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Income: August 2017

What an exciting month! I’ve moved, I rented out my apartment in Portland, I made fat Benji’s on KP and JA. And I’ve been able to do all this from another country.

Total income for August = $11,354. Not bad for a retiree!

Pretty much all of it is after-tax income and the rest likely won’t get taxed because I’m planning to go toe-to-toe with the IRS for 2017. I’ll be writing a tax post soon – this is the time to plan for 2017 taxes and not too late into the year.


My Income Sources

I’m that nerd with the spreadsheets and unless you love, love, love your work and couldn’t ever imagine yourself working anything less than full-time, I think spreadsheets are necessary to herd all those numbers.

Our lives aren’t the lives of our parents. Shit has gotten a little more complicated. Though it’s also much easier to enjoy a very high quality lifestyle, there are a lot more moving parts to keep track of.

I have the following income sources in 2017:

  • JustAnswer
  • American Well
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Dividends
  • AirBnb
  • (Remedy)


JustAnswer – $2,782

It’s hard to say exactly how much money I earned from JA because they haven’t issues my 1099 paycheck yet. Today is September 1st so I should find out in a few hours. I suspect it’ll be around $2,782 of gross income.

  • 28 hours worked for the month of August.
  • I took 6 days off in August.
  • That’s a total of 25 days worked in August for JA.
  • 213 questions answered.
  • 1.25 hrs/day worked on average.
  • 30% of this was downtime, waiting for questions.

I would log in at random times during the day, if it seemed slow I’d just turn off the browser and come to it another time. Never really scheduled a particular time to be online. But if it was busy then I’d attack those questions. Hacking JA is important to maximize income and minimize lag time.


American Well – (?)

I recently started doing more AmWell shifts and honestly still trying to get the hang of it. Sometimes I’ll log on and I get 3 patients in a row and sometimes I’ll have the website up and nothing happens.

I think I saw 8-10 patients this month, not a lot. I get paid about $30 per patient and some patients are paid out at $60. So let’s say I made $250-ish. But I haven’t gotten paid yet so I’m not sure. This sum isn’t included in my earnings for August because I don’t even know how/where/when I will get paid.

There is a way to sign up for shifts. I’m not trying to be mean but I think I’m contracted through a 3rd party agency who really doesn’t have their shit together so I haven’t been able to sign up for shifts.

I don’t have any desire to sign up for shifts other than to report it here to interested readers. So for now I’ll keep trying to see how AmWell could work out.


Kaiser Permanente – $4,579

$2,010 of this is from work I did in July.

The other $2,569 is from August work.

I count for all of it because the checks come every 2 weeks.

I had 35 hours for which I was assigned during the month of August. I didn’t work all those hours and got paid for another 4 hours of admin time where I did zero work.

Some shifts are crazy busy (5 patients/hr) but I have the option of calling all the patients ahead of time and be done with the shift sooner.

Alternatively, I can take my time and do American Well or JA work at the same time.

Some shifts are stupid slow where I’ll see 2-5 patients in 5 hours. So it’s a mix and it’s up to me how to best use my time.


Dividend Income – $34

That’s right folks! Rolling in that fat dough… $34… making it rain.

This is my monthly payout from my bond portfolio which is somewhere around $28,000. 

My bonds dividends are paid out monthly.

The stocks dividends get paid out 4x a year. So I think the next one is due in September. I’ll report on that next month.


AirBnb – $902

It would be around $1,800 but I decided to bring my friend V. on as a co-host and split the income with her. I have a tenant who is staying at my Portland place for a month.

This $902 isn’t all profit – it’s gross income. However, because it’s a business income for me, I get to write off everything and since I have plenty of expenses for my condo, this should get taxed at 0%.

(Remedy) – $1,723

This was my last paycheck from Remedy. I’m both elated that I don’t have to do clinical work for them anymore and I’m sad that I won’t take part in their monthly townhalls anymore.

I have learned a ton from the Remedy Medical guys but I was never intending on doing full-time clinical work for them or anyone. We are hoping to work together in the future in other ways. I’m mostly trying to build my role as a consultant and they are helping me with that.


Why Continue Working

I guess the question is why continue working to generate income?

I ask myself this every single month. I have enough money to stop, so what is driving me to trade some of my free time for income-generating work?

I don’t think I have found what I want to be engaged in for the upcoming future. I am keeping my foot in the door with these medical groups because I want to generate future opportunities and I am less focused on the income.

I enjoy the patient interactions. But there is a sweet spot. It seems that when I work around 10 hours a week I actually come to miss interacting with patients. I get a sense of satisfaction if, on rare occasions, I can actually help them.

However, the income offers me the ability to not have to dig into my investments yet. Doing so wouldn’t be hard but I don’t have the patience to sit there and do the math for SEPP or create an IRA ladder – at least not now.

Continuing to generate income as an independent contractor is also a wonderful tax write-off. I see myself either starting my own business in the future or delving deeper into this consulting stuff which I’ve begun. We’ll see.


How About Taxes?

KP pays me as a W2 employee without any benefits. This is the worst way to get paid.

JA pays me as an independent contractor through PayPal.

AW also pays me as an independent contractor.

AirBnb is essentially business income.

My dividend income gets taxed at capital gains rates which I’ll have to research further.


Independent Contractor

Being an independent contractor for me means that I am a sole proprietor of my business. I get to write off my expenses against my income. I can choose to pay myself a salary or employ someone else.

I can also take advantage of a SEP IRA or an individual 401k. I’ll likely choose the latter because it makes more sense to me and I can set more money aside that way.

When I used to moonlight in residency I did a solid job of writing a lot off against that 1099 income. I hope to do the same for 2017 and I’m keeping even more detailed tax records than ever before.


My Income Tally For The Year

Looking at these numbers I need to keep reminding myself that if I focus on mostly income then I’ll have a harder time spending my energy on pursuing my work interests. It’s a balance, which I’m trying to figure out.

My spreadsheet shows a total income of $74,848.

$12,000 of this is pre-tax money. The rest has already been taxed.

I suspect I’ll get a lot back on taxes this year because I didn’t adjust my withholdings accurately. It’s hard to do when you’re constantly making income changes.


Looking Ahead To September

I’ll continue doing JA work and I’ll pick up a few hours a week with KP. This will ensure that I can continue paying for my living expenses abroad until I can figure out where to settle down.

With this income I should be able to get an entrepreneur visa for Spain but I need to be back in the US to apply for this based on what I’ve researched.

I’ll keep working with AmWell and see if there is an easier way to make a steady income from them.

My world is so dynamic right now that a month feels like forever. I look back and I’ve done 5 new things in every month that passes, it’s incredibly exciting. But as of this writing, I can’t think of any new changes coming up for September.

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