Author Topic: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?  (Read 9388 times)

xlucassferreira

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Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« on: March 28, 2015, 03:14:04 AM »
Hi, this is my first post on the forum. I'm a 21-year-old pre-med college student and since I have 1000092809234 more years of school/residency to go (it's actually 9) I feel that I won't be able to start living a mustachian lifestyle any time soon. What can I do to improve the way I live my life and ensure that when I do attain an income, it won't be squandered?

I've read the MMM blog for a few months now and learned a lot. Ever since high school I've been extremely interested in personal finance, investing, and efficient living. I've read countless books on the subject and even stumbled upon the blog because of my constant searches for knowledge. Yet, in my desire to become a mustachian i feel that there isn't much I can do. I'm a college student with leadership positions in 3 student organization and no time for a part-time job if I want to keep an impressive GPA and resume for med school.

I'm currently in my 3rd year at UCLA as a pyschobiology major. I aspire to be admitted into a medical school in CA after graduating and still have many years of school to go. I currently live in Westwood, CA (an extremely expensive area, Bel-air is literally a 10 minute walk away from my apartment). My parents pay every cent of my expenses (and I'm am extremely grateful for it) from my rent, to school fees, supply costs, food, and transportation. They end up shelling out a whopping $35,000 on average per year on my housing and education alone (we don't receive financial aid because we were undocumented immigrants until recently). My parents make around $175,000 gross per year, so they are capable of paying it along with a $315,000 mortgage and what I think is a very luxurious lifestyle. I've made many changes in my wasteful lifestyle that have been positive in lowering my burden on my parents, from abstaining from car use for intra-city travel, to cooking more, to researching everything I buy. I've also urged them multiple times to read the blog and tried to share the advice and lifestyle changes they could make to live a better, less wasteful life. They are $30,000 in debt despite their high income. They still have my older sister and younger brother at home and live in a two story 4 bed 2.5 bath house in a good part of Southern CA. Both parents commute at least 30 minutes per workday.

Should I be growing my mustache or trimming my parents' mustaches? Regardless, what can I do to improve (and simultaneously trim the fat from) my lifestyle?!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 03:16:42 AM by xlucassferreira »

MandalayVA

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Re: College Student - No Income - Too Young for a Mustache?!
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 06:20:02 AM »
First off, welcome to the forum!

Secondly, lay off your parents.  It's fine to tell them about the blog, but the majority of people really don't like evangelists and if you're "urging" them you've become one.  If they're interested they'll let you know.  Considering they're paying all your pretty hefty bills they may not like you telling them how to spend--or in this case not spend--their money.   Concentrate on establishing yourself.  Think of it as the financial equivalent of putting on your own oxygen mask on the plane before trying to help others.  Take a look at your "leadership positions."  Are the organizations essential to your getting ahead?  If not, drop what's necessary and get a reasonable part-time job to start building your stash.  If your parents give you spending money try to sock some away.  Remember--this is a marathon, not a sprint!

The_path_less_taken

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Re: College Student - No Income - Too Young for a Mustache?!
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 06:33:36 AM »
Welcome.

Starting so young, with your entire ride currently being paid for means you could FIRE in a fraction of the time of most people.

If you read the blogs and forum you'll pick up tips for being able to live a life of luxury on <$30k a year.

Odds are that your parents could benefit from the blog, but might prefer to learn the concepts just talking with you and your enthusiasm for them.

"Mom/Dad, appreciate the $$ you've invested in me so far, but I've found a way to save XX of them. Maybe we should discuss long term goals: here are mine. This is how I hope to achieve....."


PEIslander

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Re: College Student - No Income - Too Young for a Mustache?!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 07:31:46 AM »
Are the organizations essential to your getting ahead?  If not, drop what's necessary and get a reasonable part-time job to start building your stash.  If your parents give you spending money try to sock some away.  Remember--this is a marathon, not a sprint!

I agree that a part-time job might be a better use of your time than the "student organizations". Where I differ from MandalayVA is that the point of the job should not be building your stache but to pay as much of your own expenses as you can. That will ease your burden on your parents. To me that should be your priority. Right now you have a sweet deal with your parents paying everything and your having no responsibilities other than doing them proud with your studies. That deal doesn't leave much room for your parents to save for their own retirement. It also doesn't leave much room for them to help with your sibling's education either -- don't they deserve as much opportunity as you? Start trying to pay some of your own way.

When you get to medical school will your current $35,000 student life cost even more?

couponvan

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 07:33:32 AM »
Hi, this is my first post on the forum. I'm a 21-year-old pre-med college student and since I have 1000092809234 more years of school/residency to go (it's actually 9) I feel that I won't be able to start living a mustachian lifestyle any time soon. What can I do to improve the way I live my life and ensure that when I do attain an income, it won't be squandered?

I'm a college student with leadership positions in 3 student organization and no time for a part-time job if I want to keep an impressive GPA and resume for med school.

They end up shelling out a whopping $35,000 on average per year on my housing and education.They are $30,000 in debt despite their high income.

Should I be growing my mustache or trimming my parents' mustaches? Regardless, what can I do to improve (and simultaneously trim the fat from) my lifestyle?!

A mustachian would get a job and trim even more expenses/luxuries - post a case study? I think it is great you are worrying about finances so young, but you are asking for yah mustachian answer to your dilemma and I want to give you that answer.

DH went to UCLA (a long time ago), was in more than 3 clubs, slept on the floor in a room he shared w 4 guys (none had a real bed w frame), worked on campus in the Student Internship department, drove a scooter instead of a car, scored himself an impressive "paid" internship in DC, made that cover most of his last year, and graduated with about $750 of loans.  He also graduated with honors.

The $35K you are spending sounds too high to me. What portion is tuition/books and what portion is living expenses? Really it sounds like your parents cannot afford it if they are in debt at all.

DH ended up going to law school, which was expensive. Med school will be even more so, and I doubt your parents will be able cover much of that, unless there is an expectation you will cover their future retirement.




GizmoTX

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2015, 08:14:35 AM »
Do you expect your parents to pay for all your years of medical school? What about your siblings?

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2015, 08:18:11 AM »
Hi Lucas,

I'm about 15 years ahead of you with the whole medicine thing....so get ready for some face punching.

1. If you're serious about Medicine, priority #1 is your GPA, priority #2 is getting ready for the MCAT, and #3 is obtaining experience working or volunteering in the medical community. 

If this is going to be your life's work, then you got to get in, right? Some of the UC system medical schools have acceptance rates lower than 4% --> gotta put your time in and hit those books!

In addition, Medical School is so much cheaper in CA than almost anywhere else [at least last time I checked], so get the grades and you can save 100K (not including interest over residency) right there.

2. Minimize expenses now. Eventually in med school and residency, you'll have neither the time nor money anyway, might as well get used to it.  As MMM says, it's much easier to reduce spending than it is to increase income....and you'll have either zero or very low income for at least 9 years.

3. Don't rely on your parents for $ after college...it sounds like they'll need that money some day. I've attempted similar discussions with my father over the years, almost always unsuccessful. People don't change unless they want to change.

4. Consider Public Health Loan Forgiveness or IBR-depending on your total school loans, choice of specialty and years in residency, fellowship, etc... this may make financial sense for you.  Here's a site that may be helpful for you

http://whitecoatinvestor.com

or

http://whitecoatinvestor.com/public-service-loan-forgiveness/

5. Finally, when you are finally an upstanding attending making a decent living in 2024, live "like a resident" for 3-5 more years until your debt is gone. Don't buy your dream house, don't get that Mustang you've always wanted, don't go to Paris for 2 weeks with your most recent GF. Even with an average interest rate, 6% of $180,000 is still $10,800/year JUST TO STAY EVEN.

6. Change your expectations -> going to medical school will NOT lead to retirement earlier than 45, even in ideal situations, mostly because of the initial grad school debt in combination with the loss of 10-15 years of compounding time.

Hope this helps

Retired To Win

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2015, 09:45:45 PM »
Now, just a dog gone minute.

We're talking here about investing 9 more years of life and 9 x $35K = $315K in order to become a medical doctor at age 30 after an ass-busting educational journey so that... WHAT??  So that one can FIRE a few years after that?

Where's the life payoff for spending those 9 grueling educational years?  Where's the return on that $315K?

If I were in those shoes, I would (1) reaffirm my longterm comittment to medicine based on my genuine love of the field, or (2) develop an alternative career/life path based on making FIRE a priority.

Or... what am I missing here?

Cathy

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2015, 10:31:53 PM »
I don't get these threads where people complain about their parents. If your parents wanted to be more frugal, the first thing they could do is stop paying for your tuition and expenses. That would apparently save them $35,000 per year, more than some Americans earn per year. I trust you've suggested that to them as a major point of savings.

johnny847

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2015, 06:09:55 AM »
Now, just a dog gone minute.

We're talking here about investing 9 more years of life and 9 x $35K = $315K in order to become a medical doctor at age 30 after an ass-busting educational journey so that... WHAT??  So that one can FIRE a few years after that?

Where's the life payoff for spending those 9 grueling educational years?  Where's the return on that $315K?

If I were in those shoes, I would (1) reaffirm my longterm comittment to medicine based on my genuine love of the field, or (2) develop an alternative career/life path based on making FIRE a priority.

Or... what am I missing here?

I agree. Becoming a doctor takes way too much time and costs way too much money for somebody who wants to FIRE.

I'm sure there are people on this forum who are doctors and have FIRE'd. But I would suspect they developed their FIRE plans after becoming a doctor (or pretty close to it). [If I'm mistaken, please chime in!]


If you want to FIRE, OP, I second Retired to Win's suggestion: find a different career path that does not cost so much time and money.

I really think that people who want to become doctors should want to work for a long time, not the 10-15 years (or less) that a lot of people strive for on this forum.

JustGettingStarted1980

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2015, 07:44:09 AM »
Now, just a dog gone minute.

We're talking here about investing 9 more years of life and 9 x $35K = $315K in order to become a medical doctor at age 30 after an ass-busting educational journey so that... WHAT??  So that one can FIRE a few years after that?

Where's the life payoff for spending those 9 grueling educational years?  Where's the return on that $315K?

If I were in those shoes, I would (1) reaffirm my longterm comittment to medicine based on my genuine love of the field, or (2) develop an alternative career/life path based on making FIRE a priority.

Or... what am I missing here?

I agree. Becoming a doctor takes way too much time and costs way too much money for somebody who wants to FIRE.

I'm sure there are people on this forum who are doctors and have FIRE'd. But I would suspect they developed their FIRE plans after becoming a doctor (or pretty close to it). [If I'm mistaken, please chime in!]


If you want to FIRE, OP, I second Retired to Win's suggestion: find a different career path that does not cost so much time and money.

I really think that people who want to become doctors should want to work for a long time, not the 10-15 years (or less) that a lot of people strive for on this forum.


I would also had that despite very high medical school tuition in the 150K to 300K range for 4 years, society as a whole STILL pays to train doctors (i.e. Residency, support of Hospitals). So if even 25% of doctors decided to retire early, there would be a fairly significant provider shortage in the long run.

forummm

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2015, 08:18:51 AM »
You can save a lot of money living here: http://www.uchaonline.com/

You're never too young for a 'stashe

Abe

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2015, 09:29:54 AM »
As someone who is further along this road, and indeed on a longer road than the OP, my goal is to be financially independent within 10-15 years but not necessarily retire unless the stress of being a surgeon is too high due to external economic factors. Our main concern is the budget pressures that hospitals exert on surgeons since we are the largest source of revenue for hospitals (with medical oncologists and cardiologists close behind). This results in a potential conflict of interest in terms of number of operations performed vs. quality of the task. I want to be financially independent so that I can "push back" against these pressures if they were to occur.

Regarding length of training and practicing career: One thing to note is that many older physicians' health is quite poor due to the stress of working 60+ hours a week for decades, and the reality is physicians in my age group are not willing to work that hard for that long, regardless of the pay. The field that one goes into also plays a major role, since income can vary by more than 400% from a family physician vs. neurosurgeon. Regardless of income, FIRE is a feasible road for physicians, and length/cost of training is somewhat irrelevant because almost all physicians can easily pay their loans off within a few years of starting practice if they don't buy a mansion right off the bat.


A typical scenario using average loan and income figures: a resident in family medicine has a first job with post-tax & insurance salary of $100k. They have loans of $250k at 6%. They are used to living on a $45k budget as a resident with a kid or two. They could pay off the loan in approximately 10 years by paying $33k/yr and still have $22k/yr left over. The better option is to aggressively pay down the loan in 5 years by throwing all their savings at it (hair is on fire!). Now the loan is gone, and they can live normally and save 50-60% of their post-tax income per year. These scenarios are for the lowest-paid group of physicians. For medicine specialists, average salary is an extra $40-50k starting off. For surgeons, average starting salary is about double and they can easily pay off the loan in 3 years.

Regarding society paying for training doctors: This is true to the extent that state-run medical schools are subsidized by the state and federal governments, and interest on government-sponsored loans are deferred for several years during training. Regarding residency, society actually benefits from the lower salary of residents vs. physician assistants & nurse practitioners who would otherwise be performing those tasks assigned to residents. This benefit is tempered by the training aspect of residents (obviously an NP who has been working for 10+ years is more skilled at certain tasks than a new resident).

I apologize for the long post, but I hope this provides some perspective for the OP and for others.

MrsPete

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2015, 03:20:59 PM »
I agree with the "lay off your parents" advice.  Their decisions are their decisions, not yours.  Do keep in mind that if they're paying your way through college, you owe them your support sometime in the distant future when they're elderly and need you.  Fair's fair.

Right now I'd say your #1 financial priority should be avoiding debt.  As a student, you probably can't manage to amass large savings, but spending as little as possible will pay off later -- both in terms of good habits and in less debt to pay back.

I'm iffy on whether you should spend your time working or in student organizations.  If the organizations will one day help you get the jobs, residency, whatever that you want, they might be the best option.  I do not have enough knowledge about the medical field to advise you on this. 

Finally, is a medical career worthwhile?  My daughter has come to the decision that the best "bang for the buck" is an RN with a high-paying specialty.  For example, a Nurse Anesthesist earns a very good paycheck, as does a Cardiac Cath nurse -- and they don't do residency or pay malpractice insurance; however, the status that goes along with those jobs is much less than that of an MD.



handsnhearts

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2015, 03:36:58 PM »
Don't go into medicine if you already know you want to FIRE now.  It will not work out in your favor for many, many long years. You should only go into medicine if there is nothing else you would rather do and you would be willing to do it for free forever.  Not only does it make you slow starting out of the gate for FI, it sucks your soul away for many years before you can think about reclaiming it.  It is not worth it.  There is no amount of future earnings that would induce me to do it over again if I had the choice. 
That said, I have no concerns about digging myself out of the $204,000 debt I have currently, or the career I am doing.  Family medicine actually makes a bit more than Abe mentioned in my area, but it is pretty close.  1980 is exactly right about figuring out if it is medicine or FIRE that is important to you, and not the 21 year old self you are now, but the 32 year old self you will be at the end of it all.  It is easy to work like a dog now, but give it 20 years, and you might feel differently.  I am about 10 years ahead of you and I wish I had gone into an entirely different field.  MrsPete, your daughter is much smarter than I was...


Abe

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2015, 08:10:35 PM »
I agree with handsnhearts ... a desire to be financially independent should be separate from a desire to retire early. It is a long road and many do not find it that rewarding once done with training. I wouldn't go so far to say it sucks your soul away, but many may feel that. It may depend partly on the training program, mine has been fine in that respect.

mrmiyagi

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2015, 11:52:08 PM »
Not too young for a mustache. The main goal is to keep your expenses as low as possible in medical school - you can follow MMM's advice on how to do that. That student loan debt's going to be building for quite a while, so you want it to start it off as low as possible. Thank your parents for getting you through undergrad debt-free.

My two cents - if I could do it all over again I probably wouldn't go to med school. There are many easier ways to get to early retirement, if that's your goal. I gave up a lot of nights and weekends in my 20s which I'll never get back. I don't hate my job, but I don't consider it my life's calling either. The problem is that most 21 year old pre-meds don't know anything about what being a doctor is  really like (including myself at 21). By the time we figure that out, most of us have too much invested to do anything else.

My goal is not to dissuade you, just to help you see the whole picture. There are good things about a career in medicine too. Just be realistic about the fact that the MD path means 20 years of very hard work before you can start thinking about FIRE.

PEIslander

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2015, 03:46:50 AM »
That student loan debt's going to be building for quite a while, so you want it to start it off as low as possible. Thank your parents for getting you through undergrad debt-free.

What student loan debt? The OP wrote his or her parents are paying for everything & he or she isn't eligible for student loans. There is no indication that the OP doesn't expect the parents to continue to pay all the costs. It is in that context that I wrote the OP should be getting a job to lessen the burden on the family. With the burden of the OP's education I don't see how the parents will be able to also help the siblings.

shelivesthedream

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2015, 05:20:53 AM »
So your parents can afford to pay $35,000 a year so you can live in Bel Air but they are $30,000 in debt? Sounds like they CAN'T afford it!

You are getting, for free, more than a lot of people earn in a year. I'm not usually one to dole out the facepunches but come on! You need to stop taking so much of your parents' money for something which, apparently if you do intend to RE rather than just FI, you don't even like that much!

I don't know much about medicine specifically, but it seems to me that getting a job in a vaguely related field would do much more than heading all those organisations. And don't you have holidays? My advice is to quit two student clubs, and get a part time job as a hospital porter or temp as a hospital receptionist or administrator. Temping is great because you can ramp it up during the holidays and slow down during exam time.

It's up to your parents whether they would rather you use your earnings to take less money from them or to save/invest. But bear in mind that they are spending their retirement money on you now.

mrmiyagi

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2015, 08:50:45 AM »
That student loan debt's going to be building for quite a while, so you want it to start it off as low as possible. Thank your parents for getting you through undergrad debt-free.

What student loan debt? The OP wrote his or her parents are paying for everything & he or she isn't eligible for student loans. There is no indication that the OP doesn't expect the parents to continue to pay all the costs. It is in that context that I wrote the OP should be getting a job to lessen the burden on the family. With the burden of the OP's education I don't see how the parents will be able to also help the siblings.

Medical school debt. Tuition + living expenses during med school will be in the ballpark of $50K/yr. His parents are paying for college but I'm assuming they won't be footing the bill for medical school (most parents don't, understandably).

reddityeah

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2015, 05:06:49 PM »
The best thing you can do for your financial future is to study hard in school, get good grades, ace the MCAT, and ramp up those ECs. Scholarships are hard to come by in med school, and most people don't get any, but if you do well enough, you could potentially land some. I wasn't a superstar applicant, but I was good enough to land a full tuition scholarship. Helps to go down this long hard road of medicine without six figures worth of debt.

Spondulix

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2015, 07:49:35 PM »
I might have missed if you said it, but did you grow up in LA? One tip - don't get sucked into the LA life. I'm sure you know that having a drink (when you go outside Westwood) can be ridiculously expensive... A night out to blow off some steam (even for dinner) adds up fast. I might be saying the obvious, but Westwood will probably get boring after a couple years. Your colleagues/friends may move into the mindset that they'll be able to afford more down the road and start venturing out more, but stick to your guns. That doesn't mean don't explore (this is a fun place to live in your 20s, even for insanely busy people).

Do you have a car?

wordnerd

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2015, 07:55:24 PM »
You mention refraining from car use. Are you paying to park a car at UCLA? Because when I graduated (5 years ago) parking passes were about $800 a year. If you can park the car at your parents, that would help. The student discount on the Santa Monica buses was also good as I recall. Another poster mentioned the co-op, which is economical as housing (dining is included too) gets in Westwood.

Without a job, though, it seems it would be difficult to grow a stache. You might think about campus jobs (eg, working for a professor) that would still look good on a med school resume.

ETA: Please do lay off your parents, lest they decide they suddenly have an extra $35k in their budget.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 07:57:55 PM by wordnerd »

forummm

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2015, 10:45:42 AM »
You're lucky your parents are giving you $140k to go to such a great school. I got exactly $0 from mine.

DrJD

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2015, 10:52:16 AM »

6. Change your expectations -> going to medical school will NOT lead to retirement earlier than 45, even in ideal situations, mostly because of the initial grad school debt in combination with the loss of 10-15 years of compounding time.

Hope this helps

I definitely agree with this.  There are exceptions, but it takes a lot of forethought.  IE, no loans and going into something like EM that pays well with relatively low hours (12-16 shifts a month.)

I am going to try so hard after I finish to retire early, but the absolute earliest I could swing it would be around 45, and at that point I will having only been a full fledged physician for 10 years.  If I could go back, I probably would have prioritized FI over the dream of medicine, but alas I am too far down the rabbit hole now.

One good thing we have going for us is that, at least now, it is fairly easy to find locums work so it would be fairly easy to cut back at 45-50 and work only 10 weeks a year and still make enough. 

My current plan is to stash until 45, and then let that grow with compound interest until 55-60.  Meanwhile, I can easily earn 50-75k a year doing part time locums work from 45-55.  Just some stuff to think about.

Summary: If FIRE is your goal, turn back from medicine now.

forummm

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2015, 10:58:46 AM »

6. Change your expectations -> going to medical school will NOT lead to retirement earlier than 45, even in ideal situations, mostly because of the initial grad school debt in combination with the loss of 10-15 years of compounding time.

Hope this helps

I definitely agree with this.  There are exceptions, but it takes a lot of forethought.  IE, no loans and going into something like EM that pays well with relatively low hours (12-16 shifts a month.)

I am going to try so hard after I finish to retire early, but the absolute earliest I could swing it would be around 45, and at that point I will having only been a full fledged physician for 10 years.  If I could go back, I probably would have prioritized FI over the dream of medicine, but alas I am too far down the rabbit hole now.

One good thing we have going for us is that, at least now, it is fairly easy to find locums work so it would be fairly easy to cut back at 45-50 and work only 10 weeks a year and still make enough. 

My current plan is to stash until 45, and then let that grow with compound interest until 55-60.  Meanwhile, I can easily earn 50-75k a year doing part time locums work from 45-55.  Just some stuff to think about.

Summary: If FIRE is your goal, turn back from medicine now.

I somewhat disagree here. If I were going to med school with $0 undergrad debt, I would still be able to retire in my 30s if I wanted to. But I'm pretty mustachian. If you are frugal while in med school, and go to a reasonably priced school, you could have under $200k in debt. You get a salary ($50k or more) in residency. And then you make six figures to start once you have a regular job. If you are frugal, 30s is reasonable. If you aren't, then it's not. 45 would be easy for me. I actually went to school longer than the OP will have to, and didn't get a cent from my parents, and I have a lower income than he will. I will be FI in my 30s.

waffle

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2015, 01:44:26 PM »
Here's what I would do. Tell you parents to stop giving you money (at least not give you so much). Tell them to take all that money and invest it. Then you take out all the subsidized student loans you need to get through school. No interest is accumulating on those loans while you are in school, but the money you parents invest should be earning a good chunk for them. Then when you are done with school if your parents are still feeling so generous they can pay off your loans and still have a good amount left over, or if they don't want to pay them off you will take them over and pay them off quickly by living a Mustachian lifestyle.

DrJD

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2015, 02:09:09 PM »

6. Change your expectations -> going to medical school will NOT lead to retirement earlier than 45, even in ideal situations, mostly because of the initial grad school debt in combination with the loss of 10-15 years of compounding time.

Hope this helps

I definitely agree with this.  There are exceptions, but it takes a lot of forethought.  IE, no loans and going into something like EM that pays well with relatively low hours (12-16 shifts a month.)

I am going to try so hard after I finish to retire early, but the absolute earliest I could swing it would be around 45, and at that point I will having only been a full fledged physician for 10 years.  If I could go back, I probably would have prioritized FI over the dream of medicine, but alas I am too far down the rabbit hole now.

One good thing we have going for us is that, at least now, it is fairly easy to find locums work so it would be fairly easy to cut back at 45-50 and work only 10 weeks a year and still make enough. 

My current plan is to stash until 45, and then let that grow with compound interest until 55-60.  Meanwhile, I can easily earn 50-75k a year doing part time locums work from 45-55.  Just some stuff to think about.

Summary: If FIRE is your goal, turn back from medicine now.

I somewhat disagree here. If I were going to med school with $0 undergrad debt, I would still be able to retire in my 30s if I wanted to. But I'm pretty mustachian. If you are frugal while in med school, and go to a reasonably priced school, you could have under $200k in debt. You get a salary ($50k or more) in residency. And then you make six figures to start once you have a regular job. If you are frugal, 30s is reasonable. If you aren't, then it's not. 45 would be easy for me. I actually went to school longer than the OP will have to, and didn't get a cent from my parents, and I have a lower income than he will. I will be FI in my 30s.

Possible, but not the norm.  It certainly helps if you go straight through so you could theoretically finish residency when you are 26, pay off the 200k by 28/29 then stash for 4/5 years.  But doesn't seem as efficient as it could be.

forummm

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2015, 07:58:10 AM »

6. Change your expectations -> going to medical school will NOT lead to retirement earlier than 45, even in ideal situations, mostly because of the initial grad school debt in combination with the loss of 10-15 years of compounding time.

Hope this helps

I definitely agree with this.  There are exceptions, but it takes a lot of forethought.  IE, no loans and going into something like EM that pays well with relatively low hours (12-16 shifts a month.)

I am going to try so hard after I finish to retire early, but the absolute earliest I could swing it would be around 45, and at that point I will having only been a full fledged physician for 10 years.  If I could go back, I probably would have prioritized FI over the dream of medicine, but alas I am too far down the rabbit hole now.

One good thing we have going for us is that, at least now, it is fairly easy to find locums work so it would be fairly easy to cut back at 45-50 and work only 10 weeks a year and still make enough. 

My current plan is to stash until 45, and then let that grow with compound interest until 55-60.  Meanwhile, I can easily earn 50-75k a year doing part time locums work from 45-55.  Just some stuff to think about.

Summary: If FIRE is your goal, turn back from medicine now.

I somewhat disagree here. If I were going to med school with $0 undergrad debt, I would still be able to retire in my 30s if I wanted to. But I'm pretty mustachian. If you are frugal while in med school, and go to a reasonably priced school, you could have under $200k in debt. You get a salary ($50k or more) in residency. And then you make six figures to start once you have a regular job. If you are frugal, 30s is reasonable. If you aren't, then it's not. 45 would be easy for me. I actually went to school longer than the OP will have to, and didn't get a cent from my parents, and I have a lower income than he will. I will be FI in my 30s.

Possible, but not the norm.  It certainly helps if you go straight through so you could theoretically finish residency when you are 26, pay off the 200k by 28/29 then stash for 4/5 years.  But doesn't seem as efficient as it could be.

Or stash for 6/7 years to be FI at 35. Yes, it's not the most direct route. But if you want to be a physician and retire early, you can do it. Otherwise, I would recommend something like engineering where you can just do a BS or MS and still make good money while not incurring a lot of debt. But if you love medicine and hate engineering, an MD is an OK route. But if you love medicine, maybe you could have some really good post-FI jobs, like volunteering.

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2015, 09:17:16 AM »
Here's what I would do. Tell your parents to stop giving you money (at least not give you so much). Tell them to take all that money and invest it. Then you take out all the subsidized student loans you need to get through school. No interest is accumulating on those loans while you are in school, but the money your parents invest should be earning a good chunk for them. Then when you are done with school if your parents are still feeling so generous they can pay off your loans and still have a good amount left over, or if they don't want to pay them off you will take them over and pay them off quickly by living a Mustachian lifestyle.

That's really elegant thinking.  And it sounds like it would be easy to sell to the OP's parents.

waffle

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2015, 10:17:52 AM »
Here's what I would do. Tell your parents to stop giving you money (at least not give you so much). Tell them to take all that money and invest it. Then you take out all the subsidized student loans you need to get through school. No interest is accumulating on those loans while you are in school, but the money your parents invest should be earning a good chunk for them. Then when you are done with school if your parents are still feeling so generous they can pay off your loans and still have a good amount left over, or if they don't want to pay them off you will take them over and pay them off quickly by living a Mustachian lifestyle.

That's really elegant thinking.  And it sounds like it would be easy to sell to the OP's parents.

If the OP has 5 more years of school counting medical school and if medical school costs the same $35,000/year which I'm sure it costs more than that then at a 7% ROI then his parents would be about $75,000 ahead in the end vs. just paying for his school out of pocket as they go.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #31 on: April 01, 2015, 10:33:23 AM »
If you want to FIRE, but still be in medicine and help people, become a nurse instead of a doctor ;) Frankly, in critical care, you get just as much respect right now as anyone except the top surgeons. And you have way more control over your own life.

Also, if you aren't already tied to Cali, I recommend considering relocation. It is expensive and very very hard to get ahead and avoid lifestyle creep there.

stringcheese

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2015, 10:48:05 AM »
i'm a graduating medical student in california (at UCSF). UC medical schools are extremely expensive  and, to me, are public in functionality but private in cost (one year at UCSF, including living expenses, is about 75k).  i'd recommend looking into the UCLA david geffen scholars program - it provides full-tuition scholarships for about 30 incoming UCLA medical students per year. another thing to consider, given your background re: immigration and your previously undocumented status, is the PRIME program at UC medical schools, which, at least at UCSF, gives students a one-time 20k grant in their final year. PRIME does extend medical school by a year, however, which is important to consider, because that reduces your attending physician-level earnings by one year.  there are other schools that have great financial aid packages -- uchicago, michigan, penn, and cleveland clinic come to mind.

i am preparing to start my residency and am fairly fortunate, because i only have 150k in debt and am married to a high-earner with no educational debt. i am also pathologically frugal. many of my classmates have 200-300k, are not married or are dating another medical student with debt, and are trying to live in the Bay Area on a resident's salary. it's hard.

that being said, i spent much of my late teens and early 20s trying to find ANYTHING i could do that wasn't medicine, because i knew of the financial and lifestyle sacrifies required of the profession. clearly i never found anything i loved as much. nothing excites me or keeps my ADHD brain as entertained as medicine. it's hard, the hours are long, the hierarchical nature of the profession seems antiquated at times, but i really, really love it. i have no interest in retiring early; i just like to save money, be debt-free, and have the flexibility in the future to do the kind of medicine i really care about.

one thing i wish i had done as an undergraduate is explore the other possibilities in the health professions, as people have mentioned. i, too, attended an elite college as an undergrad, and i found that the general refrain was "if you like science, you should be a doctor." nobody talks about being an NP, PA, CRNA, etc. while i do think medicine was the right choice for me, i agree with the sentiment above that you have no idea what medicine actually is when you're 21 years old, living on your parents' generosity, and relishing in an abundance of unstructured time.

one thing that i recommend is evaluating how hard you like to work. i am not happy unless i am working really hard and my brain is 100% occupied. my philosophy thus differs substantially from that popularized on this forum (more freedom from work, fewer hours spent at work, hobbies outside of the office, etc.), but i value and respect that perspective and do think it has really helped me reassess my own professional goals. furthermore, it has allowed me to be more critical of the often insane working hours of clinical medical students and residents. do not go into medicine expecting to work 9-5. do not go in expecting to be paid handsomely by hour. do not go into medicine because you want to be a hero. go into it because you love it, you love patients, and you can't see yourself doing anything else.

also - small point, but there are no more subsidized federal loans for graduate students. congress abolished them in 2012. so expect interest to begin accruing immediately on any stafford loans you take out as a medical student.

 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Pre-med UCLA student - too young for a Mustache?
« Reply #33 on: April 01, 2015, 12:07:47 PM »
If you want to FIRE, but still be in medicine and help people, become a nurse instead of a doctor ;) Frankly, in critical care, you get just as much respect right now as anyone except the top surgeons. And you have way more control over your own life.


Along the lines of my first recommendation: one of the biggest things you can do to benefit your future in medicine, IMO, is to get your CNA (certified nursing assistant) license. There's a practicum component to the certification, so even if you don't work as a CNA (or whatever equivalent title is in Cali), you still get the perspective. It really opens your eyes to be at the "bottom of the heap" in medicine. You get a very clear picture of the realities of hospitals and the healthcare system, it gives you a good idea what area you want to work in, and it gives you a lot of compassion and understanding for those "down" the hierarchy of medicine. Medicine is flattening from a hierarchy- understanding other roles is imperative right now.