Today we are answering all of your questions about insurance. We discuss group universal life insurance and go over the reasons that it is very likely you don't need or want it. We cover long-term care insurance, specifically as it relates to some new laws in Washington state. We also touch on umbrella insurance and one of our favorite topics here at WCI—whole life insurance. Finally, we go into health insurance and review the difference between high-deductible health plans and health savings accounts.

 

Group Universal Life Insurance

“What do you think about employer Group Universal Life? My employer pays for 1X of my base salary in coverage. I can elect an additional 1-9X of my base salary in coverage. The premiums are competitive at $540 per year per $1 million of coverage for a 38-year-old tobacco-free male. It is also transferrable.

I'm getting my financial ducks in a row, and I like that I can taper down the coverage each year as my assets grow. I've been using the max coverage for many years. Separately, I was somewhat horrified to see that there was a cash balance pension program tacked onto the side of it, which is maybe slightly better than a savings account but has so many caveats and limitations that it doesn't seem close to worth the hassle. What do you think of this plan?”

What do I think about this? Well, I think your employer got suckered. Cash-value life insurance is not right for the vast majority of people, including physicians. So, if your employer is offering this to you as a benefit and they think it's some great benefit for you, they basically got suckered. Almost everyone would rather have more salary or some other type of retirement plan, a bigger match or a cash-balance plan or something like that than a Group Universal Life Plan.

Now, obviously your employer is paying for some of this. You might as well take what they're paying for. That's free. It's part of your salary. You might as well take that 1X that they're offering you. Obviously, that's not a terribly valuable benefit since it's pretty darn cheap to get 1X term-life insurance, 1X of your salary. That's just really, really cheap to buy out on the open market. So, it's not a huge benefit, but you might as well take it. But if you've got to pay for it, you better look at it a whole lot more closely.

And then, of course, what the life insurance agent that sold this idea to your employer wants is for you to buy more because you assume it's such a good thing that your employer is offering it to you. I wouldn't buy any more. I wouldn't buy it on the open market. I would not buy it through your employer.

Now, you mentioned this as somehow combined with the defined benefit cash balance plan. That's usually not the case. Maybe they're both in the same paperwork or something, but they're usually not the same plan. Defined benefit cash balance plans can be a great deal. They're usually not invested very aggressively for various reasons. They're more of a tax play. But in the end when that plan is closed in three or five or 10 years or whatever, you can just roll that money into your 401(k) and invest it however you like.

So, for the most part, if you've already maxed out your other retirement accounts like 401(k)s or 457s or Roth IRAs, those sorts of things, and you want to save more for retirement, a defined benefit plan is a great place to do that. Take a closer look at that. I wouldn't get super excited about this Group Universal Life Insurance plan, however.

Recommended Reading:

Why I Hate Split-Dollar Life Insurance 

 

Long-Term Care Act in Washington State

Our next question comes from Dan.

“Hi, my name is Dan. I'm an anesthesiologist, and I've been practicing for about two years. Washington state now requires long-term care insurance for physicians. Many companies have stopped selling these policies due to the increased demand. I'm considering converting a small part of my term-life policy to a permanent or whole-life policy with a long-term care rider in order to satisfy the new state policy. The premiums would be $2,000 annually. I've read your flow chart, but this is a new situation affecting many physicians in this state? Thanks for weighing in.”

I've been following this situation. It's a mess for those of you up in Washington. I mean, this is the classic scenario of the government meddling in the private sector and really screwing things up.

Basically, the Washington state government has said, everybody's got to have long-term care insurance in the state or you've got to pay this big fat tax. Now the tax actually isn't that much if your income is not very high, but if you have a really high income, the tax is substantial, such that almost anything you buy is going to be cheaper than the tax. And of course, a lot of these people don't even have a long-term care insurance need.

And the worst part is: what have all the long-term care insurance companies in the state done? Well, they've decided we don’t want to sell this stuff anymore. Now everybody's scrambling to try to meet these requirements to try to avoid this tax. And they're doing things like buying permanent life insurance with long-term care riders, anything that qualifies them to get out of this tax.

I've requested a guest post from an agent in Washington. I haven't received it yet. I'm hoping to run it when I get it to give you some more insight into the situation. But the bottom line is you're just in a bad situation. You need to find the cheapest way out of it.

If the cheapest way out is buying a permanent life insurance policy with a long-term care rider, go ahead and do it. If the cheapest way out is buying a long-term care policy, go ahead and do it. Maybe you can buy an annuity with some sort of interest in long-term care rider on it and get out of it that way. Or maybe in your case, it might just be cheaper to pay the tax.

But you'll have to weigh those options. I would definitely talk to insurance agents in the state. There's a lot of them dealing with this right now, and they can give you some options. But don't buy some huge whole-life policy just to get a little tiny rider on it to meet this. Try to make the policy as small as possible if you decide to go this route. Good luck. Sorry you've got to deal with this. And hopefully this mess will be a good example to other states so they don't put in a law like this because it's really a mess up there.

 

How Much Umbrella Insurance Do Physicians Need?

“This is Dean from the upper Midwest. My question is regarding umbrella insurance coverage, and more specifically, how much is needed. I have read and heard people say that you should have enough umbrella coverage that would roughly equal your assets that are at risk in a potential liability lawsuit.

However, consider this scenario to illustrate. What if I had, say, $1 million in assets, maybe in a taxable account, and therefore obtain a $1 million umbrella policy. However, I get sued by someone that slips in my driveway, gets injured, and they want a judgment for the amount of $2 million or maybe more.

The umbrella policy would only partially cover that judgment amount and the remaining amount could then wipe out my assets. Is it therefore the case that I could only be expected to pay the maximum amount of my assets at risk, $1 million, in my example, which would be covered by the umbrella insurance policy and that the assets there are really safe? Otherwise, the logic to obtain enough coverage that equals the amount of assets to me maybe seems faulty. Thanks for everything. I really do appreciate it.”

Yes, it's faulty logic. I've been talking about this for a long time. The amount of umbrella insurance coverage that you need is the amount of the judgment that comes against you. If that judgment is $100,000, you need $100,000. If that judgment is $10 million, you need $10 million. If there's no judgment ever, you don't need umbrella insurance.

The problem is you can't know that in advance. So, it's guesswork. And yes, any amount above that that isn't protected or exempted in some other way, if the plaintiff and their attorney decided to go after it, is certainly at risk. Here are some guidelines I think you should use. And they are similar to what I recommend when it comes to malpractice insurance. With malpractice insurance, I recommend you have the amount similar to other specialists in your specialty in your geographic area.

If everyone's carrying $1 million t0 $3 million coverage, you should get a $1 million to $3 million policy. That does a couple of things. One, it says, “Hey I did the right thing. I bought insurance. If something bad happens, I'm really sorry about it. Here's a million dollars.” And so, that gives something for both the plaintiff and their attorney to say, “Hey, we got what we wanted out of this case. We're not going to go after that doctor's personal assets.” And that's usually what happens. They're willing to settle for policy limits.

On the umbrella side, [it] is not nearly as standardized, but I think a lot of the same principles apply. You want to have enough money to do a few things. First, you want the insurance company to provide a robust defense. You don't want them to go, “Well, you only have a $50,000 policy. We're just going to pay that and move on. We don't want to spend a bunch of time defending this.” You want them to have a lot of money on the line, like seven figures.

The second thing you want is, in the event that something happened, you want to have enough that you can actually make that person whole. That is why you pay premiums for years. It is the great thing about insurance.

And then third, I think you want to have enough money that that plaintiff and their attorney feel like they got a lot of money. For most people, getting a million dollars feels like a lot of money. And so, that's where I'd start with your umbrella policy. Usually that means you have to increase your auto and homeowners or renters’ policy up to about $300,000 of liability. And then the umbrella sits on top of that. But I think that's probably where most people ought to start. Even a resident probably needs a $1 million umbrella policy.

As your assets that are exposed increase, as your income increases, as your net worth increases, you can afford a little more. And so, I think it's entirely reasonable to go to $2, $3, or $5 million even. And again, this isn't malpractice insurance. It’s way cheaper than malpractice insurance. That million-dollar policy probably only costs $200-$500 a year. And even for a $5 million policy, you're probably spending less than $1,500 a year.

It's not super expensive insurance, but it protects a lot. In any asset protection situation, insurance is your first line of defense. And so, I think the amount that most physicians ought to be carrying as far as umbrella policy goes from $1 million to $5 million.

Now, does that mean that's going to cover every single possible judgment that could ever be brought against you? No, but it's going to cover the vast majority, and it's going to be enough money that most plaintiffs and their attorneys are going to go, “All right, I feel satisfied. I got a couple million dollars. I don't feel a need to go after this doctor's taxable account or force them to sell their house and declare bankruptcy or go after their Tesla or something like that.”

Of course, there is no 100% guarantee in anything asset protection related. There is always the possibility, however rare it might be, of an above policy limit judgment, where you would have to declare bankruptcy and all you would get to keep are those assets that are exempt under your state and federal laws. Which usually means your retirement accounts and a little bit of your home equity. And so, keep that in mind. That's basically how asset protection works. The good news is you're probably never going to need it.

 

Is Whole Life Insurance a Good Option for Income Before Retirement Age? 

The next question is about whole life insurance—one of our favorite topics here at The White Coat Investor.

“Hi, Dr. Dahle. Thank you for everything that you do. I know you mentioned whole life insurance and how it's generally not a good idea for most people. I am 41 and plan on retiring in eight years. I've been recommended to get whole life insurance as a way of providing an income for myself from when I retire to when I'm eligible to tap into my retirement accounts. What do you think about that? Thank you.”

Good question, Ash. Let's be clear in our terminology here. You have not been recommended to buy whole life insurance. I'd be very surprised if some unbiased person that you paid just for their advice is telling you to buy whole life insurance to cover this need. What is happening is somebody is trying to sell you a whole life insurance policy. They learn a little bit about your financial life and they think, “What angle is going to help me sell Ash a whole life insurance policy best? This guy's a really good saver that wants to retire early. Let's pitch it as a way to solve the age 59 1/2 problem, that you can't get into your retirement accounts until age 59 1/2 without paying a 10% penalty.”

And for the unsophisticated, maybe that sounds like a smart thing to do, but it really isn't. Let me explain why. Number one, if you decide to use whole life insurance to pay some of your retirement income needs, it's generally best to do that toward the end of your life.

When you borrow against a whole life policy, you can do a partial surrender up to the amount of premiums that comes out tax-free and just reduces the death benefit. But after that point, you're borrowing against the policy. Like borrowing against your house or your car, that is tax-free, but not interest-free. If you started borrowing a whole bunch of money against your policy at age 50 and then you live another 40 years, you're going to pay a whole lot of interest to get your own money. So, that's a big downside of using it early in retirement. It's far better to use it late in retirement if you have it at all.

Issue number two is if you have saved enough money to retire in your 40s, chances are it's not all in your retirement accounts. A whole bunch of it is probably in your taxable accounts. In fact, I can't think of anybody I've ever met that retired in their 40s that was a physician or other higher earner that had it basically all in their retirement accounts. The Physician on FIRE? Substantial taxable account. All these real estate Fast FIRE folks, guess what? That's all outside their retirement accounts. And so, the age 59 1/2 rule doesn't apply.

The third point, there are so many exceptions to the age 59 1/2 rule that there are these loopholes that are so big you can drive a truck through them. One of the exceptions, perhaps the most notable one, is what they call the SEP rule—Substantially Equal Periodic payments. What that means is if you retire early, before age 59 1/2, you can start taking money out of your retirement account without paying that 10% penalty. If it's a tax-deferred account, you do have to pay the taxes on it. If it's a tax-free or Roth account, you don't even have to pay the taxes on it and you can take that money out.

What's the catch? Well, the catch is you can only take out a certain amount per year. It works out to be about 3% or 4% which is about what you would want to spend anyway, according to the 4% rule/guideline. You do have to keep it up for five years and until age 59 1/2. So, if you start at age 48 or whatever, you've got to keep taking that 4% or so out every year until you're 59 1/2. No big deal, no penalty due, no reason not to invest in a retirement account if that is your goal. If you've got money to buy a bunch of whole life insurance premiums, you've got money to invest in a taxable account and then live on it between the age you retire and age 59 1/2.

The truth is the vast majority of people, including physicians, do not need a whole life insurance policy. You need to have a really good reason to buy it. You need to really understand how it works and still want it, because the vast majority of those doctors who buy one, especially in their first 10 years or so out of training, end up regretting it, end up surrendering it, end up sending me emails going, “How do I get out of this thing? I'm still underwater on it after 10 years.” It doesn't turn out to be anywhere near as good as they thought it was going to be when they were talking to the person selling it.

Meanwhile, the person who sold it to him is laughing all the way to the bank because the commissions on these things are 50%-110% of the first year's premium. So, if they can talk you into buying a policy that's $30,000 a year, they pocketed somewhere between $15,000-$30,000 to sell you that policy. Now you know why they worked so hard at it. I hope that's helpful.

Recommended Reading:

Debunking the Myths of Whole Life Insurance

 

Should I Pay in Cash or Use My Health Insurance?

“Hi, Dr. Dahle. Thank you for answering my earlier questions and your continued efforts to educate all of us. As I continue to prepare myself to transition from W-2 employment to 1099, I've been investigating health insurance strategies. For my healthy family of four, a high-deductible HSA seems to make the most sense.

I recently read a book titled Never Pay the First Bill and was intrigued by the idea of paying cash and negotiating payments outside of my insurer's pre-negotiated rates. I recognize that you also recommend something similar to this in a blog post. And I also understand that in doing so, I bypass building toward the deductible. However, it's so high anyway, I can only conceivably use it as a cash or a backstop just as you already recommended.

Aside from using this as a Medicare gap fund or a stealth IRA, I read that I could use this to pay myself back for any healthcare expenditures over any length of time with no tax or penalties. Have you heard of the strategy? Is that a legitimate use of this account? Thank you.”

Let's make sure we're not confusing two different things here. There are high-deductible health plans and there are health savings accounts. You're only allowed to contribute to a health savings account if your only coverage is a high-deductible health plan. But they're not the same thing.

Just opening up a high-deductible health plan doesn't create an HSA to start with. If a high-deductible health plan is the right plan for your family, then sure, go ahead and open an HSA. It's your best investing account. It's the only triple-tax-free one out there. You get a tax break when the money goes in and it grows tax-protected. When you pull it out, so long as it's used for health costs, it comes out tax-free. So, it's better than your 401(k). It's better than your Roth IRA. It’s better than everything. Go ahead and use that if a high-deductible health plan is right for you.

As you're going along paying for things like healthcare, a doctor visit, or a prescription, you can pay for that using cash or you can pay for that using the health savings account. Either one is perfectly fine and perfectly legal.

You are also correct that there is no rule that says you pull money out of the health savings account in the same year that you spend it on healthcare. You can hold that receipt for as long as you like and then pull the money out of the health savings account after it's growing for decades in a tax-protected way. And then if the IRS audits you, you show them that receipt and you go, boom, “Hey, this was a legit withdrawal.”

Maybe that loophole changes at some point in the future and you won't be able to do that. But as the law is currently, that's what you can do. Naturally, a lot of people that are maxing out these HSAs and not spending them as they go along are going to end up with very large HSAs after a while. I've already got a six-figure HSA.

And you start wondering, “Well, am I actually going to be able to spend that in retirement?” So people start doing one of two things. One, they start spending the money from the HSA on healthcare expenses as they go along. And two, after age 65, they basically treat it as a stealth IRA. You can take that money out after age 65 and use it for whatever you want without penalty. But if you don't spend it on healthcare, you do have to pay taxes on it.

In that respect, it's no different from an IRA or a 401(k). You've got the tax break upfront. It grew tax-protected, and then you pay taxes on it when it comes out. After age 65, you can always do that. An HSA is not a great account to leave to your heirs, however. It's basically fully taxable income to them in the year you die. So, this is the sort of thing you want to spend before you die. This is the best way to use a health savings account. I hope that general information is helpful in answering your question.

But as far as when you're actually paying for healthcare, are you better paying cash, or are you better paying insurance? Well, it turns out that this is an individual decision on every single purchase. You actually have to ask them, “What's the price if I run it through my insurance and what's the price if I pay cash, including any possible coupon?”

And especially with prescriptions, there are a lot of coupon companies out there, like GoodRx, that sponsored the podcast in the past. The pharmacists do not like GoodRx because it lowers their profits, which you can totally understand. But you can use those coupons or you can ask them if it is cheaper through cash or insurance and use that. And you can do that with any aspect of the healthcare system that someone will give you a price on. It is obviously a little harder to do at the time of emergency care. But usually, you don't pay for that at the time of service anyway.

The health sharing ministries kind of use a similar tactic here. They say, pretend you're a cash payer, go negotiate the best price you can for cash, and then share it with the rest of the ministry. And in that respect, the idea is that sometimes they get a really good deal on it, but you know as well as I do the difference between your cash prices and your insurance prices. In my ER, we give a 25% discount for cash, but you know what? You can do a whole lot better than that if you have insurance.

It's not actually going to work out well to get the cash price in our situation. I think it's that way in a lot of places in the healthcare system. So, you've just got to play it by ear. Every single transaction is different. And then what you decide to do, whether you use that HSA as you go along or to save receipts and pull it all out later, that's up to you, as well. There is not necessarily a right or wrong way to do it. A lot of people just think it's way too big of a pain to save receipts so they either don't save them or they just spend as they go along to just make it easier to keep track of. It’s your choice.

 

Getting quality disability and life insurance should be the first financial chore for a doctor to complete. Most docs don't have the ideal policy for their gender, specialty, state, or health status and 1 in 7 doctors get disabled at some point during their career. Because these policies can only be purchased through brokers, we have put together a list of vetted agents who are experienced with working with the specific needs of medical professionals and who have your best interest at heart.

If you have questions about insurance and what kind of policies would be the best fit for you, check out our insurance recommended list at whitecoatinvestor.com/insurance and feel the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the optimal policy in place. 

You can do this and The White Coat Investor can help.

 

Milestones to Millionaire Podcast

#36 – Psychiatrist Real Estate Investor Multimillionaire

Elaine is only one year out of her training as a psychiatrist with a $7.5 million net worth, all in real estate investments and cash. She valued financial education from a young age and started investing in real estate at 24. Over the last 10 years, her and her spouse have built up this real estate business. Curious about this path to financial freedom? Read Real Estate Investing 101.

Sponsor: WCI Surveys for Money 

 

WCICON 2021

Registration is open for The Physician Wellness and Financial Literacy Conference. The conference is in Phoenix on Feb. 9-12, 2022. If you cannot attend the in-person event, we are also offering a virtual component. Get your tickets today!

There will be an incredible lineup of speakers and presenters including Lara McElderry, host of the Married to Doctors podcast. Lara joined us on the podcast today to tell us a little about what she will be presenting on at WCICON. She will be presenting on Friday afternoon for the spouse or domestic partner track about the invisible load of physician partners. You won't want to miss it!

 

Quote of the Day

This one comes from George Foreman who said,

“The question isn't at what age I want to retire. It's at what income.”

All of you can retire today at some income but for many of you, it's not an income you're actually interested in not working at. Keep that in mind as you go along, it's really not about an age. Retirement is a number. And that number is either your nest egg or your income, however you want to define it.

 

Full Transcription

Transcription – WCI – 233

Intro:
This is the White Coat Investor podcast where we help those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street. We've been helping doctors and other high-income professionals stop doing dumb things with their money since 2011. Here's your host, Dr. Jim Dahle.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
This is White Coat Investor podcast number 233 – Insurance Q&A.

Dr. Jim Dahle:

Getting quality disability and life insurance should be the first financial chore for a doctor to complete. Most docs don't have the ideal policy for their gender, specialty, state, or health status and 1 in 7 doctors get disabled at some point during their career. Because these policies can only be purchased through brokers, we have put together a list of vetted agents who are experienced with working with the specific needs of medical professionals and who have your best interest at heart. If you have questions about insurance and what kind of policies would be the best fit for you, check out our insurance recommended list at whitecoatinvestor.com/insurance and feel the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the optimal policy in place. You can do this and The White Coat Investor can help.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
All right, we're recording this October 4th and it's going to run on October 21st. So wonderful, wonderful month in Utah. October has beautiful crisp weather, wonderful color changes in the leaves, and it's a beautiful time.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
We're excited as we watch the Corona virus case count tick down, both nationwide and in Utah. We're actually a little behind the curve in Utah. It looks like it's dropping a little more rapidly in the national numbers but it's a wonderful thing to see.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
I was talking about this the other day with one of my neighbors who happens to be a physician as well. And his hypothesis was that we're going to continue to see these periodic spikes, but each one of them is going to be smaller and smaller than the previous ones. And I hope that is correct. It will sure be nice to have this all over.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Those of you struggling on the front lines, thank you for what you do. It's difficult work. And if nobody has ever said thank you to you at work, let me be that person today.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Let's do our quote of the day today. This one comes from George Foreman who said “The question isn't at what age I want to retire. It's at what income”. And that's the truth.
All of you can retire today at some income but for many of you, it's not an income you're actually interested in not working at.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
So, keep that in mind as you go along, it's really not about an age. Retirement is a number. And that number is either your nest egg or your income, however you want to define it.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
If you're not aware, we have a newsletter here at the White Coat Investor. It's a great newsletter. It goes out to 60,000 people every month and you can sign up for it at whitecoatinvestor.com/free-monthly-newsletter. That's right. It's free. It's got lots of great stuff in it. It's got a market report each month. It has got special deals.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
It's got a blog post that doesn't appear anywhere else. You have to subscribe to the newsletter to get it. It's got some stuff from across the internet, the best stuff for doctors that I've curated in the last month, as well as a review of what has been happening at the White Coat Investor in the previous month. So, sign up for that whitecoatinvestor.com/free-monthly-newsletter.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
We also have a real estate newsletter. If you are interested in private real estate deals or you are just learning more about real estate, sign up for that as well and we'll share those with you. That one feels a little bit more like a marketing newsletter. So, keep that in mind. Every one of those is talking about a sponsor, but keep in mind that that's what you get when you sign up for that. I want you to be aware of that when you sign up for the real estate newsletter. The regular one of course does have a sponsor, but it's primarily content.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
All right. Let's get into our podcast today. Today, we have all kinds of questions about insurance. We're going to talk about universal life insurance, long-term care insurance, umbrella insurance, whole life insurance, and even health insurance.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
We also have a special guest we're going to bring on halfway through the podcast. Let's get into some of your questions to start with though. This first one comes in about employer Group Universal Life insurance. Let's take a listen.

Speaker:
First, thank you for all that you do. I really appreciate the practical financial advice. I particularly appreciate your advice on insurance, which is often glossed over by other financial podcasters.

Speaker:
What do you think about employer Group Universal Life? My employer pays for one X of my base salary in coverage. I can elect an additional one to nine X of my base salary and coverage. The premiums are competitive at $540 per year per million of coverage for a 38-year-old tobacco free male. It is also transferrable.

Speaker:
I'm getting my financial ducks in a row, and I like that I can taper down the coverage each year as my assets grow. I've been using max coverage for many years. Separately, out of somewhat horrified cash balance pension programs I kept onto the side of it, which is maybe slightly better than a savings account, but has so many caveats and limitations, but it doesn't seem close to work. What do you think of this plan?

Dr. Jim Dahle:
All right. What do I think about this? Well, I think your employer got suckered. Cash value life insurance is not right for the vast majority of people, including physicians. So, if your employer is offering this to you as a benefit, and they think it's like some great benefit for you, they basically got suckered. Almost everyone would rather have more salary or some other type of retirement plan, a bigger match or a cash balance plan or something like that, then a Group Universal Life Plan.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Now, obviously your employer's paying for some of this. You might as well take what they're paying for, right? That's free. It's part of your salary. You might as well take that one X that they're offering you. Obviously, that's not a terribly valuable benefit since it's pretty darn cheap to get one X term life insurance, one X of your salary. That's just really, really cheap to buy out on the open market. So, it's not a huge benefit, but you might as well take it.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And then of course, what the life insurance agent that sold this idea to your employer wants is for you to buy more because you assume it's such a good thing that your employer is offering it to you. I wouldn't buy anymore. I wouldn't buy it on the open market. I'm not going to buy it through your employer.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
So, same kind of thing. It's a little bit like the split dollar life insurance that we've talked about before. And if you go to the website and you search split dollar life insurance, you'll find both a podcast and a blog post on that subject with all kinds of detail, far more detail than I can get into in answer to this question. But the bottom line is if your employer is going to pay for something, you might as well take it. But if you got to pay for it, you better look at it a whole lot more closely.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Now, you mentioned this as somehow combined with the defined benefit cash balance plan. That's usually not the case. Maybe they're both in the same paperwork or something, but they're usually not the same plan.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Defined benefit cash balance plans can be a great deal. They're usually not invested very aggressively for various reasons. They're more of a tax play. But in the end when that plan is closed in three or five or ten years or whatever, you can just roll that money into your 401(k) and invest it however you like.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
So, for the most part, if you've already maxed out your other retirement accounts, like 401(k)s or 457s, or Roth IRAs, those sorts of things, and you want to save more for retirement, a defined benefit plan is a great place to do that. Take a closer look at that. I wouldn't get super excited about this Group Universal Life Insurance plan however.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
All right, our next question is about long-term care insurance. This one comes from Dan. Let's go ahead and listen.

Dan:
Hi, my name is Dan. I'm an anesthesiologist and I've been practicing for about two years. Washington state now requires long-term care insurance for physicians. Many companies have stopped selling these policies due to the increased demand. I'm considering converting a small part of my term life policy to a permanent or whole life policy with a long-term care rider in order to satisfy the new state policy.

Dan:
The premiums would be $2,000 annually. I've read your flow chart, but this is a new situation affecting many physicians in this state. Thanks for weighing in.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Yeah, I've been following this situation. It's a mess for those of you up in Washington. I mean, this is the classic scenario of the government meddling in the private sector and really screwing things up.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Basically, the Washington state government has said, everybody's got to have long-term care insurance in the state, or you've got to pay this big fat tax. Now the tax actually isn't that much if your income is not very high, but if you have a really high income, the tax is substantial, such that almost anything you buy is going to be cheaper than the tax. And of course, a lot of these people don't even have a long-term care insurance need. So, it's really screwed up.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And the worst part is what have all the long-term care insurance companies in the state done? Well, they've decided we don’t want to sell this stuff anymore. Now everybody's scrambling to try to meet these requirements, to try to avoid this tax. And they're doing things like buying permanent life insurance with long-term care riders, anything that qualifies them to get out of this tax.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
I've requested a guest post from an agent in Washington. I haven't received it yet. I'm hoping to run it when I get it to give you some more insight into the situation. But the bottom line is you're just in a bad situation. You need to find the cheapest way out of it.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
If the cheapest way out is buying a permanent life insurance policy with a long-term care rider, go ahead and do it. If the cheapest way out is buying a long-term care policy, go ahead and do it. Maybe you can buy an annuity with some sort of interest in long-term care rider on it and get out of that. Or maybe in your case, it might be just cheaper to pay the tax.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
But you'll have to weigh those options. I would definitely talk to insurance agents in the state. There's a lot of them dealing with this right now, and they can give you some options. But don't buy some huge whole life policy just to get a little tiny rider on it to meet this. Try to make the policy as small as possible if you decide to go this route. Good luck, sorry, you got to deal with this. And hopefully this mess will be a good example to other states so they don't put in a law like this because it's really a mess up there.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
All right, let's bring our special guest today. We have Lara McElderry coming on the podcast. She's going to be one of our speakers at WCI con 22 here next February. Let's talk with her a little bit about what's going on with her and what she's going to be talking about at the conference. And then we'll get back to your other insurance questions.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
All right. We now have Lara on the podcast with us. Welcome to the White Coat Investor podcast.

Lara McElderry:
Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
For those who don't know, Lara McElderry is the mind and the brilliance behind the podcast Married to Doctors. She is not a physician. She is a physician's spouse and the podcast focuses a lot on issues that physicians’ spouses and partners face in being married to doctors.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
It’s a great resource for those of you who are married to a doctor or having any sort of struggles or disagreements, particularly in the training pipeline where it's very difficult while your spouse is away for 80 plus hours a week. And you feel like you're living life all alone sometimes. When did you start that podcast, Lara?

Lara McElderry:
The first one came out in December of 2017.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Yeah. You're many years into it now.

Lara McElderry:
It's been going a while.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
How many episodes do you have now?

Lara McElderry:
Almost 200.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Almost 200. Very impressive.

Lara McElderry:
192 or 193, somewhere in there.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
That's a remarkable amount of persistence and work. I know because I've put together 200 plus podcasts. So, congratulations on accomplishing that. That's no small feat. At the conference, we're going to have an afternoon, this is at the WCI con 22, the Physician Wellness and Financial Literacy conference on February 9th through 12th, 2022 in Phoenix.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
But one afternoon there, I believe it's Friday afternoon, we are going to have what we call the spouse or domestic partner track. And these are basically four talks that we want you to come to with your spouse who's registered for this portion of the conference.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And so, it's a really great opportunity. Your talk there is going to be one of those. The other ones include a talk on money and kids with Sanghamitra Sadhu. How to host the perfect financial date night with Kate Mangona. And then Katie and I are going to do one on working together to achieve your financial goals. Tell us a little bit about what you're going to be talking about at the conference.

Lara McElderry:
Thank you. I've been giving this a lot of thought and I think the best thing for me to discuss is the invisible load of physician partners. And what I mean by that is there is a load or a burden if you will, that physician partners often carry, but it's often not seen.

Lara McElderry:
Because what we're told from society a lot of times is, “Oh, you're so lucky. You married a doctor”. But the truth is there is a certain burden that a lot of us carry. And it looks kind of like this, it looks like wanting attention and time from your physician spouse, but then feeling needy. So, you label yourself and you're like, “Oh my gosh, maybe I'm too needy to be married to a doctor”. Or it may look like you're a strong, confident person and you're ready to speak up for your needs and you even know how to speak up for your needs.

Lara McElderry:
But you hesitate to do so because your spouse is under so much stress that it's not that you don't know how, or it's not that you don't want to take good care of yourself, it's just that you hesitate because of the stress that they feel.

Lara McElderry:
The invisible load that physician partners carry can be things like just feeling like you're the emotional support during their exams, whether they do good or bad, or even patient care, if they get an outcome that is less than ideal. In other ways it shows up like we don't get the accolades our spouse gets often. Sometimes we've put our own careers on hold. Sometimes we even put the number of children we have or when we have children on hold all based around their career.

Lara McElderry:
And then all of this is complicated, right? Because of this guilt we sometimes feel because we're like, gosh there are worse things than being married to a doctor. And the majority of people I work with adore their spouse. They married this smart, intelligent person and they want their success so much but sometimes it feels like it comes at a cost to them.

Lara McElderry:
And then saying that out loud, like I said, it can feel like this is a First World problem, or I shouldn't complain about this or this isn't worth speaking about. And so, then we end up with feelings like resentment or regret, or just frustration in general. So, I think that's where I'm going to focus my talk. I'm really excited about it.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
How important is it to band together with other people in a similar situation when you're going through something like the medical training pipeline?

Lara McElderry:
I think friendships are essential and community is essential. That was always one of the goals with the Married to Doctors community. That's why I do a Facebook group for free. And then of course I do have my marriage and medicine course, which is such a great opportunity for people to come together to say some of these things out loud, to feel seen and heard, and then also work towards solutions as well. So, it's really powerful.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
It's really interesting. Katie has reunions periodically with a bunch of people that we knew in Tucson, but there are people that I barely know because I barely saw them because I was at the hospital all the time, and they are great friends for Katie. They're still getting together and having weekends together and I'm like, remind me again who that person is. And these were our friends in Tucson, but I was in the hospital the whole time. And so, it was really a very important support group for her and has grown into lifelong friendships. So absolutely, I agree with that point.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Well, we're really excited to have you in Phoenix with us. It's going to be a great opportunity. If you and your partner have not yet registered for this conference, you can register at whitecoatinvestor.com/wcicon22. Be sure to register your spouse so you guys can come to this spouse partner track on Friday afternoon at the conference. And I'm looking forward to seeing you there live-in person Lara.

Lara McElderry:
Yeah, me too. I can't wait to see you guys and look forward to meeting you. Even if you can't bring your spouse, you should totally come.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
That's a good tip. Good tip. All right. Well, thanks so much. And for those who want to hear more from Lara, you can check out the Married to Doctors podcast.

Lara McElderry:
Thank you.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
This is going to be a lot of fun at the conference. If you haven't yet registered, you still can. Keep in mind our next deadline is the swag bag deadline. If you registered before December 1st, you get the swag bag. And this is going to be awesome. It's got a book from each of the keynote speakers, all kinds of fun WCI stuff. And even if you attend virtually, if you register before December 1st, we're going to send that out to you.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Now, if your spouse is going to come to the conference with you, which we think is a great idea, it's a pretty sweet resort in Phoenix, then make sure your spouse registers and comes to the spouse and partner track with you. I think it would be really valuable material. Medical marriages are pretty stressful things. So be sure to do that.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Obviously, if you're registering virtually, it's also a great time to grab your spouse and watch those sessions together. There is no virtual spouse registration. We assume they'll just sit next to you if you register virtually.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
All right, let's get into our next question here. We are still talking about insurance today. We've talked now about group universal life. We've talked about long-term care insurance. Let's talk about umbrella insurance. This question comes from Dean.

Dean:
Hi Jim. This is Dean from the Upper Midwest. My question is regarding umbrella insurance coverage, and more specifically how much is needed. I have read and heard people say that you should have enough umbrella coverage that would roughly equal your assets that are at risk in a potential liability lawsuit.

Dean:
However, consider this scenario to illustrate. What if I had, say $1 million in assets, maybe in a taxable account and therefore obtain a $1 million umbrella policy. However, I get sued by someone that slips in my driveway, gets injured and they want a judgment for the amount of $2 million or maybe more dollars.

Dean:
The umbrella policy would only partially cover that judgment amount and the remaining amount could then wipe out my assets. Is it therefore the case that I could only be expected to pay the maximum amount of my assets at risk $1 million, in my example, which would be covered by the umbrella insurance policy and that the assets are really there for safe? Otherwise, the logic to obtain enough coverage that equals the amount of assets to me maybe seems faulty. Thanks for everything. I really do appreciate it.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Yes. It's faulty logic. I've been talking about this for a long time. The amount of umbrella insurance coverage that you need is the amount of the judgment that comes against you. If that judgment is $100,000, you need $100,000. If that judgment is $10 million, you need $10 million. If there's no judgment ever, you don't need umbrella insurance.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
The problem is you can't know that in advance. So, it's guess work. And yes, any amount above that, that isn't protected or exempted in some other way, if the plaintiff and their attorney decided to go after it is certainly at risk.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Here are some guidelines I think you should use. And they are similar to what I recommend when it comes to malpractice insurance. With malpractice insurance, I recommend you have the amount similar to other specialists in your specialty, in your geographic area.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
If everyone's carrying $1 million – $3 million coverage, you should get a $1 million – $3 million policy. That does a couple of things. One, it says, “Hey I did the right thing. I bought insurance. If something bad happens, I'm really sorry about it. Here's a million dollars”. And so, that gives something for both the plaintiff and their attorney to say, “Hey, we got what we wanted out of this case. We're not going to go after that doctor's personal assets”. And that's usually what happens. They're willing to settle for policy limits.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
On the umbrella side is not nearly as standardized, but I think a lot of the same principles apply. You want to have enough money to do a few things. One, you want the insurance company to provide a robust defense. You don't want them to go, “Well, you only got a $50,000 policy. We're just going to pay that and move on. We don't want to spend a bunch of time defending this”. You want them to have a lot of money on the line, like seven figures.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
The other thing you want is in the event that something happened that you can actually compensate that person not feel bad that they got hurt. That's a wonderful thing about insurance. You can go, “Hey I'm really sorry about that. At least we have this great insurance policy I've been paying premiums on for years that we can make you whole”. So, that's a great thing too.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And then third, I think you want to have enough money that that plaintiff and their attorney feel like they got a lot of money. For most people, getting a million dollars feels like a lot of money. And so, that's where I'd start with your umbrella policy.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Now, usually that means you got to increase your auto and homeowners or renters’ policy up to about $300,000 of liability. And then the umbrella sits on top of that. But I think that's probably where most people ought to start. Even a resident probably needs a $1 million umbrella policy.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
As your assets that are exposed increase, as your income increases, as your net worth increases, you can afford a little more. And so, I think it's entirely reasonable to go to 2, 3, 5 million even. And again, this isn't malpractice insurance. It’s way cheaper than malpractice insurance. That million-dollar policy probably only costs $200 to $500 a year. And even for a $5 million policy, you're probably spending less than $1,500 a year.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
It's not super expensive insurance, but it protects a lot. In any asset protection situation, insurance is your first line of defense. And so, I think the amount that most physicians ought to be carrying as far as umbrella policy goes from $1 to $5 million.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Now, does that mean that's going to cover every single possible judgment that could ever be brought against you? No, but it's going to cover the vast, vast majority, and it's going to be enough money that most plaintiffs and their attorneys are going to go, “All right, I feel satisfied. I got a couple million dollars. I don't feel a need to go after this doctor's taxable account or force them to sell their house and declare bankruptcy or go after their Tesla or something like that”.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And so, I think for the most part that's enough. But there are no guarantees. There is no 100% guarantee in anything asset protection related. There is always the possibility however rare it might be of an above policy limit judgment, where you would have to declare bankruptcy and all you would get to keep are those assets that are exempt under your state and federal laws, which usually means your retirement accounts and a little bit of your home equity. And so, keep that in mind. That's basically how asset protection works. The good news is you're probably never going to need it.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
All right, let's take our next question. This one is going to be about whole life insurance. One of our favorite subjects here at the White Coat Investor. Let's take a listen.

Ash:
Hi, Dr. Dahle. Thank you for everything that you do. I know you mentioned whole life insurance and how it's generally not a good idea for most people. I am 41 and plan on retiring in eight years. I've been recommended to get whole life insurance as a way of providing an income for myself from when I retire to when I'm eligible to tap into my retirement accounts. What do you think about that? Thank you.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Good question, Ash. Let's be clear in our terminology here. You have not been recommended to buy whole life insurance. I'd be very surprised if some unbiased person that you paid just for their advice is telling you to buy whole life insurance to cover this need.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
What is happening is somebody is trying to sell you a whole life insurance policy. And so, they learn a little bit about your financial life and they think, “Well, what angle is going to help me sell Ash a whole life insurance policy best?” Well, this guy's a really good saver that wants to retire early. Let's pitch it as a way to solve the age 59 and a half problem, that you can't get into your retirement accounts until age 59 and a half without paying a 10% penalty.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And for the unsophisticated, maybe that sounds like a smart thing to do, but it really isn't. Let me explain why. Number one, if you decide to use whole life insurance to pay some of your retirement income needs, it's generally best to do that toward the end of your life.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
One of the last assets you tap, not one of the first assets you'd tap because remember when you borrow against a whole life policy and you can do a partial surrender up to the amount of premiums that comes out tax-free and just reduces the death benefit. But after that point, you're borrowing against the policy. Like borrowing against your house or your car, that is tax-free, but not interest free.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
So, if you started borrowing a whole bunch of money against your policy at age 50, and then you live another 40 years, you're going to pay a whole lot of interest to get your own money. So, that's a big downside of using it early in retirement. It's far better to use it late in retirement if you have it at all.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Issue number two. If you have saved enough money to retire in your 40s, chances are, it's not all in your retirement accounts. A whole bunch of it is probably in your taxable accounts. In fact, I can't think of anybody I've ever met that retired in their 40s that was a physician or other higher earner that had it basically all in their retirement accounts.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
The physician on FIRE? Substantial taxable account. All these real estate fast FIRE folks, guess what? That's all outside their retirement accounts. And so, the age 59 and a half rule doesn't apply.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
The third point, there are so many exceptions to the age 59 and a half rule that there are these loopholes that are so big you can drive a truck through them. One of the exceptions, perhaps the most notable one is what they call the SEP rule – Substantially Equal Periodic payments.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
What that means is if you retire early, before age 59 and a half, you can start taking money out of your retirement account without paying that 10% penalty. If it's a tax deferred account, you do have to pay the taxes on it. If it's a tax-free or Roth account, you don't even have to pay the taxes on it and you can take that money out.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
What's the catch? Well, the catch is you can only take out a certain amount per year. How much does that amount of work out to be? Well, it works out to be about 3% or 4% about what you would want to spend anyway, according to the 4% rule/guideline.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
You do have to keep it up for the longer of two periods, 5 years and until age 59 and a half. So, if you start at age 48 or whatever, you've got to keep taking that 4% or so out every year until you're 59 and a half. No big deal, no penalty due, no reason not to invest in a retirement account if that is your goal.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
If you've got money to buy a bunch of whole life insurance premiums, you've got money to invest that money in a taxable account and then live on it between the age you retire and age 59 and a half.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
So, this is just a sales technique that this whole life insurance agent is using. If you haven't heard all these sales techniques before, I recommend a blog post on the White Coat Investor blog called “Debunking The Myths Of Whole Life Insurance”. And it goes through all the different ways that these agents like to sell these policies, try to talk you into using them to pay for your kid's education or for asset protection purposes, or for whatever other reason, they're trying to talk you into buying it.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
The truth is the vast, vast majority of people, including physicians, do not need a whole life insurance policy. You need to have a really good reason to buy it. You need to really understand how it works and still want it, because the vast majority of those doctors who buy one, especially in their first 10 years or so out of training, end up regretting it, end up surrendering it, end up sending me emails going, “How do I get out of this thing? I'm still underwater on it after 10 years”. It doesn't turn out to be anywhere near as good as they thought it was going to be when they were talking to the person selling it.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Meanwhile, the person who sold it to him is laughing all the way to the bank because the commissions on these things are 50% to 110% of the first year's premium. So, if they can talk you into buying a policy that's $30,000 a year, they pocketed somewhere between $15,000 and $30,000 to sell you that policy. Now you know why they worked so hard at it. I hope that's helpful.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Let's take our next question. This one's going to be on health insurance. Let's take a listen to it.

Speaker 2:
Hi, Dr. Dahle. Thank you for answering my earlier questions and your continued efforts to educate all of us. As I continue to prepare myself to transition from W2 employment to 1099, I've been investigating health insurance strategies. For my healthy family of four a high deductible HSA seems to make the most sense.

Speaker 2:
I recently read a book titled, “Never Pay the First Bill” and was intrigued by the idea of paying cash and negotiating payments outside of my insurers pre negotiated rates. I recognize that you also recommend something similar to this in a blog post. And I also understand that in doing so, I bypass building towards the deductible. However, it's so high anyway, I can only conceivably use it as a cash or a backstop just as you already recommended.

Speaker 2:
Aside from using this as a Medicare gap fund or a stealth IRA, I read that I could use this to pay myself back for any healthcare expenditures over any length of time with no tax or penalties. Have you heard of the strategy? Is that a legitimate use of this account? Thank you.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Okay. Let's make sure we're not confusing two different things here. There are high deductible health plans and there are health savings accounts. Now you're only allowed to contribute to a health savings account if your only coverage is a high deductible health plan. But they're not the same thing.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Just opening up a high deductible health plan doesn't create an HSA to start with. If a high deductible health plan is the right plan for your family, then sure, go ahead and open an HSA. It's your best investing account. It's the only triple tax free one out there. You get a tax break when the money goes in and grows tax protected. When you pull it out so long as it's used for health costs, it comes out tax-free. So, it's better than your 401(k). It's better than your Roth IRA. It’s better than everything. So, go ahead and use that if a high deductible health plan is right for you.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Now, as you're going along paying for things, healthcare or there's a doctor visit, maybe it’s a prescription, whatever, you can pay for that using cash, you can pay for that using the health savings account. Either one is perfectly fine, perfectly legal.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
You are also correct that there is no rule that says you pull money out of the health savings account in the same year that you spend it on healthcare. You can hold that receipt for 10, 20, 30 years, whatever, and then pull the money out of the health savings account after it's growing for decades in a tax protected way. And then if the IRS audits you, you show them that receipt and you go, boom, “Hey this was a legit withdrawal”.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Now, maybe that loophole changes at some point in the future and you won't be able to do that. But as the law is currently, that's what you can do. Naturally, a lot of people that are maxing out these HSAs and not spending them as they go along are going to end up with very large HSAs after a while. I've already got a six figure HSA.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And you start wondering, “Well, am I actually going to be able to spend that in retirement?” And so, people start doing one of two things. One, they start spending the money from the HSA on health care expenses as they go along. And two, after age 65, they basically treat it as a stealth IRA. You can take that money out after age 65, use it for whatever you want without penalty. But if you don't spend it on healthcare, you do have to pay taxes on it.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
In that respect, it's no different from an IRA or a 401(k). You've got the tax break upfront. It grew tax protected, and then you pay taxes on it when it comes out. After age 65, you can always do that. An HSA is not a great account to leave to your heirs however. It's basically fully taxable income to them in the year you die. So, this is the sort of thing you want to spend before you die. This is the best way to use a health savings account. I hope that general information is helpful in answering your question.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
But as far as when you're actually paying for healthcare, are you better paying cash or are you better paying insurance? Well, it turns out that this is an individual decision on every single purchase. You actually have to ask them, what's the price if I run it through my insurance and what's the price if I pay cash, including any possible coupon.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And especially with prescriptions, there are a lot of coupon companies out there, like GoodRx, that sponsored the podcast in the past. The pharmacists do not like GoodRx because it lowers their profits, which you can totally understand. But you can use those coupons, you can ask them cheaper through cash, cheaper through insurance, whichever one is cheaper, use that. And you can do that with any aspect of the healthcare system that someone will give you a price on. A little harder to do at the time of emergency care. But usually, you don't pay for that at the time of service anyway.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And so, when the bill comes due, you can go in and say, “Hey, what would it be with cash? What would it be through my insurance?” Every now and then it actually will be cheaper cash, but lots of times it's just cheaper to run it through your insurance even if you end up paying the bill yourself.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Now, the health sharing ministries kind of use a similar tactic here. They say, pretend you're a cash payer, go negotiate the best price you can for cash, and then share it with the rest of the ministry. And in that respect, the idea is that sometimes they get a really good deal on it, but you know as well as I do the difference between your cash prices and your insurance prices. In my ER, we give a 25% discount for cash, but you know what? You can do a whole lot better than that if you have insurance.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
And so, it's not actually going to work out well to get the cash price in our situation. I think it's that way in a lot of places in the healthcare system. So, you just got to play it by ear. Every single transaction is different. And then what you decide to do, whether you use that HSA as you go along or to save receipts and pull it all out later, that's up to you as well.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Lots of ways to skin that cat. There is not necessarily a right or wrong way to do it. A lot of people just think it's way too big of a pain to save receipts so they either don't save them or they just spend as they go along to just make it easier to keep track of. It’s your choice though.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Getting quality disability and life insurance should be the first financial chore for a doctor to complete. Most docs don't have the ideal policy for their gender, specialty, state, or health status and 1 in 7 doctors get disabled at some point during their career. Because these policies can only be purchased through brokers, we have put together a list of vetted agents who are experienced with working with the specific needs of medical professionals and who have your best interest at heart. If you have questions about insurance and what kind of policies would be the best fit for you, check out our insurance recommended list at whitecoatinvestor.com/insurance and feel the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have the optimal policy in place. You can do this and The White Coat Investor can help.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Be sure to sign up for our free monthly newsletter, whitecoatinvestor.com/free-monthly-newsletter. Make sure you sign up for WCI con 22 by December 1st to make sure you get your swag bag. That's available both to in-person attendees and virtual attendees.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Thanks to those of you who have left us a five-star review and told your friends about the podcast. Our most recent one comes in from TrishTanMD who said “Awesome podcast for any high-income earner! I have been listening to Jim since 2018. I wished I found him sooner. It has changed how we manage our finances and we have grown our net worth since then. I’m excited to see Dr. Dahle and his team when they come here in Phoenix in February. Thank you for answering my questions through the SpeakPipe about gold and international investments and properties. Your podcast is number one for me”.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
By the way, if you want to leave your questions on the SpeakPipe, whitecoatinvestor.com/speakpipe and we'll get them answered on the podcast. Otherwise, you can ask them in person in Phoenix. I hope to see a bunch of you there.

Dr. Jim Dahle:
Head up, shoulders back. You've got this and we can help. We'll see you next time on the White Coat Investor podcast.

Disclaimer:
My dad, your host, Dr. Dahle, is a practicing emergency physician, blogger, author, and podcaster. He’s not a licensed accountant, attorney or financial advisor. So, this podcast is for your entertainment and information only and should not be considered official personalized financial advice.