On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome TaVona Denise on the show to discuss burnout in physical therapy. Atlanta-based business accelerator, success coach and avid cyclist, TaVona Denise lives and breathes by the motto, “success is 80% mental, 20% skill.” With certifications in life, weight and wellness coaching, her specialty is helping new entrepreneurs get past fear and overwhelm, get their business up and running, so they can help change the world.
In this episode, we discuss:
-Burnout in physical therapy and the tools you need to take the next steps in your career
-Why a gratitude practice can help shift your mindset and elevate your to-do list
-The importance of a coach that can identify your blind spots and keep you accountable
-How to channel your fears and build confidence so you can tackle your biggest goals
-And so much more!
A big thank you to Net Health for sponsoring this episode!
Check out Net Health's 4 Ways to Increase Patient Engagement!
For more information on TaVona:
Atlanta-based business accelerator, success coach and avid cyclist, TaVona Denise lives and breathes by the motto, “success is 80% mental, 20% skill.” With certifications in life, weight and wellness coaching, her specialty is helping new entrepreneurs get past fear and overwhelm, get their business up and running, so they can help change the world.
Shortly after finishing college she started her first two businesses, but found herself burned out because they were not using her gifts. TaVona then used her skills as a physical therapist to start a physical therapy contracting company. Finally her own boss, the problem was, she basically created a job for herself, which was not the life she had envisioned.
It wasn’t until TaVona found the world of coaching, that she was not only able to successfully lose 80 pounds and keep it off, become an award-winning athlete, and build the business that would eventually provide the lifestyle she wanted.
Speaker and author of, Unstoppable Success: How to Finally Create the Body, Business and Lifestyle You Want, TaVona teaches entrepreneurs the steps she used to create lasting success as a lifestyle, in weight loss and in business. She believes there would be less addiction in the world if people were courageous enough to walk in their purpose. She is on a mission to help people find their zone of genius and make money by making a difference.
Read the full transcript below:
Karen Litzy: 00:01 Hey TaVona, welcome to the podcast. I am so happy to be interviewing you live here in Nashville, Tennessee at Graham session. So welcome to the podcast.
TaVona Denise: 00:10 Thank you for having me. Karen, I'm so excited to be here and to be speaking with you today.
Karen Litzy: 00:15 Yeah, and I'm excited to have you because what we're going to talk about today is when a therapist, we'll stick to physical therapy, but this really could probably apply to most people in healthcare, let's say. But we'll stick with physical therapists because that's what we are. That's what we know. And we're going to talk about when, as a physical therapist, you kind of hit that crossroads in your career where you're not sure if what you're doing is what you want to continue to do. So TaVona, yourself as a physical therapist and as a coach, I'm sure you've seen this quite a bit. So can you talk to when therapists get to that crossroads and what you've learned from interviewing over a hundred different therapists?
TaVona Denise: 01:03 Yeah. Well, it's a fascinating thing. I started to notice whenever I would remember to ask somebody, like, what year, how many years have you been in the game? What's going on with you? When they're coming to me for life coaching and they're thinking about making a change. The number 15 kept coming up. Every time I would write it down, they're like, yeah, I'm at year 15 I don't know if I was attracting them because that's about when I started to feel like, okay, I've been doing this 15 years. I know my job inside and out, backwards and forward, and I don't think I can do this for the rest of my life. And at that time I wasn't even 40 so I have plenty more work, work years left and I can't keep doing it. And so I just find that, especially for the women, either it's 15 years if they've gone straight through and sometimes it stretches to 20 if they have gone back into part time to rear their children.
Karen Litzy: 01:56 Okay. And in talking with all of these therapists, have you found any common themes that they get to this 15 to 20 year Mark? And they're like, Ugh, now what?
TaVona Denise: 02:09 Well, that's exactly what they say. It's like, now what? I know my job, I don't necessarily want to keep practicing in this way. I feel stuck. I don't know what to do next. And part of the problem is they do not have a passion for research, academia or management. And so many of them are thinking, well, should I leave the profession? And if so, what does that look like? What does that mean? Am I throwing my degree away? And so what are the options? There are several. I think one of the things that we have to do is take a look at, well, why did you get into the profession in the first place? And can you reconnect with that? Are there aspects outside of what you're doing that you can bring into what you do now to help judge it up and renew it? To me, some people have reinvented themselves and said, okay, well maybe I don't necessarily want to stay on the rehabilitation side, but maybe I want to practice prevention and wellness. So I think for some people that's an easier transition because they get the sense of I continue to use my degree and leverage it to do something that still helps people.
Karen Litzy: 03:20 And if let's say I'm coming to you and I'm saying, Oh TaVona I just, I don't know what to do, I'm really stuck. I'm getting, you know, I'm starting to feel like I'm not making a difference anymore. So how would you, we can kind of go through a mock coaching session here. So what are some things that maybe you would want to ask me or want to know from me that maybe can help me figure out what to do next or what's your process like?
TaVona Denise: 03:51 It really, really depends. Just like in an evaluation situation, like no two people are alike. So it depends on how they present, how they come to me. But I really want to know what do they enjoy at their job and what do they enjoy as a person working in a profession. Because sometimes there's an opportunity for a person to create a position for themselves or to create a program. And some of the clients that I've worked with have become what I call intrepreneurs. They have taken their skills, their expertise, their specialties, and then develop programs within the organizations that they work in, which it's a challenge. It's not as risky as being an entrepreneur and going off and doing it for themselves. They get to stay in that environment and not lose the years of service and PTO and all the perks and things. It's kind of like playing with the house's money so they get to do that. Sometimes it's a matter of just feeding the hobbies and things and taking time for themselves that they're not doing. Because we always hear the analogy of you have to put your own mask on first before you serve others. And so as caregivers, that's what we do. We care for others and sometimes we are forgetting to care for ourselves. So sometimes that's the approach we take. I find a lot of people, and this is also a strange one that I'm thinking about. A lot of people need to declutter their homes.
Karen Litzy: 05:14 Yes. 100% yes. I'm just going to say yes to that. I'm Marie Kondo in my home like five years ago and I have to tell you, decluttering my home kind of decluttered everything else for me, even part my practice and my thought process and I was able to then expand and do things that I couldn't even imagine were possible. So proceed.
TaVona Denise: 05:42 Yes, 100% it was interesting, I listened to a coach that specialized in a relationship. It was one time and she was like, you need to make space in your closet for the person that you want to come in and so if your closet is jam packed. There's no room for anybody else. And I think about that too. Now that we're talking about this, the decluttering process I think gives people space, like you said, expand space to think, to breathe. So that, that like every time they pulled into the garage and they see all the boxes in the junk, it's irritating them. And so that's just one more thing. If they can declutter that, that's something that they have control over where it doesn't have to do with the manager sucks, the coworker sucks, the patient's suck and all of this thing, we've got to go to all these meetings, we don't like you can control your space. So I think that's part of the empowerment process and having them have a sense of control over their lives and looking at how we do anything is how we do everything.
TaVona Denise: 06:32 Yup. And so once we take a look at that, then they can use the skills that they learned to, to go into other things. And it really goes into thought process too. So a lot of people are holding on to things that they shouldn't be. It's beliefs that they shouldn't. Stories that they shouldn't, grudges that they shouldn't. And we literally unpack that stuff as they start to declutter their homes. And I also found that when I decluttered my home, I mean I have a garage, but when I decluttered my home, when I would come home after a busy day of seeing patients, I was coming home to a space that was calm and that was peaceful and comfortable. And so I wasn't adding stress of ah, God, I gotta go home, I gotta put this away, I have to do this, I have to, I didn't have to do anything when I got home except take the time for myself and relax a little bit.
TaVona Denise: 07:30 And so for me, I felt like that was really helpful in almost like avoiding burnout, if you will, at that stage of my career, which is about the 15 year Mark.
Karen Litzy: Yeah, I think you made an interesting point about the word have to, whenever I hear someone say I have to do something, my antenna goes up because it's a very disempowering thing to think I have to do something and whatever we have to do, we kind of resist. And so part of the resent and resent, right? So the burnout is coming from this resistance like, Oh, you can't tell me what to do. And so if we can just make that subtle shift to I get to do this thing, sometimes just that subtle shift of people thinking that they have to go to work. And this is really important for those who are considering building a business and they need to bridge, they can't just quit what they're doing in bridge, you know, it requires a lot of effort and energy to start a business as you know.
TaVona Denise: 08:28 And so if we have that resistance and that resentment towards our job, that is actually paying the bills, right? We are exhausted at the end of the day and then there is no mental energy or emotional energy to put into our new baby over here. And so just one subtle shift. If listeners can think about anytime they say, I have to go to work, can you find the shift who I get to go to work and really be grateful and thankful. The things that go into work is providing you the opportunity to practice new skills, to make connections, to pay your bills without worrying about what it's doing to fund the software or the whatever that you need to in order to start this other venture.
Karen Litzy: 09:09 Absolutely. And I think I'm so glad that you brought up the get to versus the have to, because I admit I'm a have to girl sometimes and so now I am going to remember to say I get to, because you're right, when you get to, you're coming from a place of appreciation and of gratitude and we all know there's a lot of research out there on how gratitude can make you happier and gratitude can make you successful, can contribute to making you successful. And so I think that's a really important shift. And now what, are there any other, let's say little shifts like that that the listeners can do if they get to that point where they're like, Ugh, work, I don't want to do it.
TaVona Denise: 10:00 Well, one favorite exercise I like to give people, especially if people are just zonked at the end of the day and they like to carry work home with them. One thing I have people do is put a journal or notebook. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive in the car. And so what it does is when you get into the car, you get the opportunity to let your brain have it. Say they get the fuss out, whoever they want to from the day they get to say everything that they didn't get to say. They want it to say they think they shouldn't have said and all of that on paper. And just that bit of detachment from it. They can more easily evaluated and see the truth or the lie of it. And when they do that one, the brain gets to say it and then let it be done. And I've found that many people have thanked me because in their relationships get better cause they don't go home complaining to the partner or the spouse. The other thing that it does is it gives a clear break from the day. So the brain can say, okay, we're done with work. I've said my say and I can go to the gym, I can go enjoy time with my honey, my children, my whatever. And there is that separation.
Karen Litzy: 11:06 And in your experience in coaching, a lot of therapists, do they return to work? Do they switch gears? Would you, if you were to put a percentage on it, and I know that's probably tough and I'm making you do this on the spot here, but if you were to say, you know, after we came up with better strategies, they found the joy in their work again, or after coming up with better strategies, they were like, Oh, I think I want to do X, Y, Z.
TaVona Denise: 11:34 I think it's so it's an interest in it, but it may be a 25 go back to work and they're excited and they're like, Oh, I'm renewed. 25% is like, thank you for those skills. I want to turn the page to the next chapter of my life and do my own thing. Whatever form comes in. And then there's this 50% that's kind of in the middle and they either don't move forward to practice the skills all the time. And we see this sometimes with fitness and anything in life, right? And I think, and here lately I've been wondering about that person, like what makes that person not move forward? And I've come to understand that that person is very much afraid. So we talked about those over 100 interviews I did last year. And in my note, taking some variation of the word fear came up in 90 something percent of those interviews.
TaVona Denise: 12:34 And I thought to myself, well, what is really going on here? And what I've been thinking about here lately is how we in healthcare are taught to follow certain protocols and we're breaking out of that now, right? So people are not recipes and things like that, but there's still this underlying mentality that we need to have certifications that we need to follow rules that we need to play inside the lines and get it perfect and get it right. Because, I come from acute care background. So things that I do we do could literally kill a person. And so it can be very scary to make mistakes for the rest of us. It's very competitive to get into PT school. We were higher achievers, many of us athletes were used to getting stuff done and doing it well. After you've been in the profession for so long, it can be very difficult to be a beginner again and then be in something that nobody's written out.
TaVona Denise: 13:28 A curriculum to tell you this is how to be an entrepreneur and be successful at it. And so people freeze. And I'm like, Whoa, I know the answer. Let's move forward. What? Why are we not moving forward? And it's something that I've come to understand is what I'm calling the confidence loop. So for example, a person may be uncomfortable in their situation and work, they want to make some kind of change is not really comfortable. They decide that they want to move to the next level. They're going to make some kind of change. The challenge is once they make that commitment, then the freak out occurs and it's like, well, I'm too old. I'm too young. I don't have this. I don't know what I'm doing. So and so failed. Right? So that's the freak out. What it requires is a bit of courage to take the first step and to keep on stepping.
TaVona Denise: 14:18 That part, I call the gauntlet because it's very challenging mentally, emotionally, spiritually, sometimes, physically, depending on what the goal is. But if you can continue taking the moves forward and be consistent, what happens is you find clarity and you find competence. And from that clarity and competence where you know what to do and you know how to do it, people are confident. Like when you know what to do and you know how to do it, you're pretty confident. But when you don't know those things, you're not going to move forward. That can be paralyzing, very paralyzing. The problem is we're so used to knowing what to do. We won't keep invoking the courage to do enough of the things to be clear about what to do in house so that we can be confident. And the interesting thing that I realized about that was that when we were in PT school, that consistency was forced, right?
TaVona Denise: 15:13 We had tests all the time that were given to us when we're in clinicals then should see, I would say go do that manipulation or mobilization or whatever, go take that as subjective like they forced us to do of it. If we decide to do something on our own, it's on us to keep moving through and to be courageous. And so that's what I call that pattern of the confidence loop that I've started to notice is why some people never get started in the first place. And the gauntlet part, that first part where it is where people get stuck.
Karen Litzy: 15:44 Yeah. And that's why people need a coach sometimes to keep us consistent. Right? Like I interviewed Steve Anderson a couple of months ago, so Steve is one of the founders of the Graham sessions. Like I said before, we're in Nashville and he is now doing executive coaching, not necessarily with physical therapists but with different C suite executives. And he was talking about the need for a coach. And one of them is accountability, which leads to consistency, right? And he said there's a reason why Roger Federer, who is one of the best tennis players in the world. You think, what does he need a coach for? He's already great, but he has a coach because that coach keeps him perhaps motivated and consistent and accountable. Yeah. And it's like, you know, we talk about doing exercises and we tell our patients all the time, you have to do this daily. Every other day. You have to be consistent and yet consistent physically, but being consistent mentally still changes the brain.
TaVona Denise: 16:47 Oh, 100% I think the other reason why coaches in the way that I coach people is in finding the blind spots, right? So one form of coaching is to hold a person accountable. Did you do what you say you were going to do? And that forces the consistency so that you can move into clarity, competence, and confidence. One of the things that I'm very good at and work on with my clients where you were talking about the mental exercise of, okay, the courage, where is the fear coming from and can I help shine a light in that blind spot so that you can see that it's not as bad as you thought it was. So the big example that I have is many times when we would do a total knee or total hip replacements, the moment I would open the door to the stairwell, people would freak out.
TaVona Denise: 17:33 Oh yeah. Because the fear of the fear or the anticipation of pain is worse than actually doing the thing. And so part of my job as a coach is to help coach them around that fear of anticipation of pain and to understand where it's coming from so that they can unlock themselves.
Karen Litzy: Yeah, I mean fear is a very powerful emotion and it can take many, many forms, which I'm sure you've seen, like not all fear is, Oh, I'm not going to do that. Sometimes fear could be self-destructive. We could be self destructive to ourselves or to others around us out of fear. And so if you were to give any advice for people who are at that point where they've got everything lined up but they're not taking the step because of fear, what do you say? Well that's a loaded question, right?
TaVona Denise: 18:43 So going back to the journal is a very, very powerful tool if you're not working with a coach and you're trying to do this on your own. But the simple question of what am I afraid of? What am I afraid of? And if you will, after you asked that question, don't just ask it and just have like in your brain, like actually write it down because there is some power in the scene, the written word, and you giving yourself that distance because once it's on the page and out of your head, you can actually analyze it and see is that true and how can I mitigate the things that I'm afraid of happening? So Tim Ferriss calls it fear setting as opposed to goal setting. So what am I afraid of? What's the worst that can happen? And he borrowed some of this technique from stoicism and he asks you to answer those questions for yourself and see, okay, well I'll be out on the streets.
TaVona Denise: 19:39 Well do I have family that I could stay with? He did. He actually went and did some couch surfing for a while before he took the leap. So he went and stayed on people's couches for a couple of weeks so that he could be in that space of is it actually that bad to have to sleep on somebody's couch or eat ramen noodles or something like that. So like what am I actually afraid of and write it down.
Karen Litzy: So, if I'm getting this concept correctly, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, so you write, what am I afraid of? Kind of write those fears. And then what's the worst that can happen if that fear were realized? Is that what you're kind of writing?
TaVona Denise: Okay, that's exactly right. So what am I afraid of? And what if this actually happened and how can I mitigate it? Got it. And he actually goes and practices it so that he can feel like, Oh, that's actually not that bad. Even if it does happen. And that you may even have more resources than you thought you did if your worst fear were realized. So again, I think it forces you to write things out and say, Oh well maybe isn't that bad.
Karen Litzy: 20:48 Or maybe it is really bad. I don't know. I guess it could go both ways. I'm not sure.
TaVona Denise: 20:54 Well, they could. So one of my mentors says, whenever you choose to do something or not to do something, make sure you like your reason.
TaVona Denise: So, so many people are one, unclear about what they want in the first place. And two, if they know what they want, they're just not taking action, but they can't articulate why. So I just think if you can just start with that, those two simple questions that will give you a lot of information to get started with. You can find your why right. In some minuscule way in your life. Right? You can kind of find that why, which is often elusive to too many people. Yeah, I can because a lot of people, I think that's another thing that I've found is just the simple act of asking you what do you want? Many people are quick to tell me what they don't want and when they're very clear on what they don't want, but they can't tell me what they do want, they're also not going to make a move.
Karen Litzy: 21:53 Got it. So all of these little tricks that we play in our minds can work against us in so many ways and we don't realize it until we either, like you said, journal it, write it down, have an external eye, take a look at what you're doing to kind of shine that blind spot right into your face so you know what's going on. And then also just, I think, like you said, decluttering and really getting to the bottom of why at this point in your career, are you feeling the way that you're feeling? Trying to recap a little bit here. Yeah. Is that good? Okay. All right. So now in before we kind of wrap things up, I have a couple other things to ask, those were the key takeaways from our conversation, but what do you want the listeners to really kind of take with them?
TaVona Denise: 22:50 I think we hold ourselves back unnecessarily. So I think it would be, if I were to give you like a step-by-step, if you will, a rough step-by-step is to one, figure out what you want, understand why you wanted, because the understanding of why you want it will help you move in the face of fear. Just like when we went to PT school, we had, there was a lot of fear involved and we moved through it anyway because we had a reason, right? So know what you want, know why you want it. Understand that fear is allowed to drive, ride the bus ride side car, but not allowed to drive the bus. And it's really going to be okay if you think about that confidence loop and I can share a diagram with you so that people can actually see a visual of it. But if you think about it, if you just keep going, you will get there. If you just keep going, you'll get there.
Karen Litzy: 23:53 Yeah. And I think to that point in a digital age where everything happens at the speed of light, that can be difficult because what if it takes longer than you think it should take? Right. So expectations, let's talk about that for a second.
TaVona Denise: 24:14 Yeah. Because speed of light microwave society, here's something that I've been noodling over here lately. We want our business to take off like in 60 to 90 days. And Jen and I were talking about that today. Oh yes. And I was just thinking about this, like, why is that even fair? You need to learn marketing. You need to learn sales, you need to build an audience. I mean, there's so many pieces that you need to learn. If you would just flip the switch. So from have to versus get to right. Here's another little mental switch. What if it was just like going to PT school? So what's the average length of PT school now? Is it two and a half, three years? Yeah, so let's just say three years. What if you just said, I am going to learn what I need to learn all of these pieces of business and I'm going to not expect anything for three years and if I'm not as consistent as I was in PT school, which is full time, I don't think anybody can work and do PT school. If I am not putting in that amount of hours in that amount of effort that I did in PT school for three years, then I need to add a year for however much time and effort I didn't put in. If we can do that and give ourselves the mental space, time and grace, if we thought about how hard we worked and how long we worked in PT school and apply it to business, nobody should expect anything before three years of full time work and then it'd be great if it happens in a year.
Karen Litzy: 25:45 Yes, I agree. I think oftentimes people are fed false hopes and expectations in marketing ploys and whatnot, and that's just not how it works. It just, it just doesn't work that way and you got to work at it. And I think I agree with you. I think your expectations have to be realistic and to have a successful business in 60 to 90 days is not realistic. It's just well put, it ain't going to happen. Not a chance. Yes. So expectations are huge. Thank you for touching on that. Okay. Did we miss anything?
TaVona Denise: 26:25 Not that I can think of.
Karen Litzy: 26:26 All right. Cool. Cool. All right, so then the last question before we get to how people can get in touch with you is knowing where you are now in your life and in your business, what advice would you give to your younger self as a graduate out of PT school? So this is advice to you from you, from future you, to past you from future. You got it?
TaVona Denise: 26:57 Mmm. Don't be afraid to take risks. It's all going to be okay. The things that you think were for you that don't work out actually happened for you.
Karen Litzy: 27:19 Excellent. Excellent. So again, going, looking back, you can say to yourself, man, I was so upset that X, Y, Z didn't work out. But look where I am now.
TaVona Denise: 27:31 Oh yeah, yeah. If I didn't get that great management position that I thought I was going to get. I wouldn't have gone to Costa Rica to Spanish immersion school if I didn't. If I got the other management position that I thought I was going to get that I didn't get, I wouldn't have written a book. I wouldn't be here talking to you all today.
Karen Litzy: 27:49 Amazing. What great advice. I love it. Now. Where can people find you and find out more about what you do?
TaVona Denise: 27:55 Yeah. you can find me anywhere on the web at TaVona Denise. I'm most of the time on Facebook, sometimes Instagram and Tavonadenise.com.
Karen Litzy: 28:11 Perfect. And just so for all the listeners, we'll have links to all of that under the show notes for this episode at podcast.healthywealthysmart.com one click will take you to everything that TaVona has an and can offer to you. So TaVona, thank you so much for coming on. This was great. All right, and everyone, thanks so much for tuning in. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.
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On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome Dr. Howard Luks on the show to discuss knee osteoarthritis. Dr. Howard Luks, MD is an Orthopedic Surgeon practicing in Westchester and Dutchess Counties in New York. He specializes in the management of complex knee and shoulder injuries with a focus on ACL injuries, Patella Dislocations and Shoulder Instability.
In this episode, we discuss:
-What is knee osteoarthritis and how is it diagnosed?
-Modifiable risk factors for developing knee osteoarthritis
-Indications for a total knee replacement
-The importance of managing expectations for good patient outcomes
-How to strengthen the physician therapist relationship for more patient centric care
-And so much more!
A big thank you to Net Health for sponsoring this episode!
Check out Optima’s Top Trends For Outpatient Therapy In 2020!
For more information on Dr. Luks:
Howard Luks, MD - @hjluks - is a patient centric, Orthopedic Surgeon who has been in clinical practice for 20 years. Dr Luks utilizes his passion for patient engagement and his expertise in medicine and social media to educate a global audience through his website, twitter, facebook page and YouTube channel. He serves as a consultant, board member and adviser to many companies in the mobile health, online health platform, and medical decision making start-up spaces. He served on the External Advisory Board of the Mayo Clinic for Social Media - a recognized leader in this space.
“Technology is not about replacing physicians ... instead, we must remember, change brings opportunity — and we must use these changing times to scale great physician thought leaders.” - Howard Luks
Howard Luks, MD (@hjluks) is an Orthopedic Surgeon practicing in Westchester and Dutchess Counties in New York. He specializes in the management of complex knee and shoulder injuries with a focus on ACL injuries, Patella Dislocations and Shoulder Instability.
As an early adopter of Twitter, Howard Luks MD also runs a blog (>100,000 unique monthly viewers), a Facebook Page, a YouTube channel and a personal site to educate, interact and engage a worldwide audience.
Read the full transcript below:
Karen Litzy: 00:01 Hi, Dr. Luks. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast and really looking forward to this today.
Howard Luks: 00:06 My pleasure, Karen. I'm looking forward to it too.
Karen Litzy: 00:09 Okay. So today we're going to be talking about osteoarthritis. You had a great tweet thread back in, I believe it was the end of June, beginning of July, 2019 on osteoarthritis and got a lot of positive responses from people and I really wanted to talk to you a little bit more about osteoarthritis. First thing is what it is and what it isn't. So I will hand it over to you.
Howard Luks: 00:40 So the reason why I decided to put that thread up was based on the fact that I keep hearing people become worried thinking that their body is wearing out and that our arthritis is a mechanical process and wear and tear process. So they're going to stop walking. They're gonna stop riding, they're gonna stop running, they're gonna stop their exercise. So in other words, they're going to increase their risk of dementia, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders because they think they're saving the lifespan of their knee. So in order to get across that osteoarthritis is really a biological process where the articular cartilage is starting to degenerate for various reasons and that their activity actually, if anything is beneficial is what led me to write that whole series of tweets. And I followed up with another one a few months later. That then started to throw in all the exercise patterns and activities that people can in fact pursue, especially with respect to runners. See, since I seem to attract a lot of runners, I wanted to be known that running is not damaging for a knee that doesn't have any significant mechanical issue or is recovering from a fracture.
Karen Litzy: 02:22 And when we talk about osteoarthritis, oftentimes people will come to us as physical therapists and they'll say, Oh, well, you know, it's bone on bone. That's what the x-ray shows bone on bone. So how do you respond to that? And how should a physical therapist respond to the patient in those scenarios? And in a way that doesn't undermine the physician that referred them to us, but being consistent with the evidence.
Howard Luks: 02:51 It's quite a challenge, right? I mean, yeah. The interesting thing I always talk to our residents about is that, you know, I'm 56 now and I'm just starting to get really good at patient interactions and discussions and conversations in the office just in time for me to retire. And I talk about the fact that words harm, images, harm, and you really can't unsee your MRI or xray report. So it all comes back to communication and education. And that's one of the biggest problems in healthcare today, right? We're RVU driven. You guys are strapped if you're a network, you know, you can't make a living of $40 per hour. And so we're all seeing more people in less time and that really threatens our ability to have a good, actionable and meaningful conversation with people. Yet it's absolutely critical that we do so.
Howard Luks: 04:02 So if I put an X Ray up showing bone on bone arthritis, I then immediately enter into a conversation about how you really treat people, not an image. And that even though they're bone on bone, you know, most likely I'm talking to someone who doesn't have severe quality of life limiting knee pain more often than not, and you know, a bone on bone knee that's relatively dry, meaning it doesn't have a significant effusion, it's really not going to be too terribly painful. You know, the bone itself isn't what hurts, you know, bone marrow edema hurts, synovitis, hurts. But not the bone itself. So I explained that I've run with people that I know have bone on bone arthrosis yet. I explained that I've also replaced knees in those with less severe arthritis because they had severe synovitis or bone marrow lesions that just wouldn't go away.
Howard Luks: 05:16 So it's important to talk about the fact that the xray has only one small part of the overall evaluation and a very small part in determining what the treatment or treatments could be or should be. And that it really it's their story. It's their history, it's what they're telling us. And you know, when it hurts, how often it hurts and how severe that pain is. That's more important in terms of how we craft our treatment plan. And when, you know, I had a patient today actually asked me, well, when, when do you know, as the patient, when do you know that you need to have a joint replacement surgery and we'll stick with the knee.
Karen Litzy: 05:58 So when your patients come in and they asked you that question or you talk to them about the possibility of a total knee replacement or a partial knee replacement, what do you say and how does the patient know?
Howard Luks: 06:23 Huh, that's a great question. And it's one that I'll get probably 15 times tomorrow so the discussion usually goes as follows. It's, you will know you're going to wake up one day and say, I just can't take this anymore. I've tried X, Y, and Z. I've done my exercises, I've lost weight, I have adjusted my diet. I've tried over the counter medications, Savage's bombs, ointments, suction cups, tape and everything else that their friends have told them to try and their pain is limiting their quality of life. So that's, you know, a very important part of the decision making process is you have to dive into their goals, right? You can run into a lot of trouble with people between 40 and 65, 40 and even 70, depending on how active they were, because you might have someone who's miserable, but it's simply because they can't play singles tennis anymore.
Howard Luks: 07:37 Right? It's like having someone with shoulder pain in your office because they can't hit a second lob as like they used to. You know, that person who's going to be really unhappy with the results of surgery. Same with the knee replacement in someone who can't play a second set of tennis but could easily finish, you know, a three set doubles match. So we have to determine when the patient feels that their quality of life has suffered long enough that they wish to move forward. Then we need to dive into what their goals are. It should be simply that they want to get through their day without this horrible knee pain. Because if it's anything other than that they may not be all that satisfied with the end results of the surgery.
Karen Litzy: 08:33 Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. There's a big difference between the person who's having trouble walking from, you know, their bedroom to the bathroom or like you said, the person who can't get in another set of singles tennis. They're very, very huge quality of life differences there. Although that second set of tennis might be disappointing. It's different than not being able to walk a block.
Howard Luks: 08:57 Correct. And we know, you know, both of us know there are significant number of knee replacement patients who have persistent pain after surgery and who are not happy with the overall results. And many times that might trace back to false expectations. So it's a really important discussion to have. And we also know there are many different patients out there. You know, there are some who have achiness and pain when they roll out of bed, but by the time they're done with their morning shower, they feel fine. Yet those people, some of those people might tell you that they want to have their knee replaced. So again, it's really important to dive deep into the reason why these people want to move forward and what their goals are.
Karen Litzy: 09:54 Yeah, I think that's a great point. Thank you for that. And now I just want to go back to one thing. When we were talking about osteoarthritis, one thing we didn't talk about were factors that may lead people to be at risk for osteoarthritis. Do we know what some of those factors are? And if so, are they modifiable?
Howard Luks: 10:14 Sure. So first, you know, the, the big category now that requires everyone's attention is our metabolism. You know, we are bombarded daily now, especially on Twitter with all the ELA facts associated with a typical or standard American diet full of ultra processed foods. I'm not gonna get close to the Quito vegan world and subdivided. However, it's really important that people start to read this literature about the dangers of ultra processed foods. It's very clear that a calorie is not a calorie and that a hundred calories of ultra processed foods versus a hundred calories of real food is going to have very different metabolic affects on us. And we're finding that people with high homocysteine levels have a higher incidence of heart disease, cardio metabolic issues as well as joint related issues. We're finding the same with uric acid levels, which will my car lay with your fructose intake.
Howard Luks: 11:38 So high fructose corn syrup, we find a correlation with lipid disorders and the prevalence of osteoarthritis people's weight will certainly have an impact. A lot of people don't know that what each step you take, you're putting, you know, five to seven times your body weight across the knee with each step. If you're achieving 10,000 steps a day, you weigh 250 pounds, you have an extra 60 pounds on your knee across 10,000 steps. That's a lot of an added weight across that knee. Now for those who do not have osteoarthritis already, that might not initiate the process for those in whom the process has started. An MRI studies on asymptomatic people show that the process has started in a majority of us over 50, then that excess weight and force or stress burden is certainly going to increase the risk of developing a more rapidly progressive arthrosis.
Howard Luks: 12:50 Now by far the most common causes are genetics and people with structural issues. So a varus or Bodine or valgus or knock kneed that will set you up for unit compartmental changes or changes in either the middle or the lateral compartments. Why we seem to see a pretty severe patellofemoral disease and in some middle aged women, I'm not exactly sure, perhaps it's some degree of underlying map tracking. But in terms of the modifiable risk factors, without a doubt, our weight, our activity level, it turns out as we, as we just said, that's right. This is less common in runners. Cartilage likes that cyclical loading and likes to be exposed to force in a cyclical manner. I think we hit on many of them.
Karen Litzy: 13:54 Yeah. And then the only other thing I can think of is previous surgeries. So we know like ACL having an ACL surgery or ACL disruption, the majority of those people do develop osteoarthritis later in life. Especially if you're, you know, most of them happen when you're younger, usually.
Howard Luks: 14:13 True. So you're absolutely correct. So upwards of 50% of people who have had an ACL tear will go on to develop arthritic changes. Even having just one Hema arthrosis, you know, blood in your joint elevates your risk of developing osteoarthritis because it changes the chemical compounds that's present in the knee. Once that has happened, now you'd go ahead and you add a mechanical issues such as a meniscus tear and your risks really start to go up dramatically.
Karen Litzy: 14:54 Yeah. And, I mean I have seen patients in their forties you know, who have had multiple ACL reconstructions on their knees cause they were high level athletes in their younger years. And those are people who, you know, we were talking about the people who can't play tennis versus the ones who are having trouble walking down the street. Those are the people that are having trouble walking down the street and they know it, but they're doing everything they can to not have the surgery as well. So it's, it's an interesting group.
Howard Luks: 15:25 Correct. And they're not harming themselves. I don't care if you're limping if you can get away without having your knee replaced, you should do so.
Karen Litzy: 15:37 Absolutely. Absolutely. Certainly, certainly I think, you know, oftentimes people will hear, Oh, it's knee replacements are not that bad. It's not like it was years ago, but I mean, it's not great.
Howard Luks: 15:49 Huh? Yeah. So there's, you know, the only surgery without risk is a surgery on somebody else. Yeah. If you're assuming an infection after a knee replacement has a low incidence, right. A 0.7 0.8%, but it's a life altering permanent problem. You know, you're going to need one to three operations to try and eradicate that infection. And if it's a nasty bug, it's going to end in an amputation. So, you know, are there a lot of amputations that happen each year because of knee replacement infection? No, but there are not zero. And there are a significant number of people who have persistent pain. I've looked, I perform a lot of knee replacements and I think it's a great operation for the right person. So there are significant upsides to a well functioning knee replacement and the vast majority of people are not going to get infected. However, when you start to push indications and you start to stretch them if you get into trouble with one of those people, that's an awful place for them to be.
Karen Litzy: 17:06 Yeah. Yeah. No question. No question. And now what I'd like to do is we've got a couple of questions from listeners that some of them are about you in particular and the way that you practice others. Again, continuing on the osteoarthritis subject. So one was from physical therapy and they're all from physical therapists. Gina Kim said, how do you set expectations for patients, especially for active busy ones, that conditions such as osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder can take months to resolve or can be something that you're managing, let's say. Because I would say osteoarthritis is something that you're managing.
Howard Luks: 17:49 Correct. And sometimes the frozen shoulders too. So any of our patients with these longterm chronic conditions can get into trouble, especially when they're used to being high level weekend warrior as an athlete. The, you know, my goal is to keep that runner running. And most runners, if you sit down and say, look, we don't think that arthritis, we know that arthritis is most likely not caused by running. We really don't think that you know, running five miles at a reasonable pace is going to cause her arthritis to worsen more than it already has and more than the normal disease course will worse than that. So we think it's okay for you to keep running. 90% of real runners are going to take that and run with it, so to speak. They are not going to stop. And there's really no reason for them to stop, cut, stop.
Howard Luks: 18:54 Cause a runner that stops running is not a whole person anymore. It's really embedded in our psyche. They're very unique people to deal with. So oftentimes we’re seeing a runner with a little swelling after a run, we're seeing them a little, a little achiness and pain the next day. Perhaps they can't run as fast as they used to or they have pain going down Hill. So they will very readily work with you. So what I will immediately start doing is dive in to their typical week. How many miles are they running? What pace are they running, what zone are they running in? Are they Hills or are they technical trails and the carriage are they road? I don't necessarily push people onto trails or onto roads but I might pull them off a technical trail or off of steep Hills. And I'll try to work with them. Craft a workout pattern and running strategy with them that will lead to very much acceptable or tolerable levels of knee pain. And then once they understand that the etiology of a cause of their arthritis and they understand you really didn't do anything wrong, it's not the running that led them to this point, most are okay and most will fight through again, a reasonable level of discomfort in order to allow them to run.
Karen Litzy: 20:35 Yeah, and I think that's the last thing you said is so important because oftentimes when people have more persistent pain, and I can say this from my own experience is when, when we, I guess I can say we, I'm part of that group. Oftentimes when we do things and it results in pain, we think that we're causing more damage. And I think it's really important that last point that you made that, Hey, listen, you might have a little bit of pain, a little bit of swelling, but from what we can tell, we know this isn't doing further damage. It isn't sort of creating more wear and tear. And I think that's really important to get across to the patient.
Howard Luks: 21:16 I agree. I mean, if I start to get stress fractures and stress reactions and book painful bone marrow edema, lesions, you know, I'm going to change. But as I alluded to earlier, you know, imagine a runner who stops running out of fear not because of the level of pain. You know, they're now increasing their risk of any number of chronic diseases, right? Alzheimer's and heart disease and hypertension, diabetes and on in the, you know, in the hope that maybe they're going to save their knee and save the knee from what? So if, you know, a lot of them, even if, even if we knew that running caused it, they would sacrifice their need to keep, you know, their head clear from the benefit that they derive from their weekly run.
Karen Litzy: 22:21 Yeah, they're a motivated bunch, that's for sure. And, and motivated because like you said, it's the running. So when you're a runner, it's your running that allows you to do the rest of the things in your life. That may be work. It may be dealing with family, it may be dealing with colleagues that keeps your head clear. It could be meditative. So you're taking all of that away by saying you just have to rest. You don't, you shouldn't run anymore.
Howard Luks: 22:46 Correct.
Karen Litzy: 22:47 Dangerous. Okay. Dangerous stuff. So let's go onto another question, Miranda Henry, and I think this is a nice question is how do you see the evolution of the patient doctor physiotherapist role in the care of osteoarthritis? Cause we know we've got baby boomers getting older, osteoarthritis is most likely going to be more prevalent. So how do you see that evolution of care from those roles?
Howard Luks: 23:15 Sadly, in this environment I see it dwindling, which is really unfortunate, right? Because it should be increasing. There should be a direct electronic or otherwise communication between our offices. You know, we both have these five page electronic medical record nightmares that our office produced that we fax to each other, you know, for signatures to send back. Yet it doesn't have much actionable, useful and meaningful information. I have a number of a number of therapists who are my go to people in my region. And you know, we're on the phone a lot. Trying to share details about certain people in terms of progress yeah. Or roadblocks or other issues and what and why they're sending them back or why they're not. And it's, you know, an open channel of communications is just so critical. And we just have to keep in mind regardless of how busy and crazy our lives get as healthcare providers, that it really is a patient's life and wellbeing that's sitting at the end of these phone calls and things that are easily perceived as nuisance irritation. And so yeah, it is worth it in the end to go the extra mile and make that phone call.
Karen Litzy: 24:51 Yeah. And I think you just answered that with that answer. The next question is what do you see as the best way for that PT doctor patient to align themselves for best patient outcomes? Which I think you just answered. Just having good communication channels and being able to keep in mind that the patient is at the center.
Howard Luks: 25:13 Correct. Yeah. Can't forget that.
Karen Litzy: 25:15 No, that makes perfect sense. I think you just answered it. And then finally, this is from Mark Rubinstein said what or who inspired you in your holistic approach to promoting health? Combining traditional orthopedic medicine with sort of lifestyle medicine?
Howard Luks: 25:32 Ha. Good one. As I alluded to, as I said before, you know, you start to get much better at determining talking to people, listening to people asking the right questions. You know, my exam starts when I watch them walking in the hallway, you know, before you sit down on your stool, you know more about that patient. Then half the words they're going to say are going to tell you and you learn how to craft your messages and craft your, you know, your treatment plans accordingly and you find out that non-surgical management is often really effective. Then you realize, okay, you're 56, you know, what are you doing to change your life? So, you know, probably about six years ago I started to optimize my own lifestyle for my, not only longevity but health span, right? I want to go to the very end, hopefully running and then just drop off. I don't want to spend my last 10 years on cane's going to doctor's offices, being hobbled, being frail, et cetera. So as I started, you know, a lot of the more recent blog posts that I've written, I've just done in an effort to help me learn the topics.
Karen Litzy: 27:12 That's a great way to, it's a great way to learn.
Howard Luks: 27:14 Right? Because I'm pulling all these papers and I'm doing all this reading. I might as well write it down on my website and share it. And so it started with my diet and then it started with a sleep. I read Matthew Walker's book and then it started to, it was exercise and muscle mass and atrophy, sarcopenia and everything else written about. And then you start to dive into the metabolic literature and you realize, Hey, you know, this is really important for our patients. And that's another motivation to get it up and get it on the website. And as we all know, it's really hard to change many people's habits, but if they have actionable information, if they have a thorough understanding of why they need to do this I'm getting a lot further with people in terms of committing them to dietary change, lifestyle changes, activity changes than I ever had in terms of success before in my career. And I think maybe it's just cause I'm communicating it better and perhaps cause I'm leaving it up on my website for them afterwards to revisit and share it amongst their family.
Karen Litzy: 28:48 Yeah. And they can kind of take a deeper dive into it after they leave the office and say to themselves, Oh, okay, now I think this is making more sense. Cause like we've all been to doctors. I mean sometimes you go in and you're like, Oh man, I really wanted to ask this question and I didn't. Or Oh he said this thing but I forgot. And so to have that backup on your website I think is probably really helpful. And like you said, is most likely helping you get some greater buy in from your patients do I think is fantastic. And I think it's also important to note that when you're writing that you're, at least, this is what I get from your writing style, is it's very relatable and approachable and it's so, it's very, I think patient forward.
Howard Luks: 29:33 You'd be amazed at the comments that I get from editors editors or publishers or writers through channels, how unhappy they are with my writing style. I'm like, just, you just have to leave it alone. It is what it is.
Karen Litzy: 29:50 Yeah. And if it's relating, if it's relatable to your patient population, great. Correct. Great. All right. So before we wrap up, what are the big takeaways you want people to leave with this discussion today?
Howard Luks: 30:06 So yeah, in an effort to save your knee, don't throw the rest of your health under the bus. You're not gonna save your knee. You can't stop arthritis from progressing. You can't cure it. You're not gonna waste your money on $10,000 in STEM cells cause that isn't going to work. You will know the day that you need your knee replaced. And hopefully your surgeon or therapist will help you better define what your goals can and should be following a knee replacement. Don't forget how important our entire lifestyle is in shaping how much pain we are going to have, how long we're going to have that pain and how long we're going to suffer with it. Our sleep matters. Our diet matters, what we stick in our mouth matters and our activity levels matter. If you don't optimize for your wellness today, you're gonna end up preparing for your illness and frailty later. So there's no better time to get moving.
Karen Litzy: 31:18 Great advice. And now last question I ask everyone is knowing where you are now in your life and in your career, what advice would you give yourself as a newly minted doctor? A new graduate from medical school.
Howard Luks: 31:34 Yeah. you're not as good as you think you are. Right? You know, all these young docs on Twitter, I get a kick out of them, you know, they're great, but, and I wasn't any different. You know, the world is far more black and white when you're younger then as you get older but yeah, pay more attention to your elders. Pay more attention to your patients. You don't always have the right answer, you know, and just be willing to admit sometimes you don't know. And then look for the person with the knowledge and experience who can help you.
Karen Litzy: 32:22 Great advice. Now, where can people find you if they want to read your blogs and find you on social media? Very important.
Howard Luks: 32:28 Just put my name on Google. I think I own the first 10 pages.
Karen Litzy: 32:33 Perfect. And we'll also have links under this episode at podcast.healthywealthysmart.com So if you want to get all of Dr. Luks’ info, it'll be right on the website here as well. Awesome. All right, well thank you so much for taking the time out. This is a great conversation and I hope you have a great start to your 2020. And everyone, thanks so much for tuning in. Have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.
Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with me on twitter, instagram and facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!
On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome Ryan Burklo on the show to discuss financial planning for small business owners. Ryan Burklo, RICP® is a financial planner, host of the podcast Holistic Finance, and co-owner of Quantified Financial Partners. Through his work as a financial planner, he works with medical practice owners to protect their practice, keep them financially efficient and assist with their eventual exit.
In this episode, we discuss:
-How to manage debt financing and make it work for you
-What is tax efficient cash flow planning?
-Retirement options for small business owners
-The conversations you need to bring up with your financial advisor
-And so much more!
A big thank you to Net Health for sponsoring this episode!
Check out Optima’s Top Trends For Outpatient Therapy In 2020!
For more information on Ryan:
Ryan Burklo, RICP® is a financial planner, host of the podcast Holistic Finance, and co-owner of Quantified Financial Partners.
He lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two kids. After learning his son had a stroke while in utero he became an avid volunteer for Pediatric Stroke Warriors. He learned much about the medical professionals who cared for his son and truly enjoyed working with them both on a personal and a professional level.
Through his work as a financial planner, he works with medical practice owners to protect their practice, keep them financially efficient and assist with their eventual exit.
His firm and his personal mission is to simplify finances so that you can focus on what you enjoy most.
Read the full transcript below:
Karen Litzy: 00:01 Hey Ryan, welcome to the podcast. I'm happy to have you on.
Ryan Burklo: 00:06 Thanks for having me. Appreciate the invite.
Karen Litzy: 00:08 Yeah. And you know we're getting onto the end of the year and people are starting to think, look back on the year, look forward to next year talking about their businesses and maybe how they can move forward, expand, stay the same. Lots of stuff. But today we're going to talk about kind of the business side of things. And I absolutely love having people like you on the program because I didn't go to school to be a financial planner. I don't, I don't know what I, you know, this is not my specialty. So I love having folks like you on because I feel like I learned so much from you guys, plants and seeds in me that make me think, Hmm, maybe I need to make some changes in my practice. So thank you for coming on. Cause I'm definitely excited.
Ryan Burklo: 01:06 Yeah, I again appreciate being on. I actually started laughing when you said you didn't go to school to be a financial planner cause I was about to say neither did I. I think very few of us actually go to school to officially become a financial planner. I think it just kind of molds it's weighing falls into our lap. You know, life's events occur in the next, you know, you're, you know, you're in the industry and so it's very interesting. Had you told me that I would be a financial planner when I got out of college, I would have said you're drunk. I love what I do.
Karen Litzy: 01:41 Yeah. And here you are helping and I should mention that you do work with a lot of medical practices.
Ryan Burklo: 01:50 Yeah, that's really a majority of our focus is helping medical practices on the business side and merging that with the person side. Cause eventually we all exit our practice in some way, shape or form. And it turns into the personal side. So, you know, the two are married, yet business owners tend to only focus, they focus more on the business side because you know that that's the fun side. That's what they do every day.
Karen Litzy: 02:19 Exactly. Exactly. And so it's great to have people like you guys to help guide us through that. And now, you know, I've been taught, this has been in the news quite a bit. I had, you know interviewed someone a couple of weeks ago about debt and we hear debt a lot in the news. Mainly the focus is student loan debt, but there's all kinds of debt, right? And when you're a business owner, you may be in debt, you may not be in debt. But my question is, can debt work for you? Can it be a good thing sometimes.
Ryan Burklo: 02:56 Yeah. Yeah. I mean the quick answer is absolutely yes. You know, you brought up the media and everything we're hearing in the news and right now it's a lot of student loans. But you know, oftentimes there's also, you know, just debt is bad is the mantra and you should pay it off as fast as possible. And in some scenarios that makes sense in other scenarios that doesn't, you know, really depends on what kind of debt it is. You know, credit card debt for the most part isn't the best that I have because it tends to be high interest rate, right? You're getting in the double digits, 16, 17, 20% or so. But then there's other debts. Student loans can be one of them. You know, mortgages on real estate and other debts that are lower interest rates and you have to look at it at, if I'm going to put a dollar towards that debt, if I put my dollar elsewhere, how would that act?
Ryan Burklo: 03:52 How would that do differently? Right? And so the simple example of that is, you know, right now you can get a mortgage really, really inexpensive, you know, 3.8% or something like that on a 30 year mortgage. And so if your dollar can be put back into the business or put elsewhere and beat 3.8 at a relatively low low risk, well then you'd be better off putting your dollar elsewhere. Cause then you'd be making money on your money so you're leveraging that debt so your money can work harder. Whereas the credit card debt that I mentioned, you know it's a 20% interest rate. Well now I used to be 20% that's a lot harder and the risk is a lot higher.
Karen Litzy: 04:38 Got it. So, so for instance, if you take on the debt of a mortgage, whether that be, you know, let's say you bought a building for your practice or you bought space for your practice and like you said, the interest rate is 3.8% then that might be a good thing for your business because you're putting that money to better use for you or the equity is in the building is good. Is that kind of what you mean?
Ryan Burklo: 05:07 Well, to put it in another way, if you had $1 million of cash or $1 million sitting somewhere and you went to buy real estate and real estate was worth $1 million, we get to put the whole thing down, the million dollars sitting wherever it's sitting versus getting a debt and having to pay interest on that debt. You have to analyze what could that million dollars would be doing for you, and if that million dollars could be doing something better than a 3.8% yeah, we were just talking about why would you give the full million dollars to the bank. Got it, got it. And then you have the flexibility between it. All, right? Even if you're, maybe if you're just breaking even some people will get nervous about that too. We'll, again, you've got $1 million. How much more can you do with other stuff in your business because you've got that rather than just giving it to the bank, what type of flexibility do you possibly lose?
Karen Litzy: 06:15 Got it. Got it.
Ryan Burklo: 06:16 So that's just a simple example that I like to use. And that's not to say that you shouldn't pay off some debts. It does go by case by case, but you have to look at what your dollar could be doing elsewhere. And does that make more sense rather than only looking at it, well, Ryan, I'm going to pay more interest over 30 years. That's 100% true. And what could that dollar the other dollars be doing over the next 30 years?
Karen Litzy: 06:42 Got it, got it. So it could mean the difference between investing it into something that's going to give you a higher return or putting it to use elsewhere instead of hiring another doctor.
Ryan Burklo: 06:54 Well, another position that's going to grow revenue by X percent, that might be the better solution.
Karen Litzy: 07:04 Got it. Got it. See, this is why, you know, my brain does not work this way. This is why I need someone to kind of break it down and explain it to me as if you were explaining it to like a fourth grader.
Ryan Burklo: 07:18 Yeah. Well, my industry doesn't like to do that, but we like to confuse people. I try to make it as simple as possible because that annoys the crap out of me.
Karen Litzy: 07:25 Yeah. I appreciate that. All right, so that's a great way that we can kind of make debt work for us. If you have, are there other ways, I guess that you can make debt work for you? Any other easy, simple examples?
Ryan Burklo: 07:48 I threw a couple of examples just in that one. It's really about, again, it's just leveraging what you currently have. And so if you can get a loan, well, you know, let's just say we have a bit of a widget maker, right? And the widget maker needs to buy a machine to make more widgets. And they've got, they can go get a loan on it for X percent or they can just buy it in full. Well, what makes the most sense for your business? How are you leveraging your money to make it work as hard as possible for you? So it's a constant analysis of leveraging where the leverage is. Does it make more sense, can your money work harder outside of giving it to the bank?
Karen Litzy: 08:43 Got it. Yeah. So if you were to pay in full and you can make more widgets and sell more widgets to make more money, that might make more sense than making payments on that piece of equipment.
Ryan Burklo: 08:54 Exactly.
Karen Litzy: 08:55 Got it. All right. Excellent. Now I got it. Thank you so much. Sorry for being a little slow on the uptake there. Now the other thing that I really wanted to talk about is this idea of tax efficiency, cashflow. So in going through your website, I saw this and I thought, hmmm.
Karen Litzy: 09:16 This is really interesting to me because I don't know that I'm being as efficient as possible. So can you explain what tax efficiency cashflow means under the lens of, you know, your small business owner?
Ryan Burklo: 09:31 Yeah. So there's two sides of taxes, right? There's the taxes that you're going to pay now, right. Where the income that came in the door minus the deductions and everything that we can take as a business owner, what's leftover and what we're going to pay on taxes from that on the business side as well as from the income side and that's based on the rules and laws that are in place this year, 2019 then there's the tax side of what am I going to get taxed on 15 years from now, 10 years from now, 30 years from now, depending on where my money and my assets are sitting. That's the side that most people don't really consider because what they're only considered is I want to pay as little money in taxes this year.
Karen Litzy: 10:21 Yes, yes. Right.
Ryan Burklo: 10:24 So the next question you have to ask yourself, okay, 10 years from now or five years from now or whatever time period that is, where do I think taxes are going to go? And obviously we can't predict this. Oftentimes it depends on who's in office and what's going on in the economy, all that kind of fun stuff. But if you're of the opinion that taxes are going up, should you have a lot of money and assets where you have not paid taxes on yet?
Karen Litzy: 10:54 Yes. All right. I got it right.
Ryan Burklo: 10:56 Yeah, exactly. Because you've deferred the tax. So essentially if it taxes went up, now you're gonna pay more in taxes. Conversely, it taxes go down within, you wanted to defer the tax. And the problem is, is we don't know. And so much of this is,
Karen Litzy: 11:11 It's a gamble.
Ryan Burklo: 11:13 It's a balance is what I put in. So we talked about financial balance quite a bit and it's because we don't want all of our eggs in one basket, right? We don't want all of our assets to be tax deferred because what happens if tax go up? Conversely, like I just said, if taxes go down. Whereas we have our assets in different buckets now we can actually control what tax bracket we're in five, 10 20, 30 years from now. Just like kind of what we're doing right now in terms of lowering our tax bill this year.
Karen Litzy: 11:47 And so when you're looking at balancing and not having all your eggs in one basket, where would those eggs be?
Ryan Burklo: 11:57 Yeah, so it depends on what you're building in your medical practice or in your business. If your plan is, you know, take a solo practice, you know, at one doc and you know, the chances of a one doc practice being able to sell it is not very high, especially they're required. They're the ones that bring in the money anyways, right? You can't sell something if you're the person that you're trying to sell. So oftentimes those types of practices, they have to build side retirement accounts. Okay. Right? These are your traditional IRAs, your simple IRAs, your standard retirement accounts. And so you could be putting a bunch of money into those accounts where you deferred the taxes. So that's one asset. But we could be talking about, it's also an event. Conversely, if you've got the multiple doc practice, we've had a couple of partners and maybe it's an inside, say on, you're actually transitioning one doc out. Well, how do you consider the taxation of the business? What's the cost basis, and then how are we going to sell it? Oftentimes in insider sales, what they call that, oftentimes no one writes a lump sum check and says, here you go, doc, you're gone. It's normally let me pay you in installments over the next 10 years. I see. Okay, so now you have more taxes going on there.
Karen Litzy: 13:27 Oh, cause you, yeah. So you, if you are the doc that left the practice, you're paying taxes on that money that is coming to you in installments.
Ryan Burklo: 13:37 Correct. And if you're the doctor bought them out to pay that doctor, you need the revenue of your practice to be doing a certain amount. So there's taxations on both sides of that equation.
Karen Litzy: 13:50 Right, right. Oh my gosh. These are things like, I really thought you got bought out in one lump sum. That's why when you said that I started laughing, I'm like, Oh, okay. Yeah. I guess installments does make more sense.
Ryan Burklo: 14:04 Yeah. Do lump sum sales occur. Absolutely. That's not, that's not what normally occurs. What normally occurs is here's a 10 year buyout plan.
Karen Litzy: 14:15 Got it. That does actually make a lot more sense.
Ryan Burklo: 14:20 So yeah, the steps that I have our clients consider is, you know, which type of practice or which type of business are you, are you wanting to build for one? Are you building the business where you're at? And essentially you just kind of run off into the sunset and business kind of goes with you or you trying to build a practice or a business that you can actually sell. And early on it's kind of hard to know that, but as you're growing, you start to picture, you start to build towards one of those. And once you know that now you can get more efficient with your money and what's going on and where to put it, how to get after it. While it's taking into considerations, obviously we don't want to pay a lot of taxes right now, so how does this all come together in one cohesive plan? That's the conversation that people should be having with their advisors.
Karen Litzy: 15:14 Great. No, this is great. Yeah. And you know, we, you sort of mentioned the 401ks and setting up for retirement and things like that. And you know, I think we're, like I said, we're going into a new year, we're going into 2020, and maybe there are some listeners out there who are newer practice owners or perhaps they have not thought about their own retirement at the moment because they're building up their business. But can we talk a little bit about how one goes about setting up a retirement plan again, under that lens of a small business?
Ryan Burklo: 15:55 Yeah. So, you know, really depends on, you know, how many employees we've got. What type of plan do we have any employees that are what we would call a key employee. And so what I mean by key employee, if you have an employee that if they quit or left and it either cost you a lot of money because they were the customer service side of the business or they were the office managers. So now you've got to go train and hire someone else and go do their work. So you can build in a retirement plan that, that helps keep that employee active and engaged in yours. And you're a business. And that can also be part of that transition that we were just talking about as well. And so, so, so much of it is what is it we're trying to build?
Ryan Burklo: 16:47 If we're looking with a starter business that you were just talking about and if you've got a couple employees, you know, it's looking at something like a simple IRA. That way it's low cost, easy to set up. You can set up matching type of contributions for your employees. You know, you can do like a 3% type match where you can go as low as 1% in the simple that allows your employees to be able to contribute and you match. Now they don't contribute, then you don't have to match. Right. And it's low cost. The 401K side of things is more, it's better for when you have a lot more employees, like 20 plus because there's more costs involved and it gets a little bit more intricate. That's when you can start to design it and really mess with a bunch of different things. And because you can mess with a bunch of different things, it costs money.
Karen Litzy: 17:40 Got it. So if you have a couple of employees, I like this simple IRA, a 401k for a larger company. How about if it's just you, you're a solo practitioner. How do you set up, what is your retirement plan look like?
Ryan Burklo: 17:58 Yeah. Yeah. So you could do a set by IRA if it's just you and you don't plan on hiring any employees you can do the traditional IRA route as well. Then there's Roth IRA, so you can still do that, that standard stuff. The SEP has more, has a higher contribution limit than say the traditional
Karen Litzy: 18:16 And what does SEP mean? So for people who aren't familiar with what that is exactly.
Ryan Burklo: 18:27 Yeah. So the simple IRA, well, I'm sorry, you mentioned the SEP IRA, sorry about that. So if you're looking at the SEP IRA, we're looking at a simplified employment. I'm sorry, I've got that all backwards now. The simplified employment pension is what that stands for. So SEP, S E P simplified employee pension. Okay. And the reason they call it that is, is just for yourself. And you're kind of setting yourself up for your own retirement plan, which is why the word pension is in there. It gets a little confusing. It's pension. Most people think of a pension has guarantees. It's not necessarily guaranteed, it's just setting yourself up with a plan for retirement.
Karen Litzy: 19:10 Got it, got it. So as a solo practitioner, you've got a couple of different options, and again, this is where sort of you're taxed now or taxed then, is that right? Depending on like a traditional versus a Roth.
Ryan Burklo: 19:28 Correct. So the traditional side is what they would call qualified money. That's tax deferred. You're deferring paying the taxes this year, you'll pay it when you start to pull the money out. The Roth IRA is you're paying the taxes this year on your money, it grows tax deferred and you can pull the money out, tax free passed age 59 and a half.
Karen Litzy: 19:54 But with the Roth IRA, if you make a certain amount of money, you can't contribute to it. Is that correct?
Ryan Burklo: 20:02 Yes, there are limitations. There are what they would call a backdoor roth IRA option where you can do, you can kind of go round that rule and there's a bunch of implications there depending on from taxation standpoint. But in general, there are some income limitations to do a direct contribution to a Roth IRA
Karen Litzy: 20:26 Yeah. And again, does that matter what state you live in or is that a federal thing?
Ryan Burklo: 20:32 That's a federal thing
Ryan Burklo: 20:38 IRA's contribution is $6,000 contribution limit below the age of 50.
Karen Litzy: 20:46 Right, right. Okay. Awesome. And like I have sort of a mix of all of these things, but I've been, you know, kind of contributing to this for many years. So let's say your in your thirties and you don't have any of this setup yet, are you done?
Ryan Burklo: 21:08 Not at all. No, not at all. I mean, unless, unless you're planning on retiring when you're age 31 then maybe.
Karen Litzy: 21:17 Right, right, right, right.
Ryan Burklo: 21:19 You know, step one, have a conversation with a professional that understands what you're building for. And I know we're talking about retirement plans, but you know, I'm really of the opinion of what, what do you have set up for yourself prior to a retirement plan? Like if you don't have, say an emergency fund set up, start there. Like you don't have to contribute to a retirement plan. The retirement plan is not the savior for your financial status. It really isn't like you can have all of your money outside of retirement plan and actually still retire.
Ryan Burklo: 21:57 There's this misnomer out there that when you have to put everything into a retirement plan and you know, for retirement only purposes, yeah, that's a good place to put money. But what can happen to a 30 year old prior to retirement over the next 10, 20, 30 years? A lot. A lot, right? Practice, growth opportunities, buying a house, selling a house, a bunch of different things. So having your money in what we would call a liquid type of asset where you can actually get after it without having to pay a bunch of taxes and penalties is something to really consider first prior to a retirement plan.
Karen Litzy: 22:41 Yeah, that makes sense. Because like you said, a lot can happen between your thirties to retirement at 70 or 75. Got it. So setting up that emergency fund and looking at your, kind of what we spoke about earlier, looking at your debt ratios and how can you make that work for you and look at what taxes you're paying now and how you're paying them. And then finally then looking at, well, what do I need for retirement? What do I need to do for retirement that makes sense for me right now because I can put money elsewhere. Like you said, maybe it's into real estate buying a home or something like that. Oh my gosh. There's so much to think about.
Ryan Burklo: 23:23 Yeah. The biggest thing, I've already said this once, I'll say it again. You know, I was talking about taxes. It's also where your money sitting. Again, don't put all your eggs in one basket. If you have your money in different sovereign account, you know, some in retirement plans, some in just a straight investment, some in real estate, some in savings. When you have that kind of diversification of where your money's sitting, how much more flexible is your life just from a financial standpoint?
Karen Litzy: 23:52 Yeah, I would think much more flexible.
Ryan Burklo: 23:55 A ton more flexible because of everything sending or retirement plan and you want to pull some money out to put into the practice. That might be the best thing to do, but you probably didn't pay taxes and penalties. Right,
Karen Litzy: 24:07 Right. So then you're kind of losing money there. Exactly.
Karen Litzy: 24:12 No, that makes a lot of sense. Lots of sense. This is really good stuff. Thank you so much for sharing all of this. Now, something that I know you guys do is you look at people's sort of financial wellbeing, if you will, but you also look at the person themselves, right? And so what are some things that maybe we can look at as ourselves at our business kind of reflect upon for next year? Like what, you know, cause I know that your process is a little bit different. You're really looking at not, like I said, not just the business or the cashflow, but you're looking at the person and their goals and visions and things like that. So how do you, what advice do you have for listeners out there who kind of want to get their financial house in order? But I'm sure there are some things to think about before you even have that discussion.
Ryan Burklo: 25:13 You know, there's maybe two or three things I'll say to you, to your question. The first and foremost, and this is often not spoke about, and this is going to sound probably kind of weird, is what is your philosophy with your finances? What is your value? Right? So in my family, when we'd look at money, right? It's not about, especially in medical practice and naturopath, some physical therapists, right? Like typically you're not getting into the industry to make a ton of money, although that might be a byproduct you're getting into it to help a bunch of people, right? So the value of the money oftentimes when asked that question is, well, I want to help as many people. Well, to do that, my practice has to be very successful.
Ryan Burklo: 26:02 Like without the cashflow coming into the practice and building that growth in the practice. How are you helping more and more people, maybe it's a different way, but what does that philosophy, what that does that that alone will have you direct where your money's going. Okay. And then step after you have that kind of philosophy. Step two is going to be more around where is it you are currently at? Like, how do we, how would like, you could do a quick net worth equation, right? Like add up all of your assets, checking accounts, savings accounts, retirement accounts, real estate, add up all your liabilities, student loans, cards, mortgages, and then so track the two numbers. That's your networth as it is today. And if you did exactly what I just said, we actually listed out your assets in one column, listed out your liabilities on the other column. You just got a lot of your balance, your balance sheet on one page. How many people I've ever seen that even though that's a simple activity to do.
Karen Litzy: 27:09 Yeah. Yeah. Great.
Ryan Burklo: 27:12 And then you can look at what you’re building next year. Okay. If your plan is to hire another doctor or buy real estate or invest in your practice more, what's your plan? How are you currently sitting and how could you possibly do that if you don't have liquid cash and liquidity to do that? Well now you're first, you know, your first step next year. It's actually having some money set aside that's liquid or accessible to do that.
Karen Litzy: 27:41 Yeah. So really like you said, having your philosophy, your values, and your goals. Look at what you have and what you don't have and see if you can help make a plan for 2020 I think that's great advice.
Ryan Burklo: 27:57 Yeah, it's, you know, money in America's taboo, right. It's a taboo topic to talk about it. We don't like talking about it. We don't even know half the time we don't even talk to our children about it. Right. And it's a taboo factor. It's a business factor. It's all this wrapped in one and for someone to take, especially as business owners, you know, we're wearing what sturdy different hats. One of those hats needs to be CFO. Right. So in your, hopefully we're taking a day out of the business to look at how the business is financially and that could be an exercise for that.
Karen Litzy: 28:33 Yeah. I like that. Taking a financial business day.
Ryan Burklo: 28:39 Yeah.
Karen Litzy: 28:40 I really love it. I'm going to start doing that. I have to put it into my calendar cause you know, if it's not in the calendar it doesn't get done.
Ryan Burklo: 28:48 Yup. I'm like you, I get it.
Karen Litzy: 28:51 Yeah. Yeah. This is great. Thank you so much. Is there anything that we kind of didn't touch upon that you're like, Ooh, I really wanted your listeners to get this info?
Ryan Burklo: 29:02 You know, the biggest piece that I want your listeners to get and really anyone to get is have conversations about money with someone you know and trust.
Karen Litzy: 29:14 Yep. That's great advice.
Ryan Burklo: 29:15 It really is that simple because it starts there.
Karen Litzy: 29:21 Yeah, you're right. It does. And we don't talk about it enough. I know I'd have, I probably don't talk about it enough and need, probably need a little more guidance and things like that. So I think that's great advice. So have more conversations about money with people you trust is great advice. And now my question that I always ask everyone, speaking of advice is knowing where you are now in your practice and in life, what advice would you give to yourself right out of college? Especially knowing that what you said at the beginning of the podcast here, but as someone said, you'd be a financial advisor. You'd be like, what?
Ryan Burklo: 30:03 I think it would have been slow down. Mmm Hmm.
Karen Litzy: 30:08 Yeah.
Ryan Burklo: 30:09 I was your traditional person that got out of college and said, I want to retire early. And so I hit the ground running and I started just grinding away. And not that that's a bad thing, but you know, as I've gotten married and have kids, I look back at that time and I'm like, you know, I could have done a couple of different things. I'd just slowed down and it wouldn't have affected me in a negative way the way I thought. And even if it affected me in a negative way, it might've been worth it.
Karen Litzy: 30:37 Right. Yeah. A lot of people say that same thing and it's always kind of slowed down and you know, enjoy where you are in the moment and you are not alone in that train of thought. For sure. Well, Ryan, thanks so much. Where can people find you?
Ryan Burklo: 30:55 Yeah. So if you want to go to quantifiedfinancial.com and you can find all the information you could possibly want about me, whether you like it or not.
Karen Litzy: 31:07 Perfect. And of course we'll have a link to the website at podcast.healthywealthysmart.com under this episode. So one click will take you all to Ryan's info about his company and their philosophy and how they work. And I highly suggest you click on over there. So Ryan, thank you so much for coming on. I really appreciate it. And we did a nice podcast swap, which I always love to do. So thanks so much.
Ryan Burklo: 31:35 Absolutely. I appreciate being on.
Karen Litzy: 31:37 And everyone, thanks so much for listening. Have a great a couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.
Thanks for listening and subscribing to the podcast! Make sure to connect with me on twitter, instagram and facebook to stay updated on all of the latest! Show your support for the show by leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcasts!
On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome Joseph Reinke on the show to discuss student loan debt solutions. Joseph Reinke is the CEO and founder of FitBUX, Inc which is introducing innovative finance products and technology to the student lending industry with a specific focus on physical therapists.
In this episode, we discuss:
-How family, work and financial goals effect your loan repayment options
-Why refinancing public loans may not be an optimal strategy
-Practical examples of loan forgiveness strategies
-The personal and societal importance of financial literacy
-And so much more!
A big thank you to Net Health for sponsoring this episode!
Check out Optima’s Top Trends For Outpatient Therapy In 2020!
For more information on Joe:
Joseph Reinke is the CEO and founder of Fitbux, Inc. FitBUX is introducing innovative finance products and technology to the student lending industry with a specific focus on physical therapists. Thus far in FitBUX’s beta test, they have helped PTs develop financial strategies on over $11mn in student loans. Joe has been in the finance industry for over a decade and is one of the few CFA Charterholders in the world who has experience in both wealth management and business valuation (globally, there are only 120,000 CFA Charterholders). He has hosted numerous live chats about student loans with SPTs across the country, presented at the California Student Conclave, appeared on podcasts, and written numerous financial blogs.
Read the full transcript below:
Karen Litzy: 00:01 Hey Joe, welcome back to the podcast. I am happy to have you back.
Joe Reinke: 00:07 Glad to be here. It's been a few years. I know that we see each other at different conclaves and different events and stuff, but it's been a few years since I've been on the podcast.
Karen Litzy: 00:16 It has. I know, I'm happy to have you. And, we'll talk a little bit about what a difference a couple of years make in a second. But the first thing I want to get to is student loans. So let's talk about first, cause I know you have a lot of data on this. You have a huge data set within fit box. So what is the average debt? And we'll stick with physical therapists. We don't have to go across the board, but the average debt for physical therapists loan debt.
Joe Reinke: 00:45 Yeah. So PTs or student loan debt. So we now have about 7,400 students and our platform, it comes out to about $900 million of student loan debt. The average is about $144,000 for PTs. We have some other graduate students that we also work with too. Before PTs, it's about $144,000 in debt. And like you just said too, it's like a moral, I know when we first came on the podcast years ago, we had like $30 million or something like that on the platform. And when I tell people we have like 850 $900 million down there, like, you know, congratulations like you know all the growth that you've had. And I look at it, I'm like, that's disgusting. Like the fact that there's graduates and it's like, okay, $900 million of debt, that must be a lot of people. It's like, no, that's only 7,400 people.
Karen Litzy: 01:35 Yeah, it's criminal, it's criminal. So let's say you've got 900 million in loans, the average of $144,000 which is mind blowing. So what are the options for these students coming out to help repay that loan?
Joe Reinke: 01:54 And the first challenge is trying to figure out how these things even play a role in the bigger picture. But then the government doesn't do us any favors. So right now there's nine different student loan repayment options and it's a minefield trying to figure out which one you should use. How does it play a role? Like what happens if I do this? What happens to my retirement, what happens to family planning? Can I get a mortgage? All these different things. And instead of just being like, okay, I'll pay back my loans, here's the answer. You've got gotta dig through all these things and that's where people get lost. So what we've done is simplify that into two strategies. Either you’re going to pay off your loans, or B, you're going to go on some type of loan forgiveness strategies. And the pay off loans is really dominated by the headlines of refinancing because that's what we get bombarded by in terms of advertisements.
Karen Litzy: 02:38 And what exactly does that mean when someone says they're going to refinance?
Joe Reinke: 02:43 Yeah. So refinancing means you go to a brand new lender and they offer you a brand new rate and a brand new loan and you're literally replacing your old loans with a brand new loan to get a lower interest rate. Okay, so like I know PTs they get bombarded by low road, which is one of our partners, but they get bombarded by a low road because a low road has a partnership with a PTA. So they just get bombarded. So we get everybody, everybody comes to us and like, well, I'm thinking about refinancing. I was like, well, why? It's like, well, I've got these things. That's what I see in my mailbox. And on the other side of that, they hear all these headline news articles about loan forgiveness and public service loan forgiveness and whatnot. So those two things dominate the headlines. But really it's even upload from that is either you're going to do a payoff strategy or loan forgiveness strategy.
Joe Reinke: 03:34 And what I mean by a payoff strategy is what we typically think about when we get a loan. Like you get a mortgage or a car loan, you make payments over a certain amount of time after that, it's over. You could do different things to be strategic with that. Like instead of doing a 10 year plan, you can do a 25 year plan. So you can make prepayment strategically and save money. You can do refinancing, you can see if refinancing is right for you. And those are the big things with the payoff strategies is just figuring out what's the most effecient way to make my payments. Now, unfortunately, one of the problems is that the loan servicers don't always apply your prepayments correctly, so you got to stay on them and make sure they're doing the right thing. But that's, that's a whole nother topic on that.
Karen Litzy: So quick question. When you say making prepayments, can you define what that is?
Joe Reinke: 04:16 Yeah. So when you have a payoff strategy so most of us on average, so like when a DPT graduates, they actually have between 10 and 20 loans. So when I say $144,000 in debt, it's not just one loan, it's like 10 to 20 loans. They're all different sizes, they're all different interest rates. And so what a required payment is the payments. They add up every payment on those loans and then say here's your required payments. So they might say it's $1,000 a month. So on that required payment, you don't have any say on that. You have to make that payment every single month. And then you don't have a say where it goes. They just throw it across all your loans equally. Okay. A prepayment is like the complete opposite.
Joe Reinke: 05:06 You have a hundred percent control of it, meaning you determine the dollar amount, you determine when you do it, but most importantly you can determine which loan that you want to go towards. So like if you wanted to pay your higher interest rate loans faster because that would save you the most money, you can do that. So the trick with payoff strategies is just knowing that general idea of the difference between a repayment, a PR, a required payment. And a prepayment is, well, how can I drop my required payment so I can increase my prepayment? Right? And so that's a lot of the tricks that we go through and mix and match the different plans to allow people to do that. And then you throw a refinancing on top of that and you can save even more. So that's really the payoff strategies.
Karen Litzy: 05:58 Yeah, it would seem to me that everyone should refinance to a lower percentage but like why wouldn't someone do that?
Joe Reinke: 06:03 It really depends. I'll give you a few examples. We might work with a travel PT for example, and with travel PTs. First of all it's harder because of the stipend. This is for OTs and nurses as well. It's a stipend, so it's actually hard to get qualified because they don't qualify that as income. So like we have nine lending partners, only three of them will do travelers first of all. So that makes it a little bit harder. But in that situation you're traveling so you don't know the cost of living when you're moving from place to place. You don't know how long it's going to be between contracts and you don't know, most importantly what your income's going to be when you stop traveling. So it's really hard to lock yourself into a refinance loan, even though you can always refinance again later, you might not qualify later to refinance.
Joe Reinke: 06:54 So oftentimes we do do refinancing with that, those types of individuals, but it's more strategic. So instead of doing like a 10 year loan, we might do a 20 year loan and instead of doing all their federal loan debt and refinancing, it might only be three or four of their higher interest rate loans. So just in case there's something there that they can't do they're not obligated to this huge monster payment every single month. So that's one example. Another example we see often times is, I'll give you an example. I just actually talked to somebody today. She had about $210,000 in student loan debt and she's paying it off. Mmm. And my thing was the tail are like, look, you know, slow down. Because when you do your budget and you're doing paper and pencil, all the numbers always looked like they make sense. But this individual just started working.
Joe Reinke: 07:49 They've never had a budget in their life. They've never had like real expenses in their life. It's like wait three or four months because you might decide that you can't make those payments. You rather do a loan forgiveness strategy and if you refinance, you can't do a loan forgiveness strategy anymore because private loans don't qualify for loan forgiveness strategies anymore. So just different situations will dictate. Does it make sense? And then sometimes the refinance rates are just not that good. So it just doesn't matter. Yeah, exactly. It's like stay there and just chip away at your loans. And I'll give you one more example, Karen. When you refinance, you also consolidate your loans. What that means is you merge your loans into one big, big, big loan.
Karen Litzy: 08:37 Got it. So for instance, if you took a loan from a bank or a federal loan or whatever, when you refinance did, so let's say you have a federal loan, does that federal loan is no longer a federal loan, it becomes a private loan.
Joe Reinke: 08:54 That is correct. And instead of having like 10 you might only have one big, big, big loan. So sometimes what happens, you have to understand how federal loans work though too. Like I said earlier, you have 10 to 20 loans, so every time you pay off one of those loans, your required payment actually drops. With the refinance loan, it won't drop because you have one monster loan, you never pay it off until the whole balance is zero. So sometimes people come to us and say, look, what am I goals is to buy a house in five years? And so if that's the case, we might turn around and say, okay, we'll stick in your federal loan. Because if you keep making prepayments and you pay these specific loans off, your required payment would go from $1,000 down to like $500 when you want to buy your house.
Joe Reinke: 09:37 Why is that a big deal? They use the required payment in the ratios for qualifying for a mortgage. So a lower lower required payment on your student loans, the easier it is to qualify for a mortgage. So that's some of the analysis that we would do to say, okay, well how much does a refi actually save you versus are you better off just trying to drop your monthly payment over time so you can qualify for your number one goal buying a house? And so that's what I meant earlier when I said these things. It is more than just the student loan strategy.
Karen Litzy: You've got to look at how does this thing play a role in the bigger overarching strategy, right? Because oftentimes I would think the student loan debt isn't the only debt. So can you explain how maybe you have to work around other debt as well and how to navigate all of that?
Joe Reinke: 10:27 Yeah. And I'll give you an example. We just did a poll and we also took some of the data from our members as well. And it was something like 68% have more than one form of debt. So that could be cars, mortgages, credit cards. And again, another example, I just talked to somebody today, and actually we get this probably four or five times a week where somebody calls us to talk about their student loan debt and we noticed that they have credit card debt. Okay. And we're like, look, you want to do this strategically with your student loans to drop your required payment as low as you can and focus on paying off your credit card debt. And it's like, I didn't even think about that. It's like, yeah, credit card debt, socks, get all of that stuff like as fast as you can and use the flexibility of refrigerator loans.
Joe Reinke: 11:10 That's another reason why you might not run a refinance is because the federal loans are more flexible. There's more options of what you can do. So if you have other debt, it may be allow you to pay that off faster. And that's why sometimes people go into the student loan forgiveness plans also in the short run is the drop that lower payment focus on something else and then go back to their student loan strategy and say, okay, now I'm going to go focus on that. What do I need to do to focus on my student loans now.
Karen Litzy: Got it. So it's all part of a bigger plan. So let's talk about quickly the student loan forgiveness because that's been in the news lately. I feel like there's been rumblings of that. It may not exist anymore, Betsy Devoss may cut it or what's the story?
Joe Reinke: 11:51 Yeah, so there's actually two different forms of forgiveness. Okay. And this is where people get confused. The actual repayment plan you're on is called an income driven repayment plan. And the government also says that these are things our student loan forgiveness plans. Long story short on these plans, your payment is based as a percentage of your income. And the payments really low is like 300 $400 a month. But for most of us, that means that we're not paying the interest that's being charged on loans, which means the balance of your loan Rose. And that actually will happen for about 20 or 25 years. And then under normal loan forgiveness at that 20 year Mark or your loans are forgiven, but you have to claim it as income and pay taxes on it.
Joe Reinke: 12:44 So your balance of what you owe will grow because they just add the interest of your balance, just like in your differing interests cause you're not making payments. Happens in these plans. Okay. So then you worked for 10 years or 20 years or whatever, and then your loan is forgiven. So in these plans loan forgiveness, they last for 20 or 25 years. Department of education forgives them. Okay. However, in this country, it doesn't matter what type of loan it is, it can be an auto loan, a mortgage, student loan. If it's forgiven, you have to claim that as income. Yeah, so like let's just use that example. $144,000 is the average person on our platform. If, you're single for those full 20 years, just working, whatever it is, your loan balance might grow, does being worth $200,000 in 20 years?
Joe Reinke: 13:44 So at that 20th year, the $200,000 is wiped out. You don't have to pay it anymore. But you have to claim that $200,000 as income, which means your ordinary income that you made that year. It's just here it is. You got to pay it. And so the goal on these plans is like the complete opposite. You're not trying to pay it off as fast as you can. You're trying to save for that tax liability as fast as you can. Cause like what we always tell people the number one risk on those plans, you don't know what the tax rate is going to be. That's right. It could be 35% it could be 80% it could be 60% now you also factor in like we just moved from California, so if you had $200,000 plus you made 120 grand because you're, you know, 20 years in as a PT in California and federal taxes, you're going to be in a 35 and 40% federal tax bracket. As of right now, plus a 12% tax bracket in California doubled on top of that. You should definitely move to Texas.
Joe Reinke: 14:50 But that's a big thing there. So that's normal loan forgiveness. Now there's another form of loan forgiveness. And this is the part that's been dominating the headlines where if you're on one of these plans, but you work for a nonprofit hospital, a hospital, it could be a full time teaching job. I mean you can say I don't even want to be a PT, OT, whatever anymore and I want to go work at Goodwill full time. I mean it just has to be at a nonprofit full time. And if you're on one of these plans working full time and you make 120 payments, your loans are forgiven in 10 years cause that's 120 payments and you owe nothing in taxes. Okay. And so those have been dominating the news recently because there's been 110,000 people that applied and only about a thousand people have gotten it actually approved.
Joe Reinke: 15:40 And people are like, Oh well that's less than 1% so that's like the big headline. You know, Loan forgiveness is failing. But when you actually dig into the numbers, over 90% of the people that have applied for that, it should never have even applied. Meaning, they don't even work in a nonprofit or they do work at a nonprofit, but they haven't worked for 10 years. Mmm. So they're finding the people for forgiveness and that they shouldn't even been filing it yet. And so that's where the news kind of distorts that stuff. But then at the same time, you have that percentage, two, three, 4% that is told the wrong thing by fed loan servicing. That's the company that, that does this. They're told the wrong monthly payments. They're told that their payments are qualifying even though they're not there. We're told that their employment qualified even though it's not.
Joe Reinke: 16:26 And so that's where the mass confusion comes in on that. I'm actually shameless plug. We just rolled out a new technology that actually tracks all that for you to make sure if you're on public service loan forgiveness, you're actually doing everything you need to do to get it forgiven. And we rolled that out. We rolled that out specifically because of all the headline news of all this stuff. People getting this stuff forgiven. They have nowhere to go to get the answer. So it's like well we can build this pretty easily. And it took us about three months to ramp it up and build it and it's like here it is and we're actually going to release that. We just got done testing it. It's going to be out in about a week or two. So yeah I'm excited about, it's given me a lot of gray hairs and a lot of sleep aside. I'm excited for it.
Karen Litzy: 17:07 Well I mean that's such a gift though. That's such a gift for people because there are a lot of physical therapists who work in hospital systems that would be considered nonprofits and so if they can just sign up for that and have something else, keep track of it for you. Like automation is so much easier in our lives. So this is a way to kind of automate your student loan forgiveness programs so that you don't have to keep track cause we've got a million other things that you have to keep track on. Because like you said before, you've got student loan debt, but then you may have credit card debt, you may have mortgage debt or you have a car loan. And so there's so much that kind of goes into this puzzle. I mean to say I did not realize that it was so, all this is so complicated because I graduated like in the stone age, you know, so I didn't really have all, I didn't have $144,000 in loans.
Joe Reinke: 18:01 Yeah, I mean it's amazing. And, that's why the big thing that I'm excited about. So like the average person that's gotten their loans forgiven so far has basically saved $62,000 okay. That's a lot. We're rolling this plan out for $5 a month and when we roll it out for the full 10 years, we're just charging a one lump sum fee of $300 if you just want us to track it for all 10 years. And it's like, you know, and we did that cause it's like guys, yeah cause somebody has, some of the people that signed up to beta test it for us. They're like dude we pay like a thousand dollars a year for this. I'm like no, no, no, no, no, no. Like the technology doesn't cost us that much to run like this stuff needs to be out there because again it plays a role in a bigger picture and fast forward, we haven't really disclaim this to very many people cause I don't know when it's going to actually roll out but it's supposed to come out next year.
Joe Reinke: 18:50 Like you said, all this stuff plays a role in the bigger picture. We're developing a technology where instead of just tracking the student loans, we track everything. Like, we help you set up the plan and as your 401k your retirement, your budget, your student loan plan, everything. And so to me, like when we say, Hey look, we're only charging, you know, $5 a month for this thing, it's making sure that it works. So when we roll out that bigger plan, it's like we got this piece checked off. We don't have to worry about it anymore. Cause again, I bring up those gray hairs. It gives me something else to worry about.
Karen Litzy: 19:25 There's always something else to worry about. So just one little part of it. So now, so let's talk about something that you had mentioned before we went on the air and it's, people don't really understand money.
Karen Litzy: 19:42 Tell me why you said that and tell me what people can do to better understand it. And on that note, we're going to take a quick break to hear from our sponsor and be right back.
Karen Litzy: 19:57 This episode is brought to you by Optima, a net health company. Optima therapy for outpatient is a software solution enabling therapists and staff to do their jobs efficiently and accurately. Their software provides anytime, anywhere access to documentation, even while disconnected and workflows that streamline patient care and save valuable time. You can check out, optimize new on demand video to learn what's in store for outpatient therapy practices in 2020 with some of the biggest industry trends along with tips and best practices to successfully navigate these changes. Learn about these trends for the new year at go OptimaHCs.com/healthywealthy2020
Joe Reinke: 20:36 Yeah, so we have this big thing that like if you watch our courses that we released or go on the new website that we just released, we talk about our method and it's understand, plan, implement those like the big three things. You've got to understand, you've got to have a plan, you've got to have a way to implement that plan. And there's been a lot of chatter because it's political season and we've seen all the stuff about, Oh, this politician is gonna forgive X amount of student loan debt. And then another politician wants to one up and then say, well we're gonna forgive X amount and another politician wants to one up them and say we're going to forgive everything. And so it's like, well, you know, went up in each other to see who can get the most votes for this. And you know, I get the question all the time is what do you think about these policies?
Joe Reinke: 21:18 And I just turn around and say to people, it doesn't really matter because they're missing the root of the problem. You can forgive all the student loan debt. But like I brought this statistic earlier, over 60% of the people on our platform have more than one form of debt is not just doing loan debt. And it's not like these things like money problems didn't exist before. Student loan debt. I mean just before this we had the mortgage crisis. Okay. Like before that we had savings crisis. We still have people savings crisis, like retirement savings. I mean we talked about baby boomers and stuff like baby boomers. Like it's something that I saw a report the other day that 65% of them don't have enough to last like more than five years.
Karen Litzy: 21:58 Yeah. And they don't have student loans. And then isn't it true that the majority of Americans don't even have like a retirement plan or don't have that savings?
Joe Reinke: 22:12 They don't have anything and that they're dependent on social security, which the social security was never meant to be a retirement plan. It's supposed to be a supplement to retirement. But for a lot of retirement age individuals, that is their retirement. And I'll give you even more. I discussed the statistic I was about to write an article about this. Is something like 43%. It's somewhere in the forties, I want to say the low forties. I've got to look at the article again. It's in the low forties, that the super, that percentage of people in this country don't have enough money in their bank account to cover a $400 expense. Okay. So when we sit there and we talk about, Oh, well, you know, if we just forgave student loans, the problems of the world would be over.
Joe Reinke: 23:03 And it's like, well, no, no, no, no. You know, like, I give this example in a workshop all the time. I used to work a lot with athletes and statistically 60, the 70% go bankrupt within three years of being out of league that's in the NBA and NFL. Well, in those three years that they work and play football or basketball, they will make more money than the average American makes their entire working life span. Yep. They go bankrupt. Within three years, they had the complete opposite problem. They had all the money in the world and they still went bankrupt. So it goes back to that fundamental root of not understanding. And that's actually one of the reasons why, like we used to do, or actually we still, I shouldn't say used to, we do workshops. Oh, it's the last time I came on the podcast, like it was, I don't think we had any workshops before that.
Joe Reinke: 23:55 And then we started doing them. I've done over 120 workshops at different DPT programs and conclaves different conferences. And that was one of the big things that like, everyone's like, we love his workshops. Well, where can we learn more? And it's like, how, how do you explain this? Understand, plan implementing? And I couldn't find anything. So I was like, well, we're just gonna roll out our own courses. So we rolled those out about two months ago kind of in a soft launch type of beta test. And the feedback that we've gotten off of them is fantastic. So that's like our new thing that we just rolled out was the courses. The next new thing is that that public service loan forgiveness solution and the next year is like the big solution that we're coming out with. So it's exciting. But yeah, those courses, it's fun to see people taking them and being like, Oh my God, like this stuff is, makes so much more sense now. And it's, it's actually simple. That's my big thing. Keep it simple. Don't make it complicated. So, that's the bigger thing when I see the student loan forgiveness hype and all these political things, like it doesn't matter what happens there. You got to get that understanding. You've got to develop your plan, you've got a whole way, have a way to implement it.
Karen Litzy: 25:02 Yeah. And just so if people want to learn more about it, if you go to the fitbux website, it's under monies.
Joe Reinke: 25:10 Yeah. That is cool. Yup.
Karen Litzy: 25:13 What would you say in your opinion and in your work with people, what are maybe one or two fundamental misunderstandings about money that people have?
Joe Reinke: 25:18 I don't even know. No, I will narrow it down. This is one of the big things and this how we start off our workshops now when we start explaining some of this stuff. So, you know, and this is about a minute or two explanation on this, but then when I was back in wealth management, I would ask people what are your goals? And I started bucking those into three main groups. They would basically say my family goals, I have my work goal and then financial security. And what I mean by like family is like, okay, I want to do this. I wanna be able to buy a house because I want to provide for my family, my daughter, whatever it is. My work, my work, I want to have my work, have a meaning on life and an impact.
Joe Reinke: 26:07 People like I joke around with all the time. No, none of you went to school because you couldn't wait to have student loan debt. You went to school because you wanted to help people. That's what I mean by career goals or life goals. And then the third one was financial security. And when I started asking people, yeah, rank these, it was always in that order, family, their work and then financial security. But when I would ask him, where do you spend the most of your time? They'd be like, well, I spend about 90% of my time on financial security. I'm like, well, that doesn't make any sense. That's like your third goal. Like that. And then I would ask them, here's like, when you say a misconception, I would say, what is financial security? And they kept telling me a lot of money and I'm like, wait, wait a second.
Joe Reinke: 26:47 I just gave you that example of NBA players and NFL players. Lottery winners are the same statistics. They all go bankrupt. They have all the money in the world and they can't manage it. I used to manage people money that had millions and they were financial train wrecks. I know guys on wall street that were making million dollar bonuses every year that are financial train wrecks, so that can't be the case. So then I started looking at it and saying, well, what is it? And that's where we came up with the understand plan implements. Like those things is you've got to have a simple understanding. I mean I give examples of people that I know that are, have been barbers for 40 years. I mean they have no college education, they have none of this stuff and they live in San Jose, California, the most expensive place in the country.
Joe Reinke: 27:30 And they’re millionaires, like they had an understanding, a simple understanding of money. They had a simple plan, you know, and I joke around all the time about my dad. Like when I was 22 years old, like I come home from college thinking I'm like this big investment guru guy, right? Cause I'm a 22 year old punk kid and I'm just like, Oh I'm going to tell my dad. I'm like dad, you know, his strategy was always just, you know, he started a business when he's 18. Yesterday, he started, he bought it from my grandma and you're just put money in the bank and they would buy a piece of property and that's all he did. He never did the stock market anything. I'm like, dad, dad, dad, check this out. Like, if you would have done it, you know, in the stock market it would've been worth like $10 million.
Joe Reinke: 28:09 And he's just like, I don't give a shit. Like I don't know anything about the stock market. All right. That was his plan. It was simple and it works for him. Great. And then you had a simple way of implementing it. That was a thing that really lacked Mmm. Is everybody that I knew that had an understanding it and had a simple plan, it would taking them hours to implement it because it would have to do their own Excel sheets or they had these files all over the place. I've got gotta do it all by hand, but they did that. But those are the three big things. And so actually that's why people always ask like what's the technology behind FITbux and why do we do this stuff for free? Like why do we actually have people call us? And if we walk through their plan for free because we say the understanding and part is free and then the technology that we're building, especially for next year is going to be the part that helps them implement it. So they have to spend hours and 90% of their time doing that and they can spend that time doing something else. You asked about the biggest misconception that is the biggest misconception is what is financial security? It's not having a lot of money. It's those three things. Understanding, planning and implementing.
Karen Litzy: 29:13 And if someone, let's say someone were like me, so I don't have any student loan debt or credit card debt or any debt really. So if I wanted to use this technology, like does it apply to someone like me who's like, well, I don't have any debt, but I definitely want to try and buy an apartment in New York city, which we know is like not cheap. I mean, in all seriousness, to buy an apartment in New York city to get a decent apartment is $650,000. Yeah. And that's a lot of money. If I want to get an apartment with two bedrooms, it's like over a million dollars.
Joe Reinke: 29:43 Yeah. I was going to sell our apartment in San Jose and they got appraised that $900,000. And instead I was like, I'm just going to rent it and it's like $3,000. And then like I tell people, so I moved to Texas cause really I wanted to have a backyard for my daughter. And we bought like, it's like 0.3 acres and it's almost a 4,000 square foot house. It was a way too ridiculous. Like I don't use half the house and it's just ridiculous. And it was like 300 grand but yeah they like the technology but really on the next year.
Joe Reinke: 30:37 Yeah, definitely for people like you, it's actually for anything, and this is why so many people, we talk about the student loan stuff, but we already have a piece of the technology out to help people plan. And this actually leads to like the number two misconception that I would have to say when we sit down and people talk about budgeting. They used to always come to me and they still come to me and say, Hey Joe, I spend like $1,200 a month on my student loans. Is that a lot? And it's like I have no idea. Right? Because $1,200 for one person might be nothing for somebody else. Okay. And so what that means is when it comes to money, absolute numbers mean absolutely nothing. It all has to be relative. And the way we do that as percentages, so like when people sit down and look at their budget, they always look at absolute numbers.
Joe Reinke: 31:23 So if you go onto these budgeting apps and all this stuff, it's all absolute numbers and it's like, Oh well I'm going to cut, stop drinking coffee, you know, and boil and make my own coffee. It's like, great, you save $2 you know, a day or $50 a month. Like that might be 0.04% of your budget, but you don't want to learn something about retirement savings and taxes. I can save you like 10% like learn the learn. And so when you start looking at percentages, you start seeing where you should focus your time on. And so that's number one thing. But the number two thing would that allows you to do is then we could sit there and say, look we break this down very easily here, right? So we say the first formula is income minus expenses equals discretionary income. With that discretionary income, you can then do two basic things.
Joe Reinke: 32:09 You can either build assets or pay off debt and before you even decide what to do with that, we can upload it and say, okay, on average, a new grad PT for example, can take 30% of their gross income and put it to those two groups, assets or debt. You just got to figure out how you want to do that. And so if you have no student loan debt like yourself, Karen, you'd be like, okay, well can I do 30% can I do 35% can I do 40% once you figured that out, then it's, well, now what do I do? Do I do my 401K you know, do I have self-employed income? So can I do a SEP IRA? What about a Roth IRA? What about HSA? What about just brokerage accounts? Oh, well I also want to say for a down payment for the apartment, what do I need to start saving for that?
Joe Reinke: 32:50 What do I prioritize first? And then that, so that's the part that we'll have the technology that we have built now what we're building for next year is where we can say once you say, okay, this percentage is going here, this percentage is going here, this percentage is going here, implement link all your accounts into the profile. And they would automatically track to make sure you're moving those percentages and that you're doing it correctly. And so yeah, right now we only help anybody with student loans. And then we track the student loan strategy to make sure they're doing it the efficient way. And then next year we're going to roll out the bigger piece of the technology. And that was part of the preview with the courses is the courses talk about all that stuff. And that was like the first phase of what we're launching for next year.
Joe Reinke: 33:35 We just got the courses down early and we're like, let's get 'em out. Like people are asking for them. So happy to get those out. But yeah, next year if you want to sit down and talk, let me know.
Karen Litzy: I think I might have, I'm thinking about a lot here. So is there anything else that we didn't cover that you're like, Oh, I definitely want to talk about this. I wanted to get this in.
Joe Reinke: Like we've talked about the percentages. The reason why I'm so adamant on that is because then it makes life easy. And what I mean by that is if you say, look, I know 5% is going here, 10% is going to here, percent going there.
Joe Reinke: 34:21 Well guess what? You get a raise every year, so all you have to do is calculate and say, okay, well no, I just have to increase how much I'm going into those, those different areas. It's automatic discipline. You don't have to think about it anymore. And not only that, but like if you get a bonus or a commission or a tax return. Yeah, you already know the percentages. Take this here, take this here, take this here, put it here, the rest I can go use on vacation. Hell have fun with it and you don't have to think about it anymore. Instead, I see a lot of people being like, Joe, I just got this $5,000 bonus. Like I'm stressing about, do I put it in my investments? Do I pay off my student loan debt? It's like, well, if he's had those percentages that you don't have to think about anymore, you already know what you're doing with it.
Joe Reinke: 35:00 So that's, you know, one more like they played it was one last thing to add. That's one of the big things is those percentages I strongly recommended. It doesn't matter who you are, where you're at, if you have student loan debt or not. If you're saving for a wedding, saving for college, saving for you know, kids. By the way, if you do have kids and you're saving for college for them, don't do it. Save for your retirement first please. They can fund college other ways. But make sure you fund your own retirement first before you can fund your kids. That's one of the biggest mistakes I see parents make. They want to fund their, call it kids' college education and their retirement is lacking. It's like no on your retirement first on their stuff later. So those are the big takeaways.
Karen Litzy: 35:42 Awesome. I mean, such good information. I really appreciate all of this. And now this question I been asking everyone lately who come on the podcast and it's given where you are now with your life, your business, what advice would you give to yourself as that 22 year old punk going home to his dad more than he does?
Joe Reinke: 36:03 I wish I would draw my ego level way before. That was, I was an athlete at that time too. So you get once, yeah, once you stopped playing sports and reality starts hitting then and all of a sudden it's like Mmm, well not on this pedestal anymore. You get shot down a little bit. But no, actually at that time for me, my big thing was I grew up around, you know, the rule of finance because that's what my degree was and everything. I was around wall street guys.
Joe Reinke: 36:41 I had a plan for money coming out of school, but it was simply just to make a lot of money. And you quickly find out that if your motivation is money, you're going to end up burning out. It doesn't matter what you do. If that could be going to take a certain PT job simply because it pays more because you need to pay off student loans. So I guarantee you, you didn't go to school for student loans. You went to school to be a PT. So if you're going for income and that's your only reason you're going to burn out. Okay. And like I said earlier, I've seen guys making half a million dollar bonuses on wall street that don't even work in finance anymore because they're so burned out off of it. And it took me a long time to realize that you're not money that shouldn’t motivate you.
Joe Reinke: 37:28 It's whatever you're trying to accomplish, that it'd be building a technology that'd be treating patients. And if all you do is strive to be the best at building that, that certain thing or focusing on those first two goals, I talked about your family and your work and you're really focusing on those, that the monetary side will take care of itself in the long run. Like stuff will happen and take care of itself if that's what your main focus is. And like, I mean, fitbux is the living proof of that. I've said it from day one to our investors and everything. Don't ask me about revenue. Don't ask me about shiny objects. Like we talk about business owners all the time. It's one of the hardest things to do because you see so many opportunities out there. You're like, Oh, if I just do that, just a little shiny object, it's going to make me a couple extra thousand dollars, but it's going to be a distraction.
Joe Reinke: 38:18 It is not part of your main thing. Now you're chasing money instead of being focused on why you are doing what you're doing. And so that was one of the big things that I had to learn was, you know, it's not about making a million dollars or $5 million or $10 million. It's focusing on what you love doing and the recipe, it will come true. I mean like Karen and you're, you're a perfect example of that. You love doing the podcast, you love getting out there doing that stuff and helping people and guess what you've been successful at doing it. You've been successful as your PT career, all that stuff falls in line. If you're focusing on the right things and money's not the right thing to focus on is the bigger picture. What does money actually represent to you? What does it mean to you? Why do you want it? Because you can have all the money in the world. Do you want it to do something? Focus on that. Do something first and then the money will come from that because you're going to be the best at what you do.
Karen Litzy: 39:10 Great advice. I love it. And now where can people find more information about you? Contact you find more about Fitbux.
Joe Reinke: 39:20 https://www.fitbux.com/ As the website. As you said with the courses, it's just underneath money school. If you drop down the header underneath solutions, there'll be money school on there. That talks about our courses. If you want to come on and, you already know for example, that you want to do the student loan forgiveness strategy and you just want to sign up for our $5 a month tracking solution. You just go into solutions and sign up. We have a payoff strategy. We also had the loan forgiveness strategy. If you want to go in and use our refinance service, it's free. All you got to do is build your profile and schedule a call. We'll walk through making sure that refinancing is right for you and then go shop nine lenders. And if you have no idea what you're doing
Joe Reinke: 39:59 And don't feel ashamed, about 70% of the people that come on our platform don't have a clue where to even start. And that's statistically true cause we asked them have you looked at anything? And they say, I have no idea. And so we, that's all free too. We'll have you come on, you build your profile, we go through the payoff options, we go through the loan forgiveness options. And then depending on which one you feel more comfortable with, we'd go deeper and deeper into how to actually implement that strategy. I mean that's all free too. You just go to the website and click join now and sign up, schedule a call and we'll be talking soon.
Karen Litzy: 40:30 Perfect. And just so if people aren't familiar, it's fitbux.com. So Joe, thank you so much for coming on. This was great info. I learned, I learned a lot. So thank you so much. Glad that we can teach and it's always fun and hopefully we'll see you at another conference or conclave or something soon and I'm sure talk more. And everyone, thanks so much for listening. Have a great, great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.