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Financial Basics from the White Coat Investor

Doctors are highly educated and extensively trained in making difficult decisions, healing and even saving people. However they typically receive no training in business, personal finance, investing, insurance, taxes, estate planning or asset protection. That, and doctors have myriad financial challenges unique to them—from the high debt common after medical school, to the looming risk of malpractice found in no other profession.

Join James Dahle, MD, a full-time practicing emergency physician and self-taught financial expert, editor of the blog White Coat Investor, and author of the book of the same name, for the series of succinct, pearl-filled financial lectures specifically designed for you.

James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP
Department Chair, Staff Physician, Utah Emergency Specialists
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James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP
Department Chair, Staff Physician, Utah Emergency Specialists
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James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP
Department Chair, Staff Physician, Utah Emergency Specialists
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James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP
Department Chair, Staff Physician, Utah Emergency Specialists
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James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP
Department Chair, Staff Physician, Utah Emergency Specialists
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James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP
Department Chair, Staff Physician, Utah Emergency Specialists
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James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP
Department Chair, Staff Physician, Utah Emergency Specialists
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James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP
Department Chair, Staff Physician, Utah Emergency Specialists
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James M. Dahle, MD, FACEP
Department Chair, Staff Physician, Utah Emergency Specialists
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Latest Comments
"Jim,  Good discussion but I think you missed a couple of salient points.

1. Your analysis advises matching net income with expected expenses. You did not consider effect of taxes. The comparison should be with Net Income after taxes. Each of the buckets of income has different tax rates and needs to be considered. Social Security, Dividends, Annuities, Profit Sharing are taxed at ordinary income rates and capital gains are taxed at capital gains rates. Typical tax rates in retirement may be at 15- 20% level. So, at Net Income of $200,000 would generate $160,000 of spendable income.

2. In general, I agree with no mortgage after retirement. However, with rates so low (even lower after taxes), it is possible to generate more with investments than the cost of the mortgage. So depending on age, it might make more sense to take a larger mortgage and put more away in savings, particularly profit sharing.

3. You get more with social security if you wait longer to start taking it. However, that only works if you live long enough to make up for the opportunity costs of the money you did not get. If you are poor health, I would advise someone to take it early. If you have a young wife who has much longer life expectancy probably start taking it later. I don't believe it is a simple question of early vs late.

4. The same goes for annuities. They make great sense if you know you will live to 100. Otherwise they may not. They do give financial security but the trade off is that your heirs may lose and the insurer wins if you die young. So, not a simple analysis"
Joseph Levy, MD
656 Comments
"I've been maximizing all of my retirement options for over 25 years (IRA, 401K, 529, HSA).  It has been of enormous benefit.  Any younger doc who wants to gain financial independence and provide a comfortable future for their family needs to start following Dr. Dahle's advice ASAP.  Devote 100 hours a year to educating yourselves in basic financial skills and you will get "paid" multiples more than you would have made in your financial practices for the same number of hours. Honestly, if you are over the age of 40 and not thoroughly familiar with most of the topics discussed in the presentation, start your learning today."
Ilan Hartstein, MD
777 Comments
 
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