Narmerguy

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I don't know if I've seen a more vague statement thrown on these boards more often than living comfortably. Anytime physician pay comes up, instantly the board is littered with statements as:

  • I don't care how much I get paid, so long as I can live comfortably
  • No matter what I want to live comfortably
  • It doesn't matter what happens to doctors' pay, we'll always be able to live comfortably
The way it's used, I'm pretty sure people have pretty different ideas from me of what the heck is "comfortable". Let's stop being vague and coy and just own up to what we mean.
 
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ar2388

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for me, comfortable living is being able to pay rent on an apartment that is nicely sized and has what is important to me (space for nyc, light, pet friendly, etc) and i can afford to go out from time to time and pay my bills and even splurge a little without worrying about not having enough money for pay for necessities later. basically, i dont want to be living from paycheck to paycheck :)
 

Trexate

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Comfortable is super relative.

Food, shelter, clothing, and running water. After that, everything else is just a bonus. Just my skewed $0.02.
 

Mattabet

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Uncomfortably: Parent's basement

Comfortably: Nice house in the 'burbs, able to pay my student loans and kids' education with decent financial planning

Very Comfortably: Yacht, on-board band of Somali pirates for taking other peoples' yachts.
 

Trexate

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Very Comfortably: Yacht, on-board band of Somali pirates for taking other peoples' yachts.
I would like to join.

"What career would you choose if medicine were simply not an option? 200 word max"
I would choose to be a pirate. ARGGHHH!
 

BlueElmo

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Living comfortable for me is having my own spacious house, nice cars, my own family, having vacations now and then, enjoying my work and not becoming a workaholic, and not having to worry about finances. That would be enough for me.
 

Bacchus

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I don't know if I've seen a more vague statement thrown on these boards more often than living comfortably. Anytime physician pay comes up, instantly the board is littered with statements as:

  • I don't care how much I get paid, so long as I can live comfortably
  • No matter what I want to live comfortably
  • It doesn't matter what happens to doctors' pay, we'll always be able to live comfortably
The way it's used, I'm pretty sure people have pretty different ideas from me of what the heck is "comfortable". Let's stop being vague and coy and just own up to what you mean.
I want to be able to afford safe/reliable (aka Volvo) vehicles for me and my wife. I want to be able to afford a payment on a medium sized home. I want to be able to purchase property for said home. I want to be able to finance/invest in education for my children. And, of course, I want to be able to have some fun and also pay off my loans.
 

xmsr3

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I largely agree with the bloke above me.

But for me comfortable living is also about financial security. I want to know my job is safe no matter what the economy does and that me and my family have good healthcare coverage no matter what. I also want to know that I can retire at somepoint and keep my life style. That is why I am going to become a Navy doc and hope to go to USUHS.

They pay you $50K annually to go to their medical school and from the preliminary budget I have worked out, that salary is more than generous for a single person. Now if you're married of course the costs of a comfortable life go up. But $75K should cover it nicely. If you want a family then $100K is probably also sufficient. Keep in mind that your spouse will probably have a job as well.

So most definetely a doctor will live comfortably, meaning a nice home, a nice car and the security of knowing it won't all go away in an economic downturn.
 

jzyu

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I don't know if I've seen a more vague statement thrown on these boards more often than living comfortably. Anytime physician pay comes up, instantly the board is littered with statements as:

  • I don't care how much I get paid, so long as I can live comfortably
  • No matter what I want to live comfortably
  • It doesn't matter what happens to doctors' pay, we'll always be able to live comfortably
The way it's used, I'm pretty sure people have pretty different ideas from me of what the heck is "comfortable". Let's stop being vague and coy and just own up to what you mean.

-Big house in LA...in a gated community tucked away in the hills somewhere

-2-3 German cars (VW doesn't count btw)

-Vacationing on the other side of the ocean

-Eating out and buying stuff w/o looking at the price tag.


yeah it might not happen...:(
 
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Narmerguy

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for me, comfortable living is being able to pay rent on an apartment that is nicely sized and has what is important to me (space for nyc, light, pet friendly, etc) and i can afford to go out from time to time and pay my bills and even splurge a little without worrying about not having enough money for pay for necessities later. basically, i dont want to be living from paycheck to paycheck :)
Living comfortable for me is having my own spacious house, nice cars, my own family, having vacations now and then, enjoying my work and not becoming a workaholic, and not having to worry about finances. That would be enough for me.
Just an illustration of the disparity when people use the term. I'm not trying to say any one is wrong but that when people use this, different ideas often come to mind.
 

ar2388

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Just an illustration of the disparity when people use the term. I'm not trying to say any one is wrong but that when people use this, different ideas often come to mind.
haha yeah.. i just want to never leave NYC and if that means renting until i can afford a $2 million apt then so be it :p
 
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Narmerguy

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haha yeah.. i just want to never leave NYC and if that means renting until i can afford a $2 million apt then so be it :p
Haha, didn't notice that you meant in NYC :D
 

Kaustikos

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It all depends on how you were raised and where you were raised.

I'd like a 300k house with enough money where I don't have to worry about whether or not I'll make it every month. Or if I'll be able to afford things that should be affordable for an adult.
 

Eklipse113

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The way it's used, I'm pretty sure people have pretty different ideas from me of what the heck is "comfortable". Let's stop being vague and coy and just own up to what we mean.
After obama is through with us, living comfortable is going to mean driving a rusty ford pinto and living in low income housing. maybe a pickup truck or two that doesn't run that i'm "fixing up".
 
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After obama is through with us, living comfortable is going to mean driving a rusty ford pinto and living in low income housing. maybe a pickup truck or two that doesn't run that i'm "fixing up".

Thats the truth...I just want to be compensated like a person who goes to 8 years of school, 3+ years of training, and compiles a mountain of debt so that he/she can help others should be compensated. I will give you a number...150K/year after all taxes which is roughly 250,000 assuming a 38% tax (roughly what my state and federal taxes would be under a potential plan by Obama compared to ~28%). The taxes are so bad that you would actually make more by making under 200,000 dollars a year or over 400,000 dollars a year.
 

muhali3

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Not being on-call and preferably not more than 50 hours per week. In any specialty you'll be making much higher than 100k, so I don't think there would ever be any financial issues (unless Obama's plan effs things up).
 

Nomdeplume

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This thread brings up a good point. "Living comfortably" is far too relative a term.

I propose a more specific, openly defined system of terms for discussing lifestyle on SDN:

Destitute: For those who so enjoy their profession that, beyond what's required to literally survive, money is completely irrelevant. As long as you've got a van and a river to park it near, you're happy.
An Average Living: For those who want to be able to pay off their above-average student debt and then support themselves and perhaps a family, even if it might prove (reasonably) challenging at times.
Living Comfortably: The ability to own a home, support a family in the American middle-class, set up something of a retirement fund and send your kids to college without landing too deeply in debt. I'd say that's pretty comfortable.
Living Luxuriously: The good life. For people who want multiple cars to themselves, expensive hobbies, an extra residence or two and some flippy floppies. AKA the "I'm on a boat" life philosophy.


(I have nothing meaningful to contribute to this thread).
 

xmsr3

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UGA brings up an interesting point. Most people finish med school and have to pay off the equivalent of two mortgages, one for a home, one for the school debt.

It does take a lot of money to make it happen. But that is largley because of the fact that med schools are so damned expensive. Essentially, many are run as a business. So they need their cut of profit.

SO we need our cut as well. The reason we have such expensive medicine in this country is because we have so many intermediaries and all need their cut of profit.Back to the example of the costs of being a doctor.

From a public high school you need to spend the money preping for the SAT or ACT, then the cost of the exam itself, over $100. Then the cost of undergrad, another $40,000 tuition at a public university, plus cost of books, supplies and cost of living. Then MCAT prep materials or course, AAMC practice exams, MCAT itself, AMCAS Primary, all the secondary fees and the interview process, including all the airline tickets, hotels and cab rides.

You can easily spend $70,000 before evening starting med school. Then once in med school you need to pay about $50K annually because of tuition, lab fees, book, room and board, and a job won't cut it, because studying medicine is a full time job.

So by the time you are out of med school you have $270K in debt and its actually a lot higher because interest begins acruing from day one and you can't pay any of it back until you are a resident. BUT you can't even do that because a resident makes $35K and that is pretty much the cost of living for a single person.

So you can't pay back the debt until you are an attending and making the big money and the longer you take the more the interest and the larger the interest can acrue. The total for becoming a doc can easily hit $350K all told.

So yes docs need to make a lot to make up for the ordeal we go through, a total of 8 years of school, the hell that is the med school application process and 3-4 years of residency in which we work 80 hours/week for slave wages.Of course if we changed the system so that medical school was highly subsidized or even free then we wouldn't have so much of a problem.

That is why I am opting for a career in naval medicine and hoping to get into USUHS.I will be paid $50K annually to go to med school, whose tuition, books and lab fees are all free.By living modestly, but comfortably, I can save about $70,000 over the four years I am studying there, which I will be investing in high quality small cap stocks. So while my friends come out of med school $150K in debt, I may be $150K ahead. Then during residency I will be making $60-65K about double what a civilian resident makes and able to put away even more. I will make less as a navy doc true, but with raises every 2 years and promotions every 6 I will eventually make $120K base pay, plus the housing allowance, about $20K plus various other bonuses used to retain docs in the military. So after 30 years in the navy I would be making about $165K as an internist or FP, which is about what civies make.

Then when I retire I get 75% of base pay as pension or $85K annually for the rest of my life plus healthcare for me and my wife. Combine the sweet pension, (adjusted for inflation each year) with the saving and investing I will have kept doing for 40+ years and I will retire a multi-millionaire many times over.

Here is an interesting fact, as an Physician in the military I will be a government employee working in the most socialistic organization in the country, (in exchange for doing their duty everyone in the military is guaranteed: a job, housing, food, clothing, healthcare, education and a pension) yet for most of the time I will be making almost the same as a civilian primary care doc, leading a comfortable lifestyle which I know is secure from economic downturns and retiring a very rich man.

I don't know about you, but if Obama is a socialist leading us down the road to communism and communism offers the kinds of oppertunities that the military currently offers then sign me up comrade!;)
 
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Podalarius

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Thats the truth...I just want to be compensated like a person who goes to 8 years of school, 3+ years of training, and compiles a mountain of debt so that he/she can help others should be compensated. I will give you a number...150K/year after all taxes which is roughly 250,000 assuming a 38% tax (roughly what my state and federal taxes would be under a potential plan by Obama compared to ~28%). The taxes are so bad that you would actually make more by making under 200,000 dollars a year or over 400,000 dollars a year.
Um... how?

A progressive income tax with different marginal rates on additional income. You pay a percentage of your income on your first $X, then a different, higher rate on the next $Y. Keeping it simple, take-home income is $(X+Y) - (A%*$X + B%*$Y). You'll make more money as long as your income goes up - assuming your income is greater than X, you're going to take home $(100-B) for every additional $100 you make. There are legitimate criticisms of various proposals coming out of Congress and the White House from both sides of the aisle, but try to keep them based in fact.
 
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Ilovewater

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Comfortable for me is a decent car (something like Accord, TL, etc.), a nice size house, having enough money for vacations here and there, splurging sometimes without worrying about the bills, having enough money to support my parents monthly, and I guess that's about it.
 

dr seuss

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Um... how?

A progressive income tax with different marginal rates on additional income. You pay a percentage of your income on your first $X, then a different, higher rate on the next $Y. Keeping it simple, take-home income is $(X+Y) - (A%*$X + B%*$Y). You'll make more money as long as your income goes up - assuming your income is greater than X, you're going to take home $(100-B) for every additional $100 you make.
That is what I was going to say. I don't think must people (our age) understand that we have a progressive income tax.
 

JJMrK

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IMO, comfortable means not living paycheck to paycheck.

Thats the truth...I just want to be compensated like a person who goes to 8 years of school, 3+ years of training, and compiles a mountain of debt so that he/she can help others should be compensated. I will give you a number...150K/year after all taxes which is roughly 250,000 assuming a 38% tax (roughly what my state and federal taxes would be under a potential plan by Obama compared to ~28%). The taxes are so bad that you would actually make more by making under 200,000 dollars a year or over 400,000 dollars a year.
Sorry, no. That's not how taxes work. Yes, rates are too high, but you should do your research before posting something like that.

That is what I was going to say. I don't think must people (our age) understand that we have a progressive income tax.
Progressive just means that the rate "progresses" from low to high. The point most people don't realize is that you're only taxed at the higher rate on income above the bracket for the lower rate.
 

ensuii

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Whatever is enough to pay off my 275k in student loans and having a 4-5 bedroom house+any decent car with power windows/locks.
 

BennieBlanco

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I don't know if I've seen a more vague statement thrown on these boards more often than living comfortably. Anytime physician pay comes up, instantly the board is littered with statements as:

  • I don't care how much I get paid, so long as I can live comfortably
  • No matter what I want to live comfortably
  • It doesn't matter what happens to doctors' pay, we'll always be able to live comfortably
The way it's used, I'm pretty sure people have pretty different ideas from me of what the heck is "comfortable". Let's stop being vague and coy and just own up to what we mean.

Living comfortably means you can afford to buy food, afford to have shelter is a home that is at least modest (check the avg home price in the cities that you live), and you can afford to take care of a family including paying for kids college, etc.

Living uncomfortably means worrying about making monthly obligations that are WITHIN your necessities. Worrying about paying a ferarri payment would not be within your necessities.

I actually am not trad and made 170k the year before I became pre-med. So I've lived on 30k per year and 170k per year, life is no different. It is just easier. Happiness doesn't come from making 200-800k per year.

Wherever you go, there you are.
 

BennieBlanco

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Sorry, no. That's not how taxes work. Yes, rates are too high, but you should do your research before posting something like that.

Progressive just means that the rate "progresses" from low to high. The point most people don't realize is that you're only taxed at the higher rate on income above the bracket for the lower rate.
He is right, that tax scheme you made up was completely wrong. A person making 400k has more income than a person making 200k per year.

When I really think about that statement it makes me laugh. Who is spewing you this information and how are you believing it without fact checking?

Taxes can maybe become complicated when you add in deductions and marital status. Actually, individual taxes are super simple. Business taxes for corporations/K1s/etc are much much more complicated.
 

BennieBlanco

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That is why I am opting for a career in naval medicine and hoping to get into USUHS.I will be paid $50K annually to go to med school, whose tuition, books and lab fees are all free.By living modestly, but comfortably, I can save about $70,000 over the four years I am studying there, which I will be investing in high quality small cap stocks. So while my friends come out of med school $150K in debt, I may be $150K ahead. Then during residency I will be making $60-65K about double what a civilian resident makes and able to put away even more. I will make less as a navy doc true, but with raises every 2 years and promotions every 6 I will eventually make $120K base pay, plus the housing allowance, about $20K plus various other bonuses used to retain docs in the military. So after 30 years in the navy I would be making about $165K as an internist or FP, which is about what civies make.

Then when I retire I get 75% of base pay as pension or $85K annually for the rest of my life plus healthcare for me and my wife. Combine the sweet pension, (adjusted for inflation each year) with the saving and investing I will have kept doing for 40+ years and I will retire a multi-millionaire many times over.
This post cracks me up.

So you want to be a naval doctor so you live comfortably, debt free and retire wealthy.

Wow, inspiring.

Please keep this out of your personal statement. And don't mention it to others anymore, it is depressing.
 

JJMrK

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He is right, that tax scheme you made up was completely wrong. A person making 400k has more income than a person making 200k per year.

When I really think about that statement it makes me laugh. Who is spewing you this information and how are you believing it without fact checking?

Taxes can maybe become complicated when you add in deductions and marital status. Actually, individual taxes are super simple. Business taxes for corporations/K1s/etc are much much more complicated.
Are you disputing what I said?

Here's how it works (simplified, using arbitrary numbers):

Say you have the 4 tax brackets 0-10,000 = 10%, 10,001-20,000 = 15%, 20,001-50,000 = 20%, and 50,000+ = 25%. The individual in question makes $40,000/year. On the first $10,000, you would pay 10%. On the 10,001st dollar to the 20,000th dollar, you pay 15%. On the 20,001st dollar to the 40,000th dollar, you pay 20%.

So:
(10,000*10%)= 1000
(10,000*15%)= 1500
(20,000*20%)= 4000
TOTAL = 6500

Note that this is less than paying 20% on the whole 40K, which would be $8000. This:
The taxes are so bad that you would actually make more by making under 200,000 dollars a year or over 400,000 dollars a year.
is, therefore, impossible.
 

Food

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I just want to be living around the same level I grew up in. This does not mean I do not want money. I want money, but I'm not going to make it a priority to increase my standard of living as much as possible.
 

ensuii

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I just want to be living around the same level I grew up in. This does not mean I do not want money. I want money, but I'm not going to make it a priority to increase my standard of living as much as possible.
My dad was a mail man and my mom worked 2 jobs at taco bell/jack in the box...my standards for living comfortably are pretty low but I know exactly what you mean :p
 

Food

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My dad was a mail man and my mom worked 2 jobs at taco bell/jack in the box...my standards for living comfortably are pretty low but I know exactly what you mean :p
Haha, I really admire that. Your story is a much better one than mine. I grew up with an engineer dad and a teacher mom - both with masters degrees. So basically I will only be going 1 step up with an M.D. (i hope).
 

BennieBlanco

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Are you disputing what I said?

Here's how it works (simplified, using arbitrary numbers):

Say you have the 4 tax brackets 0-10,000 = 10%, 10,001-20,000 = 15%, 20,001-50,000 = 20%, and 50,000+ = 25%. The individual in question makes $40,000/year. On the first $10,000, you would pay 10%. On the 10,001st dollar to the 20,000th dollar, you pay 15%. On the 20,001st dollar to the 40,000th dollar, you pay 20%.

So:
(10,000*10%)= 1000
(10,000*15%)= 1500
(20,000*20%)= 4000
TOTAL = 6500

Note that this is less than paying 20% on the whole 40K, which would be $8000. This:
is, therefore, impossible.
sorry for the misunderstanding. I was agreeing with you, disagreeing with the earlier post.
 

ModyzMalak

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Whatever is enough to pay off my 275k in student loans and having a 4-5 bedroom house+any decent car with power windows/locks.
you literally sucked the words right out of my mouth!!:eek:


oh and diverging from topic only slightly: i find it absolutey atrocious that there are 2008 car models WITH NO POWER LOCKS OR WINDOWS! i havent been in a 2009 car year so i cannot comment about that...but seriously..so im glad you added that in there ensuii!!
 

ensuii

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you literally sucked the words right out of my mouth!!:eek:


oh and diverging from topic only slightly: i find it absolutey atrocious that there are 2008 car models WITH NO POWER LOCKS OR WINDOWS! i havent been in a 2009 car year so i cannot comment about that...but seriously..so im glad you added that in there ensuii!!
dude its ridiculous! my friends tease me ALL THE TIME. sometimes, when i open the door for a date, shell lean over and open mine. IT IS SO DEMASCULATING. I wish I had a car but it has sentimental value because its my first car that I paid off entirely on my own...but still so terrible
 

Omni

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Comfortable living: A good wife :)
As long as I have that, I can bear living in a 2 bedroom apartment and be still driving a 2005 Wrx Impreza for the first half decade of working/being married. Then of course, we'd have enough money to move out.
 

BlueElmo

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Comfortable living: A good wife :)
As long as I have that, I can bear living in a 2 bedroom apartment and be still driving a 2005 Wrx Impreza for the first half decade of working/being married. Then of course, we'd have enough money to move out.
You better hope she doesn't leave you in that time frame.;)
 
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To me "comfortable" means being able to make enough money to pay all of my bills in time. To be able to buy a nice home, get a pretty nice car for me and my wife. Also to have enough money to go to crazy places for vacations (places we only dream of right now).

Basically just having a nice house, the right girl, and money left for my kids' education. :cool:
 

TooMuchResearch

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Right now I live on about $1000 per month. When things break, I often have to wait to fix/replace them (or just stop using said thing). There are also times when I can't afford fruits and vegetables. I guess living comfortably would mean being able to afford fruits and vegetables as well as fixing/replacing broken stuff. Oh, and I wouldn't mind being able to afford to turn the AC down below 78° F on hot summer days. ...Being able to pay all the bills on time would also be nice. I also wouldn't mind seeing a movie every month.

Oh, and in response to the post about power locks and windows (I think that was in this thread): I drove a car in which the driver-side power window stuck in the up position and the door stuck in the locked position. It was not fun. The car also did the occasional 360° turn without my approval. That was only sort of fun.
 

CoolWhipp

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dude its ridiculous! my friends tease me ALL THE TIME. sometimes, when i open the door for a date, shell lean over and open mine. IT IS SO DEMASCULATING. I wish I had a car but it has sentimental value because its my first car that I paid off entirely on my own...but still so terrible
I feel you.
 

ILikeFood

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Comfortable living when I'm a doctor?

$300,000/year + 10 weeks vacation/year


For 4 years of med school and at least 3 years of training, I want top pay.
 

vin5cent0

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Personally, I think most of the replies being given here are bull****. I'll say what most people don't think is "appropriate" to say, as if you shouldn't want/expect a good salary after 11+ years of post-high school education.

With a physician's salary, I want to be able to afford a nice home, nice (BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, etc) cars for myself and my wife, nice cars for my children, easily able to send my children to a nice college and not have to worry about paying it, buy nice toys that I desire without having to skimp on something else, etc etc.

If I wanted the pay of being able to afford a nice apartment and pay my utility bills, I'd work at Target for the rest of my life.

No, I'm not saying I'm going into medicine (or trying to) for the money, but I damn believe anyone putting in 11+ years of post-high school schooling while working in a generally high-stress job better be commanding a salary a cut above what most people earn after a 4 year degree.
 

TooMuchResearch

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Personally, I think most of the replies being given here are bull****. I'll say what most people don't think is "appropriate" to say, as if you shouldn't want/expect a good salary after 11+ years of post-high school education.

With a physician's salary, I want to be able to afford a nice home, nice (BMW, Lexus, Mercedes, etc) cars for myself and my wife, nice cars for my children, easily able to send my children to a nice college and not have to worry about paying it, buy nice toys that I desire without having to skimp on something else, etc etc.

If I wanted the pay of being able to afford a nice apartment and pay my utility bills, I'd work at Target for the rest of my life.

No, I'm not saying I'm going into medicine (or trying to) for the money, but I damn believe anyone putting in 11+ years of post-high school schooling while working in a generally high-stress job better be commanding a salary a cut above what most people earn after a 4 year degree.
What will a Lexus do beyond what a Toyota already does? If I have kids, I'll buy each one a used car. If I raise them properly, they won't allow me to finance their entire college education
 

DrYoda

Space Cowboy
10+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2008
13,817
110
Dagobah System
Status
Attending Physician
But on a more serious note I intend to live well when I'm through with all this. I've been comfortable for the past three years, I think an upgrade is in order to the equally ambiguous "well".




If I have kids, I'll buy each one a used car
I will do this as well, I saw too many kids crash their new luxury cars in HS to make the mistake of buying my own kid one.
 

Jolt21

I Drop Knowledge
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2007
1,851
7
Status
Medical Student
]I will do this as well, I saw too many kids crash their new luxury cars in HS to make the mistake of buying my own kid one.
dam. y'all are mean. i have two cars under my name. both paid by me, but both new. they are not luxury by any means, but still nice. i cant mess with used cars...i dont want my kids to either


comfortable to me is being able to not think twice about if i can afford to take my family out for an evening, or splurging every once in a while for some ridiculous thing i probably don't need (in addition to covering everything i do need).
 
Jun 8, 2009
726
1
Status
Medical Student
I want enough money in the bank to be able to have a pretty kick-***** mid-life crisis.

My dad built a recording studio in his 40s. Took him 10 years because he couldn't afford it all at once--but he did it from the ground-up and now it's a pretty awesome room. I want to be able to do something like that in a lot less time :p

in all seriousness, I want to make more than I would make if I stuck with my current job in consulting for the next 8 years. I plan to do rural medicine, so I'm pretty sure that I won't reach that goal, but I'll be living somewhere where the cost of living is HALF what I'm paying now, so it'll all even out :)