Recently I started poking my nose into various physician financial facebook groups. I try to stay away from these things because they tend to put me in a bad mood. But facebook alerts make them constantly pop up on my phone and my brain reacts instinctually for its dopamine hit.
When I do poke around in these groups, I’m often left a little bit nauseous. It’s not just because I have a fundamentally different investing paradigm than most people. I am pretty immune to hearing people wax poetic about outdated conventional financial wisdom regurgitated by various mindless pundits. What really bothers me is the attitudes people have in these groups.
The over-all flavor of conversation in these forums can be best described by the word scarcity. I’m not talking about the young doctors who are broke and buried in debt. They actually do have limited resources.
No…I’m talking about the know-it-all followers of various influencers in the space. There is a certain language that has now become pervasive amongst them that I simply cannot stand.
There is a lot of talk about “living like a resident”. For you non-physicians out there, this means living like you make $50,000 per year or less. The idea is that you should live like a hermit so you can get to that magic number, dictated by the “4 percent rule”, sooner rather than later.
On top of that, there are often discussions on how little money you actually need to retire. I recall one well known blogger saying you only need about 25 percent of what you make today.
All of this is predicated on some strange machismo related to how sparse one can (and should) live. In fact, I see people making negative comments about physicians who elect to drive nice cars deriding them as financially irresponsible. How dare you drive a Tesla!
Now I know I am a personal finance podcaster not a self-help guy necessarily, but I do have to say that attitude goes a long way. I can honestly say that I don’t have a scarcity-type bone in my body. I attribute this attitude of abundance to the financial success that I have had personally.
To me, the wealth available to you and to me is limitless. Don’t spend all your time trying to live like a peasant. Instead, focus on expanding your means and letting your lifestyle expand with it.
Life is short. Isn’t it depressing to think that your sole purpose in life is to save enough money not to outlive it? That’s essentially what “live like a resident” means.
Now if you are one of the devotes of the aforementioned movement, no need to reply to me with a cynical remark. I get plenty of those in the forums and that’s why I try to keep my hand off the keyboard.
The good news for me is that my listeners tend to be people who truly believe in abundance and it is a pleasure to speak to people who have an open mind. It is no coincidence, I should add, that these are the wealthiest physicians and dentists that I know!
People with abundance mentality are fun to talk to and that’s why I do this podcast. It’s even more fun in a question/answer format like we will do in this week’s Wealth Formula Podcast. Tune in for Part 2 of Ask Buck!