Checkup – October 2021

Welcome to another Dr. PayItBack monthly checkup! I use this space to remain accountable to our expenses and goals, track net worth and debt, and muse on what was done well and what can be improved.

I closed on the sale of my dad’s house this month, and I have started the final process of distributing the residue of the estate among myself and siblings. There are a few loose ends remaining, but this was the last big project. Fifteen months later, I can attest that executing even a relatively simple estate is no joke. It has been exhausting mentally and emotionally, and I am relieved that the end is in sight.

Budget/Cash Flow

With the massive influx of cash from the sale of the house, we have been able to further increase the aggressiveness of our investing. I don’t want to lump-sum everything into VTSAX right this second because I’d like to to be able to max 403b, Roths, and 529s immediately at the start of the year. But I did dump an extra $10,000 into our taxable account.

I also ‘bought the dip’ of the last mini crypto crash. So far this has paid off but of course it’s anyone’s guess what this looks like in a day or a month or a year.

PayItBack Progress

Interest rates remain steady at the same record lows. Paying minimums. Rise repeat.

Net Worth

If we weren’t in a secure financial place before, we sure are now. The S&P was up a ridiculous near-7%, more than erasing the September slump. Crypto remained at or near all-time highs. And of course the proceeds of the house sale made for a gigantic cash cushion (for now). I don’t know if it’s the numbers or the relief of being nearly done with probate, but I have found myself noticeably more relaxed at work. I hope that this is a sustained feeling because it’s giving me a better attitude when I see even difficult patients, and it’s allowing me to come home with more energy for my family.

Financial Independence

Graph courtesy of Mad Fientist

Wow! FI by summer 2028!

Not really. I don’t know all the backend calculations that this tool makes, but it clearly extrapolates the recent slope of our savings growth into the future. I think it now assumes that I will be saving >$150k every month which — while it would be nice — is not super realistic at this point. I expect this date to slowly recede further into the future again as more typical months fill in.

Financial Goals for 2021

1) Max out 403b: $19,500 of $19,500 (100% done)
2) Max out backdoor Roth IRAs: $12,000 of $12,000 (100% done)
3) Use taxable brokerage in addition to 1) and 2) to save $100,000 total for retirement: $64,500 of $68,500 (94.2% done)
4) Max out 529s for state tax benefit: $16,000 of $16,000 (100% done)
5) Save 20% down payment for a $450,000 house: $90,000 of $90,000 (100% done)
6) Continue to pay minimums on student loans as long as rates remain <4%
7) Finalize estate documents

How Far I’ve Come

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