Podcast

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | You Won’t Be Happier with More Money

55: You Won’t Be Happier with More Money

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | You Won't Be Happier with More MoneyHow many of us believe that life will be better or we will feel happier when we have more money? I've touched on this topic previously on the podcast, but I'm taking a deeper dive today because this is something I see come up for so many people, myself included, and it's not a belief that is serving us.

I can already hear some of you arguing with me, thinking, “Say what you want, but you can't tell me life wouldn't be better with an extra $10 million.” And while that statement can feel true, I'm certain there are countless examples from your life already that can show you that it's simply not the case.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover why we believe that life will be better once we… fill in the blank, and why this thought isn't serving us. I'm sharing what the best reason actually is for setting and chasing our goals, and an exercise in appreciating what you do have right now so you can move forward in gratitude and abundance.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why we believe that life will be better when we have whatever it is we're looking for.
  • What the best reason to have goals really is.
  • Why life will not be better when you have more money… or when you have anything for that matter.
  • How these thoughts are showing up in your life and keeping you from enjoying the things you do have.
  • What you can do to remind your brain of what you do have and fully appreciate those things before moving on to the next.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

 

Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Hello, hello. So, this is episode 55. And this officially marks one year of The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast. And so, obviously you're listening to this, if you're listening to this. And I just want to thank you. Thank you for listening and thank you for all of your support over the past year. I so appreciate it and I'm so glad you're here.

And so, I've prepared a topic that I think you're going to love today. Of course, it's about money. And it's sort of breaking down the premise that life will be better when… when I have more money, when I retire… whatever that is.

Now, I sort of touched on this topic a little bit in the episode called The Retirement Myth, which we'll link in the show notes. But I'm going to take a deeper dive today. Because how many of us think life will be better when we have more money?

Now, I used to think this way too. In fact, I still do on default, and I have to remind myself that life won't be better with more money. I can already hear some of you arguing with me, “No, no, no, but life will be better once I have $10 million.”

How many of us are wanting more money because we think we will have a better life? We think we're going to be happier. On the surface, we sort of know that's not true. But I think deep inside we're like, “Yeah, but…”

And how many of us go for goals because we think getting the goal is going to make our lives better? I think this is kind of the fallacy of all goal setting, like becoming a doctor, getting married, having kids. We think we will be happier, that life will be better once we get those things.

Now, this concept is called the arrival fallacy. And all of us are prone to it. Pretty much all of us live our lives thinking this way. And on first glance, it seems pretty useful. It's like, “Oh, but it helps us stay motivated to achieve the goal.”

But the problem is that it often causes a lot of suffering while we achieve it and it robs us from appreciating our lives now. And we miss out on all the beautiful things it means to be human.

Now, like I said, I am guilty of this as well. Now, many of you may know the story that I did not get into dermatology residency until the third time I applied. I really believed I would live happily ever after, if only I got into dermatology. And then, I got it.

And yeah, I was ecstatic the day I mashed, for sure. But soon after, maybe a day, then the next goal was to meet someone or to lose weight or who knows what it was at that point. So, does anyone else think like this, that life will be better when…

And at the same time, we feel like we can't be happy because we don't have that thing, we don't have more money. Because here's the thing, when you believe life will be better when… when you have more money, you're basically saying this; my life isn't good enough right now. It could be better. There's something better than this, this being right now, this moment, whatever you have right now.

This type of thinking takes you out of being present to all that you do have. We don't appreciate what we actually have. And in case you didn't notice, what you do have is probably things you wanted beforehand and now you have it. But you've already moved onto the next thing that you think will make your life better.

So, we literally do not stop to smell the roses. And I will tell you that if you don't learn to appreciate and cherish what you do have, the money you do have right now, you will not magically then appreciate it when you have more.

Now, I used to think that I had to believe that things would be better when I had $10 million to motivate me. But now, I understand this was a huge thought error.

I think I somehow thought that if I didn't believe that, then I would somehow lose all motivation to do anything, meaning I would just be lying on the couch all day eating Cheetos and watching Netflix all day and become a slob.

Now, I said earlier how life will not get better once you have more money. And I know some of you are arguing with me, “No, things would be better if you had more money.”

Now, of course, some things will be different, but not everything. So, I truly believed, if someone just showed up and gave me $10 million, that life would be better and all of my worries would end.

But yes, certain things would definitely be different. Like I could fly first class all the time. I could always stay in super-amazing luxurious hotels, if that's your thing. It's my thing. And if I'm totally honest. I kind of already do this, although there hasn't been much flying recently, obviously, but I have flown first class and I have stayed at some amazing luxury hotels.

I would love to fly first class all the tine $10 million would probably help me have a better view from my home. I could live in a quote unquote better home, more spacious, whatever. But these things, my ability to fly first class, have a bigger home, have a better view, these things in itself do not actually bring more joy or happiness to me and my life.

Because whatever that emotion you're striving for – I'm just using happy, but there are other things like free, relaxed, confident, whatever you think the thing you want, more money, et cetera, these are all emotions and remember, emotions are created by thoughts, not things like money or first-class flights. Now, do certain things, like being on a first-class flight make certain thoughts easier? For sure.

Now, I'm guessing another question you're having after listening to all of this is, “Okay, if life won't be better if I have more money, then what's the point of trying to have more money?” or whatever the goal is.

And that is a great question. And the way that I've thought about this and from talking to other people and doing my own inner work is this. The whole point of goals is to challenge yourself. It's to grow, literally; to grow your mind, to expand your mind, to expand what you think is possible.

And the goal is simply there to facilitate that growth. And listen, achieving certain goals definitely makes life more fun. Having money, flying first class, whatever you think money is going to enable you to do, certain things will definitely become way more fun for sure.

But you're still going to be human. You're still going to have a human experience. And if we spend so much time believing and thinking that things will magically be better when, like I said earlier, it just robs you of appreciating what you have right now.

So, I've got a little assignment for you today. I want you to make a list of what you want – now, in terms of what these things are, it could be things, it could be a net worth, whatever, things that you think will make your life better when you have them.

So, I want you to make a list. And let's say 10 things. If you're being extra, you can go for 20. Whatever number you pick, 10 or 20 things. But here's the caveat. Half of those things have to be things you already have. And the whole point of this is to remind yourself, remind your brain that you have things that you wanted so badly before and you've just forgotten to appreciate them.

You know, some of those things for me are having Jack, my son, having Matt, my fiancé, living where I live. I live in a luxury high-rise building. I don't live on the top floor. I live on the sixth floor. So, like I said, my view could be better. But these are all things I wanted so badly before. Becoming a dermatologist, being near my family, being able to spend three months in Hawaii, whatever.

And I guess I'm reminding you to spend some time appreciating what you do have, because that is really the secret to getting more money, is to appreciate the money you do have. Otherwise you're not going to appreciate having more money, I promise you.

Thank you again for listening. Thank you for being here for the past year. If you haven't already, I would love it if you subscribed to the podcast and left a great review. I will talk to you next week.

Hey, if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth. Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Fairness

54: Fairness

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | FairnessSomething I see come up for a lot of my clients is frustration around the concept that things should be fair. And the effect it has on their life can be more profound than you might think. So, I'm taking this week's episode to discuss the whole idea of fairness.

How many of us think that life should be fair? Or that we should get our fair share of things, especially when it comes to money? Well today, I'm unpacking this whole fair business because I want to show why this, striving for fairness, is a terrible goal.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover why I believe we should not be aiming for fairness. I'm sharing how the belief that things should be fair is holding you back, and where I believe we should be concentrating our efforts instead.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • 2 reasons why I believe that aiming for “fair” is a terrible goal.
  • How to know whether your beliefs around fairness are serving you or not serving you.
  • What you can do to actually move forward, instead of wishing for things to be fair.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

 

Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Well hello, everyone. welcome to episode 54. So, I live in New Jersey, just outside of New York City. And we've had several days in a row where the weather has been creeping up around 60 degrees. And something just changes around here.

Now, I lived in New York City for a long time, but I'm pretty much right across the river now. And so, it's hard to explain. I guess you could say spring is in the air.

And I'm sort of laughing inside because a year ago, we spent the winter in Hawaii. And any time the weather got below 75, I want to say, we were cold. And so, it's just so interesting what we get used to.

And so, of course, today the weather was more like 35 or 40 degrees this morning. And I often sort of lament that March in the Northeast is cool. Because you'll have a few days where it's warm and sunny and gorgeous and you want to play outside. And then it gets cold again and then you're reminded that spring isn't quite here. Anyway, that was kind of random. But that's just what I was thinking about today.

So, today I want to talk about the topic of fairness. This is something I've been thinking about for a while and it was sort of spurred by one of my previous one-on-one clients, and some other clients that I've had, where the issue of getting what's fair comes up a lot.

And so, most of these clients were quote unquote suffering because they wanted what was fair for them. And for one of these clients, it was in the context of a divorce. And so, it really got me thinking, what does fair even mean? And is fair something we should even strive for or want?

And I've come to the conclusion that the answer is no in almost all cases. So, that's what I want to talk about today. Because how many of us think that life should be fair? Or we should get our fair share of things, especially money?

We often hear people say the rich need to pay their fair share of taxes. So, today, I want to unpack this whole fair business because I want to submit that this, this fair thing, is a terrible goal.

So, let's first define fair. So, this is what Google told me. Fair is an adjective. And it means free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice. The second definition is what I'm working with though. The second definition, meaning legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, et cetera, proper under the rules. And the example they gave was a fair fight.

So, I've come up with sort of two reasons why I think fair is a terrible goal. Number one, when you're focused on getting what's fair, it removes the focus from your own inner power. Meaning it leaves the power to someone else or something else. Meaning that something outside of us has the ability to make us happy, or whatever you think having things fair would do for you.

I think this whole idea of fair is we think life would be better if things were fair. And ultimately, we would be happier.

And here's the second reason. I think it makes us feel terrible when we think things should be fair. Because, well, go to number one, Meaning that we think life will be better if things were fair. And since things aren't fair, we feel terrible. So, it kind of goes in this loop, as you can see.

So, I think all of us should drop this fair thing as the goal or the standard. Because like I said, in my experience, from what I've observed in coaching many clients, it almost always leaves us feeling terrible. Focus on you, what you can control. And we can never control other people, no matter how hard we try.

Now, I'm not saying that you should accept anything either. But I think we really need to question why things should be fair. And when you're striving for things being fair or getting your fair share, whatever fair you're going for, is that type of thinking serving you?

Is it actually helping you to think that way or is it causing a lot of negative emotions and angst? That is the difference, I think, of when fair is serving you or not serving you.

Personally, I don't think it's ever served me to think that things should be fair for me, or whatever. I just kind of assume that things won't be fair, or that life won't be fair.

It doesn't mean I just sit there complacent or not do anything about things. But I just don't believe that that's the goal. And I recommend you do the same.

What would you spend your time thinking on instead if you stopped believing things should be fair? What would be a better use of your time if you stopped thinking that things should be fair? What would you be working on instead? What would you be creating instead?

So, I hope I've given you some things to ponder on and I'll see you guys next week.

Hey, if you enjoyed this episode and don't want to miss out on new episodes, please hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. See you next week.

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | The Power of Asking Yourself Great Questions

53: The Power of Asking Yourself Great Questions

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | The Power of Asking Yourself Great QuestionsIf you've been listening to this podcast for a while, hopefully, you understand that your thoughts create feelings, which lead to actions. And over time, these actions eventually become your life. That is easy enough to take on board on an intellectual level.

However, the main problem I see is that most of us don't think on purpose. Our brain just offers up the same old thoughts, and we are inclined to believe them. So, in this episode, I'm sharing the best way I have found to really question what's going on in your brain, open up your mind to new possibilities, and find the answers that actually have the potential to move you forward.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover how to use tools like journaling and “Superthinking” to their full potential. I'm sharing the secrets to asking yourself amazing questions, the answers to which will create the emotions that help you act in ways that align with what you truly want for your life in the long-term.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The importance of making time to create some distance between you and your thoughts.
  • Why asking yourself questions is the best way to open up your brain to new ways of thinking.
  • How to ask yourself questions in a way that moves you forward in creating the life you want to live.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

 

Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Well hello, everyone. welcome to episode 53. So, today I want to talk about this concept of thinking time and asking yourself questions. So, some of you might be thinking, “What is she talking about?”

And so, this is a concept I learned from Brooke Castillo, the creator of The Life Coach School, where I trained to be a coach. And she actually has an episode called Superthinking.

And so, I highly recommend you listen to that podcast episode. It will complement this one very well. And so, if you've been listening to this podcast for a while, hopefully you understand that your thoughts create feelings, which lead to actions. And over time, these actions eventually become your life.

I guess you could say the problem is that most of us don't think on purpose. Our brain just offers up thoughts. It offers up 60,000 thoughts a day, most of which are not conscious. But for the ones that are conscious, we believe them. We think we are our thoughts.

And so, this concept of putting time aside to think might be kind of foreign to you. Now, some of you might be journalers or you'll spend some time journaling or you've been to conferences or retreats where they had you spend some time journaling.

And if you think about it, journaling is basically thinking time. That's how I think about it anyway. And the reason why journaling can be so powerful is that it requires you to pause and reflect. And as you write your thoughts out on paper, I mean, that's kind of what journaling is, then you get to read your thoughts and look at your thoughts with some distance.

Because otherwise, we're just in our heads and the thoughts are just floating around and we can't tell left from right usually. Now, most of us spend way more time planning a vacation than planning our life. Or said another way, most of us spend way more time thinking about a vacation than thinking about our life.

And even when we do, it's often only about once a year, usually January. And so, I want to introduce the concept of thinking about things, your life, whatever is on your mind more often and deliberately. And one of the best ways to think on purpose, to access new thoughts to believe, is to ask yourself questions.

Questions are a great way to open up your brain to new possibilities. You know, our brains are supercomputers and if you ask yourself a question, your brain wants to answer the question. Not only are questions a great way to open up the brain to new ways of thinking. It's also a way to disrupt the status quo inside your brain.

You probably have heard me say to never say the phrase, “I can't afford this.” And to instead ask yourself, “How can I afford this?” Because if you tell yourself a statement like, “I can't afford this…” what do you think happens? Nothing. Because you basically have accepted you believe, “I can't afford this,” is a fact. Did you know that it's a thought actually?

But when you ask yourself a question, “How can I afford this?” then you start thinking about ways to make it possible. So, that's just a quick example of how questions can be so powerful.

I also think questions are great journal prompts. And like I said earlier, journaling is a great way – it basically is a way to see your thoughts on paper versus being in your head with your thoughts. Thinking on purpose, choosing your thoughts intentionally versus letting thoughts happen to you is the key to creating the life you want.

Because most of us, this is how we live. We think something. A sentence goes through our mind. And we believe it. And then our thoughts become self-fulfilling prophecies. And so, I said earlier that I call this concept thinking time or superthinking. There's many different phrases given to it. But basically, it's time set aside for you to think.

And so, this is something that I do every week purposely. Meaning I schedule time to think. This is very different than how most of us think about scheduling time to do things. This is thinking time. This isn't doing time.

I think about my business. I think about myself. I think about my life. I think about my family. Any area that I want access to new thoughts to believe and to gain insight. And oftentimes during this time, I am basically asking myself questions and answering them myself.

So, I'm going to share some of the questions I ask myself and then I'm going to suggest questions that you can try on as well, since many of you listening probably don't have a business like I do. But you may.

For example, you may own a practice. And so, if you do own a practice, I definitely encourage you to set aside some time to really think about your practice, your business. And so, I'm going to go over some of the questions that I ask myself around my business.

Now, the way I think about my job in the context of my busines sis that it is my job to think, for my business and my clients. Meaning I'm basically a think tank for the business and for my clients.

What do my clients need from me? What problems do they have that I need to solve? What are the common thought errors, or said another way, what are the common limiting beliefs my clients are having and how can I help them most effectively? How do I get my clients better and faster results? How can I make my concepts even simpler and easier for them to understand? What skills do I need to work on as a coach, as a CEO, as a manager, et cetera? How can I believe in my clients more today? How do I need to show up for her? What is my relationship to my business today? How can I add or create more value?

Here are some examples of some non-business questions that I'll ask myself. What areas of growth do I have? How is it true that I have enough? Now, I ask that question often because my brain will often default to, “We don't have enough,” or scarcity-based thinking. So, this is a question I ask to kind of disrupt that status quo in my brain.

Who do I want to be for myself? For Matt? For Jack? Who would I be if I deleted – insert negative thought or limiting belief? And so, these are just examples of some of the questions I ask. And you're welcome to borrow them, of course. But I really encourage you to come up with your own questions based on what you want to work on or what you want to think on.

Now, some caveats about creating your own questions. It's important that you ask the, quote unquote, right questions. And let me explain what I mean by that. Now, there's no such thing as a right or wrong question, but I highly recommend you don't ask negative questions.

For example, if you are trying to lose weight and let's say the thing you do is eat too much pizza. Here's an example of a negative question. Why can't I stop eating pizza? That's an example of a negative question because that question is basically insinuating, is basically judging yourself and shaming yourself for eating pizza.

And so, a better way to ask that question would be something like, “Why do I love eating pizza? Why do I want to eat more pizza, even when I'm no longer hungry?

Negative questions will often lead to negative answers. And negative thinking does not work. Shaming yourself, punishing yourself for a behavior that you're labeling wrong does not work. And hint, it doesn't work for other people either.

So, the next time you're in front of a pen and piece of paper and you're journaling, come up with three questions to ask yourself and answer them. You'll be amazed at the wisdom that you already have inside versus asking someone else or Googling the answer. Google within yourself. Okay, I'll talk to you guys next week.

Hey if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth. Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | The Power of Asking Yourself Great Questions

52: Women and Money: The Future

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | Women and Money: The FutureI've had so much fun in my research for Women's History Month and it's been a real eye-opener. So, to close out this series, I'm discussing what the future could have in store and how we as individuals have the opportunity to create lasting change for all women for years to come.

There is plenty of data to show that we are moving in the right direction, but with what I'm sharing today, you too can contribute to a future where women are taught completely differently about money and what is possible.

Join me on the podcast this week for a short and sweet episode. I'm sharing why changing the future landscape of money for women is ours for the taking, and how every single person listening can make a difference in achieving this goal.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why the future is in our hands.
  • The gender norms around money that are gradually changing.
  • How each one of us can contribute to making these changes continue into the future.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Learn more about Money for Women Physicians where you'll learn the tools to make practicing medicine OPTIONAL.
  • Follow me on Instagram

 

Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 52. So, I hope you've enjoyed this mini-series I've done for Women's History Month. I had a lot of fun researching and learning about the past.

So, today is going to be short and sweet; I want to talk about the future and how we as individuals can rewrite history. Because the future is female and the future is rich.

So, before I go into what I want to talk about, I want to give you a few statistics. Some interesting data that I found showed that right now, in 2021, that in the US, women control about a third of the US household financial assets, around $10 trillion.

But some projections have shown that over the next decade, so next 10 years, that's going to change significantly. Specifically that women will own close to $30 trillion in financial assets in just 10 years. This is for the US only by the way.

And so, there are a few reasons that have been put forth as to why this is going to happen. And it's because women, for the most part, outlive men by at least five years. And heterosexual women tend to marry partners that are, on average, two years older than them. And so, women are inheriting money.

And there are also some changing gender dynamics on money. For example, the percentage of women being involved in making financial decisions is increasing steadily. Even if these projections weren't happening, I want to plant the idea today that you, we, can start changing the story of women and money.

How? By becoming rich. Because the more women who create wealth by releasing their limiting money beliefs, rewiring their brains, not only do we get to rewrite our story around money, but we can change the world. Because let's just be honest, women do awesome things when they have money.

And I also want to say that this is the key to lasting social change. Meaning it always starts with the individual. So, if you're listening and you're a woman, and even if you're not a woman, I'm pretty sure you know at least one woman. I want you to be rich.

I want all of us to be rich. You not being rich does not help anyone. And being rich can help a lot of people, not just because money does solve a lot of problems, but then the women after you will know that they can be rich too.

Now, I mentioned a few episodes ago how I'm in this advanced feminist coach certification program where I've learned just so much about our history as women. Money was just one part of the curriculum. But it was on so many things.

And I just want to read you a quote from my coach mentor Kara Loewentheil, “When women are hesitant to make money and create wealth, they usually do not understand that by opting out of the game, they are ensuring it continues to be rigged against them.”

I'm going to repeat this again because it's so good, “When women are hesitant to make money and create wealth, they usually do not understand that by opting out of the game, they are ensuring it continues to be rigged against them.”

This is what I mean, that lasting social change always begins with the individual deciding to not put up with the current status quo. And the current status quo in 2021, unfortunately, is that if you're a woman, you're more likely to not be confident with money. You're more likely to not be in a leadership position to make real change. You're more likely to make less money than a man.

And for what I do specifically, which is coaching women physicians, I believe this is the key to taking back medicine. It takes courage. It takes boldness to do this. It takes work. I mean inner work; your mindset, rewiring your brain.

It's uncomfortable, and this work is so worth it. This is exactly what I teach and coach inside my program Money for Women Physicians. If you're a woman physician listening right now and you're not inside Money for Women Physicians, why aren't you? Get inside.

So, I'm going to leave you with some questions that I want you to ask yourself. Why aren't I rich? What's in the way between me and rich? What is a number that I really want that I'm not really telling myself because I don't think I can have it? And my favorite question, why not me? Why not? That's all I have for you today and I will talk to you next week.

Hey, if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | The Gender Pay Gap in Medicine with Dr. Linda Street

51: The Gender Pay Gap in Medicine with Dr. Linda Street

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Wealthy Mom MD Pocast with Dr. Bonnie Koo | The Gender Pay Gap in Medicine with Dr. Linda StreetIn keeping with our theme throughout Women's History Month, I'm speaking to Dr. Linda Street, a fellow life coach and female physician about the gender pay gap that still exists in the medical field, and the unique issues that female physicians face in pursuit of equal pay for equal work.

Legally, employers aren't allowed to pay women less than men for the same work. However, even accounting for industry variables, specialties, hours worked, and maternity leave, on average, women are still paid less than men. And the situation gets worse depending on factors like your ethnicity. So Linda and I are unpacking everything you need to know in this episode.

Tune in this week for an eye-opening discussion about the gender pay gap in medicine. We are sharing the data and factors behind this disparity in pay, and how this pay gap has been allowed to go relatively unchecked even though it is legislated against from a legal perspective. There is still so much work to do, so Linda and I are also discussing what your options are, albeit limited, as a female physician if you discover you've been paid less than a male colleague in the same position.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The data that proves the gender pay gap has not been closed as a result of existing laws on pay discrimination.
  • How the gender pay gap varies between ethnicities compared to what white men are paid.
  • Where pay has proportionally dropped in fields with an increasing majority of female specialists, still unequally between men and women.
  • How institutional gender inequality in the medical field is still being allowed to continue even though it is illegal.
  • What a lack of women in top leadership positions means for the future of the gender pay gap.
  • How you can advocate for yourself as a female physician if you are a victim of gender pay discrimination.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 51. So, today, I have a special guest. I have Dr. Linda Street. You might recognize her name because I've had her on the podcast before. I had her on an earlier podcast. We'll link that in the show notes, where we talked about negotiation.

So, Dr. Linda Street is also a certified life coach, like myself. And she's also, I believe, maternal fetal medicine, and we decided to get together to talk about the gender wage gap that currently exists, continuing the theme of the history of women and money.

And so, a few episodes ago, I kind of laid out the big milestones in terms of the history of women and money. And today, Linda and I are going to dive deeper into some of the issues that we experience as women, specifically in medicine, and talk about some of the laws that have come into place now.

Legally, employers can't pay a woman less than a man for the same job. But we also know that's not reality. And so, that law started to get passed in 1963. That's when the first legislation requiring equal pay for equal work. But it took a few more years for it to expand to, sort of, all fields.

And so, we still have a lot of work to do, and so Linda and I are going to discuss some of the issues that we face as physicians and also some literature which talks about and has proven that female physicians, even accounting for things like working part-time or taking maternity leave, we are still paid less than our male colleagues. Extremely infuriating. So, listen on as we discuss the gender pay gap in medicine.

Bonnie: Welcome to the show, Linda Street.

Linda: Yes, and welcome Bonnie Koo, depending on where you're listening. I'm excited to talk to you today.

Bonnie: Yeah, so I've had you on the show before and we talked about negotiation, of course. And so, I thought it would be fun to have you on here so we can riff a bit on sort of the gender pay gap and what's going on, despite the fact that legally we're supposed to be paid the same.

Linda: Right, legal and reality are certainly not always parallel.

Bonnie: Exactly. So, I just thought we could talk about some of the – we'll just talk about the data because I think some people think it doesn't exist in medicine.

Linda: Oh yeah, I mean, entirely. I've definitely run into people who are like, “Yeah, it's because…” insert excuses, excuses, excuses. And they can give you a laundry list of reasons as to why the gender gap's not real.

Bonnie: Yeah, because I think people think it's because we take maternity leave. But even accounting for maternity leave and working part-time, there still is a gender gap. So, I kind of wanted to talk about that a little bit. And so, we'll talk about stuff particular to medicine, but I thought it would also be fun to – not fun, but interesting to talk about the gender pay gap at large in terms of women as well.

So, one thing that I found that I just wanted to say real quick on the podcast is I found this chart from 2018, just in terms of the cents on the dollar for women compared to white men. And overall, we get paid less, duh. But it's different depending on your ethnic background as well. And so, I thought this was really interesting.

So, white women make about 79 cents on the dollar. This is all compared to white men. And then Asians are 90 cents. Oh, so we make more than white women. I don't think I knew that. That's interesting.

Linda: Congratulations.

Bonnie: Congratulations, right, yeah, woo-hoo.

Linda: Still less than white men.

Bonnie: Still less than white men, exactly. And then the lowest paid is Hispanic or Latino at 54 cents, which is crazy. So, they're basically half. It's insane. So, I just wanted to put that out there. And this data is from US Census Bureau data from 2018. So, I just wanted to put that out there that it's just crazy, the gap.

And so, basically what I wanted to say is yeah, we make less than men and then the gap is even worse for women of color. So, let's talk a bit about specialties. Because there are different amounts of women and men in different specialties.

So, obviously, everyone listening, this is 2021, the last time I checked there are pretty much equal amounts of women and men that enter medical school. But we're not 50% of the physician workforce yet. Because that just takes time to percolate. So, do you want to talk a bit about that in terms of specialties that tend to be female-dominated versus not and has that changed over time as more women have entered medicine?

Linda: Right, so certainly it's changed over time as women are becoming part of the medical community more. But what's interesting is the pay aspect of that changes. So, most of us who spend our time in medicine can certainly see that there are some fields that are more associated with being female than others.

The first two that come to mind for me that are pretty prevalent are pediatrics and OBGYN. Those are fields that if you look at any given residency program, the vast majority of the residents are going to be female.

As an OBGYN myself, all six of us in my year were female. we had 24 residents throughout the residency and I don't think there was ever a time point where there were more than three guys out of that 24 at any given year of time. And so, when you look at that, that's clearly very female-predominant.

Pediatrics runs very similarly, maybe a little bit less so. But what's really interesting is as women are getting into these fields, the pay is going down for those fields proportionally. So, not only are women being kind of pushed into certain fields because that seems more appropriate or for whatever reasons. But then, once they enter those fields and become the majority in that field, the pay for everyone in that field goes down.

So, there was actually a really great article in JAMA Peds this month that looked at the pay for men and women in specialties once they became female-predominant. And they both go down. That being said, of course, they're not going to go down fairly. So, men's went down half was much as the women in that field when it became a female-predominant field.

Bonnie: That's messed up.

Linda: It's totally screwed up.

Bonnie: I'm just so curious. I don't know if you know the answer. How does that happen? I'm just curious what the history of the decrease, what's behind that? We should look into that at some point. But yeah.

Linda: Yeah, and if you think about collections and things, I mean, this year was a big change because Medicare made all those changes for 2021 based on what relative value units get associated with what CPT codes, what procedures. So basically, they shifted it a little bit to favor some of the more primary care visits, like outpatient visits. And some of them were procedural things that had previously been preferred. And so, this is a group of people who sit in a room on a committee deciding, with a net neutral budget, how dollars get distributed. So, what procedures should be worth what amount of money? What value do we place on an office visit versus a procedure? This procedure versus that procedure.

So, you can imagine, over time, as these demographics change in the field, if the demographics don't change on those committees, it's certainly an opportunity for bias, so that's certainly one place, kind of on a high level where what you're compensated per procedure could change.

And even on smaller level scales, if you look at individual CPT codes, let's go for biopsies. So, when we were starting this conversation before the recording, we were talking about how different biopsy sites, since you're a dermatologist, may out at different levels. And obviously, it's a lot different having a biopsy on your arm than on your genitals.

But you would think that it would be fairly equally uncomfortable to have a genital biopsy regardless of your gender. However, a penile biopsy is worth 1.9RVUs versus a vulvar biopsy or perineal biopsy is only worth 1.1.

So, already, not only are you saying that the physician who takes care of the women, that their time is worth something different, because we all know that urology tends to be more of a male-dominated versus gynecology is more of a female dominated field. But then you're saying the value of taking care of a female patient is worth something different than the value of taking care of a male patient from a dollar standpoint.

Bonnie: Yeah, it's like so many levels of effed up, basically.

Linda: Right, the biases are layered in there every step along the way. Like, every step along the train, there's a whole new layer of bias.

Bonnie: Yeah, and then when you add them all up, it just leads to getting paid a lot less, basically.

Linda: Right, when you were talking about the pay data at the beginning, like, comparing to a white male, every year there's equal pay day, and that's the day where women have finally earned what men earned the previous year. And for women as a collective, it's typically end of March, early April. We haven't gotten to it yet.

But when you look at the different races, I mean, a Hispanic woman's equal payday is going to be almost a year after it took a man to earn that same amount of money. And so, it's just crazy when you start thinking about long-term potential, how all of these things add up to death by 1000 cuts.

It was so interesting; I was looking at something else earlier today when I was researching for our conversation. And there was an article that came out in the New England Journal of Medicine in October of 2020, so fairly recently. And it actually looked at primary care physicians, and they monitored how much time these doctors work.

So, with female physicians working 2.6% longer – so they were working more hours in this study reference – they made 10.9% less revenue from office visits and conducted 10.8% fewer visits. And then they looked at the complexity and all of those things and analyzed for that. So, basically, for the same amount of work or a little bit more, women are earning 10% less in the exact same field as men doing the exact same type of things.

Bonnie: Yeah, and this is a good segue into something else I found, is that I bet – I don't know, there probably is a study, I just didn't look for it specifically. But I bet female physicians on the whole don't bill as – I don't want to use the word aggressively, but they don't bill for everything they do. Because I know this is the case for female lawyers, because we learn that female lawyers don't bill for everything they do because they feel bad about, “Oh, that only took a few minutes.” Or, “This shouldn't have taken me as long…” because they bill by time.

But I know a lot of female physicians, actually someone who took my course told me that she felt guilty about billing patients even though they had insurance. And she was telling me how she no longer feels guilty. Now she bills appropriately and her income just shot up.

But I bet there are a lot of female physicians that don't bill for everything they're owed. They feel bad for coding a level three or a level four visit. So, I'm curious if you have seen that or heard about that at all.

Linda: Yeah, I mean I certainly haven't seen the data to that effect, but it makes sense, right? We're socialized from being little tiny children that women are helpers, women are maternal. The little girls are given baby dolls to play with, like you should just be helping.

And I feel like I hear that a lot with my clients when they're asking for raises. Like, “Oh, I feel guilty asking for more money because I really just want to help my patients.” And it's like, they're two separate possibilities, like you couldn't help your patients and get paid better. Like you can't do a good job taking care of someone and be helpful if you're asking to be reimbursed how you should be.

And so, I think all these pervasive beliefs certainly handicap us at a different level. Like, those are interfering with our ability to earn our worth, just at a societal level, just from being trained since we were little girls to believe certain things about women.

Bonnie: Yeah, and one thing I also found was how, you know, I think everyone can agree that male physicians are perceived differently than female physicians. I feel like every female physician has a story of being mistaken for a nurse, for example. So, there's that societal expectation of what a doctor should look like.

And then take that and one of the things I really hate about medicine, and you do too I'm sure, is now we're like Yelp reviews, basically. People can write Yelp reviews of us. And so, Press Ganey is like the big company that does this. And some hospital employers – maybe it's more than some. Maybe it's many – have now tied your pay to getting a certain score, a satisfaction score.

And so, one study I found – I'm sure there's multiple studies, and the one I found specifically was about female gynecologists was that they basically were 47% less likely to receive a top patient satisfaction score compared with their male counterparts. And this was due to gender alone.

I mean, we all know there's gender bias in general. And so, I think it would just be interesting for every employer to kind of see how their male physicians are doing compared to their female in terms of their satisfaction. Because I think patients have different expectations if you're a female or a male physician.

Linda: Sure, I mean not only from a what should you listen to level – I see this in my patients because I'm getting referring patients from either male OBGYNs or female OBGYNs. I see both. And it's interesting. And I'd have to pay attention to look and see if the data jives out. But I find I get a lot more basic routine obstetric questions about discomfort and is this normal from patients who come from a male physician. Because they may or may not feel more comfortable asking that when the doctor is a female. And so, those visits take longer because I'm talking about basic routine things instead of the subspecialty information they're seeing me to achieve.

And so, my visit all of a sudden took longer, and so that may add up to less visits you can see over a day. If you layer into that, I think the expectations are different from a woman physician versus a male physician. And so, that certainly is interesting, especially in gynecology where all these patients are female, by default. To see a gynecologist, you have two X chromosomes.

And so, for these female patients to more highly rate the male physicians just on a global scale certainly shows how deep these biases run. Women aren't exempt from feeling these things.

Bonnie: Yeah, totally. Another thing that I learned when I had Barbara Hamilton on the show was the sort of subconscious – not subconscious, but how women are almost funneled away from higher paying specialties that are, quote unquote seen as demanding and maybe not good for women, like surgery for example is one that comes to mind.

And so, I'm wondering how many women medical students were basically deterred from pursuing certain specialties because they won't be good for having a family because there's that silent expectation of a woman needs to have a family and all that kind of stuff. So, we'll link that in the show notes so you can listen to that episode.

But let's discuss now how women in general in medicine, that the leadership is still highly male, I think across all specialties. I know for sure in dermatology it's still mostly male, and how that affects the gender pay gap as well. Do you want to talk about that for a little bit?

Lind: Yeah, certainly I think that your governing bodies have a big role in the advocacy for your field, right? And that brings up a whole other layer that I hadn't thought about before, is it'd be interesting to see how advocacy at a lobbyist level from a legal standpoint is different between male-dominated and female-dominated specialties.

Because oftentimes, from a societal construct, women are less focused on advocating for ourselves and doing those things. It'd be interesting to see what the topics advocated for were, whether it was patient-based versus physician benefit-based and then how that all jives out between different genders and fields. I'm making some assumptions here, but I'd be intrigued to see how that jives out.

But yeah, even in, like I said, obstetrics, which is a field where all we do is take care of women, and it is becoming a much more female-predominated field, even in our leadership, certainly it's gotten better over the last several years, but there's a substantial discrepancy in the rations of genders on our leadership levels versus the ratio of genders represented within the field itself.

Our leadership boards tend to be at least 50-50, if not male-predominated. And this is in a field that is very skewed towards female physicians. And so, when you have that lack of leadership at the top, certainly that's going to trickle down and have impact on the women coming behind too.

Bonnie: Yeah, I think in general, not just medicine but in general for all professions, in general there aren't enough women in the top leadership positions. It's almost the exception to the rule. And people are surprised.

Linda: Right, or there's one woman…

Bonnie: Token woman…

Linda: Yes, and the data shows that if there's one woman in a group of men – I forget which book it was out of. One of the negotiation books that I read talked about some experiments where they looked at conversations. And if you have one woman in a group of six men, so she's the clear minority, she often doesn't speak up. Versus if you have a more even distribution, they're going to feel a lot more open to sharing their thoughts, to really impacting the conversation and moving agendas forward.

So, even if you have your quote unquote token woman at the table, if she's uncomfortable speaking up because it's a good old boys' club meeting, then it's more optics than it is actual progress. And I think the same thing could probably be carried out if you start looking at ethnicities and things too. Like, if you look at the data on that, I would be surprised if it showed anything other than similar kind of data, similar results.

Bonnie: Yeah, you know, one thing I'm curious what you know about this topic is, I know that for a lot of physicians, and I know this is true of my first job at our residency, was apparently I wasn't allowed to talk about my salary with other people. Is that even legal?

Linda: So, it's in the contract. I have a confidentiality clause. And I actually asked, “Can we get this removed because I'm kind of morally opposed just on a principle level?” And I was told – the advice my attorney gave me was that it's a big hill to fight on. They're not going to want to remove it. It doesn't actually mean a whole lot from an enforceability standpoint.

And so, yeah, but there's that moral deterrent. There's that, “Oh, I shouldn't do that. I signed saying I wouldn't.” And so, that's in there as well. But almost every contract I see has some type of language about lack of transparency, even interestingly enough I believe the contract I signed in my first job had language saying you have to keep this contract confidential.

And the salaries were all posted on the internet. So, because we were state employees, our salary data was searchable about a year or 15 months later But despite that, there was that confidentiality clause and it certainly benefits these uneven systems because when you have transparency, it benefits more equitable distribution.

Bonnie: It's just bizarre to me because legally – like I said, legal and reality are different. We all know it. But legally, employers can't have gender discrimination for pay. So then, why is it legal for them to not let us talk about it, because how else are we going to know?

Linda: Right, I mean it's something that the laws are oftentimes more about optics than actual desire for change. So, I'm sure that certainly plays a role. And oftentimes, even if things are unenforceable, we all know that unenforceable things can still be placed in a contract.

I was doing some research for a non-compete episode I'm about to record. And I have physicians in states where non-competes are not enforceable who have them in there for moral reasons, for moral persuasion, or whatever the heck that's supposed to mean. And so, it doesn't even have to be enforceable to show up in your contract.

There's that barrier where most of us as physicians have been rule-followers for a really long time and that's how we got to that position. So, even if you can add a pretend barrier, it's often enough that most people aren't going to jump over it.

Bonnie: Yeah, that just makes me mad.

Linda: Me too. But yeah I mean, they're real. It's out there.

Bonnie: Yeah, I still talked about what I made anyway. But I don't work there anymore, so…

Linda: Right, and I think the vast majority of people, who feel the way we do, do. But there's that person who wants to ask and just doesn't have that confidence yet. And they're the ones that are sitting there wondering and being paid 20, 30,000 less than their male counterpart.

Bonnie: So, I'm curious, what you do is help female physicians with their contracts. I'm sure you have worked with physicians who have found out that they were getting paid less for equal type – and I'm not talking about people who are 100% RBU-based. So, I'm just curious, you know, maybe just one or two anecdotes, how have they navigated that?

Linda: Yeah, I can think of a recent story where a gal had actually found something on a printer, like there were a couple of partners and the male in the group had printed something out for a mortgage application, or whatever it is that you needed a W-2 for, and saw that they were making more.

And they actually approached their leadership and the leadership's comment was, “Oh, that must have been an error.” And then magically her salary was boost. And you and I both know that it's very unlikely that that was an error. And this persona actually checked in with another female physician working in the same environment who was also making less than that gentleman.

And they were similarly ranked, similar FTE distribution, so other major variables were all comparable. And as soon as it was brough to attention and there was no real easy way to kind of bow out of it, it was corrected. But how many years was that a problem for prior to the correction, right?

So, one of the parts of the conversation here is not only how do we fix this moving forward, but is there anything you can do to recoup that lost potential? And the short answer is that pursuing that legal battle is going to cost you a whole lot more money than what you're going to recoup. And that's where it gets really tricky.

Because if you start looking into what you have to do to be able to file a gender discrimination claim, there are so many barriers, so many hoops that unless you can prove something really egregious and prove that the intent was based on discrimination, it's really difficult to capture that money back.

Bonnie: Yeah, and I just want to say for everyone listening in, speaking of just gender-based discrimination and how you can sue for that, I'm sure you've heard of Lilly Ledbetter. She basically worked for Goodyear and found out that despite having the same sort of title compared to her male counterparts, she was making significantly less. And so, I don't know the whole story, but in 2007 the Supreme Court actually ruled against her saying too much time had passed. Basically, if it was more than six months it was too late.

And then, thankfully a few years later, President Obama sort of signed a new law saying that you can still sue even if more than six months had passed. But like you said, even though that's the law, it doesn't mean that women have the resources – not just the financial resources to sue, but also want to spend the time to sue.

Linda: Right, being a plaintiff is a lot of work. It's a lot of emotional investment. It's a lot of time investment, a lot of financial investment. I mean, just the fact that you have to climb through those hoops when something should have been equitable to begin with is by itself a problem.

Bonnie: Yeah, and as you were talking about one of your clients, I just remembered that one of my clients actually, something similar, she sort of found out by accident that she was getting paid less than a male counterpart. And this wasn't for her main job. This was for some sort of additional medica education type – I don't remember the exact scenario.

And maybe this has changed, but at the time, she decided not to say anything. Now looking back I'm like, this is so messed up because she was worried about looking bad and rocking the boat and being seen as not in a good light. Because generally speaking, we both know that when women speak up for themselves, we're not seen in a good light.

Linda: Right. I mean, I've experienced it. So, a lot of the things surrounding our job, so if you look at peer review structures, that's a whole other podcast in and of itself. But the more you dig into it, peer review, if you look at the legal part and you look at the observations, it's very skewed towards hospitals. And the physician, if they want to make you look bad, has very little ramification. So, you're almost guilty until proven innocent, not innocent until proven guilty.

And so, if you get a target on your back as a troublemaker, certainly there are a lot of things that hospitals or your department chair or your boss can do to make your life really difficult and really to potentially damage your career.

Bonnie: Okay, so now that we've talked about all the depressing stuff we have to face as women, let's end with maybe, I don't know, I don't want to say tips, but maybe just some takeaways for our audience in terms of what they need to be aware of. I think hearing our conversation is going to be awareness in terms of what potential gender discrimination in terms of pay they'll face, but let's leave them with a few things they can do.

Linda: Yeah, so I think the first thing is it's okay to ask. It is okay to ask these questions. It's okay to ask for transparency. It's okay to get the temperature of what's going on around you. And then, one step further than that, it's okay to advocate that you should be paid fairly. It's okay to advocate if you are doing more that you should be paid more.

So, I think you need to be willing and open to advocating for your own value. We can't change the systems overnight, but what we can do is kind of move the needle person by person until this becomes less tolerated. Because if enough of us stand up and enough of us and enough of us say this is not okay, then we can slowly move that needle. And the first step, as we learn all those cage questions back in medical school is that awareness, that being alert to the fact that yeah, this is happening. This does impact me. It does affect me. Where are places that I can improve that on a microcosm scale?

And then I think just money in general – you can certainly attest to this. I think as woman, there's a lot of room for us to improve how we view money just at all.

Bonnie: Yeah, I really love what you said, how it starts at the individual level, woman by woman, we have to each be courageous to speak up and not be afraid to ask these questions. And since we're both certified life coaches, one thing that came to mind as you were talking is you have to be willing to be uncomfortable to ask those questions or be uncomfortable later when you're not paid enough.

Linda: Right, and so it's short-term discomfort versus long-term discomfort, which goes into a lot of the money beliefs that you teach.

Bonnie: Yeah, so be uncomfortable short-term while asking these questions versus the long-term discomfort of getting paid less and how that compounds over time, not just compound interest, but opportunities and all that kind of stuff. So yeah, that's basically what you and I do is help women advocate for themselves, basically.

Linda: Right, and help them get out of their own way so that they can do that.

Bonnie: Yeah, I'm sure for you, it's so fun when people come back to you when they were able to get more from a negotiation. And even one lady in my program told me that she asked for a raise. And so many women are just so afraid to even ask for a raise. Even if they think they deserve it, just asking that question can be so fear-provoking. And so, she asked for a raise and they were like, “Yeah.” But you have to ask for it. You can't assume they're going to reach out to you and be like, “Hey, you deserve a raise.”

Linda: Right, and even being willing to say, “Hey, I'm worth this,” and if this is something that can't happen, being willing to walk away.

Bonnie: Yeah, alright, I'm fired up now.

Linda: I know, it's like, let's go change the world.

Bonnie: Yeah, well thanks so much for being here. This was super-fun.

Linda: Yes, it was so great to spend some time with you. I know we both have very parallel missions so that women are doing better with money so that we can have opportunities.

Bonnie: Yeah, so tell us real quick – and this will be in the show notes – tell us how people can find you.

Linda: Yeah, I'm at simplystreetmd.com and certainly my podcast, depending on where you're listening to this, is Simply Worth It Physician Negotiations. And for the counter office, how can my people find you so that when they negotiate their wonderful raises, they can do right by that money and make sure it's serving them?

Bonnie: Yeah, so I am @wealthymommd. That's all my social media handles. Really just Instagram because I'm on Twitter but not really. And then my website is also wealthymommd.com.

Linda: Perfect, so good to spend some time with you.

Bonnie: Same here.

Linda: Bye-bye.

Hey, if you're a woman physician who is ready to practice medicine on your terms, then you've got to check out my program Money for Women Physicians. It's part course and part coaching and 100% guaranteed to put more money in your pocket. Go to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
The Truth About Why We Believe We’re “Bad” with Money

50: The Truth About Why We Believe We’re “Bad” with Money

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The Truth About Why We Believe We're Last week, I kicked off Women's History Month by giving you an overview of the history of women and money, with highlights from ancient history into modern US history. And to continue on this theme, today's episode is all about our social history, specifically the socialization of women and money.

It's no accident that so many women believe they're not good with money. There are countless societal, ideological, and political norms that have fed us messages that have us thinking we need to control our spending and that we can always be more responsible when it comes to money than we currently are. But it's time to bring awareness to these narratives because that's the only way we can change them.

Tune in this week for an overview of the historical societal norms that have shaped our beliefs as women about our ability to be “good” with money. I'm sharing how this messaging comes at us from all angles throughout our lives, and why it doesn't get any simpler when we start working hard and earning more.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The historical societal norms that explain why women, myself included, think the way we do about money.
  • How we are taught about these societal norms and financial gender roles from childhood, often by our parents and popular culture.
  • Why the way these societal norms affect us is so insidious that a lot of people don't even realize that's what's going on.
  • The extra messed up messaging we receive as women physicians and moms.
  • Why rewriting this history can only be done once every single woman is aware of and understands the social ideals that have got us here.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 50. So, last week, in episode 49, I kicked off Women's History Month by giving you an overview of the history of women and money with highlights from ancient history into modern US history.

And so, to continue on the theme for the month, what I want to talk today is about our social history, specifically the socialization of women and money. So, what exactly does socialization mean? Because I had to look it up. Remember, not really a history buff.

So, I found two definitions that I wanted to put out there. So, the first definition is the process of learning to behave in a way that is acceptable to society. The other definition I found is the process of internalizing the norms and ideologies of society.

So, I think I mentioned last week how I'm currently doing some advanced coach training, specifically around the feminist mindset. What I'm learning specifically is the history, including the social, political, economical, and ideological history of women so that I can better understand why women, including myself, do what we do.

Now, as an individual woman, we might not be affected by any one of these historical societal norm things. But all of this history has basically infused and percolated our society and it contributes to structures that keep certain ideologies, or what I consider quote unquote normal in place.

And I just want to pause for a moment here because one thing that I've come to learn for myself is that these societal or social norms, they're kind of – I was going to say funny, but really, they're kind of fucked up.

Because we, as women, as humans, we try so hard to fit into these social norms. Which is messed up for two reasons. Number one, these norms are literally made up by people, groups of people, and that groups of people, AKA society somewhat – or I should say somehow – agree to them, consciously or subconsciously.

Number two – and this is a big one, guys – society does not reward you for following these norms. You get nothing for being quote unquote normal. Nada. And yet, we've all been so conditioned to think that we should strive for, quote unquote, normalcy. Remember, it's all made up anyway.

Alright, I digress, but let's go back to the definition of socialization. So, I think understanding how we as women, how we've been socialized around money is so important to be aware of. Now, tack on being a mom and a physician, well, we've got a lot of messed up socialized beliefs to unpack.

And hopefully, I don't need to mention that all of you are probably aware, no matter where you are listening in the world, you have probably grown up in a patriarchal society. What that means is a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are basically excluded from it.

I think understanding all of this is important because I think it allows us to have self-compassion for where we are. And until every one of us, every woman individually can gain this awareness, awareness of these social ideals – remember, they're made up – that we have internalized, only then can we begin to make changes and, well, literally rewrite history.

I can't wait for a time when our history is going to be way more about us creating wealth than us not creating wealth.

Now, if you've been listening to the podcast for a while, this is basically what I usually do. I present a currently accepted idea. Remember, someone made it up. And then I question it and pick it apart. And so, what I thought I'd do today is sort of discuss some of the specific gender-based money ideologies that are out there and help you understand why we women are socially conditioned from a very young age to not create wealth.

Now, I think that's changing, and we have work to do. So, one of the biggest limiting money beliefs is basically around scarcity. Scarcity simply means not enough, always thinking that we don't have enough. Now, this is not just about money, but this is about everything. This is the type of thinking that creates things like non-compete clauses, for example.

Now, these aren't, like, super-amazing studies, but I found a few surveys asking parents about how they talk to their children about money. And so, as you would have guessed, girls are given very different messages about money compared to boys, on average of course.

Generally speaking, girls are taught to save and budget, where boys are taught about money as power and to create wealth. Do you see the huge difference right there?

One survey I found also saw that parents were more likely to teach their daughters about fiscal restraint, AKA budgeting, controlling their spending, that sort of stuff. While their sons were more likely to be taught about building wealth.

Now, I'm talking about the ideologies that affect us women. But on the flipside, men have a lot of pressure to be rich. We know that, right? A lot of us women also think that a man who is rich is successful.

So, what a crazy different dichotomy that we have between men and women. And that works against men too, as you can see, because a lot of men feel like, if they don't have enough money, then they really have tied their self-worth to that, right?

Another interesting thing that I found when it comes to how we're taught about money compared to men, as girls and boys, is that women are often depicted as over-spenders or being thrifty.

The overwhelming majority of money articles geared towards women focus on us being spenders and splurgers, that we have a spending problem and that this is something we have to become in control of. And, in general, there's a sort of societal norm that if you spend too much money or you have too many quote unquote luxury things, that you have a spending problem. And if you have a spending problem, you're a bad person.

Many of you have heard me talk about the correlations between money education and the diet industry. Because the diet industry is kind of built upon a very similar societal ideology that us women cannot figure out our food intake, that we need to control how we eat. Because at least in the US, the societal ideal is to be thin. That's a whole completely different topic. I don't coach on weight loss. But I think the similarities are super-interesting.

And so, the data actually shows that women and men overspend equally. So, it's not a female-specific problem. But I don't know about you, but I honestly can't think of any finance article for me saying how to control your spending. It's definitely a female type issue that's talked about.

So, going back to what I said earlier, how girls are kind of taught to budget and save money versus creating wealth, and even in popular culture, we see how women are taught to be cautious with money, that we should be afraid of money, whereas men are taught to be smart with money.

And so, ladies, I just want to say it's not an accident that you think you're not good with money. It's literally been ingrained in society that women are not good with money.

And so, I don't watch I Love Lucy, but in my Google research, I found that there's an episode where Lucy is basically being terrible at managing the household money. And she is behind all the bills. She forgot to pay bills. And so, her phone and power were actually cut off.

Just FYI, the episode is called Busines Manager. And so, basically, from this episode, the sort of these that emerge are basically that women can't think ahead to budget for future expenses. Men know more about money than women do. Money needs to be controlled because we can't control the money, and so we should only get money in increments, or an allowance. Women shouldn't waste their money on frivolous purchases. And women don't take enough credit for their financial accomplishments.

The overall theme here is that women, us women, we need to be responsible with money. But nobody is going around telling men, boys, that they need to be careful with their money. It's much more socially acceptable for them to kind of find their way, take financial risks, and they're actually socialized to be more courageous about taking risks, whereas us women, we're not.

We're taught to be responsible. We're taught to want and crave financial security. Because us women are so bad with money, we have to be taught how to spend less, how to budget because we can't be trusted with money.

And to go at this from another angle, you know, one of the patriarchal beliefs is that women, we are too emotional and can't be trusted to make good decisions, including money. It's not an accident that it was only until very recently – legally anyway, because we still know it happens – that we were basically given as full financial rights as men.

When you sort of collectively put all of these limiting money beliefs together, it is no wonder that us women overvalue financial security. We over-worry about having enough money for retirement. Whereas men are thinking more about wealth creation.

Now, the last thing I want to end with here is the very common thing that all of us are taught, so I don't think this is a female-specific thing, is how many of us were told growing up, probably by our parents, that money doesn't grow on trees.

What this sentence basically teaches us is that money is difficult to earn or unattainable. Money is hard. That's basically what that sentence means. How many of you listening right now think that in order for you to make a lot of money, you have to work very hard?

And it's not an accident that women working hard are basically seen as not great for society, especially if they are moms. Do you see how all this stuff is kind of wrapped all together? Even though legally we do have full financial rights, as men do, we still have so much more work to do.

And next week's episode, I'm super-excited to discuss. So, I just uncovered some of the big, I think, top-down limiting money beliefs that are pretty specific to women. But if you've listened to my podcast, this is what I talk about all the time.

And so, I hope you kind of have a deeper understanding now of where all of these BS beliefs come from. It's not an accident that you think you're not good with money. It's not an accident that you think you should focus on saving. It's not an accident that you think you're a bad person because you're overspending. Or, it's not an accident that you think being thrifty and frugal is morally superior. None of it is an accident.

Okay, I'll talk to you ladies next week.

Hey, if you enjoyed this episode and don't want to miss out on new episodes, please hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. See you next week.

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
The History of Women and Money

49: The History of Women and Money

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

The History of Women and Money Are you aware that March is Women's History Month? So, over the next few episodes, I'm giving you an overview of the fascinating history of women and money, and providing some much-needed context on the money issues women everywhere still face today.

The information I researched goes back thousands of years, and financial autonomy for women was only achieved (shockingly) recently. So, in this first episode, I'm specifically going over the history in terms of important dates and milestones, and the women who have fought for the rights we often take for granted today.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover the history behind women and money and how the landscape has changed up until what we now consider financial equality. Knowing this history will shed some light on why women are socialized to believe they're not good with money, which we will be taking a deeper dive into next week.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • The rights we take for granted today that women have had to fight for permission for throughout history.
  • A history of women's financial rights before and after marriage throughout ancient history and the middle ages.
  • Where the idea that women are the property of their husbands came from.
  • When married women in the US were first allowed full autonomy of their own money and allowed to spend it without permission from their spouse.
  • How a lack of rights not seemingly related to money kept women's financial options limited.
  • The surprisingly recent point in US history in which women's financial rights become more widespread and the women who blazed this trail.
  • Where gender discrimination still occurs today, especially in medicine.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Learn more about Money for Women Physicians where you'll learn the tools to make practicing medicine OPTIONAL.
  • Follow me on Instagram
Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 49. So, it's March. And did you know that March is Women's History Month? And so, what I thought I would do for the next few episodes is to give you an overview of the history of women and money. It is absolutely fascinating.

And I've been learning a lot about the history of women in general, including money, because right now I'm actually in a continuing coach education program. It's called the Advanced Certification in Feminist Coaching.

And so, I actually attended an all-women's college. I went to Barnard College in New York City. And also, as a woman, I am very interested and invested in knowing this history. And knowing this history just explains so much why we, as women, are socialized, or have been socialized with regard to money and all the things.

So, obviously, I love to talk about money. And so, I want to talk about the history of women and money. And so, today, I'm going to specifically go over the history in terms of important dates and milestones, legally in terms of our financial rights, both in ancient history and then I'll bring us up to date in the US.

And the reason why I think it's really important for you to be familiar with this history is it gives you a lot of context to why most women have money issues. Because it's not an accident. There is a reason – many reasons – why so many of us have limiting beliefs when it comes to money.

So, obviously, we are in the modern time. It's 2021. I live just outside of New York City. I pretty much grew up in the New York City area, so I've always lived in an area where people tend to be more liberal and embrace equality. But I know that is not the case in all of the US. And obviously it's not fully the case where I live right now.

And did you know it was only relatively recently where we women had full financial legal rights? You know, I don't think any of us right now even give much thought about opening an account in our name, taking out a loan, or buying property.

But there was a time not too long ago where we could not do that. And so, that's why I want to go over today the actual history, the facts, et cetera. And in the next episode next week, I'm going to talk more about the socialization of women and money in the US, which was super-fun to research, by the way.

Okay, so let's talk about some ancient history when it comes to women and money. Okay, first I have to say I am not a history person. I never was. And I will just say, growing up, it was probably my least favorite subject. So, I had to do a little research to make sure I didn't give you wrong information in terms of, for example, what does ancient history mean? Because I wasn't really sure what that meant.

And so, maybe some of you are also in that same boat. Maybe not. Maybe you loved learning history. I did not. So, I learned that ancient history actually means between 3000BC to about 500AD. So, this is obviously not the US history because the US was not around in ancient history. But I wanted to give you a little bit of background.

So, here's what I found. In Ancient Egypt, women and men actually had equal financial rights. I thought that was pretty cool. Meaning that women could enter into contracts in their own name. They could go to court. They could be sued, et cetera.

Now, in contrast, in Ancient Greece, women were not allowed to inherit property or take a case to court unless a male guardian was in charge.

Meanwhile, in Ancient Rome, Roman women were allowed to divorce. They were allowed to own and inherit property. What I also found interesting about Ancient Rome is that even though women could get divorced, the husband, apparently, got to keep the children legally.

And the let's go to Ancient Hinduism, around 1500BC. So, women were able to own property before marriage, but divorce wasn't allowed. And the inheritance laws favored male family members. Not too surprising, I guess.

Okay, let's fast forward to the middle ages, which by the way is the fifth to late-15th century. I also found that the middle ages is also sometimes referred to as pre-modern Europe.

So, in Europe in the 800s, women were allowed to own property before and after marriage. How progressive, I guess. Then in England, around 1100, something called English Common Law came into law, basically. And I learned a new word. It's called coverture. I'm probably pronouncing it wrong.

Coverture basically is the belief that married men and women become one financial entity. Let me repeat that again. Coverture refers to the belief that once you're married – and we're talking traditionally, men and women – you became one. That kind of still holds today a little bit in the US, right?

Anyway, because you became one entity when you got married, married women could not own property. What I found super-interesting is that if you weren't married, whether it's because you never got married or you became a widow, then you could enjoy those financial rights like owning property, et cetera.

And from my reading – and let's just be real. When I say reading, I mean Google research – coverture is sort of what started this idea that women are basically the property of their husbands.

And what I found interesting is that many countries basically had to deal with whether women could own property by themselves. And the term I came across was something called separate economy, which is the ability to basically earn their own money, keep their own money, and spend it independent of their husband. I mean, the thought of not being able to do that now might seem crazy to us, but this was kind of the norm in the rest of the world for a very long time.

Now, right before the US became the US in 1776, I found that in 1771, New York became the first US state to require a woman's consent if her husband tried to sell property that she'd brought to the marriage.

Alright, so now I'm going to focus on the history of women and money in the United States as we know it, more or less. So, let's fast forward to the 1800s. So, in 1839, Mississippi was actually the first state to allow women to own property in their own name. Which means that everywhere else and up until that time, women could not own property in their own names.

Remember that term I mentioned before, separate economy? Well in 1844 in Maine, married women were the first married women in the US to basically win the right to have separate economy. Meaning that they could earn their own money, keep their own money, and spend it without permission from their spouse.

Now, some of the other historical facts that I want to go over might not seem directly related to money, but they really are. For example, I found that in 1845, that was when women could first file patents. And this was in New York.

And the reason why this was important with regard to the history of women and money is because if a woman could not file a patent, that means that's he couldn't retain the rights to her work or make money off of it. And that also explains why up until 1845, at least in the US, that's why most of the history is, well, male dominated.

Well, the good news is that in 1848 through about 1900, so about a 50-year span, finally states started to come around in terms of allowing married women to basically have separate economy, to not be automatically liable for their husband's debt, that she could basically do her own thing, that she could actually inherit property, she could file a lawsuit on her behalf.

Basically, starting in 1848 through 1900, all the states started to basically recognize separate economy for women. And let me just pause here and say that it's crazy to me to even be reading that this had to be law, meaning that we actually had to win the right to do the things we take for granted today.

So, in 1862, there was the US Homestead Act, which made it easier for single, widowed, and divorced women, basically unmarried women to basically own land in their own names. Remember I said that whole separate economy thing. So, while that was happening between 1848 and 1900, in 1862, California was a state that allowed women to retain full control of their money.

And then, I also that in 1862 was when the San Francisco Savings Union, a bank, approved a loan to a woman. So, I'm not 100% sure, but what I'm reading sounds like before then women couldn't get loans. Which is kind of crazy.

And so, now I want to highlight a few sort of notable women that came up in my Google research. So, the first woman I wanted to highlight is someone named Myra Colby Bradwell.

So, she was a lawyer in Illinois. And even though Illinois allowed women to actually work and do whatever they wanted – how progressive – the Illinois bar refused to admit her. And this case went to the Supreme Court. And unfortunately, the Supreme Court basically said, “Well, the states don't really have to grant a law license to a married woman if they don't want to.”

The next lady I want to be aware of is someone named Sarah Breedlove. Now, she's more well-known as Madam C.J. Walker. But she was born Sarah Breedlove.

Now, she is recorded as the first female self-made millionaire in America according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Now, I'm going to put a little asterisk here only because it says, “We don't really know for sure if that's true. But she's the first well-documented self-made millionaire.”

And so, what I wanted to highlight about Sarah Breedlove is two things. One is that she was born right after Black Americans were, quote unquote free from slavery. Meaning that her parents were slaves and I believe her elder siblings were as well.

And so, I just loved reading about her story to see that no matter where you came from, no matter who you were born into or what you were born into, that you can still become rich.

And I just want to note that the self-made millionaire record that she holds, this was in the 1900s, meaning that $1 million is actually worth, in today's money, more like $15 million. So, we're talking about a lot of money.

Around the same time that Sarah Breedlove was making money, we have a few other women who were doing the same thing. And so, the two names I came across were Mary Gage and Hetty Green. And so, Mary Gage was apparently the first woman who opened a stock exchange specifically for women who wanted to use their own money.

Remember, women couldn't really do that in the recent past when Mary Gage was alive. And then Hetty Green, who apparently has the nickname of the Witch of Wall Street, her net worth was around 100 to 200 million, or the equivalent of basically two to four billion in today's money, which probably means she was the richest woman in the world at that time.

And so, one of the claims to notoriety or fame or whatever you want to call it for Hetty Green is that she apparently was a cheapskate. That was the word I saw describing her. Because she apparently owned one dress and only wore the one dress and she only washed it when it got ratty. And she basically didn't spend her money.

Alright, now we're going to fast forward and I'm going to get you up to speed with modern times. Did you know that women could not necessarily open a bank account in her own name in all states until about 1960? That's really not that long ago.

In 1972 was when we had the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. And that is Catherine Graham. Now, the next few laws I'm going to talk about were shocking for me to find out.

So, the equal credit opportunity act was passed in 1974. Now, up until 1974, until this law became enacted, banks apparently required unmarried women to bring a man with them to cosign a credit application, regardless of their income.

And then in 1978 it became illegal for women to be dismissed from their jobs for becoming pregnant. This is the pregnancy discrimination act. And even though this is law, we all know that's not really true, especially in medicine.

And it wasn't until 1981 where women were finally basically given, I wouldn't even say equal rights. But up until 1981, husbands could basically do big financial decisions without getting permission from their wife. For example, if a married couple jointly own property, the husband couldn't just go out and get a second mortgage without his wife's permission.

So, I guess before that, if you owned property with your spouse, your husband could go and basically take out money, refinance, HELOC without you knowing. Now, we all know that that still happens, but at least legally they're not supposed to do that.

Akin to that pregnancy discrimination act law that was passed in 1978, in 1993 – now, I was born in 1977, so now we're getting to the time when I was alive, although younger. So, 1993 is when the family and medical leave act becomes law in the US. We also call it mostly FMLA.

And people get really confused by what FMLA means. But I'll just say real briefly, all FMLA means is that you can take 12 weeks off from work and still keep your job. It's nothing to do with whether you're paid for it or not. So, it's just job guarantee for taking time off. Now, many people think of it as taking time off to have a baby. But it could be to take care of a sick family member as well, among other things.

Alright, so now we're going to be wrapping up. But one more thing I want to talk about is Lilly Ledbetter. So, Lilly Ledbetter worked for Goodyear. And she found out, after working there for decades, that what she was paid was significantly lower than her male counterparts at the same level of seniority.

Now, we're talking about gender wage discrimination, right? And so, in 2007, the Supreme Court basically ruled that a woman couldn't bring a lawsuit for pay discrimination if more than 180 days had passed. Thankfully, in 2009, President Obama sort of reversed that law, which basically means that people can sue companies for pay discrimination even if more than six months have passed.

And so, I kind of skipped over some of the pay discrimination laws that came into place, but what I find so interesting is that it is technically illegal for a woman and a man to have different pay. But at least in medicine – that's the industry I know – that's just not true. I know so many female physicians who find out that they're not getting paid the same as a male for the same job.

I'm not talking about RVUs and things like that, because obviously those are things that can affect your pay. But I'm talking about a salary job or a base salary. It is illegal.

And what I find interesting – I'm going off on a tangent here. But I know that for many physician or medical jobs, there's like a gag clause where you can't even talk about what you get paid. And I've actually read that that might be illegal. But I definitely signed a contract where I basically had to agree with that. And I think that should be illegal if it's not already.

So, that's the conclusion of my little mini history of women and money starting from ancient history, bringing you up to speed to current-day United States. And even though we technically have laws in place to prevent gender money discrimination, we all know that's not quite true. It hasn't fully propagated to what actually happens.

And because many of these laws are really recent, meaning that even though you may be listening and you were born after 1980 or 1990, our parents were born in a time where women did not have full financial rights, and our grandparents. And so, I think you can hopefully see that knowing this history will hopefully shed some light as to why women are socialized to believe that we are not good with money, which is the topic of next week's episode. I cannot wait for you to hear what I'm going to discuss then.

Hey, if you're ready to create wealth, I want to invite you to join my program Money for Women Physicians. You'll join a community of likeminded women physicians who are committed to creating wealth. Just head over to wealthymommd.com/money to learn more.

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
Defining Wealth for Women

48: Defining Wealth for Women

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

Defining Wealth for WomenI always talk about wealth on the podcast, but what does it really mean to be wealthy? On the surface level, as you might expect, it is about money. However, when you dig deeper wealth is so much more than that. You can have money, but without a couple of other things, it's completely worthless.

Another thing I haven't really talked about on the podcast is how I actually took this subject of wealth and created my business around it. And it's not like an intention I set myself years ago. The story of how I got here doesn't go quite how you might imagine. So, if you know you want something more for your life but don't know how you're going to make it happen, this might just be what you need to hear.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover what wealth really means and why I decided to build my whole business around this concept. I'm sharing the things that stop us from taking the leap of going into business outside of medicine, and how I overcame these objections in my own life, so you can see that it's possible for you too.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • What wealth means to me beyond just the monetary definition.
  • How I decided to focus on wealth when I was designing my business.
  • Some of the biggest objections I hear from physicians about going into business for themselves outside of medicine.
  • The story of how I got into this business in the first place, without ever really planning to.
  • How I overcame my own objections to continuing with my business and putting more energy into it.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

 

Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 48. So first, I can't believe that this is episode 48 because that means a year is coming up really soon. Is it episode 52 or is it episode 56? Because when the podcast first came out last year, I think I started with three.

So, we're almost at the year point and I hope you've enjoyed what you've been listening so far. And if you have, I would love it if you'd leave a review for me on iTunes. It helps other people find it.

So, today's going to be short and sweet, as usual. And I want to talk more about defining the word wealth. I think, on the last podcast, I sort of teased that I am writing a book. And I mentioned the title of the book, I think, which is Defining Wealth for Women: Peace, Purpose, and Plenty of Cash.

And so, I want to talk a bit about the word wealth and why I chose that word specifically for Wealthy Mom MD and why I love the word wealth. Obviously, on the surface level, it is about money. I talk about money, obviously. But I picked it because I also felt like the word wealthy also implies, I think, a greater meaning than just money.

It's kind of like the whole package; having a lot of money and living life the way you want to. And so, that's why I love the title of my book, Peace, Purpose, and Plenty of Cash. And I like to say peace of mind, that you are at peace. Having purpose or having meaning in your life.

Because at the end of the day, we all know that having lots of money without purpose, without having peace in your life, then it's kind of worthless. And so, I love this definition of wealth because, like I said, it's kind of like the whole package.

And so, I thought I'd spend a little time for those of you who are newer to me, sort of the journey of how this brand got started and why I decided to even pick this topic.

I get asked this a lot when I do interviews. I'm often talking about my business. And so, I thought I would talk about it on my own podcast for once, right? Also, as more and more women physicians take my program or I coach them, either one or one or in a group setting, I see this theme come up a lot where either women physicians feel like they've lost their purpose, or they feel like they want to do something else, but they don't know what that could be.

And so, they're always asking me and other people who have sort of pivoted, like how did you figure this out? How did you decide to do this? And I don't know what other people's answers are except for the people that I know personally. But I will say that for me, it wasn't some lightning bolt hit me.

And sometimes, I think people want to hear that. Like there's some five-step process I did to figure out my why or why I did this, and there really isn't. It really happened kind of slowly and it wasn't really planned, if I'm perfectly honest.

And so, I'm hoping that might be helpful for some of you listening because I think sometimes, we think we have to know what we're doing and it should be obvious from the beginning and that'd definitely not how it started for me.

I also hear a lot of, especially physicians, think there's something wrong with them or it's not good or they wasted time if they end up doing something else besides being a physician. I think that term is called sunk cost fallacy. Basically just because you spent a decade or two or three training and being a doctor, does not mean that was wasted time.

One of my old coaches told me – the way she said it was, “What if everything that's happened up to this point was just preparation for what's coming?” And so, I think about that a lot because I couldn't be doing what I was doing right now and the way I was doing if I wasn't a physician.

And so, I guess the quick backstory for me is that I was finishing residency in 2015 and around that time I had two co-residents, two male residents, and their names are James and Wes. I don't know if you guys listen to it, but if you do, hey. They always talked about their investments, the stock market, something like that.

I wasn't really paying attention, but I just remember they would talk shop sometimes. And pretty much the whole time I knew them, I just kind of ignored it because I was like, “Okay, whatever, they're talking about stuff that I don't know.” And for some reason, my last year of residency, probably because I was looking for jobs and had to think about money, I think I finally asked them, “Hey, how do you guys know all this stuff? Where did you learn this?”

And they actually told me about the White Coat Investor. I'm sure you listening all know who that is. And he had his first book out at the time. Now he's got so many books. When I say the White Coat Investor book, now people ask which one. But it was the first one. I actually don't remember the title of it. I just call it the White Coat Investor book. But it's not the bootcamp book. He's got a few books now that have the word bootcamp in it. It's not that one. It's the first one.

Anyway, so I remember ordering from Amazon. Of course, I got it like the next day with Amazon Prime. And I remember reading it all in one day. I think it was a Saturday. It was very quick read, very easy to read. And I remember thinking, “Wow, I didn't know any of this stuff. How come no one taught me about this?” And I'm one of those people that once I get into something, I really get into it.

So, I just started reading his blog and I read almost every blog post he had at the time. Pretty much all of them, which was a lot at the time. This was five or six years ago. And I really dug into the blog post that really pertained to my current situation. Because I got this new job when I signed my first contract and it was for a large hospital system. They had a 403B, they had a 457B. And so, I just started learning everything I could about these types of things so I could prepare myself as best as possible.

And so, that was going on. Then I started my new job. And I think it was around 2016. I started the job in fall of 2015. And then, in 2016, I found myself at this new job and I wasn't that busy because I didn't have a lot of patients because it was a new clinic. And so, what does that mean?

That basically meant I had a lot of time to kill and so, I would just hang out on Facebook. And I'd just gotten introduced to Facebook groups. Do you remember, it was a new thing at one point? Well, it was only five or six years ago at this point, right?

And I remember talking to a girlfriend and I was talking to her about all the stuff I was learning about money and she was like, “Oh, let me add you to this finance group.” And I was like, “I don't know what you're talking about.” And she was like, “Oh, it's just a female physician group in which we talk about money. So, I should add you to it.”

And so, she did. And I just, like I said, I had a lot of free time and I just started answering everyone's questions because I was just sitting around, literally. And I was just learning this stuff. And so, I was kind of into it, I was really excited about it. and I was just answering everyone's questions.

And it's so funny because I remember, when I first started answering questions I was like, “What if I tell them the wrong thing? Well, this is a Facebook group. I'm not a financial advisor, so hopefully these women know that they should look this up too.”

So, that was going on and then I started getting tagged in Facebook posts. And to this day, a lot of women think I started that group. But I didn't. I think that group was first called Doc Moms Personal Finance and now it's called Women Physicians Personal Finance. But I didn't start the group. But I did become one of the moderators for the group.

And it's a community group. It still is. It still exists. And as I was giving advice in this group, I don't know how this started, but I started forming relationships with an insurance agent, Larry Keller. I bought my term life policies from him and my disability insurance. I got to know Stephanie Pearson, who is a physician, now is a disability insurance agent. And she's got a personal story about her disability. And then I started a blog.

And I only started a blog because a girlfriend, Cindy, suggested I start a blog. And I was very perplexed when she suggested it. I was like, “Why would I start a blog? The White Coat Investor has a blog and he pretty much has written about every single topic already.” So, I was genuinely perplexed, like why would I start something that someone already has done before?

But she kept encouraging me. I forget exactly what she said, but she said something like “Well, you know, you're a woman and he's a guy and he's not married to a woman physician…”

Anyway, like I said, I was bored and so I was like, “Okay, well I guess I could do that.” And maybe you don't know this about me, but I actually have a background in IT. That was actually my first job out of college. And I wasn't like a hardcore programmer or anything like that, but I knew a little bit.

And so, creating a website and figuring that out wasn't a hard thing for me. And so, it was very easy for me to slap together a blog. It was one of those free WordPress sites. I didn't really put much thought into the domain name. I called it Miss Bonnie MD. Some of you may remember those days, and I think I still own that domain name.

So, that's kind of how things got started and then I started doing some speaking. I spoke at the first White Coat Investor conference. And so, I just began really as just teaching money to other, mostly female physicians. That's kind of how it started.

And it quickly became apparent to me that most of us don't know much about money. It really depends on how you were brought up. And the fact of the matter is most families do not talk about money, let alone teach their kids about money.

And so, that's kind of the void the White Coat Investor filled when he got started, right? And so, I was making a little bit of money from this blog business, but that wasn't really the goal. It was honestly really fun and it kind of gave me a sense of purpose if I really think back on it.

And I guess what happened was, at some point, I got pregnant in 2017 and that's when I had Jack. It was October of 2017. And we had moved from New York City to Philadelphia. So, there were a lot of changes, right? New baby, first baby, new city, and then new job. I did take a four-month maternity leave but then I started a new job.

And I'm pretty sure the blog was dark for at least three months during that time. I was very overwhelmed. I definitely had some postpartum anxiety. I got really confused, like why am I doing this blog thing? What's the point? And I'm a dermatologist and I have a new baby. I just remember thinking this is really strange, why am I doing this?

And there's nothing wrong with that, obviously. And I started working with a coach around that time. And many of you know that Sunny Smith was my first one on one coach. And so, I started working with her. But it wasn't for business specifically. I was just working with her on – to be honest, I don't remember exactly what we talked about in the beginning because this was back in 2018 at this point.

And I just was at a crossroads and I remember thinking, it got to a point where this blog, this side gig, whatever you want to call it, like, I either was going to make it into a serious business or I was going to let it die. At least that's how it occurred to me.

I felt like I was at a fork in the road and basically, I decided, why not? And it's funny because people ask me, “Why did you decide to pursue this business?” And I'll just be honest, back in 2018, it's not like I had this magical reason as to why I wanted to pursue it. I think I literally was like, “Why not? And if it doesn't work, I'm still a dermatologist, which is pretty awesome.”

All I knew at the time was that I was having fun. I really enjoyed learning about money, talking about money, and all the camaraderie – I'm not sure how you pronounce it – that comes with speaking to people, speaking to groups, and at the time all the conferences that would go along with it.

So, there was an annual conference for all the finance bloggers and podcasters. And then a lot of the physician conferences wanted to have someone speak about money. And so, it just became more of a thing. I would go to conferences and I would meet people and that to me was super fun. I just loved being social and meeting people. And so, that aspect was always fun for me, and still is. Except right now in COVID times we're not really doing that. It's all Zoom meetings, which isn't quite the same, unfortunately.

So, as I started working with my one-on-one coach who is trained at the Life Coach School, which is primarily thought work, it became very obvious to me that this is a missing piece in financial education in the topic of money. Because so much of the stuff out there is basically how to do a budget, what's a 401K, or how do index funds work? How should you do this? It's basically all strategy, or as we say in LCS world, A-line, actions, like how to do this, how to do that.

And it's not that those things aren't important, but how you think about money, the underlying mindset, it became very clear to me that that is what needed to be worked on, not so much the A-line. Because the A-line, the strategy is just knowledge. You've just got to go learn it, right?

And as female physicians, we are the experts at learning stuff, literally. And so, if only knowledge was what was needed to learn about money and to become rich or whatever your goals are, shouldn't we all be rich? Because we all know how to study really hard; really, really hard. And not just study hard effort-wise. But we're smart, meaning we can take complex ideas and break it down because we had to do that to become a doctor. And so, I just became fascinated with that sort of irony.

Basically, if I'm so smart, how come I'm not rich? Literally, that was the question that popped into my head. And what I noticed was, well, over the past few years, this has changed dramatically. But what I really noticed was that we're basically lied to about money from the very beginning and I do think it's harder for women because we do live in a patriarchy and there's certain belief systems we've inherited and that we've internalized and we don't even realize that that's what's happening.

Because how many of you have been asked, or have you ever asked yourself, how much money do you really want to make? Let's just say in a year. Very few people have asked themselves that question. I ask this question inside my program Money for Women Physicians. And people are always a little excited when I ask them that question. Some people are very confused because it's not a question that most of us have answered for ourselves.

Also, people are confused because they're like, “What? I could just pick a number? Why not?” And then, a lot of my students get really excited that they get to pick a number, but then objections come up, “Well I only work part time so I don't think I can make more than X.”

And I find all of these sentences, these thoughts, just fascinating, these belief systems that we have to – if you work part-time you can't make more than X amount of money, or the only way to be rich is to work really hard. You know, someone said they would love to make a million dollars a year but they don't want to work that hard.

What does making a million dollars have to do with working so hard? And so, I know that's a really common belief system, that you have to work really hard time and effort-wise to make a lot of money. What if that just isn't true?

And so, I just found this stuff fascinating and interesting, why we believe certain things about money. Why don't we think we can be multimillionaires? Did you know you can literally pick whatever number you want and it doesn't matter what the number is? And if you're feeling some resistance as I'm asking these questions, that's just good to notice. Where is that resistance coming from?

Were you told growing up that it isn't good to want to make money? There's a lot of guilt and shame about money. And I think, as female physicians, we've sort of boxed ourselves into this income ceiling.

So, I had a personal income ceiling. For me, it was $500,000, meaning I just assumed that would never happen because in my mind that was the most I could make as a dermatologist. And I would have to work kind of hard to get that. I would have to see a lot of patients, do a lot of procedures. So, you know, the average derm salary is not 500K. It's probably between 200K to 400K depending on who you work for and how many days a week you work.

And I didn't really want to work more than four days a week. And so, I was like, “Okay, 400, maybe 500 if I really push it. Maybe if I do enough excisions or something, then I could get to that number.” But in my mind, I was thinking of it as per unit of work, how many patients I would need to see per hour, et cetera.

And so, in my mind, making more than 500K was basically not possible. And I never even considered that I could make a million dollars a year. Basically, I've come to the conclusion that many of us have basically been brainwashed when it comes to what's possible for us with regard to money.

And I guess, at the end of the day, right now what moves me, what drives me right now is helping women, specifically female physicians, to literally free themselves when it comes to money. I guess the heart of the matter is, as a female physician myself, I truly believe that we are some of the most dedicated, committed people on the planet and it breaks my heart when I feel like a woman physician feels trapped, specifically by money.

And so, that is sort of my current purpose, my current mission, whatever you want to call it, is to show you that money should never be an excuse. I don't want it to ever be the reason why you can't do what you really want to do, whatever that is, including practicing medicine. Because I know so many physicians feel like we can't really practice medicine the way we want to because of current job, current employer telling us what to do.

I've definitely had that happen to me before so I understand. And I think that feeling of being trapped because you feel like you can't do it another way or there's no other way because of money, that's the lens through which I want to help right now.

And I think as women, we've just internalized so many limiting belief systems and I speak about women, but we're so diverse as women, depending on your ethnic background, your cultural background, whether you grew up in the United States and where in the US and your family and your family's class.

And so, all these little parts of us that make us unique and being a woman, they all come into play. And a lot of them really prevent us from being rich. I want all of you to be filthy rich, really. And I want you to know that being rich, being a millionaire, being a multimillionaire does not mean that someone else is going to have less money.

What if being super-rich is the best way to help people to make changes in the world? I don't know about you, but I think us women having a lot of money is what it will take to really change the world. And so, I want you to think about that a second.

What if it was – I don't like the word birthright, but what if it was your birthright to be as wealthy as possible, to be that example for your family, for your children, whether you have boys or girls? I have a son. I don't think we'll have a daughter at this point. I'm turning 44 this year. But I want to be an example for my son, that a woman can make a lot of money and be happy and have time for all the things she wants to do, that it's not either or. It's not be a good mom or be a good businesswoman.

Alright, that's all I have for you guys this week. But I do want you to ask yourself that question. How much money do you really want to make? Why or why not? And if you're asking, “Well, I don't know if I can really do that.” Like, why not? I'd love to know what that number is. Email me at podcast@wealthymommd.com and I'll talk to you guys next week.

Hey, if you enjoyed this episode and don't want to miss out on new episodes, please hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. See you next week.

 

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
What's Better Than Being Debt-Free?

47: What’s Better Than Being Debt-Free?

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

What's Better Than Being Debt-Free?As a financially-minded coach focused on teaching you how to live a wealthy life, I'm all about debunking the myths we have about money and debt. This may come as a shock to you, but I don't believe debt to be a bad thing, and today, we're diving into why so many people choose to pay off debt as quickly as possible instead of buying and growing assets.

At first glance, it makes sense that having no debt is a big goal for many people and that there's an insinuation that if you do have debt, there are some underlying issues with how you handle your money. Sure, being debt-free is an amazing feeling, but this week, I'm inviting you to see how there's something even more liberating than being debt-free.

Join me this week as I show you why we perceive paying off debt to be easier than investing in assets. We're discussing this through the container of the motivational triad, and I'm laying out the top 3 reasons I see people choosing the route of being debt-free over having income-producing assets that generate money for you while you sleep.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why you might think paying off debt is easier than buying and growing assets.
  • The story that keeps so many people stuck in negative emotions about debt.
  • What the motivational triad is and how it drives you to pay off debt as much as possible
  • Why our brains have a hard time with the concept of buying and growing assets.
  • The 3 most common things I hear from people when it comes to debt.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Learn more about Money for Women Physicians where you'll learn the tools to make practicing medicine OPTIONAL.
  • Follow me on Instagram

 

Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Happy Wednesday everyone. I hope you're having a wonderful February so far. So if you've been in my world for some time, you know that I've always talked about writing a book, or that's actually one of the first things I wanted to do when I first started learning about all the things about money.

But it wasn't until relatively recently that I finally pulled the trigger. And so I'm super excited to announce that I am writing a book and that the book will be available probably this fall. I know it's February, it's super early, but the reason why I'm finally saying this is because we just locked the title and I'm super excited about it.

So the title of the book is Defining Wealth for Women: (n) Peace, Purpose, and Plenty of Cash. And so kind of hard to see since you're hearing me talk, but after Defining Wealth for Women, there's a colon, and then in parentheses it says N for noun. And so we're basically defining what wealth means.

And so that definition for the book is peace, purpose, and plenty of cash. And so this book is a culmination of sort of everything I've learned about money, pulling in the psychology of money, pulling in the strategy of money, and spending some time sort of dissecting why we as women have money issues.

Because there's many reasons for that, and so that book will go into that and I'm sure I'll be diving into those specific topics on this podcast as well. And so just want to let you guys know that is happening. I don't have a firm date yet but once I do, I will let you all know.

So today, I want to talk about debt. Now, I've talked about debt at least a few times on this podcast and I think you guys all know my stance on debt, that I don't think it's bad and I think this whole rushing to pay it off as soon as possible is horrible advice. I don't think it's horrible advice in itself, but I do think it prevents people from really working on buying and growing assets.

And so this is always something I'm thinking about, this is always I'm figuring out how I can teach this concept better, how I can explain it better, and I just realized why debt is so easy to pay off, versus buying and growing assets. And so that's what I want to talk about today.

So even though I've had a few podcast episodes already on debt, I want to bring you up to speed just in case you haven't listened to them. So let's just first make sure we're all on the same page and define what debt is. Debt is simply money that you bought.

Basically it comes down to two things. You either didn't want to spend the money or you didn't have the money, and so you bought the money and the price of the money is the interest. I'm going to say this again. All debt is is money that you bought and the price of the money is the interest.

Okay, now that we're clear on that, now I want to move on to why so many people have so many negative emotions about debt. And hopefully you know by now that your thoughts create feelings, meaning that debt cannot jump into your body and cause a feeling, meaning that debt itself does not make you feel stressed, does not make you feel anxious or whatever you think debt is making you feel. It's what you're thinking about the debt.

Specifically, the story you made up about debt. Now, the general public, all the other financial bloggers pretty much all say that debt is bad, and you should pay if off, right? And on first glance, it kind of makes sense why people would say that because having no debt is better, or things like having debt means you're not great with money.

There's all sorts of weird stories about debt out there. Now, I'm specifically talking about lower interest student loans or a mortgage. I'm not talking about high-interest credit card debt or other forms of consumer debt. It's not that this concept can't apply, but generally speaking, when you go into a lot of high-interest consumer debt, that's usually a different problem.

So somehow, we've all agreed that debt is not something good and so you should get rid of it as much as possible. And people love to say they're debt-free, people always say, “It feels so free, it's so liberating to be debt-free.” And it's not that I don't agree with that. It's just that there's something even better than being debt-free. Something even more liberating than being debt-free.

And that is to have income-producing assets making money for you while you sleep. Now, that is freedom and that is liberating. But now I want to go into and explain to you why it makes sense for you to pay off debt as much as possible and why it's so satisfying to pay off debt. There's a very good reason for this.

So you may have heard me talk about the motivational triad. Now, just visualize a triangle. So there's three parts of the motivational triad obviously. And so this is how we explain what drives your primitive or toddler brain.

Now, let me just back up a second just in case you're new to me. Your brain's primary goal is to ensure your survival. Let me repeat that again. Your brain's primary goal is to keep you alive and it's done a pretty good job because if you're listening to this, that means you're alive.

Now, that might sound really silly but that's literally all it's really designed to do. To keep you alive. It makes sense. And this aspect of our brain has clearly been working for hundreds of thousands of years since the humans are still here on Earth.

The motivational triad describes the three sort of driving innate forces of human brains. So I'm going to say them all at once and then I'm going to go through them one by one and give you examples. Number one is that the primitive brain loves things to be easy. Remember, the brain is interested in survival and the brain does not like expending energy if it doesn't have to.

Remember, the brain is a huge glucose hog. It wants to conserve energy because we might have to fight a lion. Remember, we want to stay alive. And so if things take too much energy, at least initially, the primitive brain is going to be like, “That seems really complicated. Let's go watch Netflix instead.” And so I like to joke here that basically, our primitive brains are really freaking lazy. They are lazy as F.

Number two is pleasure. Now, this is dopamine hit pleasure. I also like to put in parentheses progress. Making progress is a form of pleasure for your brain. And so in the context of paying off debt, as you pay off the debt, as you see that debt decrease, the number, that is progress to your brain. That is a form of pleasure to your brain.

Now, I forgot to mention how debt and easy go together, but you already know how to pay off debt. You send a payment every month, you've been doing that already I presume, and so paying it off faster is just doing more of the same. It's easy. You don't have to learn something new. You just shovel more money at it, right?

So we've covered easy and the pleasure principle. Okay, number three is pain. Specifically, your primitive brain wants to avoid pain. Now, talking about perceived emotional pain. Remember, all of us think that debt is bad and that we shouldn't have it and it's hard and all this other stuff.

And so paying off debt is a form of reducing that emotional pain. So as you can see, paying off debt literally hits the jackpot in terms of satisfying your primitive brain's wants. It's easy, there's progress as you pay it off, which is a form of pleasure, and because you're decreasing that “bad” debt, it's decreasing the emotional pain.

Now, you may have heard me talk about the one rule of wealth or the only simple rule of wealth, which is basically that the key to creating wealth is to buy and grow assets, and that assets put money in your pocket. And so how does that relate to debt?

Well, I think it's pretty clear. Any extra money you put towards debt is money that is not going to buy and grow assets. I'll say it again. Any extra money you put towards debt is money that is not going to buy and grow assets.

Now, when I say this, people tend to agree with me and nod and agree logically. Like, okay, that makes sense, I get it. But then they get a little stuck because this whole paying off debt thing is so ingrained in our belief system. And I just told you why our brains love to pay off debt.

Now I'm going to show you why our brains have a hard time with this whole concept of buying and growing assets, even though logically it makes sense. And basically, it's because of the motivational triad. It basically is the opposite of paying off debt in terms of the motivational triad.

So let me go through that with buying and growing assets. Alright, here we go. Remember, three things. Easy, pleasure or progress, and avoiding pain. Okay, buying and growing assets. So let's just pick an example like investing in real estate, but you can use it with any type of buying and growing assets category.

So is it easy? Well, at first glance it probably isn't because it's something new because you probably don't know how to buy and grow assets or buy real estate. Because if you did, you'd be doing it already probably. And so at first glance, it seems a little complicated. It's definitely not easy. And like I said, our brains are really lazy, it doesn't want to spend the time to learn it, and so it basically suggests you eat a cookie instead.

Okay, number two, pleasure or progress. There is no immediate pleasure or progress when you're buying and growing assets. You can't start day one and day two be a millionaire. This is delayed gratification. So there's no immediate pleasure and it usually takes time. Longer than we want.

And then we've got the whole thing about pain, avoiding pain. Buying and growing assets, investing in real estate seems risky, meaning you could lose money. That is a bad thing. And so the potential to make a mistake, the potential to lose a lot of money, obviously, your brain is not interested in doing that.

So as you can see, it basically is a big X on all those three things of the motivational triad when it comes to buying and growing assets. So of course, your brain's going to think, hey, paying off this debt is so much easier and it's safer and let's do that instead. And we can deal with buying and growing assets later, we're already doing some 401K stuff, we're fine.

I'm not saying that's not a good plan. I just want you to understand why you probably chose that plan. So here are the most common things I hear from people when it comes to debt. This is the most popular one. It is a guaranteed return, meaning if you pay it off, then that interest rate, the price of the money, you get that back as a return.

So that is sort of true but not really because it is a very short-sighted way to look at paying off debt quickly. Sure, I guess you save money because you're paying less interest, but the last time I checked, paying off debt is not the same as buying and growing assets. The last time I checked, paying off debt doesn't start sending you checks in the mail, right? There's no continued interest coming back to you.

Number two I hear is that it's safer. So I'm not even sure what that means exactly, but I'm guessing it means that it's guaranteed. If you pay it off it goes down, whereas investing is risky and may or may not pan out. But that, in my opinion, is not a good reason not to invest.

A lot of us are so terrified of losing money but we all know that nothing worth doing is without risk, without effort. We didn't become doctors to torture ourselves for decades of training. We did it because of the reward of helping people.

The last thing I hear a lot is it's better to be debt-free. Now, I sort of debunked this earlier in this episode but that's because people think debt is bad and so being debt-free must be good. But most of us haven't considered what's even better is to have income-producing assets, a.k.a making money in your sleep, or not having to see patients because you have to. And that is available to you.

So that's all I have for you today and I do want to say that I did actually pay off my debt a few years after residency and that was before I understood the difference between debt, assets, and all that stuff. And so I don't regret my past decision, but if I had that debt today, because let me tell you, that debt was like at 2% interest. I definitely would not have rushed to pay it off.

And now that we're investing in real estate, that involves going into debt. Taking out a mortgage to make money. And I don't have any problems with that because I don't look at that as bad debt. I look at that as leverage. I look at that as allowing me to invest and make money.

So there are many ways to make money and I just want to hopefully introduce the idea that labeling all debt as bad is just kind of silly. I'll talk to you guys next week.

Hey, if you're a woman physician who is ready to practice medicine on your terms, then you've got to check out my program, Money for Women Physicians. It's part course and part coaching and 100% guaranteed to put more money in your pocket. Go to wealthmmommd.com/money to learn more.

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
Why I Love Prenups

46: Why I Love Prenups

Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher

Why I Love PrenupsI love prenuptial agreements, or prenups for short. This might sound a little strange right now to some of you, but by the end of this episode, you'll understand why I believe they are a vital part of any marriage, and even add to the romance.

You might be thinking that discussing a prenup is like talking about divorce before you even get married, effectively admitting defeat. But we have to face reality. The divorce rate is not zero. And a prenup could actually save you from piling on stress in the already emotional experience of going through a separation.

Join me on the podcast this week to discover why I truly believe that prenups are not only necessary, but why they will actually improve your life and your marriage in ways you might never have considered. I'm sharing my thoughts and beliefs on my own prenup, and what I tell anybody who comes to me, already married and without a prenup, who now thinks they made a mistake by not signing one.

What You'll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why I love the topic of prenups so much.
  • What makes divorce such a messy process, for high-earning women especially.
  • How uncomfortable it can be talking to your partner about prenups, and why that doesn't mean it's a bad conversation.
  • What I believe actually makes prenups extremely romantic.
  • My own beliefs about the prenup my partner and I are currently drafting.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

 

Read the transcript Expand

Welcome to The Wealthy Mom MD Podcast, a podcast for women physicians who want to learn how to live a wealthy life. In this podcast you will learn how to make money work for you, how you can have more of it and learn the tools to empower you to live a life on purpose. Get ready to up-level your money and your life. I'm your host, Dr. Bonnie Koo.

Welcome to episode 46. Prenups is one of my most favorite things to talk about. And you're probably thinking, why? Well, you are about to find out. But before we go into this topic, I just want to let you guys know that there is a huge snowstorm going on where I live.

I live in Northern New Jersey, just outside of New York City. So, it's a huge snow day. Which I guess isn't a problem. I work from home. However, that also means that my kids are home. Kids meaning my toddler Jack, my stepson also happens to be here right now. He's in virtual school during the pandemic.

So, I have to record this super-early in the morning before everyone gets up, otherwise it will just be crazy in terms of noise et cetera. So, if my voice seems a little raspy or groggy, that's why.

Okay, so back to today's topic; prenups. So, this episode is coming out just around Valentine's day, so I thought this topic would be fitting. And I don't think I've actually talked to you guys about how I feel about prenups.

So, first, I just want to say, I am not a lawyer, obviously. So, the one thing I will say about prenuptial agreements – prenup for short – is that they are state-specific, just like divorce laws are also state-specific. So, I'm going to talk in generalities. I'm not here to give you any legal advice about prenups. I want to have a conversation about why you, whether you're a female physician, a high-earning female or male, why you need a prenup and why they are actually romantic.

Yes, you heard me. I think prenups are extremely romantic. And you'll find out why I think that. So, first of all, let's just set the stage. Why are we talking about this?

If you are a high-earner and you're married, getting divorced is, or can be, a financial catastrophe for most high-earning women. And I say most because it depends on many things. For example, if you and your spouse earn similar high incomes then maybe it won't be. It's mainly a problem when there's a disparity in income, especially if one spouse is a stay-at-home spouse.

I also want to say that divorce happens. The divorce rate isn't 0%. Now, I know you know this, but how many of us head into our marriages, our wedding day thinking, “We're not going to be one of those people that get divorced.” However, just the facts, the divorce rate isn't zero. And it's pretty common.

Now, I'm not an expert in divorce rates, but if you Google it, The Googles tell me that the divorce rate actually isn't 50%. I feel like that's kind of thrown out a lot. It's actually lower. And the divorce rate depends on your socioeconomic status and many other factors. And I do know, for physicians, it is generally lower than the general population.

However, if you are a female physician, it's higher than if you're a male physician, and it goes up if you work more than 40 hours a week, AKA you're in certain specialties like OBGYN, for example.

Second, I want you to also realize that when you're getting married, you are signing a legal contract. Which I know many of you know logically. But because it's a marriage contract versus a job contract, a lot of emotional intelligence kind of goes out the window. People don't want to think about the exit plan.

However, would you ever sign a job contract that said that they would take half of your assets and maybe make you pay money ongoingly? No. You would never sign that.

However, so many of us have blinders on when it comes to getting married. So, as you know, prenups are a very taboo topic. A lot of people are very uncomfortable talking about it with their potential spouse. And I understand because there are so many beliefs out there saying that if you're talking about a prenup, you're already discussing divorce. Which is one way to look at it, I guess.

But no one thinks about that for a job contract. Well, hopefully you're not. So, first, I'm going to walk you through some of the logistics and facts about prenups. And then, we're going to get into my take from a coach perspective as to why they are romantic.

So, I already said earlier that marriage is a legal contract. So, you just need to understand that when you get married, it's not just about being in love and wanting to start a family and whatever you think marriage means to you. You are signing a legal contract for the state you are in.

And if you get divorced, there are legal consequences. So, here's the thing about getting divorced. If you do not have a prenup, you are basically agreeing to the state's default prenup. So whether or not you think you have a prenup, you do. Except, if you don't have your own – which I like to explain as a custom, tailored suit – you are agreeing to the state's one-size-fits-all prenup.

And you probably don't even know what the state's prenup is. You're just like, “Well, I don't want to think about it so I guess it's fine.” What's ironic is that the prenup, AKA the finely tailored suit, is way cheaper than the state's default one-size-fits all ready-to-wear fashion, right? And so, that's just one thing I want to point out.

Another thing is, a lot of us don't think about things like alimony or child support. Now, child support is separate from divorce, meaning that you can't put child support clauses or anything about kids, whether they're born or not, inside the prenup. The prenup is only between the two adults getting married.

However, if you're listening to this, you probably know at least one friend who got divorced who is spending a lot of money paying alimony and or child support. And so, you know that that's a thing, right?

And at the time of this recording, the tax laws recently changed. Where previously, if you were paying alimony, you could actually deduct the alimony on your tax return, and then the alimony receiver would pay taxes on that. And they reversed that. Which makes sense for the government because they'll collect more taxes the other way around. So, also another reason why paying alimony is not palatable.

Now, as I said before, I am not a lawyer and prenups are state-specific in terms of the laws, in terms of whether they're contested or not. One thing I hear a lot is, “Oh, I hear prenups are thrown out the window.” And I find it so interesting when people say that as if that one example means none of them work.

And so, let me just give you an example. You know, I actually wanted to record this podcast after Matt and I had signed our prenups. But it's taking a little bit longer than usual. Not because anything weird or bad is going on. We're just kind of lazy getting the lawyers on board. But we do have a draft.

And what I do want to say about the prenups for New Jersey is, I asked my lawyer, has a properly done prenup in New Jersey ever been thrown out of court. And she told me, “No.”

And so, obviously I'm sure this is state-specific. And you also have to have it properly done. So, noticed that I asked properly done prenup. And so, that is also state-specific. Just to give you an example from New Jersey, the law states that for it to be a properly done prenup, that each person needs their own representation, meaning I have my own lawyer, Matt has his own lawyer.

And then, I also asked her, does it matter who pays for the lawyer?” Meaning if I paid for my lawyer and also paid for his lawyer, would that be, I don't know, seen as coercion? And she said, “No.” That did not matter.

However, I have also heard from other people – like I said, other people, not lawyers – that some states might require that each person pays for their own lawyer. So, you really have to find out how it applies to you where you live.

Okay, now onto the part I love talking about; the part where I say that prenups are romantic. So, before I go into that, I just want to say that concept of marrying for romantic love is a modern concept.

Now, my opinion is that people can and should marry for love versus a business transaction. But that's' what marriage was for back in the day. We all know that.

Here are my reasons why I think every couple needs to have a prenup. And here is the argument I hear a lot, “Well, we weren't really making any money when we were getting married, at the time.” Things can change rapidly over the course of a lifetime, right?

And so, I think a prenup, first of all, is a great way for a couple to really sit down and talk about money. Because if there are any money problems, we all know they don't get better once you get married. Every couple needs to have a frank discussion about money before getting married. Because you carry all your baggage into the marriage, right?

And so, here is why I think prenups are actually extremely romantic, versus the opposite that most people think it is. Think about the context of drafting a prenup versus fighting, contesting a divorce agreement. When you're drafting a prenup – and this is something my lawyer told me, so I don't want to take credit for what she said – you hold each other in the most highest regard. Meaning that you love that person and vice versa, I hope, right?

And so, it's a very different context for talking about how you're going to legally divide things, versus when you're in the midst of a divorce, when emotions can run high, and people are usually not really behaving very well. I think about a prenup like this. You're basically saying, “I love you no matter what. I want the best for you. Here is my proof.”

And I'm going to tell you some of my beliefs about the prenup that we're currently drafting – not finalized yet, of course. But honestly, my belief about the prenup in terms of how Matt and I are going to divide things, at least from my point of view is that why wouldn't want him taken care of?

Not only do I love him; he's the father of my child. He's the father of my stepson. Why wouldn't I want him to have the best chance of living the next phase of his life if we separate?

I also think about money very differently now, meaning that I know that I can always make more money. I also know that I have a lot of money. And I'm not even talking about an amount. It's not like I have $10 million in the bank right now. However, I'm not worried about my money in the future if we separate.

You know, the conversations Matt and I have had around the prenup have not always been, you know, rainbows and unicorns. Meaning that it is a little weird and uncomfortable to talk about certain things at some times. However, there's been some levity in it as well.

So, for example, first of all, if you don't know Matt or haven't met him in person, he is the funniest guy ever. I'm the more serious and kind of boring person. And so, he's basically said, “Listen, as long as I have my own really nice apartment, luxury high-rise with a doorman, I'm fine. I just need a two-bedroom; one for me, one for Jack, or my other son, and I'll be fine.”

Now, I'm joking about this a little bit. But I also want to say that just because the conversations might be a little uncomfortable, doesn't mean that it's the wrong conversation to have. Because I also just want to let you guys all know that it's way more to have these conversations without a prenup when emotions are likely tense, angry, resentful, you know, when our primitive fear-based brains take over.

And so, I like to really think about the prenup as using our higher brain, our prefrontal cortex to plan thoughtfully and make decisions ahead of time. And these decisions are coming from a place of, “I want the best from you no matter what.”

When you're thinking about these types of decisions from that place, we're thinking things like, “He is the father of my son. I love him. I want my son to have an amazing relationship with his father, no matter what.” You just make decisions from just a much more abundant place.

Now, I do want to share with you all the logistics of our prenup. But it's not finalized, so I don't want to say anything that may or may not actually happen. But it's actually very simple.

We each keep our own retirement accounts. Matt and I started investing in real estate, and so we decided, from the get-go, that that will be split 50-50, no matter where the money comes from. And I guess one thing I'll say in terms of how we do our finances – and I definitely want to do an episode on how we do our finances. And I don't think there's a right way to manage money together. But I truly, truly try to take the stance that it is our money; not mine or his. And so, I'll definitely talk more about that in another episode.

We did put a calculation for spousal support, alimony, you know, based on income differential et cetera and, you know, years not worked if that comes into play. And there is, of course, a clause to protect my business Wealthy Mom MD.

And so, that's sort of where we are in terms of the rough draft. And I can't wait to tell you all when it's finalized. And I think I'm actually going to have my lawyer come onto the show so you can hear from a prenup lawyer, so we can normalize the conversation around prenuptial agreements. And so, she's obviously a huge fan of it, not just because she's a lawyer, but she's obviously seen people do prenups and then also she does divorces.

So, I hope you've learned something new today. I hope maybe I've given you something to think about for those of you who are not married. And for those of you who are married and you're thinking, “Oh, maybe I should have done that.” Not to worry. There is something called a postnuptial agreement, which basically means it's an agreement signed after you get married.

Now, I will say, again, state-specific, they don't tend to hold up in court. They don't have a lot of strength behind them in most states. At least that's what my lawyer told me. Again, you'll have to check with your state.

And so, this is what I usually say to women, men who don't have a prenup and now they think that maybe they should have. You know, unless you're in a marriage that you're not happy with, that is abusive et cetera, my advice is simple.

Invest in your marriage. Take your marriage very seriously. Not just because of the financial consequences, but because it is the most important relationship and a lot of us take it for granted. It's human nature to take things for granted.

And so, if you just need a little reminder to spend time, water your relationships, then there you go. And I also recommend you listen to the podcast I did with Kate Mangona, or check out Kate Mangona's podcast. I think it's called Marriage, Medicine, and Money, or something like that. And so, she interviews couples, mainly physicians, around money and marriage and kind of combines the whole money and relationship thing. So, check that podcast out and I will talk to you guys next week.

Hey, if you enjoyed this episode and don't want to miss out on new episodes, please hit he subscribe button on your favorite podcast app. See you next week.

Download the Transcript Share on Facebook Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Share on Pinterest Pinterest Share on Linkedin Linkedin Share on Email Email Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth – so you'll never fall for them again.

Give it to me! Comments

Recent Episodes

WMMD Read More
Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth — so you'll never fall for them again.