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Automate Your Way to Rich

wealth Jun 23, 2022

Personal finance is 1000% easier than fitness. You can literally find the motivation one time to set everything up, and then let the process work for you. Turns out, hitting the gym once won’t get you the abs. 

We have 90% of our finances automated. What actually happens is this:

Multiple investments come out before we see our checks. This removes any temptation to spend the money and is one of the best personal finance hacks there is. These include:
- Her Roth 401k
- His traditional 401k
- Solo 401k (for small business owners only, but allows us save taxes on business income)
- His & her HSA *100% of balance is invested
- Dependent care FSA *not an investment, but reduces our income taxes and pays for childcare

After-tax investments are next. These include:
- His & her Roth IRAs
- Taxable brokerage
- Investment real estate
- Kiddo investments *For the full scoop on how to invest for kids, click here

*The Roth IRA always comes before the other...

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Weekend Getaway in Charleston

travel Jun 13, 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.

Within 24 hours of arriving in Charleston I had decided to move there (but then I got on Zillow to look at the cost of housing, and quickly changed my mind). It's incredible. The glistening water and southern charm are incomparable. You feel like you're walking through history, but with the amenities of a modern dining scene and thriving bar life. 

We recently did a long weekend in Charleston, and left planning our next return. If you have three days to spend in the area, I have the perfect suggestions for you. 


After arriving, take a stroll through the French Quarter. Make sure you see the iconic pineapple fountain at Joe Riley Waterfront Park.  The Doc Street Theater hosted the first opera performance in America, and is a great photo backdrop. If you're an art fan, gallery row will keep you enthralled...

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Maui - Airbnb vs Hotel

travel Jun 12, 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've heard Maui described by every person who has ever been as "paradise". I've been a lot of places, so I assumed this was an exaggeration. 

It's not.

Maui is dreamy. The glittering sand, waves crashing over chiseled rocks, swaying palms, and dazzling sun make for the most picturesque vacation. It's also expensive. Accommodations and food are notoriously high. Of course, this is one of the downfalls of being a remote island chain in the Pacific; it costs a lot to get goods to you.  

If you're deciding where to stay on your next Maui vacation, you will be inundated with options. There are seemingly endless hotels and vacation rentals to choose from. Should you opt for a hotel with the large pool, concierge service, and on-site dining? Or what about the quiet, tucked away airbnb with gorgeous views...

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Investing for Kiddos

wealth Jun 03, 2022

If you're considering investing for your kids, check out this video to learn about the options you have in terms of account types.

Investing when your child is young can be extremely powerful, because it allows time to work magic in terms of compounding the money. Let's look at an example. Assuming you invest $3,000 for your child at birth in a custodial Roth IRA (this would assume your infant is doing some baby modeling and has an earned income to report!) and that money is allowed to sit until 65, your child winds up with almost HALF A MILLION dollars of tax free money*! Those numbers assume you never invest again for the child outside of the initial $3,000. Talk about building generational wealth.

Paying for a kiddo to attend college will also require investing - trying to save your way there would be incredibly difficult. If you're not sure how much college is expected to cost in the future, use this free online calculator to help you figure it out. Have a talk with your...

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Stocks or Real Estate?

wealth May 30, 2022

Is it better to invest in stocks or real estate?

This is one of my most common questions, so I thought I would share some pros and cons of each. 

Investing in the traditional stock market is easy. It takes almost no effort and very little up front money. Although some index funds have minimum investments, the ETF equivalent often doesn't. You can start investing with less than $100. If you're investing well and using the right accounts, you can get substantial tax benefits for doing so. Of course, there is always the potential for loss of capital. The market may be down, and stay down, for long periods of time. The longer your investment time horizon for stock market investing, the less likely you are to lose money. In fact, if you hold investments for multiple decades the likelihood of losing money drops to almost zero. 

Real estate has the potential to generate positive cash flow, and thus returns, even when the stock market...

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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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Should I pay off debt or invest?

debt May 27, 2021

I paid off $161,000 in student loan debt in 16 months. I made TREMENDOUS lifestyle sacrifices to achieve that goal, and didn't invest along the way. 

Was that the correct approach? Not necessarily. The answer actually varies for each of us.

Most healthcare professionals are facing this 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 6-7% if in 20s
  • Invest first if your debt is less than 5-6% if in 30s
  • Invest first if your debt is less than 4-5% 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...

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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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