost you too much. Best to just break it off now.
 
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Tell your wife that you're packing up and moving to the south or midwest and you're going to find a reasonably priced place to live. She can come with or stay. This woman is going to cost you too much. Best to just break it off now.
Or just tell her that living in a mansion in the most expensive real estate market in the country dooms you to wage slavery (albeit at a high level).

Why not a $2m home in Los Gatos that is actually reasonable?
 
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Or just tell her that living in a mansion in the most expensive real estate market in the country dooms you to wage slavery (albeit at a high level).

Why not a $2m home in Los Gatos that is actually reasonable?
Or find a nice young slightly homely lady who appreciates him more for all he does for her.
 
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Money just doesn’t go that far when it comes to homes in the bay area. Been trying to get my parents out of Los Altos and CA for years, but they won’t budge an inch. That area is way over rated and expensive for what I would want.

I appreciate tastes differ, but if you are starting out it’s a hard pill to swallow.
 
If you want to stay in the bay area, I think the OP is doing fine. Just be prepared to have a longer stretch to reach retirement goals.
 
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If you want to stay in the bay area, I think the OP is doing fine. Just be prepared to have a longer stretch to reach retirement goals.
Yeah it’s not that OP can’t technically afford it. It’s just that most of us go into medicine for financial independence in some capacity.

OP is going to be on the same plan as 99% of Americans working until they are 65 out of necessity. It’s mathematically fine, just doesn’t seem worth it just to pray at the alter of Bay Area real estate, especially when it seems unnecessary even in that context (there are good homes in that area for half of what he wants to spend).
 
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If you are bringing home ~30k + 10k post tax plus 401k’s, that’s a post tax income over 500k. Rent is 100k and you spend 4k/month plus some extra vacations. That should leave well over 300k/yr for investing. Where is the extra money going? Are you maybe spending way more than you realize? What are the big expenses you gloss over, sounds like that could be the issue?

Very true ha! I guess I don't know where all the money is going after all. I looked at my TOTAL (non rent) bills and they average to a little over $4,000 a month over this past year. I forgot that my wife also charges around $2,500 a month. So more like $6500 a month for two adults and a child (with child care) plus some very large moving expenses and travel. Over $200,000 in one HYSA over the course of 1 year. So, yes, you're right - we spend too much and have tons of room to keep saving. We need to work on this, it's just been a crazy year.
 
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I don’t think most would fault you for spending ~250k on 500k income, but definitely want a reliable way to track spending and eliminate anything that doesn’t bring joy or make life easier or better (and make sure there’s no fraud/theft etc)

Helps to have a final common pathway of spending, such as a checking account that all spending goes through one way or another.

also if FI is a goal, best to view in terms of a multiple of spending: “we spend 200k so I need 25x 200k or 35 x 200k etc” Once you do that, you realize buying a $10k toy doesn’t cost $10k, it costs you 25 x $10k, or at least it’s helpful to think this way.
 
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Tell your wife that you're packing up and moving to the south or midwest and you're going to find a reasonably priced place to live. She can come with or stay. This woman is going to cost you too much. Best to just break it off now.
This is a common theme with doctors’ wives. A never ending one it seems. Men don’t learn. Plenty of These women are setting themselves up for life. Pop out two kids and there is some kind of guaranteed income for at least 18 years. And then of course let’s not forget possibly half and alimoney!!
Many were crying online when lifetime alimony ended last summer in Florida.
 
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Our house is a much newer, slightly smaller version of this house. We pay less than they want too. Redfin, realtor, Zillow estimate in the 3.5 million range.
For three people? In a VHCOL? Waste of money. You certainly can get a smaller house especially if renting. Happy wife happy life they say.
Except is this really true?
 
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to be fair, she herself is bringing home $10k post tax which means she has nearly a 300k salary herself.
 
I don’t get it with California guys… is San Diego and LA and San Francisco really worth it? SF is a 💩 hole…. I wouldn’t live there for anything. The markets in LA and San Diego seem terrible. For gods sake move somewhere else -
Been debated as nauseum. You either get it or you don’t. We love it here. The poop-hole narrative is for right-wing media junkies. Our neighborhood is beautiful, we raise our kids here in community with dozens of other families in the area, and have an amazing life at our doorstep without having to get in the car. Is it worth the housing costs? Not to you, apparently, but to plenty of us. I haven’t felt poor for one second living here.
 
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I don’t get it with California guys… is San Diego and LA and San Francisco really worth it? SF is a 💩 hole…. I wouldn’t live there for anything. The markets in LA and San Diego seem terrible. For gods sake move somewhere else -

Yup.

I don’t get the California thing either.

My advice is exactly the same as it was last time around: you need to move…
 
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Been debated as nauseum. You either get it or you don’t. We love it here. The poop-hole narrative is for right-wing media junkies. Our neighborhood is beautiful, we raise our kids here in community with dozens of other families in the area, and have an amazing life at our doorstep without having to get in the car. Is it worth the housing costs? Not to you, apparently, but to plenty of us. I haven’t felt poor for one second living here.

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

- Nietzche

Also, my wife went to a conference in Berkeley recently, and confirmed that it is indeed a total ****hole.
 
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Very true ha! I guess I don't know where all the money is going after all. I looked at my credit card bills and they average to a little over $4,000 a month over this past year. I forgot that my wife also charges around $2,500 a month. So more like $6500 a month for two adults and a child (with child care) plus some very large moving expenses and travel. Over $200,000 in one HYSA over the course of 1 year. So, yes, you're right - we spend too much and have tons of room to keep saving. We need to work on this, it's just been a crazy year.

$6500/month in random expenses? Jesus Christ dude.
 
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My wife and have a rule that if you get an Amazon package you better be able to say what’s in it before opening.
 
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to be fair, she herself is bringing home $10k post tax which means she has nearly a 300k salary herself.
Wait what? The math is not making sense here.
There is a very good chance that the spending is just going to continue to grow because usually that’s how these women tend to operate. And you likely will start resenting her and come on here and complain about the CC bill now being 10k month and getting a more expensive house etc.
I think you really need to have a sit down with her if this is really bothering you because you are already here asking.
Otherwise ces’t la vie!!!
 
$6500/month in random expenses? Jesus Christ dude.
This includes daycare and food. Childcare is expensive I would guess around 1-2K per month? I think an article I read once said $1200 is the average.
Food is pricy these days I can’t say how much. Depending on what people eat.
Then there is internet and or cable. Can’t count utilities since they are included.
He could certainly cut down some of this for sure.
Thing is, women like this only tend to get worse with spending the more and more NW the family acquired.
And apparently they are the hot women college!!! Hahah
 
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How big of a house does one get for $8500 in SF area? I am just curious. In my mind I am seeing 2500 SF or so but really I have no clue.
Why do you feel you need $10Mil to retire? Because @blade said so?
10 million means putting 6 in reliable income producing investments means (conservatively) 300k in income- probably more but let plan conservatively. Invest the remaining 4 for growth to raise the principle in case the market takes a 💩
end of life care is expensive -
 
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(and it's disheartening to see the house next to us bought by a VC punk only 6 years out of COLLEGE).

So depressing that your neighbor is 6 years out of college. I’d like to tell myself that he had a lot of financial help from his parents.
 
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Our house is a much newer, slightly smaller version of this house. We pay less than they want too. Redfin, realtor, Zillow estimate in the 3.5 million range.

Why would you live in this house?
Looks like some kind of weeaboo paradise
 
Been debated as nauseum. You either get it or you don’t. We love it here. The poop-hole narrative is for right-wing media junkies. Our neighborhood is beautiful, we raise our kids here in community with dozens of other families in the area, and have an amazing life at our doorstep without having to get in the car. Is it worth the housing costs? Not to you, apparently, but to plenty of us. I haven’t felt poor for one second living here.
It’s fine if it’s worth it for you. But to the point of OPs original dilemma/question, the reality of the value proposition that is living in the Bay Area is that if you aren’t independently wealthy or working in a field that pays considerably more than anesthesia, it’s coming out of somewhere, time with kids/spouse, fewer/less extravagant vacations, extra years spent in the work force, committing to a more frugal retirement, intense budgeting/limitations in other aspects of life etc. If that’s all worth it to you/your family, great, enjoy.
 
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It’s fine if it’s worth it for you. But to the point of OPs original dilemma/question, the reality of the value proposition that is living in the Bay Area is that if you aren’t independently wealthy or working in a field that pays considerably more than anesthesia, it’s coming out of somewhere, time with kids/spouse, fewer/less extravagant vacations, extra years spent in the work force, committing to a more frugal retirement, intense budgeting/limitations in other aspects of life etc. If that’s all worth it to you/your family, great, enjoy.
This post sums up everything. Don’t buy the Ferrari and the wonder why your budget seems tight. If you don’t think the Porsche 911 will do for 1/3 the price, then own it. Just don’t act shocked when you have to make sacrifices elsewhere.

I do think that people (myself included) get frustrated at the “Bay Area or bust!” crowd because it always seems myopic and a bit condescending. I have actually lived in the Bay Area for a significant period of time. I don’t any longer. The idea that there aren’t places that are 90% as good or even *gasp* better than the Bay Area for significantly less is probably not true for 9/10 people who claim they can’t ever move away.

I mean for god sakes go take a trip down to Orange County and tell me it’s less of a paradise than the Bay Area. Santa Barbara? SLO? Hello? There are two oceans and two large mountain ranges along the coasts that run along the entirety of either side of this country. Don’t want to live in Illinois? Okay I get it, it’s different. But to say that somehow the Bay Area is in some hyper unique position in this country is patently false. Go outside your bubble and you will readily find coastline where you can actually get into the water without a wetsuit, unlike the bay area.
 
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In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

- Nietzche

Also, my wife went to a conference in Berkeley recently, and confirmed that it is indeed a total ****hole.
Berkeley? Who said anything about living in Berkeley? There’s no point in debating something like matters of taste, so to each their own, but I stand by my choice to live here. We have a great life.
 
This post sums up everything. Don’t buy the Ferrari and the wonder why your budget seems tight. If you don’t think the Porsche 911 will do for 1/3 the price, then own it. Just don’t act shocked when you have to make sacrifices elsewhere.

I do think that people (myself included) get frustrated at the “Bay Area or bust!” crowd because it always seems myopic and a bit condescending. I have actually lived in the Bay Area for a significant period of time. I don’t any longer. The idea that there aren’t places that are 90% as good or even *gasp* better than the Bay Area for significantly less is probably not true for 9/10 people who claim they can’t ever move away.

I mean for god sakes go take a trip down to Orange County and tell me it’s less of a paradise than the Bay Area. Santa Barbara? SLO? Hello? There are two oceans and two large mountain ranges along the coasts that run along the entirety of either side of this country. Don’t want to live in Illinois? Okay I get it, it’s different. But to say that somehow the Bay Area is in some hyper unique position in this country is patently false. Go outside your bubble and you will readily find coastline where you can actually get into the water without a wetsuit, unlike the bay area.
I agree with 100% of this. Our tastes and desires aren’t that extravagant, so living here hasn’t required that much sacrifice. Sacramento is another part of CA that is often overlooked but is actually really great.
 
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I agree with 100% of this. Our tastes and desires aren’t that extravagant, so living here hasn’t required that much sacrifice. Sacramento is another part of CA that is often overlooked but is actually really great.
I grew up in the SF bay area (ages 11-18) then moved near Sacramento for undergrad at UCD. Left for med school, went back much later for a Navy tour at Lemoore (just south of Fresno).

Wouldn't put the central valley remotely close to the bay area in terms of culture or climate. :)

I remember SF as being an awesome place to play as a teenager. Went back for ASA in 2013 (I think) and was less infatuated with it. Most everything north of the golden gate bridge is awesome.

But that San Jose / Los Gatos house linked upthread? I wouldn't pay $1500/mo to live there, much less the $10,500 rent they want or the $millions it's "worth". I might pay that much to get away from it though.

Been debated as nauseum. You either get it or you don’t. We love it here. The poop-hole narrative is for right-wing media junkies. Our neighborhood is beautiful, we raise our kids here in community with dozens of other families in the area, and have an amazing life at our doorstep without having to get in the car. Is it worth the housing costs? Not to you, apparently, but to plenty of us. I haven’t felt poor for one second living here.

We haven't seen you post a thread asking why the finances don't work though. :)
 
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