Welcome to another installment of Interviews with Real Female Physicians. The goal of this series is to share their story so that you, the reader, may learn and be inspired from their experiences – good and bad. We all come from different backgrounds and have different situations. Some of you are married, some are not, some with kids, some with blended families. Let’s show other women that any of these can work financially!
So let’s introduce our next woman physician heroine – Sharon .
Tell us about yourself:
Hi! My name is “Sharon”. I am a pediatric subspecialist in a private practice. I like my job, but at times I do feel tired. I feel like I wasn’t as exposed to other specialties in medical school that I might have pursued (like radiology).
I am currently married and have one son. I love to draw and cook. I am Hispanic. I live in Central Florida, which in my opinion is very reasonable in terms of cost of living. I am currently an attending 6 years out of fellowship.
Did you graduate with student loans? How much & what are the interest rates?
I graduated with student loans but I was very fortunate to go to a medical school in my native country which was more affordable than in the US. I went to a public university. My loan interest is 2.65%. My loans totaled $72K. I still owe about $16K. I was pretty aggressive initially paying off the higher interest loans and I am planning to pay them off completely this year.
Financial aspects of kids
When did you have them?
I had my son 2 years ago, as an attending.
Are you planning to fund their college expenses?
My son is 2 years old. I have a 529 through the state of Utah. I will help him as much as I can, but my goal right now is to have about $150K for college.
What are your child care expenses?
My son has been in daycare since he was 12 weeks old. It was not an easy decision but I didn’t feel comfortable having a stranger in my home all day with my baby. His daycare is very good, close to my office and has cameras that I can monitor.
Financial aspects of marriage
Are you married?
Yes I am married.
Did you get a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement?
Maybe it’s a cultural thing? Not common in our culture. I guess I would’ve like to have one.
Do you and your husband agree on finances?
I am the primary breadwinner and I am the one that makes all of the financial decisions and plans for the future. He just agrees with everything I do.
I make about 3 times what he makes. He realizes that and we have found that keeping our accounts separate works best for us.
Have you experienced a financial catastrophe?
No, thank god!
What’s your FI (financial independence) number?
I don’t have a number, but I do have a game plan. I want to pay off my medical school loans (hopefully this year), followed by aggressively paying off my mortgage (hopefully pay it off in 10-12 years).
Who handles the finances in your relationship? Are you DIY or do you have a financial advisor?
I handle the finances. To be perfectly honest, my husband shows no interest in learning about our finances, so I took complete control. I had a financial advisor and fired her after everything I have learned reading on my own.
What is your net worth?
How are you saving for FI/retirement?
I am maxing out my 401K and I am in the process of doing a backdoor Roth. Next step – Index funds.
One thing you wish you knew:
More about investing.
Biggest financial failure/regret:
Not getting disability insurance as a resident.
Do you have insurance?
Yes, we have term life and umbrella insurance.
What does FI/retirement mean to you? What does it look like?
I want to be comfortable and still relatively young (late 50’s early 60’s).
Do you give to charity? If so, where and why?
Yes, to a genetic syndrome foundation about $500 a year.
Any parting words of wisdom?
Read White Coat Investor, follow Bonnie’s blog, follow Bogleheads and ask lots of questions!
And … that’s a wrap! If you’re interested in doing this please send me an email – I’d love to hear from you!
I enjoyed reading Sharon’s story and I hope you did too.