But, I know that is a lie. I am the only one responsible for the box. There might be enough of us living in the box, that we think someone else created it - but it is ours alone. The choice then becomes will you make the most of living in the box, or will you try to escape? Escaping takes more courage than you think.
We weren't going to be those doctors. We weren't going to be the ones living at the cusp of their income. We weren't going to be the ones that make minimum payments on their student loans. We weren't going to be the ones that drive new cars. We weren't going to be the ones that had to work past retirement age. We weren't going to be the ones that still had a mortgage payments and student loan payments 15 years after starting practice. We weren't going to be the ones that .... fill in the blank.
There is a reality that I don't think I can impress upon upcoming doctors and their families enough, and it is this:
What you thought was waiting for you at the end of the rainbow, isn't what you think it is.
The TRUTH is that your disposable income, the amount that you actually get to use for your day to day living and saving, isn't going to be as great as you thought it was and everything is more expensive than you imagined. Both are influenced largely by what part of the country you live in.
The TRUTH is that your husband, despite being his own boss, is still ultimately at the mercy of his patients and the hospital and their needs. He is a well-paid servant in a highly bureaucratized system. He carries a pager and jumps when they say jump.
The TRUTH is that you are not done sacrificing. Hard decisions still await you. Long hours and nights don't disappear. Loneliness may still be your friend.
The TRUTH is that your friends and family will still misunderstand your situation in terms of finances, time, and abilities. They will always think you have more of all three.
The TRUTH is income guarantees have expiration dates and so do contracts.
The TRUTH (especially for those of us on the 40 side) is that time isn't your friend. If you want to pay off your house before you retire you have 20 years, not 30. If you want to retire at a normal age you have 20 years to save, not 40.
These are hard facts to face. But they must be faced at some point. Sooner than later. Every one's variables are unique. Do you know yours?
My family has always joked that my mother was the original Debbie Downer. She can't help but interject something like "did you hear so and so passed away, so sad, bless her heart" in the middle of an otherwise pleasant conversation. I may have inherited some of that from her.
There are plenty of things that are great about being done and getting a paycheck this is commiserate with your husbands skills, talents, and education. This post in no way is meant to diminish that. Your situation is probably different, they all are. I guess that may be the point. Just because you know a doctor that ........ doesn't mean that it is going to work out that way for you.
If you are expecting magic, you may be disappointed. Know what your priorities are. Know what you want today to look like and what you want your future to look like. Know what you have to work with. It's never to early to start making a plan.
Don't be disappointed, be prepared. That means having a trusted financial advisor who will tell you the TRUTH about what your unique situation for the present and future look like. The plain and simple truth. You might not want to hear it, but we all need more of it.
I understand the phrase "the truth hurts" much better now.