High earning power couple. Healthcare professionals doing big things here in Utah!
40 and 37
Executive and Physician
What type of employment do you have and what does your comp plan look like? Any side income?
I'm an executive with a pharmaceutical company making 225K plus bonuses. Average compensation including my 401K match, health benefits, and other perks is around 300K. There are equity shares that are vesting that I have not included in my compensation. My wife is a part-time physician making 200K+ as a contractor. She is averaging 20 hours per week right now due to our latest child. She plans to ramp her hours back up in 2020. We own 3 rental properties that cash flow but choose to invest the money back into the properties.
When did you cross the million dollar mark and how did that happen?
2013. High earning-power, disciplined investing, controlling our expenses as our income has grown.
What was the single best thing you have done with your investments?
Our education. Our earning power resulting from our choice of career has set us up to accumulate wealth. Remaining grounded and humble is the second best thing we have done so we can do good with what we have been trusted with.
Where do you have your money invested and what are your debts? (account balances) Whats next?
Cash- 75K (emergency fund- high yield savings account @2%)
Home- 700K value – 350K mortgage
Rental property #1- no mortgage
Rental property #2- 180K mortgage
Rental property #3- 156K mortgage
Retirement accounts- 1.1 million (IRA, Roth IRA, 401K, SEP)
529 Accounts- 100K
Total Assets- $2,655,000
Total Debt from mortgages and student loans- $736K
Net worth- Around 2 million
*not worth my time to calculate the value of vehicles, furniture, and possessions.
What is the biggest pitfall or mistake you have made with your money?
I lost my shorts on a rental property in 2008-2009. Sold it in 2014 for less than I paid and hundreds of silly hours I didn't have. I've stopped picking individual stocks and use a Robo-advisor tool. I lent a family member some money a while back and have concluded that we will never see it again.
What are the primary tax strategies you follow?
We use real estate, charitable gift funds, and retirement accounts.
Do you follow a budget and how's that going?
Yes but it's really on auto-pilot. We automatically fund everything so it doesn't take much time. Our Fidelity, 401K, SEP, 529 and even mortgage payments all auto draft. I have to manually sell stock in our charitable account but that's simple. The remaining funds are used for food, activities, bills, and fun. I've learned to maximize my returns instead of pay off my mortgage or student loans early. (rates are about 3.5% on both) So far that strategy is working out just fine.
What steps have you taken to protect your money? (estate planning, trusts etc)
Our rental properties are incorporated and we have a living trust and will set up. My wife and I are self-made and have strong feelings about allowing our kids to do the same. We will help with their education but expect them to provide for themselves. We've told both our parents we don't want anything after they pass away which is hopefully a long time away. (we have great families)
Do you use a financial planner or software to track your assets?
no to a financial planner. I use a detailed spreadsheet that I'm pretty proud of.
What's your best money advice for someone who is just starting out?
Pick a high paying profession, invest 30% of your after-tax income in your early 20's and be patient. The capital needs to bake in a strategy for 10+ years. I would avoid expensive vehicles, homes, and toys until your established and can pay cash. Even then, you have to make a choice about becoming financially independent or having the coolest stuff in town. My wife and I work with people who spend all their income to maintain a lifestyle. We expect to retire, travel and serve the world far sooner than most.
If you could do it all over, what would you do different?
I'm pretty happy with how things worked out.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I work from home but travel quite a bit. (8 days a month) My wife runs point in the morning and I'm super dad in the evenings. I'm a creature of habit never missing my workout, study time, scheduled calls and relaxing time. I tend to eat the same thing most days having spent significant time understanding the diet and nutrition that works for me. Being married to a physician and my line of work has caused us to play offense with our health. We hope to live a long time and be around for our future grandchildren.
Any advice on life you can share? (school, career, family, personal development)
I know it sounds cheesy but putting your family and faith first is really all you need to get right. Money or things will not make you happy. Living below your means without unreasonable debt creates opportunities to follow your dreams. I feel strongly that a person's health must be a priority if they are to accomplish everything they want to in this life. Eating right, exercising, laughing and loving all impact our soul and must be a priority. Traveling, reading, listening, avoiding TV, politics and unhealthy people are sound advice too.
Any books you would recommend on money?
I like many of the books on this site. (under the free financial plans page) Robert Kiyosaki got me into real estate and I have all his books. I adopted David Bach's automatic investing. People should start with those two authors.
Do you have a retirement goal? What are your plans? Concerns?
We want to move into full time investing at age 50. My wife will probably never retire but I sure as heck will. I love my company and job but can't work for the man forever.
Favorite restaurants in Utah?
Favorite golf courses in Utah?
Not that good at golf but enjoy Valley View the most.
Favorite ski resort?
Favorite Hotel in Utah?
Sundance in the fall
Where is your favorite Utah vacation destination? Outside of Utah destination?
Bear Lake is our family tradition. We love Europe outside Utah.
Favorite things to do in Utah?
biking, trail running, boating, cabins, razors and snow machines. Our family has a cabin at Bear Lake to enjoy all these activities. We enjoy the Jazz, Utes and Real Salt Lake.