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Update and an attempt at blogging more

February 15th, 2019 at 07:01 pm

I've never been that active over here on the blogging part of the site although I'm very active on the forums. I'm going to attempt to change that. I like answering questions and helping people there but I'd also like a place to share more of my own (our own) journey.

Let me start by re-introducing myself here. I'm Steve. I'm 54, married for 26 years, one daughter age 23. I'm a family practice physician who spent 24 years in private practice. Starting in April 2016, I gradually transitioned to working in urgent care, first going per diem, then part time, and finally full time in November 2017.

The result of that job transition has been a dramatic change in our financial situation. I went from earning about 120K to earning about 210K. The new position also has much better benefits including cheaper and better health coverage, a 401k with match, and more.

Another big change in the past year was our daughter graduating college. We paid for the 1st 2 years with the 529 money we had saved since she was little. We paid the 2nd 2 years mostly out of pocket so that was a bit tight as we were spending about $3,000/month for that. Once she graduated, our disposable income jumped up basically overnight.

The next big change will happen in a few months when we pay off our mortgage. I'm not exactly sure when that will be but no later than the November 1, 2019 payment. I expect to do it before that though. That will free up a total of about $1,700/month. I'm still debating what to do with that money going forward.

One thing that has been on our future list forever is buying a house in Florida and potentially moving there. As I am very happy in my job now, which wasn't the case previously, I'm actually finding that the drive to move isn't really there, but I do like the idea of getting a place of our own down there for vacations. We rent a condo or townhouse every time we go down, almost always in the same development. Last time we were there in November, I started looking at the real estate listings and we can definitely afford to buy one of those homes as a second home once our house is paid off. We haven't seriously talked about it or looked into it in great detail but I know that we can swing it if we decide to. I know a couple of realtors down there who I trust and plan to contact when we're actually ready to look for real.

I'm going to stop there for now but, as I said, I plan to make an effort to hang out here more and tell more of our story as long as people want to hear it.

Have a great weekend everyone. I'm working but also have some fun plans as we're going out to dinner with friends tomorrow night.

6 Responses to “Update and an attempt at blogging more”

  1. veronak Says:

    Aw welcome back DS to blogger land 😊
    I’ve always enjoyed reading your blogs, congratulations to your daughter on finishing up her degree and way to go on paying off the house.

  2. disneysteve Says:

    Thanks, Amber. Having DD through college is nice. I don't miss those tuition bills at all. And I'm eagerly awaiting the mortgage payoff. It will be just past the 25-year mark. Then I just need to set aside insurance and tax money to make those payments when they're due.

  3. alliecat79 Says:

    Holy cow, Steve! Welcome to the other side. Hope to see lots of comments enlightening us on better finances.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    So glad you are back to blogging. Glad your daughter made it through college and you (and she) don't have big loans. Your job change really made a big difference in your budget and I hope it is less stressful too. Our family doctor has been with this one group and was affiliated with one hospital, but since they changed to affiliation with the other hospital in town, I think things have gotten better -- he doesn't seemed as stressed and isn't constantly watching the clock when we see him.

  5. Dido Says:

    Good to see you back over here! Glad that the job change made such a big difference for you, and getting DD through college sure helps too! And so exciting to have the mortgage pay-off in sight!!

  6. disneysteve Says:

    Thanks everyone.

    rob, my wife and I did take a 15K loan for college 3rd year but paid it off in a year. It was more of a cash flow issue than anything. I thought we'd need to do it again 4th year and then discovered the school actually had a nearly free payment plan. I think the fee was $40 or $50. So we did that instead of another loan. So we have no debt from college.

    Our daughter borrowed a total of $15,000 herself and finished repaying it a month or two ago. Even though she didn't work during college, she has a annuity from an old legal case and she used some of that money to make payments throughout school. Since graduating, she also had job income so was able to knock out the last of her loan. So debt-free 7-8 months after graduation.

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