023: Unlocking Financial Stability for Therapists: Top Reasons Therapists struggle with Financial Burnout

June 24, 2024
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Ryan Ryan Derousseau, CFP®, a certified financial planner, specializes in working with therapists and helping them thrive financially. He started working with therapists after realizing the need for financial guidance in the therapy world. Many therapists lack education on running a business and managing their finances, which can lead to financial pitfalls. One common pitfall is not transitioning from being self-employed to owning a business, resulting in a constant struggle to earn income. Ryan emphasizes the importance of creating financial systems and shifting income towards long-term savings and investments. He also highlights the need for therapists to have a clear understanding of their financial goals and to make conscious spending decisions. In this conversation, Ryan and Jen discuss the importance of setting big goals and thinking beyond the traditional mindset of therapists. They also talk about the need for therapists to be more business-minded and assertive in order to succeed. They explore different ways therapists can generate income, such as group sessions, retreats, coaching, and online courses. They also touch on the role of financial planners and the importance of finding a fee-only advisor who acts in the best interest of the client. Ryan shares his joy in being a parent and getting back into playing basketball.


  • Therapists often lack education on running a business and managing their finances, which can lead to financial pitfalls.
  • Transitioning from being self-employed to owning a business is crucial for therapists to create long-term wealth.
  • Creating financial systems and shifting income towards long-term savings and investments is essential for financial security.
  • Therapists need to clearly understand their financial goals and make conscious spending decisions. Set big goals and think beyond the traditional mindset of therapists.
  • Be more business-minded and assertive in order to succeed
  • Explore different ways to generate income, such as group sessions, retreats, coaching, and online courses
  • Find a fee-only financial planner who acts in your best interest
  • Take time for personal joy and hobbies

More from Ryan: https://thinkingcapfinancial.com/incometowealth

More from Jen: Grab my free guide for therapists who are done with 1:1 therapy here!

Links to my free 20-minute consult, and the rest of my free stuff: 


Speaker A: You are listening to the Therapist Burnout podcast, episode number 23. Hello. Today is a little bit different. I have Ryan de Russo, who is a certified financial planner. He specializes in working with therapists and private practice and group practitioners, enabling them to thrive financially so they can focus on clients. And so today is a little bit different. We don’t have, we’re not starting out with a burnout story, but I think you do have a little bit of a minor. Like, why did I get into working with therapists? So I’ll just kick it off to you and talk. Just introduce yourself and share why you started working with therapists, who are a very interesting bunch.

Speaker B: Absolutely. I love it. Thanks for having me on as well. Yeah. How I started working with therapists was like a very roundabout sort of journey. But I used to be a financial writer for many years, and as a financial writer, I always worked for myself. I was self employed. And after sort of, like, not liking the writing world for many, many years, I finally figured out what I wanted to do with my time, which was like, take this knowledge that I was gaining in the financial writing world and help others who are self employed, like, really embrace and enjoy self employment as I was trying to do myself, you know, and a group, as I started switching into, I got my certified financial planning, like documents and stuff like that, get certified and whatnot. A group that I was starting to reach out to, self employed employment folks that I saw a real connection with, a real need and a real interest in sort of the guidance that I could provide for therapists. I also have been seeing the same therapist for a number of years and credit him for what I do now. And so it just became like sort of a very natural connection. And so why I work with.

Speaker A: Did you share with me my finances are a mess?

Speaker B: Well, like, you know, I think we were talking before, like, you know, you mentioned that, like, there weren’t any classes on this, and I always am like, you know, how many therapists in their mas or PhD programs had a class on private practice or running a business? And, you know, the answer is always none. You know, and it’s a shame because such a large percentage of the practice of the therapy world works in that way, and yet they’re not given that side of guidance. They’re obviously given the guidance on sort of practice, but then there’s also the financial side.

Speaker A: Yeah. Yeah. I always wonder why we’re not given that instruction. And I think a lot of therapists, you know, forums and posts, you see a lot of us talk about that that we’re not given this education where that would be provided in like a business major or something of that, of that sense. Yeah. I’m curious about maybe some of the pitfalls that therapists get into financially from your perspective that you see and how we can help ourselves.

Speaker B: Yeah, I’ll speak specifically to private practice owners in this capacity. I mean, it’s true for any therapist, but private practice therapists in particular kind of own some of this. When you start out in private practice therapy, there might be a sense, who knows why some folks get there because they’re kind of forced there. Others are sort of have always, they chose the, they chose the practice partly because they could work for themselves and whatnot. What happens is that first year you’re pretty energized and you’re excited and it’s new and that’s fun. And then maybe that second year you start really seeing the income jump and that’s exciting. But by the second or third year, what you’re realizing is every hour that you earn is an hour spent of your time and it becomes a very sort of, you know, it’s like hamster will syndrome situation where everything is kind of the same and you’re constantly trying to run forward but not really getting ahead. And it’s because you haven’t, what you’ve done is create an income for yourself. You haven’t actually created a business for yourself or taken that income and invested in ways to like grow wealth. And so you’re kind of just stuck in the situation where an hour of your time is an hour of your time and that’s how you earn your money. And there’s no other sort of tactic to get out of it. And so, as you can imagine, and as you talk about a lot, if you’re working with clients and hearing these very tough situations and dealing with these tough situations, taking on that emotionally and physically for your clients, like that’s going to wear you down if you don’t have other ways to be able to take breaks, take vacations, all that sort of stuff.

Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, I think the differentiation of having a practice as a former private practice owner having a private practice versus having a business, I don’t think even in my first few years I said I have a business. Like I said, oh, I have this little private practice on the side. I was a new mother and I’ve shared before in the podcast I’ll share a little bit of my story. So I went into private practice after my first child, who is now ten and thriving by the way. So there’s no need for our nervous system to do a big, you know, jump up and down because he’s fine. But he had heart surgery at day five and I was working at an agency at the time and they would not allow me to come other than full time back to work. So here I was with all these choices, having to make these choices of potentially sending my son to daycare. I didn’t want to do it. I just, you know, I had been through my own trauma, through that experience of kind of going through, you know, major surgery for an infant. And I think out of that, I made the decision not to go back to that job. But then I was stuck with, what are my options? Like, what can I do that’s other than full time to make money as a therapist or I’m a psychologist, so I can do other things like testing and evaluation, which I do now. I think I was stuck with, okay, well, I can work part time and have the flexibility in private practice and make my own schedule and then be there for my child. And I think for a lot of, mostly women who we tend to be in this field, mostly women, we still, I think societally, we have that burden of being the person that is raising the children right and feeling that responsibility to make sure that our kids are okay. And so I went into private practice out of desperation, honestly. And the business side of things were secondary to me just thinking of like, okay, I’m in, I have to figure this out, and I just have to start seeing clients. So my mind was focused on getting clients where I was going to practice. I didn’t even make a business plan. I had really no idea what I was doing business wise. And I talked to some other psychologists to see what they were doing, what fee they’re charging. That sounds good. I kind of vibed out the fee based on, hmm, well, I earned this on postdoc and maybe this feels good for this one. Or taking a bunch of insurance panels, not really thinking about cancellations, the impact to my business on that. So, I mean, that’s, I don’t think I’m alone in the way people start private practice as therapists.

Speaker B: I don’t think so either. You know, I’m sorry you had to go through that to, like, enter this world, but at least your, your child’s doing really, really well now and thriving. So you have that sort of, you know, you know, like, yeah, he’s nearly.

Speaker A: Eleven, so this has been some time too. So it’s not like it’s a recent kind of thing for me.

Speaker B: Yeah, but, you know, often, like, I’ll use the word entrepreneur for therapists and they’ll be like, what? I don’t know if I’m that. You know, like, I don’t. I think they think maybe think, like, like a tech entrepreneur or, you know, some, some brain in Silicon Valley. But, you know, that’s, that’s not what we mean. We just mean sort of a business owner. And, and one thing I’d, you know, want to say is, like, it doesn’t mean, like, when we’re talking about sort of shifting income in a private practice, it doesn’t mean you have to have this, like, huge group practice or anything like that, because some people just genuinely only want to work for themselves. They don’t want the deal, the, like, issues of, you know, having employees and all the stuff that goes along with that. And so that’s totally fine. You know, that’s your personality. But you just need ways to then shift money from, like, the income line to, like, your long term savings or different assets, whether it’s real estate, but ways to grow the wealth outside of your, like, hourly sessions. And by doing so, like, you’ll start feeling a lot more secure in what you’re doing as, quote unquote, business owner because you’re seeing your overall net worth grow. I’ve told a story a few times, but during COVID I was, you know, a writer, and I had my best year ever. Like, it was amazing in terms of just, like, the amount of work that was coming my way because, you know, what were businesses doing? They were trying to respond, and they were just hiring contractors like crazy, right? And so that was great. I was so tired working all the time. It was kind of miserable. The next year, I lost, like, I, 75, 80% of my clientele. And that’s because everyone was getting back to work, going back in office, but my net worth grew, and I was able to take that bad that year where I felt terrible, but was making a lot of money to transition to what I do now. So I was able to invest in ways that are going to, like, empower me moving forward. And even though the income was dropping, it wasn’t like, this scenario that I, like, couldn’t handle or something like that. So creating sort of systems for your own sort of practice is really important for that because, you know, there’s going to be times where, hey, I’m feeling energized. I can see all the clients I can, and there’s going to be times where, like, man, I really just need to step back and take some time for myself. And, you know, you need to create that for yourself when you, you own a private practice.

Speaker A: Mm hmm. Yeah. And I think that should the jump for therapists to, to think about. I need a financial system.

Speaker B: Yeah.

Speaker A: I think they don’t often think about that, and I think that’s for a number of reasons. I think one of those is statistically, most women owned businesses make under $50,000 a year. So if we lump therapists into that, they might be making in that range. And so with that, quote unquote, low pay, they may think, okay, well, what’s left over? What can I even think about investing, given that I don’t have that much income? So if I think about maybe their top line revenue or the gross income they’re bringing in, like what you’re bringing in might for me. Okay, we’ll give my numbers maybe.

Speaker B: Yeah.

Speaker A: So I was making around eighty k. I was still part time in private practice and then bringing home maybe, I don’t know if it was 50,000 after taxes, but maybe it was right. So then I’m thinking at the end of all of that, do I really have the money to invest, given that level of income? And I think for a lot of therapists, they’re just kind of treading water. And their financial practices might be difficult because their own practice doesn’t have great business practices like cancellation policies. Their fee setting is all over the map. So again, there’s not a lot of consistency in what they’re doing. So I think you have to almost look at the micro level sometimes first, so they can kind of zoom out and say how this is affecting me and then how do I plan for my future? Does that make sense?

Speaker B: I agree. One thing that I like to talk about a lot is we like to create this idea that the business is here and family, personal stuff, expenses, is here, and never the two shall meet. In reality, that’s not the case, because what you just described is like, you had a part time business that was making $80,000. That’s, that’s pretty good. You know, like, that’s not a terrible, like, sort of business if you’re not even putting your full time sort of situation. But we don’t know what’s going on on the personal side. And maybe that is enough. Maybe it’s not enough. You know, it really depends on the person. But we need to understand what’s going on here because, like, the example I use, if you need a new roof and you don’t have the money to get to buy the new roof, you’re gonna feel a lot worse about your business than maybe if you didn’t need that new roof, you know? Or if you are ready to invest in your business, but your personal life and personal side feels so tight and unable to move and whatnot, you’re not gonna feel like you can invest in the business, because if to invest in a business would take away more from the personal side that you don’t already feel like you can. And so you have to sort of understand what’s going on on both sides. And you mentioned, like, you know, creating financial systems. I think oftentimes what therapists and really people in general think is, if they just hire a CPA to do their taxes, that’s going to solve all these concerns. But what happens is tax time.

Speaker A: Okay, well, we need to take a pause. Keep going. But let’s put it. Yeah, put a pin in tax time. So much anxiety for therapists. You have no idea. Like, we freak out.

Speaker B: I do. Trust me, I do.

Speaker A: Go ahead with your thoughts.

Speaker B: No, me too. But essentially, what a CPA is doing is saying, okay, it’s tax time. I’m gonna file 500 tax forms, and I’m gonna make my year by just filing. So what are they not doing? They’re not doing a detailed look at your finances to figure out sort of what’s going on. There might be, like, one or two things that they can suggest to you to, like, reduce your taxes a little bit, but they’re not gonna be working with you throughout the year. And so just leaning on the tax person is gonna be very difficult. And the reason, I think what you just described that they do. The reason that they do is because of the anxiety around taxes. They think that’s gonna be the solution. But it’s like a bigger picture sort of thing, where we need to look at the entire financial picture.

Speaker A: Mm hmm. Yeah, I think I didn’t really get a sense of that until I sat down with my partner, and we really looked at all the finances. Right. Like, I had this goal. It’s funny you talk about a roof. So I have been wanting to renovate our bathroom since we moved in this house. Sorry. And, you know, there’s a price point on that right there. It’s 50k in my mind that I want to make, that I’m still working towards, by the way. Haven’t quite gotten there, but we’re getting closer.

Speaker B: You’ll get there.

Speaker A: And, you know, I had to have really hard conversations with my partner about our financial choices about what we’re like. He. I love Ramit Sethi. So I have seen all of his podcast, you know, or Instagram. I’ve listened to his podcast. He also has a YouTube channel, so it’s fun. He has couples on there. So I had my partner look at that. But I think his big thing was like, have your rich life today and a real rich life tomorrow. And I’m like, I want my bathroom right now. And I’m, like, arguing with my partner, and I’m saying to him, why do you get all the vacations? Your money dial is vacations. And we go on a nice vacation every year, and we’re saving towards this vacation, but when it comes time to what we’re going to do for the house, which he cares zero about, I mean, he does. I say he doesn’t care about it, but he does care about it. That I felt like he wasn’t listening to me and what I wanted, and we really had to come together and say, like, what I want and what you want can be different, but we both are working towards our goals that are important to us. Right? Because I’m like, I don’t care what we do for vacation. I could just go see my family, or we could just go, like, you know, do staycation stuff. I don’t really care. But I think, like, having that shared vision when we sat down together, and I kind of have that framework from Ramit, which I love. I don’t know what framework you really use of having, like, this kind of conscious spending plan or, like, what your goal is financially, then, like, the everyday becomes like, I’m raising my fee because of this, or I’m taking on this, this many clinical hours because of this, if I can manage it from a burnout perspective. But I think looking at numbers is so illuminating, especially for, like, the work you’re doing, your fee, and if there’s other ways that you can meet your financial goals without burnout, then do it because you have to be able to feel like on the day to day life is working for me with my work life balance, but also that I’m working towards those long term goals.

Speaker B: Yeah. And that’s one difference between financial advising than other sort of financial sort of aid that you might seek out. I think oftentimes clients are surprised when they first meet with me that I’m not talking about their investments. I’m not talking about they be in a high yield savings account or some other sort of tool or whatever. I’m actually just talking about their financial goals. I want to know, like, what they want to do in life with this money, because the money is just the tool, and we need to figure out what you’re working towards and when you want to get there. Um. Cause it’s almost like, I’m sure, you know, like, many of your listeners are set, helping clients set goals in their sessions. And it’s almost like I I have to have those conversations with clients to. So they understand that we’re not just working to say we have this much money at the end of our life. What we’re working at is saying, like, in my life, I had all these things that I wanted to accomplish, and I was able to accomplish a good amount of them. And that’s what we want to try to work you towards, is accomplishing as many of those sort of ideal life, whatever that is for you type of thing. And what you just described with your partner is a perfect solution because, yeah, we can work towards both goals that there are different goals. It’s just, what happens is there’s a finite amount of money coming in, and so we just have to figure out what goals are most important and when does each goal need to be reached and then create a conversation where we can sort of decide, like, a safe and happy medium in the situations where there’s two different goals at play. Yeah. I would say that most men I meet first are all only concerned about the investments. They’re like, what are you going to do for the investments? And then most women I meet are sort of concerned about the cash flow and that sort of thing. And meanwhile, I’m trying to just divert their attention to think bigger, think broader. Like, what do you actually want to do here? And then we’ll figure all that out.

Speaker A: Yeah, I mean, I think part of me listening to all those podcasts with Ramit is hearing, like, what people just get into, like, a financial grind. I’m spending my money, like, I don’t do this, but, like, the mindless spending, like, on Amazon or target or things that aren’t really important to them, you know? Like, I. It’s not important to me to have a nice car. Like, I could care less. I’m driving. Driving my, you know, 2013 Honda CR v. It is like, it’s point a to point b. And if I ever have money that’s just piling up somewhere and I want to have a nice car one day, all my other buckets have to be full. Like, my investments have to be full. I have to be, like, comfortable where we are. I have to be comfortable, like, where we are with, like, our big goals that we have, like, the house and vacation stuff for my partner, but all those other buckets would be nice to have. But it’s not a. I have to have this thing. And I think that’s really important to know what is actually important to you financially, what are the things that you want, because it does drive you to meet that goal.

Speaker B: Yeah.

Speaker A: And I think money is a tool, and it’s. It can be complicated, I think, for. For you to kind of figure out, why am I behaving this way around money and in your practice, you know, why am I not, why am I not charging that no show fee? What’s going on with me that I’m doing that? I mean, part of that really drives down to that micro, I think, for the therapists that they see, well, if I don’t do that, and that means I’m losing this many sessions a year, my actual fee is reduced down to whatever percentage now because I’m not actually getting that many sessions per week. So the plan that I had really is not working because I didn’t really think about that long term goal of what I need to make for, like, that long term kind of happiness, or even in the short term, what I want to have if it’s a date night sometimes it’s very simple stuff. I want to. I want to be able to afford that dinner out once a week to go out with my partner. Okay, well, what finances need to happen to have that occurred?

Speaker B: Yeah. And I. Well, a couple things on that. Like, I would say, actually, most people’s goals are actually very not big. Like what you just described, going out to dinner once a night a week or two weeks of vacation a year or something like that. And, you know, and one, I sometimes challenge clients to think bigger because eventually I want you to be really working towards something that. That you truly care about. But we’ve gotten so stuck in this sort of, like, again, that hamster will mindset that even just the idea of just going out to dinner seems like a big issue. Right. And so want to get sort of you thinking a little bigger. Partly because I do want. I do want you to be energized with what you’re doing and what you’re getting out of the business. Cause that’s gonna energize you in the business. And the other thing you mentioned is sort of that, like, that no fee. Right. And one thing I would say is that, you know, therapists are naturally very empathetic people. It’s what. What you do and why you do what you do, you know, it’s one of the biggest strengths that a therapist has. But in the business, you have to be kind of cutthroat. You know, it has to. It’s like two different minds in this session. You’re as empathetic and caring and all that. But when it comes to, like, the running of the business, you need to realize that, like, that’s your, like, well being at heart. That’s your, your future at heart. That’s your kid’s futures at heart. And realize that and take it with that sort of seriousness because I guarantee you that no one is not going to. Very few clients are going to be like, well, they have a cancellation fee. I’m not going to, I’m not going to sign with this person. Well, if that’s the case, you don’t want that person as a client because those are the ones who are going to be canceling anyways. And so you actually avoided something by, by showing that will and that demand that you’re saying, you know, my, my matter in this situation, too. And so, you know, that’s the other thing I would say. And the third thing I would actually say is, I also do not care about cars. I drive a minivan. It does not matter to me. But I do have clients who love cars. And so it’s just about sort of the goals that you actually want for yourself.

Speaker A: It does, yeah. I think I just saw something with Ramit on there with all these podcasts. Frequently, it’s, the guy has a huge Ford truck and he’s like, what do you do for work? Yeah, I’m an accountant, or I’m, you know, I do x. What do you need the truck for?

Speaker B: Hey, I grew up in Texas. Everyone has trucks, right?

Speaker A: Yeah. I think it’s kind of a cultural thing. Like, well, yeah, they have a truck, or we go camping. How many times do you. Okay, like four times a year.

Speaker B: Yeah, exactly.

Speaker A: Watch a rent a truck those four times a year instead of having this huge fee. But, yeah, I just think it’s a, it’s really thinking about what the vision is. We do that. I love the parallel to treatment planning with clients. Right. If we told a client, come back every week, we’re just doing what we’re doing, we didn’t explain why we’re doing it, what the end goal of why we’re doing it, what they can get out of it, then they’re not going to be motivated. Especially when I used to do therapy, I did EMDR, I did trauma work. And so I’m bringing people through a lot of pain, difficult experiences, tough sessions, and I would always have to kind of preview everything, like going through the process where the end goal is, I want you to have this memory and not have the physiological distress, panic attacks that you’re struggling with while you have this difficult experience up. And I think if we know the why, it can often help us get through that part. That, and with numbers, I think a lot of therapists kind of get that, like, that anxiety about, my gosh, I have to do my numbers. I have to think about the taxes, or I have to think about whatever it is. And I think there is a piece of, I’ve seen a lot of online about financial burnout of I’m never going to make enough to make it be meaningful or to meet my goals. And I think they get stuck in a rut with that, that no matter what, I’m not going to be able to reach that goal that I have in my mind.

Speaker B: Yeah, the getting stuck is also, I mean, I used to have that in my previous profession, and it’s partly not understanding all your options. Right? Like, therapists actually have a ton of different ways to make, you know, financial change. Like, they, they can decide, you know, I’m sick of working with individuals. I’m gonna have more group, I’m gonna incorporate more group sessions, or I’m gonna include, incorporate. Like, I have a client who does, like, a retreat once a year with their clients, and it’s like a huge percentage of their income for the year now. And so we’re talking about incorporating, like two or three because she loves doing them and they’re really successful. And so, like, while she’s still seeing clients on a day to day basis, like, thinking sort of, like, other ways to create income streams for yourself where it’s not just one person, 1 hour, one fee can also, you know, really help that. Of course, like, everyone, you know, wants coaching or online courses or stuff like that. And so some of that might work, some of it might not. But at least you’re like, stretching your mind and kind of stretching what you’re capable of and seeing what actually works. And that can. I find that stuff personally, I find that stuff very motivating and just, it makes the other parts of the job very easier to handle because while you’re dealing with this one thing, well, you got this thing that you’re really passionate about on the side. So therapists actually have a lot of ways to kind of expand that capability. It’s just getting out of that one sort of mindset of like our session, et cetera, you know, is really important. And I was gonna say something else for that, but I forgot. So.

Speaker A: Oh, I have kind of a follow up question because I think therapists often struggle with other ways I can make money. Like, what are other ways that I can make money in my practice besides one on one therapy? I know you mentioned groups. Anything outside of clinical work that you’re seeing that therapists are doing right now, maybe your clients that are successful and different streams of income to help support that one to one therapy. Clinical income, yeah.

Speaker B: So, I mean, you know, there’s obvious, I always think the retreats and group sessions are amazing things because especially if you have like, another therapist that you can work with on this, like, it’s not requiring as much of you from like a session thing. So that’s wonderful. Other things that I see clients attempt to do is either write books, coaching courses, those sorts of things. The ability for them to be successful is going to be a little higher. Right. It could take a little bit of time. It’s not something that I’ve created this thing. I’m going to put it out in this world and it’s going to be successful. Instead, it creates a real need for marketing and just, just a constant push to get sign ups and whatnot. So it’s one thing that, like, folks think about is like, is it going to be passive? Well, it’s not going to be passive until it’s like making money. Then it, maybe it becomes passive, but there’s going to be a ton of work. And so that’s what I just kind of guide people towards. Like, I just want you to be eyes wide open in the sort of situation.

Speaker A: Yeah.

Speaker B: But then also you can.

Speaker A: I worry about that. For therapists with like the marketing world, it’s like, do coaching or, you know, start a course and then they spend their money to do these things. And I call those the slow burn ways to make money. Yeah, I think of like if we need to raise our income more quickly, we to think about fee raises, cancellation policy, and like, potentially, like I do contracting work with a school district. So thinking like outside the box a little bit, but in our ways that we can make, I’m not saying that we can’t. I’m doing podcasting and other ways to kind of make money too. But that’s my slow burn way that I hope to eventually build up another stream of income in that way. So I think it’s just important to know, like, what is realistic for therapists too.

Speaker B: I agree. I absolutely agree on that. But you also bring up a really good point because you’re not just using your one skill in life. Like, you’re not just using your therapy muscles to do podcasting, you’re using other muscles for that. So, like, I have a client who knows how to file taxes because he used to be on the financial side of businesses. So he makes a decent side business just from filing taxes come tax.

Speaker A: Wow, that’s an interesting skill set.

Speaker B: It’s a very unusual skillset, but nonetheless, you can also think of other ways outside of using your therapy muscle to come up with a service or a tool or something like that, that you can use on the side that also helps supplement that. And then, of course, like, you know, if there’s room available, you know, investing for the long term, I always call it the best passive investment that you can get is saving for retirement because it’s growing. You’re getting tax benefits now, and as you see your wealth rise, you’re gonna feel a lot more comfortable just in general. So that’s a good one. And then a lot of therapists, if they have commercial, they have, they rent out space. If they can turn that into actually owning the commercial space, then you also create another sort of income stream as well. So there’s not, I mean, you know, the sky’s the limit in terms of like, ways therapists can make money. It’s just you have to think about sort of like what your risk tolerances are, like your willingness to take on risk and your capability. So your risk capability. So your ability to take on, on risk in those situations.

Speaker A: Yeah, I would imagine most therapists are pretty risk adverse.

Speaker B: And, yeah, you’d be surprised.

Speaker A: You’d be surprised.

Speaker B: Oh, yeah.

Speaker A: Some are more willing to take on more risk in their, in their personal investments.

Speaker B: Yeah, in their personal stuff, just in like ways. Like, honestly, one thing I see a lot of is like, just debt and not necessarily debt. What you’re probably thinking of in terms of like, student debt or I’m trying to get my business started and not enough income is coming in. But actually, because of what you described at the beginning where we’re not really taught a lot of this, as they start making money, they’re spending doubles, as opposed to like, you know, keep understanding sort of a budget and whatnot and keep in line. And so I see that a lot, actually. And I, that speaks a little bit to the risk reward bubble, because if you’re willing to just spend in ways that you don’t have, then it indicates a sort of willingness to take on risk in that sense.

Speaker A: Mm hmm. Makes sense. So I know, I wanted to talk a little bit about if therapists choose to use a financial planner, like what type of financial planner you’d recommend. It’s something I’ve done my own education on a little bit, and I think I can jump in and be like, okay, what does that mean? So maybe just go, and then I’ll maybe jump in and ask you, can you explain more about that?

Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. So I’m what’s called a fee only financial advisor. And so it differs from a lot of, like, financial advisors that you might come across. I would say the number one reason that people come across a financial advisor is because they’re buying insurance for the first time. Northwestern mutual or some other sort of, like, insurance firm will be like, hey, we have a financial advisor. We’re going to help you. And they might have a fiduciary duty. They may not. It just depends on the situation.

Speaker A: But so we’re going to. So tell me. So I think people, therapists may not understand what a fiduciary is in the financial world.

Speaker B: Yeah. Fiduciary is someone that has to put your benefit before them. So if they’re working with you and there are sort of, like, conflicts between what they do and what’s best for you, they have to put you ahead of them, or they have to make sure that they express what’s going on and why they’re hesitating, that sort of thing. And so there are ways to say that you’re a fiduciary and say that you’re doing that and keeping the client’s best interest, but still sell the products that they offer within the organization. And so a lot of insurance companies will have financial advisors who are technically fiduciaries, but then putting clients into insurances, that may be not best for them, I would say. And so what a fee only advisor is, is someone who does not take commission. They don’t get paid by insurance companies. They don’t get paid by mutual funds to put their clients into certain mutual funds. The only person paying them is their client. And so I’m able to say, to say, client, this is a good idea because you need this term life insurance, because you need to protect against the risk. If something was to happen to you, how would your child survive that sort of thing? And then I can also say to them, no, you don’t need that really expensive insurance because that’s not going to do anything for you. You’d actually get a lot better benefits here, and you’re just paying a very high fee for the sort of protection that they’re asking for. And so it’s stuff like that where we’re always kind of, we’re taking what a fiduciary is and then putting the business model behind it is really sort of the dynamic there.

Speaker A: So, essentially, I mean, the way I sum it up is that, you know, the fee only or the fiduciary really has to take your own interest to heart. Not their own. They’re not being paid by other insurance companies or mutual. Fee. Mutual. Whatever they’re called. Help me.

Speaker B: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mutual whatever.

Speaker A: Brokerages, all those things. So they can’t take that money. So they’re really, they’re. They’re free. You. They’re not there, and they’re not taking in kickbacks and things of that nature. So I think that’s just an important distinction to look for. If you are thinking that you might need this in your own practice or just to look at your financial goals.

Speaker B: And to put it. Oh, go ahead.

Speaker A: So do you also do taxes? Some do, like, taxes and financial planning or just financial planning.

Speaker B: So financial planning looks at taxes, right. So we’re always talking to clients about taxes. There’s always the question of when to opt into an S corp. That’s always one of the biggest questions for therapists also, one thing I like to work with clients on is understand, since income is like this, how do you pay yourself on a month to month basis if you don’t understand your sort of tax situation? Because I want life to feel a little bit more like this until, you know, income really rising up. So we’re always working from, like, a long term tax perspective. I don’t actually file taxes for folks. Some do they have to have a CPA or what’s called an EA or an enrolled agent in order to do that. But that is another possibility.

Speaker A: Okay. Yeah, I know. I forgot about that s corp question, which we probably don’t have time to get into today, but I think. Yeah, I think it’s usually. Yeah, it’s usually a leader question for. I probably need to figure that out myself.

Speaker B: I feel like it’s become a point of pride, honestly, like, because a lot of podcasts will say, oh, you got to file for an S corp. You got to do this. But there’s some downside to it because it comes with a lot more expenses. And so it’s just something that if you want to look into, just understand whether it’s good for you. It’s not like some sort of like, or like, checkbox to click as on your way to, like, building a successful practice or something.

Speaker A: I made an s corp. I’m an s corp now.

Speaker B: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

Speaker A: Superstar.

Speaker B: Exactly.

Speaker A: Totally. All right, well, I feel like we’ve covered a lot of ground here today. I mean, I think therapists will likely want to reach out, which we’ll get to in a minute. But I usually wrap the podcast by asking folks, what is bringing you joy?

Speaker B: Yeah, there’s definitely two things that are bringing me, you know, the most joy right now. So I have two kids. One is eight and one is two. The two year old is like coming into a human being right now and is, she’s like, completely become this, like, dominant force in our house. And it’s, you know, tiring, but also really, really like, I enjoy it to see it. And then I’m also, after I have a kid, I tend to take away personal life for a little while. And so I, it happened with my first one as well. I stopped playing basketball a long time basketball player. And so I’ve just recently gotten back into basketball. And so that’s very much a joyful thing, even though my body does not thank me for it.

Speaker A: I know I’m a tennis player, so I’m always, like, in and out of the pt, but I love it at the same time. Yeah, I get it. I get it. Awesome. So where can people reach out if they want some help with, you know, what they, what you do and maybe do you have any resources for therapists?

Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. So I have, I technically work under the umbrella of a company called United Financial Planning Group, but you can find a lot of my resources and stuff like that@thinkingcapfinancial.com. and then I created an ebook about sort of that topic that we were talking about where turning income or private practice income into wealth. And that’s a free ebook that can be downloaded. I’ll pass that link on to Jen and hopefully it’ll be in the show notes.

Speaker A: Yeah, I can put it in the show notes. Great. Yeah. So check the link in the show notes. I’ll also include links to my stuff. So if you’re a therapist in private practice and you want to quit potentially or you’re burned out, don’t know what to do next, I help with that. And so check my links. I also have a free money guide for you if you’re not sure, like, what is even the first step to making income or thinking about my numbers. And I think it really is kind of sitting down first and taking some time to do that. Not a long time. You can get a lot of clarity just by, you know, 20 minutes, 15 minutes of, like, writing some basic numbers out. Therapists don’t forget about numbers. That’s one thing I want you to take away from today. So I’ll have all that in the show notes, and thanks for listening. Thank you for listening to the joy after Burnout podcast. Be the first to hear new episodes by following the podcast and your podcast player. This is an informational podcast only. Any information expressed by the host or guest is not a substitute for legal, medical, or financial advice.


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