I was recently asked what I thought was the number one problem that caused unhappiness in America. We are one of the most prosperous nations in history. You might think that with all that prosperity and wealth, Americans would be happy. Obviously, wealth does not equal happiness. Many would argue that since America has a lot of poor people, it can’t be considered a wealthy nation. But our poor are still ...

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High performers constantly struggle with the issue of time management. The more things you are good at, the more people who think you have talent, the more opportunities you are presented with, the harder time management becomes. In order to manage your time, you must first grasp one crucial concept: You cannot “manage time,” you can only manage yourself and how you take advantage of time. Time will march on no ...

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Kids watch our every move. Who hasn’t seen a young boy who imitates what his dad does. Even to the point of standing, just like dad, leaning up against a railing with his legs crossed, and a piece of straw hanging out of his mouth. They hear what we say at home and around the dinner table, especially when we are not talking to them. They watch how we spend ...

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In February 2017, I saw my last patient and left clinical medicine. Most people would say I retired. I have chosen to say I have repurposed. I no longer see patients, but I still work. I am writing the Doctors Guide series of books, keeping up a blog and working with physicians who need help with a financial makeover, usually to eliminate their debt, set themselves up for retirement or ...

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Recently I had three important events happen during a three day period that reminded me of the brevity of our life and the need to live life to the fullest every day. On July 4th, having planned celebratory events that day with friends and family, a CRNA in my home town awoke feeling poorly just before sun up. He was in great health the day before and lived a very active ...

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It’s amazing how frequently I cross paths with doctors who have never taken the time to actually assess where they stand financially. They tend to fall into a few categories; they never thought of it, they don’t want to know, or they feel they just don‘t have the time. When I work one-on-one with doctors on a financial makeover to get them on track to accomplish their goals, get out of ...

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One of the biggest complaints I hear when I discuss becoming debt free is the dread of living on a shoestring. We did enough of that in medical school, and we don’t want to do it again. Let me make something perfectly clear right up front, you absolutely do not need to scrimp and sacrifice to get out of debt and live debt free, but if you choose to, it ...

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We all can use advice from time to time. Sometimes that advice is about personal finances, Investing, or borrowing. When choosing this person, stay away from financial advisors who have a conflict of interest. The advisor who makes money on your investment decisions is like the pharmaceutical rep who is telling you all about his new medication and why it is better than what you already use. The advice might ...

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I recently was asked about taking a low or no interest car loan and using the money they had earmarked for a car to instead invest for a higher return. This “I can get a better return” game is very common and can be a dangerous game to play. Often it is used as a disguise to camouflage buying a car you actually can’t afford, while trying to sound like ...

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Many doctors today find themselves living paycheck to paycheck. They make a good income but just never seem to get caught up. Non-doctors see us as rich. But many of us are just broke on a larger salary. The whole reason I wrote my book stemmed from a conversation with a doctor who was struggling to make ends meet on a $450,000 a year income. That should never happen. The national ...

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As I work with people one-on-one as a high-performance coach, I have found that the most important aspect to their wealth accumulation, is their habits. Good habits create good results, and bad habits create bad results. The good news is, habits are learned. You were not born with any of your habits; you learned them somewhere along the way. That means you can unlearn your bad habits and learn some new ...

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As a personal finance coach, I have learned that the most important aspect to wealth accumulation is having good money habits. Good habits create good results, and good results are what everyone wants. We were not born with any of our habits; we learned them somewhere along the way. That’s good news, because that means we can easily learn new habits. After all, we didn’t have any trouble learning the habits ...

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I have been helping doctors with their personal finances for a long time. I recently realized that there is a single statement, if doctors would learn to use it, that would change their lives. It is very common for me to encounter doctors who are in over their heads financially, struggling with debt, and living paycheck to paycheck. They have a high income, but never seem to have money left over ...

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In my last post, I told my story of how I got out of medical school with only $18,000 of debt. By the time I left residency, I had that whittled down to $6,000 at 3% interest. Then during the next three years after starting my practice, I had accumulated almost $500,000 of new debt. Initially, I didn’t think anything of this new large debt, after all, I ...

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When I was a young lad, just heading off to college, I had no debt. I had no credit cards. My family didn’t use debt for purchases other than buying our house. I really didn’t have any knowledge about how to best use debt. My student loan package included a scholarship, a work-study program and $1,500 a year in student loans. I earned about $4,000 each summer working in the ...

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I am continually running into people who are confused as to what constitutes debt when we are doing a makeover with their spending plans. Wikipedia defines debt as money owed by one party, the borrower or debtor, to a second party, the lender or creditor. I have clients who list out their accounts payable as personal debt. For example, they see the dentist, and he is going to send a $200 ...

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Congress has passed the new tax bill. This was certainly not tax reform as has been discussed, but simply a rearrangement of how they calculate our taxes. This new plan lowers tax rates but eliminates many of the items that were previously deductible. Sort of like rearranging the deck chairs of the Titanic as it slowly sinks. Real tax reform might have made things so much simpler that the IRS ...

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An unusual thing happened to me today; I was awakened by my phone alarm. Ever since I stopped practicing medicine ten months ago, I have rarely needed to set an alarm to get up. Today when my alarm sounded, Carolyn commented that when she woke up, she thought we were in Spain. Last Spring, we were traveling through Spain on a two-week bus tour. Each day we had to have our ...

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With a society living on credit, a government deep in debt, eight years of desensitization during training (something unique to doctors), rising tuition, and falling pay -- it’s no wonder doctors are having a major problem with debt. Where will it end? Debt has become the norm. Will Rogers summed up this pattern of high consumption on borrowed money nicely: "Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy ...

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The high-pitched wail of the pneumatic saw cutting through the tibia, and the little bits of tissue the blade flung onto the surgeon’s gown were not enough to get to me the first time I saw a surgery, during my senior year in high school. It was the smell. Sliding down the wall in the corner of the operating room, wondering if lunch would stay put, I began to question ...

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