Interviews with real women physicians -Hatton1

Welcome to another installment of Interviews with Real Female Physicians. The goal of this series is to share their story so that you, the reader, may learn and be inspired from their experiences – good and bad. We all come from different backgrounds and have different situations. Some of you are married, some are not, some with kids, some with blended families. Let’s show other women that any of these can work financially!  So let’s introduce our next woman physician rockstar – “Hatton1” .

Tell us about yourself:

I call myself “Hatton1” on the White Coat Investor and Physician On Fire blogs. I am 60 and in the process of getting divorced as I write this. I live in the deep South in a low COL town. I actually grew up in the town I live in and have family here. I am an OB/GYN. I did OB 26 years. I went through one malpractice trial and won the case. I am doing just GYN 3 days per week with essentially no call. I own the practice. I could essentially retire any time but owning a business with employees is keeping me off the Obamacare exchange. Would I pick OB/GYN again? I really do not know. It is possible now to do shift work (hospitalist or laborist) which did not exist when I was doing OB. The lifestyle is brutal and stressful especially if something goes wrong! Per hour worked lots of other fields pay better. When I was younger I liked the excitement of a STAT c-section or a ruptured ectopic but I aged out of that. I suspect that lots of ER docs and trauma surgeons feel the same way.

Did you graduate with student loans? How much & what are the interest rates?

I had $29K in student loans. I know you all hate me. I had an academic scholarship. My parents paid for undergrad and bought me a car. Medical school tuition now is ridiculous. I don’t know if I would’ve gone with today’s prices. I can’t even remember the interest rate or payment because it was that insignificant.

Financial aspects of marriage

Are you married?

I am legally married as I type this. I expect my uncontested divorce to be final in the next week or two. I had no prenuptial agreement. My state is not community property.

If you are divorced – what have you learned financially from this, and what advice would you give to unmarried women planning to marry?

My attorney gave me the advice of not raising your spouses lifestyle to the “doctor” lifestyle. If you encourage them to quit work then if you divorce you may face alimony. In my case my husband is still working full time and I went to part time. I gave my husband my equity in a farm we bought which I really did not want anyway. It cost me $35k and $600 in legal fees. We married later in life and kept our finances separate.  

General Finances

What’s your FI (financial independence) number? 

My financial independence number is 5 million. I hit this at age 56. In retrospect with what I now know about the FIRE movement I think I could’ve retired at about 45.

What is your net worth?

I am now 60 with a net worth of ~ 7.5 million post divorce (Includes home equity).

Are you DIY?

I handle my own finances. I used a commissioned stock broker for several years starting out.

How did you get to FI and what does it mean to you?

I always filled my retirement accounts up and then filled up a taxable account. I have most of my retirement money in a SEP-IRA and some in a traditional IRA. I have converted a small amount to a Roth IRA. For what it’s worth, most of my money is in a taxable account. FI means you can quit work or go part-time. It means no call or weekends. It means anything you want it to mean because you no longer have to work and put up with crap.

One thing you regret:

Not buying an office building.

Do you have insurance?

I no longer have disability insurance. I cancelled it mid-40s when I knew I had “enough .“ I have umbrella insurance ~2-3 million.

Any parting words of wisdom?

My advice is basically grow into your income slowly. Do not keep up with the Jones. Dr. Jones is 75 and still working! I made a number financial mistakes along the way but came out ok. Basically learn about money or it will fritter away. I also recognize that I was very lucky. I became an OB/GYN when very few females were doing it. The demand was huge and I never had to market myself. Those days are gone and you will have to hustle to do well I think. Good Luck.

And … that’s a wrap! If you’re interested in doing this please send me an email – I’d love to hear from you!

I loved reading “Hatton1’s” story and I hope you did too. I think she may be the first woman physician interviewed here that has achieved financial independence!]]>

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  1. Lara on December 28, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Could Dr. Hatton1 comment on her investing strategy/allocation, average savings rate, and/or what kinds of mistakes she made? Thanks for sharing!

    • Hatton1 on December 28, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Lara I have been all over the map with investing. When I started I used a commissioned stockbroker and invested in loaded mutual funds. I never bought whole life or any bogus insurance products. I have cycled into managing my own accounts and buying passive index funds. I have 65/35 stocks to bonds. I used to invest in individual stocks but now just indexes. I have muni bonds in taxable and BND in tax deferred. I own apple in taxable and will probably donate this or pass it to heirs. I am trying to Roth convert some tax deferred (reits).

  2. Physician on FIRE on December 28, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Great interview, Miss Bonnie.

    And great to get to know you a bit better, hatton1. I was sorry to hear about your divorce. I know it must be tough, but the fact that you kept your finances separate and the divorce didn’t set you back much is a silver lining.


    • Hatton1 on December 28, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      It is possible to divorce if uncontested in a non-devastating manner.

  3. Millionaire doc on December 28, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Great interview. Sorry to hear about your divorce. What kind of office building would you have bought? Thanks for sharing.

    • Hatton1 on December 29, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks. A building to house my OB/GYN practice instead of renting. I can’t complain too loudly because I have amazingly cheap rent.

  4. VagabondMD on December 28, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    I did not know if Dudes were allowed over here 😉 .

    Nice article, well-written, and also enjoyed getting to know you a little better. (Will meet up in person in PC.)

    Your words of wisdom ring true. I made a lot of financial mistakes, almost all of them, but made them early, when the stakes were lower, and learned from them (did not make them over and over again).

    Happy New Year!

    • Hatton1 on December 29, 2017 at 5:41 pm

      Looking forward to the financial nerd meet up in PC. I think the important thing is to recognize and learn from mistakes. BTW I wish I mentioned a few songs on my post but I am not nearly as witty as you.

  5. Biglaw Investor on December 29, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Great interview and also good to get know a little more about hatton1. Thanks for sharing your details about achieving financial independence and career choices. Those are always helpful for people looking to model your behavior!

    • Hatton1 on December 29, 2017 at 5:38 pm

      Thanks. I have stopped by your site as well BigLaw.

  6. WealthyDoc on December 29, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    I’m a big fan of Hatton1.  I want to be just like her when I grow up (minus being female and minus the divorce). I’m even copying her work 3-days-a-week plan!
    The increase in wealth after “semi-retirement” is staggering. Remember how hard that first million was to get? Then the jump from $5M to $7.5M is relatively effortless.

    My favorite quote from that was, “Dr. Jones is 75 and still working…..”  

    • Miss Bonnie MD on December 29, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Most people don’t realize their portfolio will continue to grow after “retirement.” Due to this I can cut back a lot sooner than I originally thought!

      • Hatton1 on December 29, 2017 at 5:34 pm

        Only in a bull market.

    • Hatton1 on December 29, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      I think you are doing ok for yourself as well. Welcome to part-time work. I have been amazed by the portfolio growth. It is all appreciation since I am not really putting any more money in. I am glad you are a fan!

  7. TheHappyPhilosopher on December 30, 2017 at 11:06 am

    I’m a big fan of the 3 day work week…but an even bigger fan of the 2 day workweek.

    I think when they designed the calendar they got it wrong, the weekend should be 5 days and the workweek 2 😉

    • Hatton1 on January 1, 2018 at 10:44 am

      Good point THP.

  8. ObDoctorMom on December 31, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Great interview Hatton1. Love to hear stories of women physicians who have excelled in managing their own financial situation. The more people hear about successes, the more realistic and obtainable it becomes for others seeking the same. Also nice to get the perspective of a fellow Ob/Gyn! I noticed you own your practice- a rarity today for Ob/Gyns who are increasingly employed physicians. Do you think the type of wealth accumulation you obtained would have been different if you were employed? Great series MissBonnieMD.

  9. Hatton1 on January 1, 2018 at 10:43 am

    I doubt I could be 3 days per week doing just GYN if I was employed. If you own it you really know that the more deliveries that you do the more you will make. I do not think the small very personal OB/GYN practices will survive. The speciality is fragmenting to an amazing degree. I think there will be more hospitalist/laborists employed by hospitals. This is a good lifestyle change for docs but not a good monetary change. I think an employee will never make as much as an owner/partner. I think the huge burden of student loans plus a complete lack of personal finance/business training makes newly minted docs flock to hospital employment. Some salaries I see people posting in various fields (not OB/GYN) is eye-popping but I wonder about that going forward if the hospital is the employer.

  10. Hatton1 on February 26, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    For anyone wanting more info about Hatton1 check out my new blog.

  11. The Sunday Best (12/16/2018) - Physician on FIRE on December 16, 2018 at 9:50 am

    […] Interviews with Real Women Physicians – Hatton1 – OBGYN […]

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