2018 can be summed up with one word – growth.
We moved to a new city with a new baby at the end of 2017. M and I started new jobs. We are still settling into Philadelphia and it does not feel like home yet. We are renting. We were not ready to commit to buying so we renewed our lease for one more year.
After plugging in some numbers in a rent vs. buy calculator it is clear that we need to buy after our lease is up. Financially, our net worth stayed about the same despite both of us maxing out all available tax advantaged accounts (401(k)s, backdoor Roth IRAs, HSAs, funding a brokerage account at Vanguard and investing in a real estate syndication.
How? We sold M’s condo in NYC and after taxes and other selling fees–we lost a good chunk of the equity. The market wasn’t so hot in 2018 either. We parted ways with our financial advisor and I’ll admit that since then I have not been as organized about our investments. I can’t even really tell you how our investments did this year! But we continued to invest in the market and ignored what was going on. While many folks are worried about the market downturn, I see it as a sale. With Physician On FIRE and 39point6’s help I did my first tax loss harvest.
Our biggest financial accomplishment was paying off my student loans in early 2018! We are debt-free. Obviously, we could not predict the market but I think we made the right choice. I admit it was somewhat anticlimactic but I think being a brand new mom in a new city had something to do with that.
Later in 2018 we had an unexpected loss of income and being debt-free and living below our means was pivotal in weathering that storm. Jack turned 1 and has a positive net worth! He has a UTMA, ESA and a 529. He will be opening up a Roth IRA soon.
Miss Bonnie MD In 2018
I somehow managed to continue working on MissBonnieMD.com and be active on the various physician finance Facebook groups.
In March, I had the honor of speaking at the inaugural White Coat Investor Conference–The Physician Wellness and Financial Literacy Conference in Park City, Utah. I spoke about some of my favorite topics–outsourcing and prenups in addition to estate planning.
All the speakers and topics were fantastic. The best part of the conference was hanging out with online friends “in real life” including my podcast buddy Carrie Reynolds, Dawn Baker, Nisha Mehta, Peter Kim of Passive Income MD and his wife, Hatton1 and so forth. I had already met Physician on FIRE in NYC previously. Oh and of course I got to meet Jim Dahle! In case you missed it, you can purchase the virtual conference and watch every lecture.
During the summer I connected with some of the awesome physician podcasters at Podcast Movement in Philadelphia. I met Nii from Docs Outside The Box, David from Doctors Unbound, Taylor from The Happy Doc, Tarang from Doctor Money Matters and Ryan Gray from Med School HQ. Carrie and I attended the ChooseFI meetup and got to chat a bit with Jonathan. In September I attended FINCON and had the pleasure of hanging out with my physician finance blogger friends. We had quite a group convene in Orlando! One of my favorite parts was meeting british woman doc Nikki from The Female Money Doctor.
I had a blast recording this podcast with Nii at FINCON in Orlando, FL. Not often do I get to “see” who I am chatting with. Nii graciously included my blog in his “Top 5 Personal Finance Blogs for Physicians” episode.
One “dream goal” came true when I got to chat with Farnoosh Torabi about my blog and finances on her So Money podcast. I love her book When She Makes More and highly recommend this book to all breadwinning women! Too bad we didn’t get to connect when we were neighbors in Brooklyn! Carrie and I recorded 10 podcasts in 2018! One of them included an interview with Jim Dahle. We hope to do them more often. I wrote a Christopher Guest Post for Physician On FIRE where you can read about my favorite wines. I wrapped up the year by giving two local talks–I spoke to dermatology residents at Jefferson and young Barnard alums about personal finance. I have some big goals for Miss Bonnie MD in 2019:
- Complete redesign of the website
- Write a book
- Increase readership and traffic by 100%
- Increase revenue by 100%
I’m excited about 2019! I hope you’ve created some written goals to go after this year!