How To Navigate New Practice, New House, New Job, New Location with Daniel Wrenne

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In this episode of Finance for Physicians, Daniel Wrenne dives into a common question many new clients face as they transition into practice or a new stage of life. Whether it’s a higher income, starting a family, or moving to a new location, the overwhelming nature of change can leave you wondering, “Where do I even start?”

Daniel addresses the following:
– The importance of not rushing decisions and being cautious, especially with significant choices.
– Recognizing common temptations and pressures, such as earning more money, buying a forever home, or succumbing to lifestyle inflation.
– Exploring the conflict between saving for retirement, education, paying off debts, and other financial priorities.

Join Daniel Wrenne as he unpacks the common scenario of physicians facing a barrage of decisions during significant life changes. By focusing on values and priorities, you can navigate these transitions with wisdom and create a life that truly resonates with your aspirations.

Don’t miss out on this insightful episode! Tune in now to gain valuable perspectives on making financial decisions that lead to a fulfilling life.
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Full Episode Transcript:

 Daniel: Hey guys. Hope your day’s going well. I’ve been talking about some, uh, common questions that come up with new clients that we’re working with or perspective clients. And I wanted to cover another one of those that comes up all the time today. I’m sure maybe you’ve had similar sorts of questions yourself, or maybe you’re thinking about it right now.

and so the question is like the gist of the question is I’m transitioning into practice or maybe even like. A new stage of life. It could be a variation of this, but most often it’s like, I’m transitioning into practice and I’ve got like a new job. I got a much higher income. I’ve got, maybe I’ve even just started a family.

I’ve gotten married or maybe I have new baby, new kid. new house, maybe new coworkers, new location in the country. Like it’s like new, everything, everything’s new incomes, much higher. and I have, I don’t even know where to start. It’s like. I’m about to get paid a lot more. I know I have a lot of catching up to do.

I know I’ve been in school a really long time. and I know I got a lot of catching up to do on, like living, not just, of course, there’s maybe the debt too. It’s like, I know I got to catch up on paying off debt. I know I got to catch up on saving for my future, but I also need to catch up on like living life because I’ve been kind of living at a modest lifestyle for a little long time, like living like a resident.

So that’s a really common scenario that comes up. It’s like, I got all this new stuff. I got all kinds of, new potential choices. I’ve got new income. I’ve got much higher income. how do I start to, sort through all this and make decisions? So that comes up all the time. It’s a lot of stuff and it can be overwhelming.

So I’m going to talk through, Kind of how I would think through that situation. So, first of all, it’s worthwhile to recognize, like, that is a lot of stuff. Like, it’s, it’s going to be difficult to, get all of it right. Like, you, I mean, it’s just, you want to be careful not to get into, like, create all this pressure on yourself to make all these decisions in a short period of time.

So, take it easy on yourself. Like, don’t, put too, too much pressure on yourself To like force feed all those decisions in the short period of time. ’cause a lot of, a lot of you guys are like transitioning in a, in a relatively short window of time. It’s like I finished training, in June and I start my job in July 15th or something.

I mean, or August 1st, or even like a few days after. So there’s not much of a window between the two and that’s. It’s like impossible to make all those sorts of decisions in a short period of time. and you’re way more prone to making terrible decisions. So take it easy on yourself. Like don’t force feed decisions, be cautious with decisions.

A lot of these decisions are big decisions. So a lot of the biggest mistakes happen in this phase of time. So be cautious with it, especially with big decisions. It’s okay to like. Not do, you know, all the things it’s okay to only do a few things. So aside from that, It’s also a period of time, there’s lots of temptations that you’ll be feeling.

And I’m sure a lot of them make sense to you all. It’s like, you got these temptations to, take on as much work as possible, like make as much money as possible. Maybe you’re tempted to take highest paying contract. like basically like it’s time to earn money.

Like I need to earn money as much as I can. That’s a temptation. buying a forever home is a temptation. Like I’m finally making the money. Like I’ve been living in a small house. I got a family or I’m starting a family. Like I need to go ahead and get my forever home. A lot of times that’s expensive.

there’s temptation to buy cars. Maybe you’ve been driving an old crappy car for a while and you’re like, it’s time to get a new one, or maybe even like things like. a nanny or a private school or the country club. those are common temptations. They’re not bad necessarily in themselves, but they are very, tempting and can kind of take focus.

away from some other things, there’s also the temptation or the pressure even like to save for retirement and education, pay off debts. and so, and those all kind of conflict with each other. It’s like, well, which one of those do I do first? It’s like, I got to save for retirement. I got to be doing education for my kids.

I got to be in the biggest house. like my forever home. Now I got to do the cars now and the big, you know, so, and then I need to, and it all kind of ties in with the earning money at work. I, in order to do all that, I also have to make as much money as possible. And it’s a lot of pressure.

There’s a lot of temptation to try to do all of it. And, that’s a recipe for disaster really at the end of the day. if you give in, you know, depending on how much you give into those temptations, because those things, so all the things I just listed, they basically like they’ll eat up all your time, your money, your attention.

Like it’s all gonna eat it all up fast. Like, and it’ll be way faster than you expect. I’ve heard so many people describe like, you know, after being in practice for several years, you’re like, man, my income like 10 X and I, I don’t even know where it all went. Like it feels like I don’t have any leftover.

So that’s a common situation. and it, it’s most common when you kind of get your priorities out of order and let all these temptations kind of. That you open the floodgates. You, you know, you just say, start saying yes to all these things. And ultimately you feel unfulfilled. You’re like, all the hard work for?

Like I thought, so like you bought the forever home, you got, you know, you got a really high income, you’re doing all the things, you know, you’re super successful. On the surface, save your, maybe you’re even saving enough for retirement and education and all the things. but like you still don’t feel like you’re fulfilled.

it’s like, you thought there was probably more to it than this. And, you’re wondering like, well, what’s missing. So what I’ve just described, I’m going to circle back to the question what I’ve just described is a super common situation. Like all of us kind of have, tastes of it. Some of us have a lot of that happened in our lives.

but what’s missing and going back to the question, like, where do I start? I got all these new things. I got all this new stuff happening. I got a lot of decisions to make. what’s missing in what I described so far. And, and what’s also most important is to take a second before you start making all those moves and ask some really important questions to yourself.

And so the number one is like, who do I want to become? what’s most important, like does an ideal life look like? Like what does fulfillment look like? For me or my family, like what is the ideal life look like paint the picture? I think that’s a good exercise like right you could write it down Like that’s what you know when i’m doing goal setting which i’ll go i’m gonna go through my goal setting uh exercise next time because it’s that time of year, but when i’m doing goal setting I’ll kind of paint the picture of what the ideal future looks like and work back from there.

So, so what happens is if you take the time to do that, typically people are going to say something like my family is most important, or like, I want to be a good person, or I want to have solid relationships, or, you know, I want to be remembered for the impact I had, right? Like, those are common things that come up.

And I would consider them like values. So that’s like values or what’s most important. and those are far more important than all the temptations and pressures. I described it at the beginning of this, because those, things, like they don’t like buy you fulfillment. And like, they’re just kind of like, I mean, they’re, they’re okay.

They’re like good things to do, but when they’re the focus. they can actually take away all the joy in life. if you look at people that are miserable when they’re old, a lot of times, it’s just because they have, kind of lost sight of what’s most important and, focused on these like cultural pressures.

even just like working really hard, like success at work, is a constant pressure, but like nobody. On their deathbed. It’s like man. I wish i’d worked harder or I wish i’d made more income They’re typically like thinking. Oh, I wish I had spent more time with my family or I wish I had done been more courageous or I wish I had Done more things outside of work.

So I think going through that exercise of saying, okay, stop time out before I make all these decisions. What do I actually, what am I actually building here? Like, who do I want to become? What’s most important to me? what are my values? Basically write those down, like start to iron out what those key priorities are and then make sure all these big decisions line up with that.

So for example, a lot of, I mentioned like a lot of times top consideration or top most important thing on the list of people is their family. So if your family is most important, all the things I listed at the beginning are often taking away. from family. it’s easy to justify that, like making more income or earning as much as possible or working as much as possible is for your family.

But like your family, the thing they need the most is like time and attention. And so that’s going to take away, like the more you work. 80 hours a week, if they have a good family life. I mean, it’s just, it doesn’t work like that. So you have to give your family attention and time.

buying a forever home, like, same sort of thing. can feel like the right thing to do because it’s for your family. But like the problem with the forever home is it locks you down to having to earn more income to, sustain the thing. it’s not that the home itself causes the problem. It’s the cost of the home itself.

same thing with all the other lifestyle expenses. even with retirement, like you can put. and paying off your student loans, I’ve seen a lot of people put like all kinds of pressure on themselves to like, do those things as fast as possible. Like fire, you’ve probably heard of like the fire movement, uh, financial independence retire early it’s, or, uh, Let’s pay off my student loans as fast as humanly possible. All those things. you know, the more pressure you put on yourself to do those as fast as possible are going to take away from a lot of times what’s really most important. So I think, you know, in that example, if family is most important, you have to really focus on that first.

It’s like, how do I build in boundaries so that I can make sure I am able to, like, live out my value to have a good family life, first, before I start to make all, all these decisions. so. the job is a big deal, like being careful about how much you are working hours wise. and how much your lifestyle is, is a huge deal because that kind of locks you down to having to do that.

And then, you know, all the other things like saving and education. Compound that even further. So in some cases it’s okay to just, you know, live like a resident. I know white coat investor talks a lot about that. It’s like just living like a resident. that’s a nice approach because it’s like, just.

Keeping things the same. Essentially. It’s like, let’s just keep things the same. I don’t think it’s the best thing to do necessarily just to build wealth in itself because that doesn’t help you either. Like living like a resident and working as much as possible is not good is what I’m trying to say.

But like living like a resident so that you can try to sort through all this stuff and give yourself some time to make all these huge decisions. I think that’s a really wise approach. So that you can space them out a little bit, because it’s a lot of stuff coming at you all at once. And it’s very difficult or maybe impossible to get all those things right in that short period of time.

Okay, so that is the, uh, question I wanted to talk to you today. Hope it’s been helpful and we’ll look forward to, talking through some of these again in a future show.