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August 30, 2011


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I think you're doing great. If you don't mind me asking, what did you do in direct patient care?

Just throwing it out there:

Would you be able to refinance your mortgage? You probably have good credit and I know there are loans under 4.5% now...

Why would he refinance if he's paying off his mortgage in December?

Curious what the mortgage total was and what the down payment was. I am just curious to see how far you've come.

Only one suggestion....I'd consider putting some money in bonds...maybe 10% - 25% or your portfolio. It will take some of the volatility out of an all stock portfolio.

Personally, I'm very wary of the US debt picture and am also worried about the depreciation of the dollar. A global bond fund like Loomis Sayles Global Bond (LSGLX) for your IRA is worthy of consideration if you don't have access to a global bond fund in your 401K. Another option might be to just go with a bond index fund or maybe Pimco Total Return if you can get the insitutional share class in your 401k.

Bita - I am/was a cytotechnologist. You can Google it but it is basically a lab tech.

Easychange, et al. - $60,000 down payment on a $200,000 home 5 yrs ago. $90,000 is the remaining amount.

Mark - I understand your point but am also concerned about the future performance of bond investments also. I would like to hear others thoughts as well.

The problem with LSGLX is that it performed very poorly in 2008 with a maximum drawdown of 20.11% on 10/28/08. One of the better non global funds is TGMNX which invests in government securities and only had a 3.90% drawdown in 2008. Of course with 401K plans the choices are very limited, my son's plan only offers two bond funds, Fidelity's Spartan US Bond Index FBIDX, and Pimco's Total Return Bond fund PTTDX, which are both less volatile and have much lower drawdowns than LSGLX.


Is $98K all you have in cash? If you take $90K+ whatever you save between now and then, that doesn't seem like a solid amount of cash to have for emergencies, especially if you live in a small town (limited job opportunities) and your wife hasn't worked in at least nine years (difficulty getting back in the job market).

Or did I miss something?

Overall, though, it looks like you're doing great!


That should say if you take $90K to pay off your house in December, plus whatever you can save between now and then...

Wow, I am always shocked at health care salaries. A 120K net income for a hospital administrator in the rural Midwest is a lot of money. I say enjoy it while it lasts, health care isn't going be like that in 10 years. Out of curiosity, what was your masters degree in, and do you feel that you use what you learned or was it more of credential?

You're not a risk taker but you're going to just about empty your emergency fund?

Get a HELOC on the house after you pay it off and that will replace your emergency fund. Pentagon Federal Credit Union has free HELOCs, the rates are great, there is zero cost if you don't use it, and anyone can join the Pen Fed by paying something like 20 bucks to become a member of one of the orgs they accept.

@ TimG
I work in health care also. Our administators salary was published a few years ago, and it was over 500k per year. This is a Health care system with 4 hospitals and several outpatient sites. About 2000 employees. Still, I thought it was high.

Sorry, typo... I've been paying extra on the mortgage off an on over the last 2 years. The remaining mortgage is $65k. By December I'll have it paid off and $39k left over.

@TimG - My masters is in health services administration and yes it is very important to get the degree specific to health care. Education is important but you also have to be "street smart" and know how to navigate small town politics. They don't teach you that in school. I guess the salary is up for debate, but how much should the CEO of a $20 million dollar organization make? I had the same thoughts when looking from the outside too. Now I understand. I assure you, I earn my money.

$120 net is largely because of my deductions. Three kids, Maxed IRA, mortgage - you get the picture.

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