Author Topic: Waiting out a wife's residency  (Read 2814 times)


  • Bristles
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Waiting out a wife's residency
« on: December 18, 2014, 09:28:17 PM »
Hi forum, some case study type questions posed for you all from a long time reader, first time poster. My wife and I are on the cusp of some transitions. We are both 30, and she is finishing medical school , starting residency and earning 55k a year somewhere, with benefits, then will be earning 150k a year as a pediatrician for the next 26 years, knock on wood. I've paid for her education and would love to quit working formally and get into my hipster passions full time (beer brewing, wood work, construction, sculpture, gardening) and see what sort of ventures pop out. My question is, when we find out my wife's residency placement, can I quit and not worry about new work for a while? Can we buy a house to remodel at the same time? Wondering as much from the financial side as from the emotional side from people who have taken hiatuses or stopped careers to let their hobbies run wild.

Currently we live cheaply in prime brooklyn with the wife a full time student, my income is around 125k, and we have about $100k in retirement funds, $150k in cash (liquid to buy a house in a few months), $150k in taxable investments, two cars owned outright that we may drive farther than the other side of the street some day (damn street parking). Expenses are broken into rent and utilities- $1000, food, car insurance, subway, fancy hand tool purchasing addiction, travel at another $1000 a month. Aside from the housing expense, I don't see our spending patterns increasing too much.

We would be moving to either the Bronx, south San Francisco/Daly City, oakland, or seattle, or staying put in brooklyn. Houses we have been looking at would be little shit boxes with in law potential at $500k or so. The house would suck up all our cash, and we'd either finance the rest to have a housing expense of roughly $1,800 a month, or if we found a deal close all cash, using our investments and tapping parents' helocs and paying them back (if I stopped working they'd get better use from the tax deduction of the first 100k heloc interest anyway). Housing expense in that case would be roughly $2,100 a month due to the heloc interest, plus monthly costs for material to renovate with.

Any suggestions on cities to move to, or to stay put? Jobs to keep or quit? Look for a deal to pay cash for or settle in and finance a home purchase? Thanks for reading.


  • Stubble
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Re: Waiting out a wife's residency
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2014, 10:35:57 PM »
I guess that I'm a little confused. Won't your wife get matched to a particular hospital and its corresponding city? It's confusing to me that you're wondering about what city to choose, when the choice should be made for you???

I'd be hesitant to purchase a house for a 3-year residency. I'd think that it makes more sense to rent when one considers closing fees, etc. for a place where you'd only live for 3 years. Perhaps you're thinking you'd settle wherever her residency is and stay for longer than 3 years. If it's a city you've never lived in, I'd still want to rent for at least a year to feel things out, figure out if you REALLY want to stay long-term, and determine a neighborhood.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Waiting out a wife's residency
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2014, 10:47:01 PM »
Maybe I'm naive, but Oakland vs. SF is a huge difference. 

Why do you have to live in one of those cities?

Also, if you're looking for a nice house, I think Seattle's probably your best choice.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Waiting out a wife's residency
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2014, 11:09:42 PM »
Unless you buy a fixer-upper as an investment that you are going to sell in two-three years your wife might have to move after her residency unless you are confident that she can get a job or start her own practice where you end up moving to.

I made a similar move where I quit my job after getting married to "find" my passion.  I basically spent 7 months playing video games and poker and went back to my old profession.  Granted it wasn't well thought out but my mentally back then was the lost opportunity cost of all the education and time I put into my current profession, and I found out I actually kind of liked my line of work but not the environment then.

So yeah, if you have a burning desire to go and try something specific go for it.  But if it's some nebulous "hipster passion", then my suggestion would be to start doing it now part-time while you have time, no kids, and see if it's something you can do for the long run.

I actually found something I am interested in doing and going to school right now so I can get a certificate and then practice part-time until I can generate enough income ,where I can go part-time in my current line of work.


  • Bristles
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Re: Waiting out a wife's residency
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2014, 10:11:02 AM »
Thanks for the comments. I should have mentioned that my wife and I are from the bay area, and while the final choice is out of our hands, you can direct it some in the ranking process.

I am very happy in my industry, and like my job a lot, just not sure I'm cut out to always work in an office. Would love to hear anyone's advice on first steps creating a product, selling it, starting by kickstarter/internet/getting into local stores/farmer's markets

Also we were finding houses cost similarly between medium parts of oakland and worst parts of san francisco (excelsior/hunter's point/bayview/crocker/ingleside heights/crocker amazon).


  • Bristles
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Re: Waiting out a wife's residency
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2014, 10:19:15 AM »
well, given your wife's work schedule as a resident for the next 3 years, i think you should keep your day job. you will have PLENTY of time to pursue the hipster passions. she will live at work. :)

Bob W

  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Waiting out a wife's residency
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2014, 10:42:47 AM »
Yep, it is pretty unethical and unsafe how residents are treated.  Most people don't even realize they are being treated by a student with very little training who has been up for 48 hours.

That said,  you should find a very small apartment within very close proximity to the hospital.  She will literally be working around the clock and a house will be a tremendous burden.   

You should find a very busy and high paying job to keep you occupied. 

I'm surprised at how low her post residency pay will be.  My daughters first offer out of residency is in the 300K range.  But she is an ER doc,  so I guess there is a tremendous difference in pay rates per specialty.

Hang in there my friend but I will tell you it will get worse before better.