What is your relationship with money?
I know that sounds like a weird question, but medical doctors seem to have an unusual relationship with money, and most notably, debt.
How do you start a business If you have big burdensome medical school loans hanging over you? Or should you? Here to help answer these questions is gastroenterologist and financial expert Dr. Brent Lacey.
We discuss his origin on becoming a financial coach starting at his church, how his upbringing and military career influenced his thinking, and how he educates financial issues with physicians today. He also has a very interesting take on the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement.
The Scope of Practice – Brent Lacey’s Podcast and Financial Coaching Website
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: One of the biggest obstacles that plays physicians wanting to start their own business is debt. Most likely their medical school debt. Today. We’ve got an expert who is also a physician. He podcasts about dad. He’s a gastroenterologist and he helps other physicians deal with debt and how best to get over this so that they can find an accomplishment they want to accomplish by interview with Dr. Brent Lacey on this episode of BootstrapMD.
Hey guys, it’s Dr. Mike Woo-Ming. Welcome to another episode of BootstrapMD. This is the podcast for physician entrepreneurs. I am excited for my next guest. We actually had collaborated on a lot of different projects in the space on, on entrepreneurship. And I knew kind of early on that, like there’s some doctors who like get it or kind of.
But I think this doctor got it in terms of just like I was impressed. We working on a project and there were some areas where you have a group. When you have a kind of a group of people, all with kind of different agendas, you really need someone kind of like to take charge and to like, The group into getting into the mission.
And I think probably it comes from his military background is where he got it. This gentleman is a gastroenterologist was formerly in the military for 15 years helping and again, thank you for your service to our country, sir. And is now a. In private practice as a get dressed or all this, but he’s, you may have known him by his podcast and his website, the scope of practice, where he talks about financial literacy and how he helps his, his fellow colleagues medical, as well as dental professionals and helping them build their wealth in eliminating debt.
So we got a true expert on the call. I’m so excited to talk to you today. Dr. Brent Lacey. Thanks for joining us on the podcast today.
Dr. Brent Lacey: Thanks for having me, Mike. I really appreciate it. I’m super pumped about it. It’s gonna be a lot.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: I am super pumped. I’m in San Diego now we’re a military town. You did some time here in, in San Diego. Is that right?
Dr. Brent Lacey: Oh, I loved my time in San Diego. That was residency and fellowship. So we were there for six years. Loved it, loved it, loved it. And now we’re in Dallas, but yeah, I know San Diego. Well, I definitely need to go back and visit it. So.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: Although I wasn’t in the military, my dad was in the air force and he did summer.
He was in the national guard as well. But I’ve married a Navy a brat. My father-in-law was in the Navy for, he was a nom and in 20 plus years and so I learned, How to be respectful too. And we would periodically at Thanksgiving he would invite, someone who couldn’t make it back to their family, invite them for dinner.
So I’ve a big respect for the military. I, I, sometimes they do some disability evaluations for the military in my clinic. So I can imagine though, that. How does someone who is a gastroenterologist now have one up and rising a podcast, the scope of practice, how does that happen?
Dr. Brent Lacey: So I think it’s the way a lot of entrepreneurs start is you start with an idea, you start with a passion, you start with a desire to solve a problem or to help people.
So for me, it began probably really began about eight years ago or so. I will. Starting to observe that when people, when physicians are coming out of training, that they’re really good at being physicians. And frankly, pretty lousy on the, in the most part on a, basically anything having to do with business and anything having to do with personal finances.
It’s not everybody, but there was an awfully high number of people that were kind of a mess with their finances and really. Didn’t have a great idea of how to actually start and grow and run a clinical practice because they just never had that experience. And I was blessed to have some really outstanding experiences in college, especially that really helped me understand business at a deep level.
And I really felt like that was something that was not being taught effectively or at all in medical schools. And that that needed to change because when we come out of training, we are expected to be leaders on day one, we’re clinical leaders, we’re business leaders, we’re leaders in our home and in our community, people look up to us.
And so we’re not trained for that. And I think we all need to be, so that was the main reason why I started the scope of practice was so we could help people, help physicians learn how to manage their business more successfully and master the personal finance.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: So how, how did you first get involved?
Was this like a, w with your family and like, when you’re talking about money, we, we get all weirded out, right. W with relatives, and we don’t want to talk about money and people don’t talk about how much, how much they make. Like, how does that start? Did you dislike, volunteer yourself to your friends and family?
Hey, I can, I can help you out. How did, how did that begin?
Dr. Brent Lacey: Well, so for me, I started out by teaching Dave Ramsey’s financial peace university at my church. And I think I taught that 12 or 13 times probably, and coached a lot of people at various income levels to eliminate debt, start building wealth figure out how to save for retirement.
Things like that. After I’d done that. I’d been doing that for a couple of years. And I remember there was one of the, our nurses at my hospital was also a member of my church. And she asked if I could come give a talk to the, or nurses on how to manage the thrift savings plan, which is the military’s version of the 401k.
And so I said, sure, let’s go do it. And then I got asked subsequently by the . To do a talk for them. And then I just started getting asked more and more. Hey, can you come talk to this clinic? Can you come talk to that? That area of the hospital. The thing that was really interesting to me is that I kept getting the same six or eight questions every single time I would give one of these talks.
It was, it was interesting. And I know you had kind of a similar background where you started in FAQ for for residents or for, for aspiring residents. People wanted to go into residency, tried to figure out how to get to the residency of their choice. And so I said to myself, well, it’d be great.
If I had an FAQ or a, or a blog or something where I had a bunch of articles where I could just say, Hey, I’ve got that answered. Here’s the site. Just go check it out. I wrote a whole thing about it for you. And then I thought. Hey, why don’t I just do that? What does it take to start a blog? Anyway, w w w what do you need, how do you make a website?
Do you have a, have a domain name I’ve, w what you even do for that? So I hopped on line and started looking up, literally just Googled. How do you start a blog? And just started, just started reading and trying to figure it out and sorta muddle my way through it. And the first attempt at a blog first attempt at a website was.
Terrible. Oh my gosh. It was so bad. And and so, but I learned a lot from that first experience and built a better site and then a better one and eventually built it to what it is now. And it’s, it’s just been a lot of fun, but the core of it has always stayed the same. The core is that at my heart, I consider myself a teacher.
I mean, teaching is my spiritual gift and I really feel like that’s what I can offer the world is a. Is an ability to simplify concepts that other people find complex and get people, the tools and resources they need to succeed in the journey that they’re on.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: As I mentioned, your gastroenterologist you’re in a group practice of other gastroenterologists you’re full-time you’re on-call.
You got a family? What compels you? You said you’re a teacher, but there’s different ways that you can teach how, having a podcast, a regular five tests. There’s a lot of time and it sounds like you don’t have a lot of time. What keeps you going? Or has it always been 100% positive or have you had weeks?
So maybe it’s just me where it’s like, oh man, I just don’t have the time to do this. How do I keep going? Or has that not happened
Dr. Brent Lacey: with you? Oh, it’s, it’s definitely happened. And I I’m, I’m a pretty positive person by nature. So I think. I think part of it, they kept me going early on is that I didn’t understand the sheer scope of failure that is possible.
And so I think it, I think it’s sort of an ignorance is bliss. This thing early on was, was somewhat protective. And then as you get farther along, you realize, oh my gosh, this thing is. Time consuming and it’s, and it’s difficult and it’s it’s you don’t and a lot of times you don’t know what kind of an impact you’re making, but I get feedback.
I get emails, I get calls from people saying, Hey, I listened to this podcast episode that you had, and it just touched me in a way that was really important. So thank you for. For, for bringing that to me. And, someone would say, oh, I’ve been really struggling with this area at work.
And the way that you broke that concept down really gave me the understanding that I needed to break through on my own problems. And every time I get one of those I, it just, it motivates me to keep going. I actually have a folder on my. In my email inbox that I created called encouragement.
And every time I get one of those emails, I save it in that folder. And so anytime I’m feeling like, man, what is the point of this? Is this really worth it? In my mind, I say, okay, I need to go back and read some of those and I’ll go back to that folder and I’ll just pull up three or four emails and I’ll just read them.
And I was like, okay, these are my people. This is why I do what I do. These are the guys and the gals that I write for that I speak for that I coach for, this is why I keep doing what I’m doing. And it just, it just motivates me to keep going.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: I love it also too. I think, as someone who’s done podcasts, this is.
So reading content inclination of doing a podcast, but this certainly has been the longest that I’ve been doing it for the last two and a half years. It also gets you get to meet some really cool people that you wouldn’t get exposed to. I mean like yourself, we would have not probably met. But we’re in a Dr.
Podcast at work. We’ve done some things with so many docs and just having people on the call, but I want to find a guest it’s because. I got to know what they’re doing. I am, it’s not only just teaching, it’s also, learning. It’s like, I want to learn what, what they’re doing. What’s that all about?
Dr. Brent Lacey: Do you get that as well? Oh my gosh. I mean, some of the people that I’ve gotten to meet just by having a podcast platform, It blows my mind that I get to meet these people and consider them friends really. So, I, my first episode of the podcast was with physician on fire. I mean, he and I are on a first name basis.
And you never think about that. I mean, it’s. Who the heck am I? I’m just some guy here in Dallas, just, speaking on the airwaves. But, but I mean, he w he we’re in each other’s cell phones and, I, I got to meet I got to meet a guy named Scott Miller was on my podcast. He’s a, he’s one of the senior leadership thought leaders for Franklin Covey.
Like he studied under Stephen Covey as in the seven habits of highly effective people. He reached out to me because of the podcast and said, Hey, I would love to, I’d love to. Be a guest on your podcast. Like great, awesome. Let’s do it. But some of the people that you get to meet is it’s true. It’s just some amazing people.
I had a guest on the podcast recently that he has grown a functional medicine practice in Houston, Texas, and has 600,000 social media followers. And we’re the same, we’re the same age. And he’s built this tremendous, tremendous following that he’s coaching people on how to, how to manage their diabetes better, how to be more healthy, how to live more well balanced lives.
I mean, just people, no one whose name you didn’t necessarily have heard of. And yet they’re doing just incredible things.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: Well, I definitely got as a practice owner myself, I definitely got to listen to that that interview. So, so it’s more than, w when they say entrepreneurship, people think, well, you’re just in it to make money.
And certainly you’re going to need money to, to really amplify your message. And does that gets me to this. This relationship we have with money. I’ve alluded it to, we don’t like to tell people like how much money we make and we don’t like, we feel weirded out and maybe it’s just with physicians and maybe, and you could certainly speak about it.
What do you think this weird relationship between physicians and money have to do? Do you ha do you have a problem? Have you seen that with your, with your client where you talk about money?
Dr. Brent Lacey: A hundred percent. We have a few problems, but I think the, the chief problem is that we don’t. Have training for money and we have an inappropriate relationship with money as we go through school.
And what I mean by that specifically is that we become numb to the idea of having debt. It just becomes this thing that follows us around like a, like a stray cat and no offense, if you like cats, I mean, cats are great. So go cat people. But, but you think about it when you come out of college and then you come out of med school, you’ve been.
Probably on student loans for eight years, the average medical school graduate has about $300,000 in debt from just student loans. And that doesn’t count if you’ve got a car payment or a mortgage or credit cards or furniture loans or whatever, but you may have 300, 500, $800,000 in debt. Maybe more than that.
If you’re a dual physician, couple. You start to become numb to it because it’s this thing that just exists with you. And so, we stopped thinking of money. As, as money we stopped thinking of it as a tangible entity, it’s this theoretical concept. And so spending it and saving it doesn’t have exactly the same meaning as something that would be, hard currency.
We just think of it as this. Like I said, just this a theorial thing. And so, we tend not to pay attention to how we spend the money. We tend not to. Consider it a priority to eliminate debt. We tend not to recognize how much we are failing to reach our own financial goals, simply because we are not strategically thinking about how we spend and how we save and how we give our money over a long period.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: Now you’re in a practice. You work with your partner is, or you’re employed by a number of gastroenterologists. How have you applied your financial. Education in the practice.
Dr. Brent Lacey: So, so for me, it’s, it’s one of those things that you have to be just a little bit careful about inserting yourself into someone’s life.
If they don’t want you to be, you’re not
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: taking over the books.
Dr. Brent Lacey: I got this right now. No, no. So I started off college as a business major and. My first accounting class convinced me I needed to do something else. So, so I don’t do accounting. I don’t do a, I don’t do the finances for the group. I mean, the group is so big.
We need a chief financial officer who’s really savvy with business tax law and things like that. So, but I will tell you that I do, I do some coaching. Formerly with a lot of my nurses and my MAs and our staff folks that just want to know simple stuff. Like how do you run a budget? How do you save for retirement?
What’s the difference between a Roth and a traditional IRA? What’s the match in my 401k. What’s how do I, what are some tax advantage ways that I can save for college? Things like that. And a lot of times it’s as simple as just living your own. Living your own philosophy, living your own life and showing people by example what you do.
And so I drive a 10 year old Toyota and whenever I pull up into the end of the parking lot at work, well, I pull I’m the, I’m always the first one there. So I guess it’s empty. But when, when I’m leaving at the end of the day and I go, I go by and I see, big old Dodge, Ram truck.
And I see a Mercedes and I see a BMW and I see it Tesla. And I see all these different cars. That’s fine, and I don’t know none of that’s evil. I mean, go, if you like cars could get you a car, go get you a nice car. That’s fine. But. I drive a 10 year old beat up Toyota that I’ve had for years and years and years.
And my staff sees that they’re like, can’t you afford to have a nicer car. I’m like, heck yeah, I can afford to have a nicer car, but I’d rather have a 401k. I’d rather have my IRA. I’d rather have a. Solid nest egg that tells me that working becomes optional at some point, if that’s what I want or that secures my financial future for when I retire and my wife and I decided we want to do other things, I’ve, I’m being deliberate about what I’m planning.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: And where did that come from? Where did you come from humble beginnings? Was it through your, your teaching with Dave Ramsey that, it’s, it’s increasingly harder to find that it’s nice to say, but you know, I’ve been through some hospitals and, I haven’t seen too many. Things less than a BMW three series and the, and the doctor lied.
So, is it an anomaly where did, where did this come from? This, this, being the, the financial literate and, and, and watching,
Dr. Brent Lacey: watching your money. So it actually came from my parents. I was very blessed early on. To have parents that were really intentional, very deliberate about teaching us sound financial strategies.
So, there was a summer when I was, I think I was 14 or 15, maybe 15. And the, there was a week where it just happened. My brother and my sister and I were all away for a week. I think my sister was visiting our grandparents, my brother and I were at scout camp or something. And we learned that we. We can’t leave our parents alone for an extended period of time because they start to plot.
And so when we came home, they, they, they take us all out to lunch and said, and announced, we have a new financial plan for the family. We are going to create the Lacy financial plan. And so what they did is they increased everyone’s allowance pretty substantially. Like for me, it was, I think, $75 a month or a hundred dollars a month or something.
And then they said, and you are never allowed to ask for money from us ever. Wow. And we’re like, wait, say what? And so it was, it was, it was formalized. We had a thing that we had a typed out. We signed it. It was this very formal event actually is kind of hilarious. But they said, they said, okay, so room and board is free.
You can live in the house and eat the food at our table for free. You, and they said they would pay for car insurance because car insurance was prohibitively expensive, especially for a 16 year old guy in Dallas county, it was crazy expensive. So they said, bye. If you want, if you want to buy a car, then you will save up the money and buy a car yourself.
If you want to put gas in that car, you will buy the gas for your car. I had to buy my own clothes. I had to buy my own. If I wanted to buy lunch at school, I was buying lunch at school with my own money if I wanted to take. So I started making myself a lot of sandwiches after that. And I started paying attention.
I started paying attention to. To sales and discounts. I started, I learned how to balance a checkbook. I mean, my dad and I learned how to, he taught me how to balance a checkbook. I learned how to make a budget. I started we, they had a, sort of a makeshift 401k program that they created for us. So I had just phenomenal financial training from my parents.
And I know that most people didn’t benefit from that, which is one of the reasons why. I was so passionate about starting with the financial planning and the financial coaching with the Dave Ramsey stuff. And then it has just blossomed and frankly exploded from there.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: Yeah. I, I, I I’m the same way. My parents were, well, I call them cheap.
Let’s let’s face it. I, we didn’t go out to eat we, everything was made at home and, and. I took that same mentality to my, to my own kids. And one thing that I I’ve always been like yourself, we’re not, we don’t have any financial education. And I had them do book reports on like improving your financial literacy and book reports on personal development and, Hated it, but it came to the point where it actually, it actually kind of sunk in because when he had his first job, he wasn’t looking to get, the Mexico car.
He was like, Hey dad, can I open my Vanguard account? I want to, put away money. I want to make sure that I’m investing to for my future. I’m like, oh, maybe that’s did a few things right. As a dad, but it’s so important. Why do you think where do you see areas. When you’re working with doctors, they’re coming to you for financial help.
Are you seeing any patterns? What’s? I would assume like the big medical student loan, that’s usually the biggest the biggest cause of concern or is there
Dr. Brent Lacey: something else? No, I think that is the biggest monster that’s out there is really the student loans, mainly because it’s just the biggest number, but that’s not the actual problem.
The. Isn’t the number of the debt. The problem really is your mindset around debt because any amount of debt can be eliminated it, but it requires an act of will. And it requires a. Regular regular discipline to eliminate it. And so a lot of physicians lack one or the other, or they just never quite turn the corner and activate one or the other.
So maybe they say, man, I wish I didn’t have all the student loans, but then they never sit down and say, okay, well how much do I make? How much am I spending? Am I upside down on that? What do I need to be cutting in my life? What do I need to not be spending money on? It’s like when you’re trying to lose weight, there’s, there’s, there’s a plan.
And then there’s a wish, right? I wish I was skinny, but I don’t want to put the work in, it’s like, everybody, everybody knows what you need to do to lose weight, but everybody likes to. And it’s just, it’s just reality. And at some point you have to decide that in the case of money, you have to decide that the pain of being shackled debt and having your your life choices limited and having your career choices limited is, is greater than the pain of sacrificing certain pleasures in the moment in favor of having that money available to knock out the debt faster.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: Now, I know you, you, you teach on a Dave Ramsey and I kind of know how he thinks on this, but I’m curious cause we all, I know you learn from him, but you’ve, I’m sure you’ve also learned to develop your own principles. That, I mean, you’re here about one of the things that I see with some of my clients is they want to do investing, but then they have this big debt and, and.
Some say, well, don’t even think about investing. You got to worry about this debt first deal with that. What, what do you say to someone? Because there’s a lot of people out there thinking of this exact
Dr. Brent Lacey: thing. Yeah. It’s if you want to start a rumble or if you want to, if you want to just have some fun just go on white coat investors or go on some, a financial group and just drop that question in there.
Should I pay off my debt or should I invest while I’m there? Yeah, well, I’m an early career physician and just watch people go at each other. It’s amazing. How much, how much passion people have for both sides. Here’s my thought about it. There is nothing good about debt in your life. There’s no such thing as good debt.
That’s not a thing. If there was such a good thing, if there was such a thing as good debt, we would gift rapid and put it underneath the tree at Christmas and we just don’t do that. So the, the thing that I always recommend to folks is that debt elimination needs to be a very high priority for you, especially when you are an early career physician, because if you don’t take the bull by the horns, when.
When it’s early, you won’t do it. You just won’t. I mean, statistics have shown because you’ll buy a big house. You’ll, you’ll get you’ll, you’ll lease a Tesla, you’ll Lisa Maserati or whatever, which again, there’s nothing evil about it, any of those things. And if you like cars, you like a big house. You like private schools for your kids.
Go get you some that’s fine. But if you can’t afford it, then you look up and a year later, like, man, how do I have $150,000 more in debt now than when I started at the beginning of it? And, but by then the it’s, it’s like trying to turn the Titanic. I mean, you’ve got the big house, you’ve got the, your kids are established in school.
It’s going to be real hard to downsize all that stuff. So start early. That’s, that’s really one of the keys and you have to decide that it’s, that it’s going to be something that’s important to you, but it requires a conscious decision. It requires an act of will and There’s going to be a lot of peer pressure.
Right? So one of the things, one of the, I think the third episode of my podcast was with Sarah Stanley philosopher. She and her father, Thomas Stanley wrote the book, the next millionaire next door, which is a follow-up to Stanley’s early work, the millionaire next door. And it was a phenomenal conversation.
And she, one of the things that she talks about is the importance of social indifference. Not that we don’t care about the people in our neighborhood. But then we become sort of numb or, or maybe a better word would be immune to the things that other people are doing. So you’ve heard of the phrase keeping up with the Joneses.
Well, the Joneses are all on Facebook now and everything that we post on Facebook is Pinterest. Perfect. And it’s like, oh my God, gosh, look at my vacation and look at my new car and look at my new house and all. That’s great. And I am excited to celebrate those things with my friends and family. Yeah.
And so we, we don’t want to be jealous of those people, but at the same time, we don’t want to look at that and go, well, when’s it going to be my turn? That is one of the most. Most harmful things that you can think to yourself, when’s it going to be my turn? Because as soon as you utter that phrase, you think, well, why not now?
Which then turns into so now. And so you have to allow yourself to participate and celebrate other people’s successes without deciding you have to imbibe that for yourself. If you’re not materially ready.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: I thought that exact thing is keeping up with the Joneses and, and, I know a number of colleagues who are like, oh yeah, I got to get the next best thing.
What you don’t see off it is, Hey, you get it. That a expensive sports car they’re leasing that they’re behind in their payments for that beautiful Caribbean vacation that they had. You got to go into the right school and you’re paying, hundred of thousands when maybe. Public charter school.
Hey, they’re doing some things that you, if you could volunteer your time and you’re getting the same education, and I think, you know that your millionaire next door, what that taught me, I read that, that’s books been around for years, but just these average people driving those ten-year-old Toyotas, right.
That are millionaires that you don’t see. Those are the ones who are, who, really Are at a good position to both wise and as more and more with the debt, we, we love dad, right? We love that. Like it like in social media, it’s not, it’s not exactly true. I wanna, I wanna get your take on fire because that’s something that has.
Has for the last few years, this, financial independence retire early you mentioned you interviewed the physicians on fire, but it certainly would not without controversy. What, what’s your, your take on it? People who, saving though, you can look at it another way where they’re saving every penny so they can retire in their forties and fifties.
What do you think about that philosophy? I’m going to put you out, yeah.
Dr. Brent Lacey: I wanna get your thoughts on this. It’s a great question. And I, I’m a big proponent of financial independence. I am not a big proponent of retire early for me at least. But I’m not opposed to it for other people necessarily.
So if you want to get yourself into a position that you can retire at age 50, I mean, that’s fine. You can do that. I still love going to work every day. I work with the best GI group in the country, and I have a phenomenal team of nurses and medical assistants has worked with me and I get to do work that is meaningful with people that I love in a community that I care about.
I can’t imagine giving that up. But that’s me. And so for me, I, I still, I still love going to work every day, so yeah. But I really am a big proponent of the financial independence aspect of the fire movement. So I consider myself not fire, but Firo it’s like financial ended up financial independence, retire, optional.
So the, the value of financial independence is that it gives you choices. It gives you flexibility. And so, for example, if you are someone. $500,000 in student loan debt. And you have decided you’re going for the public student loan, public student loan forgiveness program. Then you may be shackled to that job for 3, 4, 6 years, just in order to make sure that you’re able to achieve that loan forgiveness at the end.
Well, if you’re able to eliminate that, great and you’re serving in an underserved community. That’s awesome. Yeah. What happens then if three years into your six year term, a golden opportunity comes up for you to join a premier group within three miles or 10 miles of your family. And, it’s, it’s more money than you could ever dream of.
And more importantly, you get to be close to everything that you want to be close to. You, you get to be close to your family or your wife’s family or your husband’s family. And you have to say. No, I’m going to have to pass on it. Cause I really need to stay in this other job for three years, or here’s a better example.
Let’s say you’re in a job and you feel like you really need it because of the money, because you’re shackled to all this debt, but it’s a toxic work environment or there’s you’ve got sexual harassment with, from one of your bosses and you just feel like you’re, you’re trapped, right? Being debt free gives you a tremendous amount of freedom and a tremendous amount of choices.
And that’s going back to that question. You asked me earlier, should you invest or should you pay off debt? That’s the thing that I think a lot of people who are proponents of the investing strategy I think that’s where people kind of miss out on their risk analysis is they, they treat those two things as equal.
And what, what that, what a dollar invested. May equal a dollar paid off in student loan debt. And yes, you can make more in theory by investing in the stock market at 7% on average, then you can at eliminating a student loan at say 3% or 4% that’s mathematically valid. But what that fails to take into account is.
And loss of autonomy and, and minimization of choices. And for me, that was such a, such a, an, a critical thing that we wanted to achieve my wife and I decided that we wanted to live so far below our means that we would pay off all of our student loan debt before I finished fellowship. And we did it with a year to go and it facilitated a career.
That we absolutely would not have been able to contemplate had we still had $600,000 or a hundred thousand or, or however many thousands of loan dollars in loan debt that we might’ve had. And so I think for me, it’s really important to make debt elimination a priority. The one exception that I will say that I do give for folks is that if you have a match in your 401k, like if your employer offers say a 5% match, Invest enough to give a, to get up to the match.
And then everything else goes on to student loans. Cause I just mathematically, I can’t bring myself to, to not take free money. So, so I’m a big fan of that, but otherwise I say, yeah, get rid of the debt, get it out of your life. And man, the grass just feels different when you walk on it and you’re, debt-free, you’re your car drives differently when, when you’re debt free.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: I was blessed to actually, I would, I was retired from medicine in my mid thirties. But like you said, I came back because. Well, it’s, it’s actually could get boring. There’s so many, you can have only so much Netflix, you kid, you can watch it and I’m a horrible golfer. So, but that’s why I talk about in my book, physician’s position is I love medicine.
And so I had to come back to this time as an employer and we do offer a 401k. So, yeah, th they, I don’t see why sometimes they don’t take the max cause that is free money. Hey, we’re just at the end of time, this has been so fascinating. Where can they go to get more information about, about you. About what you do and how you help other
Dr. Brent Lacey: doctors, the best way is to connect through the website, which is the scope of practice.com.
And you can access the blog archives. You can access the podcast from there some online courses that are, that are going up now. And and so, people can get that reading list. If they’re interested, that’s the scope of practice.com/reading. And with all the financial stuff we’ve been talking about.
I think what people might be interested in as a, as a PDF guide that are put together called three critical tools to level up your family’s finances. So it’ll help you create a budget. It’ll help you set some reachable long-term financial goals and it’ll help you start having. Money conversations with your spouse, that don’t end in a fight which money fights and money problems are the biggest source of stress and strife in marriage.
And so if you can get that right, you can get almost anything, right. So people can download that if they firstname.lastname@example.org slash. No money fights. So the scope of practice.com/no money fights. And yeah, there’s a, there’s lots more on the, on the site, so, and the podcast. So definitely come check it out and people need to come check out your episode.
That’s coming up. So we’re going to have Dr. Mike on the podcast real soon. So people need to come see that.
Dr. Mike Woo-Ming: Yep. Very good. I always liked that. Cross-promotion thank you again, Brent. Thanks again for sharing all this wealth and knowledge gut check out of sight V scope of practice.com who knew that a gastroenterologists will give you so much advice.
I’m financial matters. Thanks again, Fred. And thanks for every one of you that are out there. Remember. If you’re stuck, you got that big debt. You, you can, you can talk about it. You can complain about it, but sometimes you may need to do something about it. And that’s, when you need help go find someone like bred to help you out.
Why look at your debt, see what you can do to, to reduce it. And as always guys keep moving forward.