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JAAPA Podcast

lifestyle wealth Apr 30, 2022

If you're a PA or future PA, this is a must listen.

Some new data was recently published on the lifetime financial modeling of an average family practice PA. It's really unique for this type of information to come out specific to the PA profession, as most similar projections have been done based on the physician model. I was a guest on the JAAPA Podcast discussing this exciting publication. 

Does the model apply to you? How does your cost of living affect the projections? What about student loan debt, and funding retirement?

Tune in to the podcast to find out more!


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Should I Buy Whole Life Insurance?

wealth Apr 23, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here.


I recently asked you guys the worst money advice you had ever received, and tons of you said buy whole life insurance.

I shared the response and got a lot of questions.... what in the world is whole life insurance? Why do you say to buy term life insurance?

Let's break it down...

Whole life insurance, indexed universal life insurance, and other similar policies are permanent life insurance. They don't end after a certain number of years, like term life insurance does. The main difference is that these have a built in "cash value" or "investment" that you are creating with your premiums over time. 

Sounds great, right? Not so much.

They also have complex rules and fees. If you want to gain access to the money before a designated number of years, there is a fee for that. There is also a monthly premium fee. And...

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Are You Covered?

wealth Jan 11, 2022

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here


It's not enough just to build wealth, you have to protect it! You may not perceive yourself as having wealth, but if you have money in your checking account, a savings account, retirement account at work, car, house or all of the above - you have wealth! Let's talk about various types of insurance you should be considering to keep yourself protected. 

- If you have anyone who depends on you financially, you NEED life insurance. This can be a spouse, child, etc. Term life insurance (as opposed to whole life, universal life, etc) is inexpensive. We all feel nothing will ever happen to us, but the unfortunate reality is that it's possible. It would be bad enough for your family to lose you prematurely. Don't add insult to injury by leaving them in financial disarray. You should have at least...

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Pay off debt or invest?

debt May 27, 2021

The age old question. How much of your income should be going to debt vs investments. Should it be all or nothing?

The answer depends on a variety of factors, one of which being personal preference. In general, investing should be prioritized above LOW interest debt, particularly if you are young. Here are some suggested cut offs:

  • Invest first if your debt is less than 6% if in 20s
  • Invest first if your debt is less than 5% if in 30s
  • Invest first if your debt is less than 4% if in 40s

Above those cut offs, pay off the debt first!

Why does age matter? With age, your portfolio will have a higher bond allocation and generally low returns. In addition, you want the security that complete debt freedom brings when you move into retirement. 

Here are some examples of how the numbers change on the debt vs invest question when looking at high interest vs low interest debt.


With low interest, high dollar student loan debt, your net worth actually comes out higher if you do a...

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The Secret Drag On Your Investments

wealth Feb 15, 2021

If you're a consistent investor, CONGRATULATIONS. That alone is a major accomplishment!

If you're not sure how to invest, click here for help getting started.

As hard as you are working to save and invest, I'm sure you would want to know if something was draining your investments behind the scenes. 

Well, something is.

It's your investing fees.

Fees come in several forms. The first is related to the investment itself. Each fund you choose has an expense ratio that represents the fund's internal operating expenses. It is represented as a percentage, and can be interpreted as the percentage of your returns that is taken from your account to pay for the fund's fees. 

Not sure what the expense ratio is for the funds you've invested in? Just google the fund's ticker (collection of capital letters representing the fund name). Click the Morningstar link. The expense ratio will pop right up. 

What's a good expense ratio? I prefer <0.10%. Most of my funds are...

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Backdoor Roth IRA

wealth Jan 18, 2021

Roth IRAs are one of the best tax-favored accounts to use for retirement investing. 

You invest "after tax" dollars (meaning your contributions are not tax deductible). The contribution limit for 2022 is $6000, unless you qualify for a catch up contribution. After age 59 and 1/2, all of the funds in the account can be accessed TAX FREE. Yes, you read that right. In addition, Roth IRAs have several other benefits:

  • You can withdraw your contributions (not the growth) at any time.
  • You can make a withdrawal without the 10% penalty before 59 and 1/2 if you use the funds for qualified educational expenses (you will still pay income tax on the earnings portion).
  • You can make a withdrawal of up to $10,000 without any taxes or the 10% penalty before age 59 and 1/2 if you use the funds for a first time home purchase as long as you made the contribution >5 years ago (if it has been less than 5 years, you'll pay income taxes on the distribution).
  • No required minimum distributions in...
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The PA StartUp Podcast with Chris Darst

debt Jan 10, 2021

This episode will definitely inspire you about what is possible for you on your student loan journey!

Listen on YouTube

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The Scrubbed Out Podcast with Kat Bernard

Uncategorized Dec 30, 2020

This fantastic episode is all about paying off student loan debt - tune in!

Listen on YouTube

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Paying for the Holidays

lifestyle Nov 15, 2020

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here

The holidays are a wonderful season full of joy and family, and a WHOLE lot of extra expenses. If you're stressed about paying for all the extras this season, check out these suggestions.

  • Make a list of people you plan to buy gifts for, and set a specific price point per person.

Having an organized game plan before you go shopping helps you stay on track while looking for gifts, and helps you determine a total price point for your budget. DO NOT plan to spend more on gifts than you can afford to spend - racking up credit card debt to buy gifts isn't worth it. 

  • If you realize you can't swing buying gifts this year, make something.

You may look at your budget and your list of people you would like to give a gift to, and realize there is no way to buy traditional gifts and stay on budget. Make something! The...

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3 Ways You're Crushing Your Finances

lifestyle Aug 24, 2020

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I will be compensated at no additional cost to you. For my full disclosure, click here. 

Let's chat about a few of the most common money mistakes out there, and how avoiding them can dramatically improve your financial future. 

1. Not taking advantage of free money
- Depending on which study you look at, somewhere between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 Americans are not taking full advantage of employer matches at work. This is FREE MONEY. You should be contributing at least enough to your employer retirement plan to obtain the free match, no matter what. Don't forget HSA matches as well! HSAs offer triple tax savings as is, so the potential for free money being added to your account just sweetens the deal. Employer matches (if they match dollar for dollar), are literally an automatic 100% return on your investment REGARDLESS of the market. Compound that money over decades, and you have completely changed the...

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