Side Hustle Spotlight 1.27.19

The Side Hustle Spotlight is a weekly roundup of interesting posts and articles about medicine, side hustles and personal finance.

Spotlights illuminate empty stage with dark background. 3d rendering

This week I asked Is it better to be an employee, an independent contractor or both?.  There are pros and cons to each type of job, but I think the ideal combo is a full-time W2 job with independent contractor side gigs.  Have you ever mixed and matched jobs to get the best of both worlds?

You hear a lot of wealthy physicians preaching that money doesn’t buy happiness.  Of course, they tell you this after they’ve made millions of dollars.  It made me wonder Does Earning More Money Prevent Burnout?  To my surprise, higher paid specialties reported lower levels of burnout.  Is it possible that feeling like your time is valued and being able to afford to cut back change how you feel about your career?

Doc G from DiverseFI was speaking my language when he wrote Income Identity. Although many doctors self identify with their profession, we equally self identify as being high earners. When so much of how you see yourself is dependent on those big paychecks, what happens when you cut back or retire?  How much of your identity is based in being a provider for your family?

Speaking of cutting back, Crispy Doc continues his Docs Who Cut Back series this week when he interviewed GXA – a 43-year-old ER doc from the Midwest who cut back unexpectedly when things went south with his employer.  Unlike some of the previous subjects of the series, this doc never planned to cut back mid-career.  A set of unforeseen circumstances made him enjoy the job less, and his hard work and savings rate afforded him the option to go part-time.  It’s a good example of how being financially independent buys you freedom even if early retirement is not the end goal.

White Coat Investor knows that 1099 Independent Contractors Can’t Ignore These 11 Issues.  When you work as an independent contractor you are both the boss and the employee.  Uncle Sam may gave you extra perks like self-employed retirement accounts and business deductions, but with those perks come added responsibilities.  Read this post and make sure you understand what you’re getting into before taking a 1099 job.

Many independent contractor medical jobs are in non-clinical roles.  Look for Zebras sees a lot of future growth in the non-clinical job market.  Nonclinical Physician Employment Trends…….and How You Can Benefit From Them discusses the increasing number of these jobs, compares wage growth to clinical salaries and stresses the value of clinical experience in landing these jobs.  If you’re thinking of making the leap, check out these tips.

Physician on FIRE is living proof that a high income can erase a lot of financial missteps.  The Doctor Loan:  My Experience Buying and Building with Physician Mortgage Loans looks at the many “forever homes” that PoF has bough over the years.  I realize the goal of the post was to review physician mortgages, but to me the takeaway message was “if you earn and save enough money you can make some money screw ups and still retire in your forties.”

All of us battle impostor syndrome at one point or another.  Millennial Doctor flashes back to feeling like a fraud in Are You Sure You Know What You’re Doing?.  Most new attendings feel like frauds just waiting to be discovered.  As you sharpen your skills and the job becomes second nature that impostor feeling starts to take longer and longer hiatuses.  Think back to the three attendings you admired most while you were training – the ones you modeled your own style after.  All three of them felt like complete and utter frauds too.

Parenting is another great source of impostor syndrome.  Dr McFrugal recently shared Why I Don’t Have a 529 Plan For My Child.  Although I do have 529s for the kids, I agree with Dr McFrugal that the benefits are over hyped.  If you haven’t paid off your own educational debt, it makes little sense to start saving for someone else’s education.  The lack of state tax breaks also makes 529s less attractive.  My plan is to put enough in each kid’s 529 to fund 4 years of in-state tuition.  Anything after that is going into a taxable account.  Have you started 529s for your kids?

I had fun walking down memory lane while reading a recent post on Life of a Med Student.  Common Situations You Can Relate to as a Medical Student shares things we all experienced at some point in med school.  Remember the shock of true sleep deprivation, the fear of hurting patients or the excitement of seeing a rare diagnosis?  Ahh….to be young again.

Winter is still stubbornly here.  Only 145 more days until summer.  Wherever you’re counting down the days to warmer weather I hope you enjoy these posts as much as I did.

Keep hustling,

Side Hustle Scrubs


One thought on “Side Hustle Spotlight 1.27.19

  1. SHS,

    Thought your W2 vs 1099 vs hybrid horse race, paired with WCI’s 1099 post (and a five buck Argentine malbec) should be required reading for any final year EM resident.

    Thanks for highlighting the interview with GXA – proof of concept that pursuing FI regardless of how much you love your job affords luxuries and choices we’d all prefer to have.

    I’m typing this barefoot in shorts and t-shirt on a clear, 70 degree California day. A couple of days ago the kids and I donned wetsuits and jumped waves in the Pacific (temp ~58 degrees F) to perk up and cool down a little.

    After reading PoF’s sticky ice distinction (how much safer it is to walk on a frozen lake and ice fish in -14 degrees) and your “145 more days until summer” comment, I feel like I’m getting away with murder…at least until state taxes hit.

    Stay warm, my friend.



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