Terrific Tax Tips For Therapists ft. David Frank

As a business owner, knowing how to organize your taxes can be vital to the continued health and growth of your practice.
Could you do with a few good financial pointers, tailored to therapy practices? Me too!
Join me in as chat with my good friend, David Frank from Turning Point HQ, as he shares some super-helpful tips you can use today. Click to listen now!

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

  • Financial tips tailored to therapists

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

Turning Point HQ

䷉ Click for full episode transcript

Uriah
Hello, and welcome back to the Productive Therapist podcast. I'm so glad you're listening today. Today, I had a chance to have a round two conversation with my good friend David Frank, and he's a financial planner for therapists. He's also the founder of Turning Point Planning. Great guy, very smart guy. He helps therapists organize, optimize, and protect all their financial resources, including their practice. He provides the confidence finances are on track so you can focus your time and energy on what matters most. But don't let his love of the tax code and spreadsheets scare you off. You're just as likely to find him with his nose buried in one of Pima children's books as reading up on the latest financial planning techniques. Hope you enjoy my conversation with David Frank.
David, welcome back to the podcast for the second time!

David
Thanks. I'm excited to be back.

Uriah
Yeah, you don't get the jacket until the fifth time, but on the second time, you definitely get a mini-trophy. Yeah. Look out for that. Oh, nice.

David
Yeah, I'll definitely be watching. Yeah, I'll be watching for that package. I'm very excited.

Uriah
I'm joking, but I should probably do that. That'd be fun to send out stepped gifts for people who are good enough to come back on the podcast.

David
Yeah. Or maybe even just a little badge I could put on my website. A badge.

Uriah
Yeah, exactly. Right.

David
Multiple guests.

Uriah
People put on their website, Featured on the New York Times or whatever.

David
Yeah, exactly. For the featured section.

Uriah
That's not a bad idea. I like it. Well, I always love talking to you, and we tend to talk about a lot of different things, but it usually comes back to business and finances. I mean, that's your lane, and I actually really love talking about money and business. It's like we always have a good time chatting, don't we?

David
Yeah. Likewise, yeah. Always a pleasure.

Uriah
So much so that we're like, What do we want to talk about today? Okay, we have 10 things we want to talk about. But as we're recording this, it is basically tax season. Fortunately, my taxes were done wide a while ago, which I'm very glad about. But we were chatting about tax tips and things for therapists to think about, whether they're solo or group during this time, and actually throughout the year. I would love I wanted to throw that topic around with you and hear about what you are, some of the tips that you share with your clients about being prepared and being smart about taxes and money. Yeah.

David
Yeah. I mean, it's Man, as if money isn't triggering enough, right? We all have stuff attached to money, and it brings up a lot from our past, family abortion, all that. There's a lot of hooks that money has. And then Even when you pull taxes into the mix, man, it's rare to talk to a business owner, not just therapist, but business owners in general who hasn't gotten caught off guard at some point along their business ownership journey by the tax gremlin. Something happened that they didn't expect, and all of a sudden, it's like, Holy cow, what? What is all this money? For solo practitioners, taxes are almost certainly going to be your biggest expense. For group practice owners, it's almost certainly your second biggest expense behind payroll or compensation for your staff. It's a huge issue. I'm a financial planner. I, of course, specialize in working with therapists, both solo practitioners and for donors. But I'm not a tax professional. And this is a confusing and important point, too, I think, is just understanding the different types of professionals that you're working with. I don't prepare taxes. So my clients need to have another solution. And I almost always recommend they do get a professional to prepare their taxes, because when you are in business for yourself, and that's what private practice owners are, of course, is small business owners, taxes get really complicated, and it is so easy to screw things up. So I love collaborating with those tax folks. I love reviewing tax returns. I mean, because there's something deeply wrong with me because I like that. But it just scratches some itch for me. And It's really important because it's easy to make mistakes. And there's just a lot of complexity and a lot of assumptions and a lot of... What's the right word to use? The tax professional that you work with, they bring their own set of assumptions and sometimes biases into how they prepare taxes. And what's interesting is that that doesn't always line up with what their client or our mutual client might- That's interesting.agree with. Right. And so I think the most important... If listeners walk away from this conversation remembering just one thing, I think the one thing And the thing that I would like everyone to remember is that your tax professional is not the end all be all of taxes. And what I mean by that is just don't dump everything on them and just be like, just take care of it. I don't even want to think about it. I don't want hear any of the assumptions that you're making. I'm not going to ever push back on any tax treatment or tax deduction that you reject or think I shouldn't take. I think understanding how they're thinking and just knowing that I can guarantee whatever opinion your tax professional is giving you, you can find another qualified tax professional who has maybe just a slightly different opinion, but that can give you a different answer. Because a lot of this This stuff is subjective. So it is complicated. Anyway, it's just like it's important to be informed. You don't need to be a tax expert, but you need to have the right team of professionals working with you to help you best navigate this potential minefield and navigate this really big expense that's going to have a big impact on your lifetime after tax earnings.

Uriah
I'm glad you brought that up because it's an interesting point that tax professionals, to some degree, they're interpreting the tax code and then applying it to your business in your particular situations. I have always tended to defer to the professionals, especially when it comes to my CPA and bookkeeper, because I genuinely don't have knowledge or expertise in that area. But I've also been fortunate to have good CPAs who I don't think I've ever had a disagreement with, and they've, for the most part, explained things to me, which is helpful. If you don't understand something, ask ask, right? Because you should at least understand the logic behind what's happening or the concepts behind what's happening. I guess what you're saying is ask questions and don't be afraid to... Well, understanding that that's their opinion and that's their particular approach to your tax situation.

David
Yeah, I think ask questions is exactly right. I actually encourage folks just to ask questions, even if you have a very strong suspicion, you will not understand the answer. That That's okay. That's how we learn. But actually, I think this is an interesting story just from yesterday around this very topic. I posted on LinkedIn yesterday, and I just said, Hey, it's tax time. Let's make sure that we're making the most of our business tax deductions so we can reduce our tax bill and keep more of our hard-earned money. One of the ways we can think about doing that is considering whether your personal therapy is a deductible business expense. So I explain by rationale, and I think in a lot of cases, it can be. It's potentially. It's not a slam dunk. You need to think it through, be cautious, so on and so forth, but consider it. And wow, did I get a lot of opinions on that post. I'm sure you did. And most of the opinions, not from therapists so much, although a couple of therapists comments it, but it was mostly from my peers that are financial planners or tax professionals or bookkeepers. And it was just pushback. It was just like, Man, I don't think that's right. I don't think you can't do that. There's a bookkeeper who said, I can see how you maybe would do it, but man, I would never recommend one of my clients do it. And so I'm going over the course of the day, and I'm just like, Oh, man, did I get this wrong? Am I thinking about this wrong? Maybe that's just a super aggressive tax move that could trigger an audit or something like that. I don't know. And I'm I went through the course of my day and I got a notification that another friend of mine who's a CPA, he also commented. And I was just like, Man, you know what? I'm not even going to look at that right now. I can't psychologically handle someone else telling me that I'm wrong and I have a bad take here. And when I finally looked at what he posted, he was like, Interestingly, there was a court case about this a long time ago, back in 1980. But there was a court case, a tax court case. It went to trial, and the court found in the therapist's favor. And they said that, We find that the cost of psychoanalysis was deductible as a business expense for a clinical social worker, I'm quoting from the ruling right now. Based on the rationale that a deeper self-understanding contributed directly to an improvement in a therapist's diagnostic skills. Wow. So it was just like... I mean, personally, that was very validating for me, right? Because it's just like, Oh, well, there's a court case that agreed with me. And it's an older court case. There might be other court cases out there that would find this, But the point is that most tax professionals that I'm aware of are very skeptical of this idea. But then there's at least one court case where it's been litigated and the rationale is sound. It was approved. So the point is that just because you get a hard no or there's a lot of pushback or your colleagues disagree with it, it doesn't mean that it's necessarily wrong. It might be a more a risky tax move. And by risk, I mean, you might get pushback if and when you were ever to get audited. And then you get to decide, Okay, how aggressive is this? How willing am I to take a risk that I get an audit or audit pushback to get this tax deduction? So I just think it's important just to realize that different professionals will have different takes. And just because you get really strong pushback doesn't mean that you should automatically rule something That's a good story.

Uriah
Thanks for sharing that. I had no idea about that court case and that precedent that was set all those years ago.

David
I didn't either. I was like, I had no idea. What I encourage folks, especially around some of these more I don't want to call them controversial deductions, but I'm sometimes surprised how conservative and cautious tax professionals can be. Now, let's be honest, us, finance and accounting types, we tend to be a little bit more conservative. Play by the rules. And cautious, yeah, play by the rules. That's just the type of personalities that get drawn into this field. I think it's important to remember that. But when it comes to the home office deduction and deducting personal expenses, I call things shared expenses. There are expense from your personal life. But the reality is that they at least partially are supporting your business. So personal therapy, mobile phone bills, Internet service, provided at home, stuff like that. You need to be sure to follow all the rules. But a lot of tax professionals would just be Absolutely not. Stay away from that. You can't do that. And what I encourage folks to do is just say, Okay, I understand what you're saying. Can you just explain to me what your thinking is behind that? What are the actual tax laws? How do you interpret them? And how do you reach that conclusion? And if you really want to get bonus points, you can then ask, Has there been any court cases about this? Are you aware of what precedent is coming out of the tax court that might influence It's it. Not everyone's going to want to have that conversation, but just, again, to illustrate, there's a lot of gray area when it comes to taxes.

Uriah
Do you think that a lot of small business owners, and talking about therapists here, too, don't deduct enough of what they should? Which side of the coin do you think people tend to fall on, deducting too much and being a little bit too, whatever the word is, generous with that, or not really making making sure they deduct all their business expenses like they should?

David
It's all over the map. I think it depends on your personality. But I think in general, what I noticed is that earlier in your journey as a business owner, as a private practice owner, when you first start out your solo practice, I tend to see folks being overly aggressive with some deductions. With some deductions, They'll be like, I deducted all the clothes that I bought. You just can't. You just can't. The rules are like, they can't do that. Big car deduction or vehicle deduction. You can do that, but you have to be really careful and follow the rules. And so in the beginning, it's just like, I'm just going to throw some of these deductions in there. And I think sometimes folks are actually making very aggressive tax moves without really realizing. They're just like, I think this is probably okay. So I think that happens in the beginning. You probably learn time as you work with your tax professional, Okay, what are the rules? What can and can't I do? What are the clear yeses and clear nos? But then I think, especially if you transitioned into burying a group practice, starting a group practice and brewing it, I think But it tends to be a point where there's under deductions taken. They're not being creative, and creative maybe is the wrong word, but just not being complete enough. Because there's a lot of different things you I wish there were a magic wand where we could just say, Hey, we're going to do this one tax strategy, and it's going to save you tens of thousands of dollars. And occasionally, that will be the case. Sometimes it happens, but more often, what it is is just being really complete about making sure that you're tracking all your business expenses, that you're making sure you're making the most of what I call those shared business expenses, which are expenses you probably think of as a personal expense, but again, you could structure it in a way that it is legitimately a business expense and therefore a deduction. I think it's just thinking through with your tax professional, thinking through with your financial planner, what can we do this year over the course of the year, such that when we get to next tax season, we're in a little bit better spot.

Uriah
Absolutely. So many thoughts I'm having as you're talking about different ways we could take this, but I wanted to tell you about this because it's funny to me, and I learned from this, but I have a colleague here in my area who I used to share office space with, and I learned a ton of great things from him, both clinical things and business things. But I noticed over time that he was very generous with his tax exemptions or his tax deductions. He would buy furniture for his house and then write it off on his business, a tax return. His logic was, I'm just a small fish. I'm not going to get audited. I thought, note to self, that's probably not the best way to go. Not the safest way to go for sure, because that's definitely stretching what is probably appropriate. So I thought that was interesting.

David
I know folks, too, not even necessarily a therapist, but There are folks that I just am friends with or whatever, we get on this topic, and it's just like, I don't save receipts. That's too much work. I'm not going to get audited. There's just no chance. For most people, it's a pretty low chance that you get audited. But if you do get audited, the IRS is not going to assume that you've got legitimate business expenses. They're going to need to see some validation and some proof. If you've taken a little bit too Cavalier of an approach, you could very possibly get away with it and just live the rest of your life and be like, I did it. I beat the system. But if something happens, it could be really painful. I've borrowed this expression, but I encourage folks to pay every cent they owe in taxes, but not a penny more. Let's make the most of it, but let's follow the rules. The rules might be a little unfair. We might object to them, but they are the rules, and let's just follow them. Like you were saying earlier, I'm a rule-follower.

Uriah
Yeah. And your point is well taken because it's better to do things the right way just in case place. Also, you don't have to worry about it coming your way. I actually, I think I might have talked to you about this before, but I had a payroll tax audit a couple of years ago from the State of California, within the State of California, and it was gnarly, I'm telling you. The things that they required and asked of me going back three years, and detailed documentation for absolutely everything. And fortunately, between my payroll software, my payroll software company and the systems that we have in place the tracking that we've had for payroll, I was able to give them absolutely everything that they needed with all the details. It was literally at least 1-200 documents. It was absolutely terrible. But I passed. No judgment, no penalty. I was very grateful that I had the ability to hand everything over. If I was in a situation where something important was missing or a big chunk of the information was missing, that's not a good place to be. You don't want to be there.

David
That This is like jogs my memory. Another area of tax risk that folks might not always think of as tax risk is the whole independent contractor versus employee distinction for group practice owners. Just that's an area to be super cautious. You almost can't go wrong if you choose to go down the W2 employee path. That's the more conservative approach. If you go down the contractor, 1099 contractor route, that isn't necessarily wrong, but just make sure you really understand the rules and work with a good employment law attorney that understands your local and state regulatory environment.

Uriah
Yeah, I was actually just reviewing that the other day. You and I are both in California, so it's a little bit different here than it is other places. I won't share the context of why I was doing this, but I have all W2 employees. But in California, you really are hard-pressed to use contractors for your business at all. You really have to follow a strict set of guidelines. One of the ones that I read was that, and this was from the 2020, I think it was a new law or a ruling of some sort, basically said that you cannot use contractors in your California-based business if they are They're performing the task that is your core business, basically. In other words, I cannot hire a contract therapist unless maybe I'm hiring someone to do psychological testing. There's some fringe areas. This is not our It's a core service, but we need it done. But it's not likely that that's going to happen very often.

David
For any psychologist listening, there is a carve up for psychologists. It's a little bit different standard. I've talked to some people that, Oh, I'm a psychologist, so none of that applies. That's not true. It's still a pretty high standard. In most cases, you're probably going the contractor route for a group practice that's all psychologists. You have a little a bit more leeway, but it's still pretty challenging to make sure. And there's still a lot of rules. If you go the contractor route, be sure you know what you can and cannot do. Otherwise, if and when that state payroll audit comes, it's going to suck.

Uriah
I will tell you that the one thing that they were looking for the most was if I was misclassifying workers. That was the number one thing. I was so happy to be able to say, I have zero contractors. Maybe my business coach, bookkeeper, but those are just business services, really.

David
Right. Yeah, that's very different. Outside service providers, of course, those are contractors. That's... Right.

Uriah
Let's switch gears real quick, and talk about best practices and best tips for somebody starting a solo practice. I was telling you earlier, one of the therapists in my practice just launched from my group practice to his own solo practice. I've been coaching him a little bit on the side and advising him, so to speak. I'm not a tax I'm not a professional either, but we talk about simple things, and it might all sound too obvious to state, but have separate business account. Have separate bank accounts for your business and your personal assets. Then also for everything that is a business expense, I think it's a good idea to get a business credit card and use that. Certainly could be a debit card, right? Keep all those things in one place, all the business expenses and the business finances in one place. The biggest thing that he was asking me about was How much do I save for taxes to be safe, right? And I told him to consult with a CPA, to be honest, and also to look at profit-first percentages. That's helpful, right? Yeah. But what else is What else would you advise for someone like him starting a private practice for the first time?

David
You already hit on one of the biggest and most important tips is to have separate accounts for the business and use them. Be very diligent and very clear about, Is this Is this a personal expense or is this a business expense? It's okay if those terms are a little confusing in the beginning because it can be. But try to educate yourself and understand, Okay, does this relate to my business? Would I be spending this money if I didn't own my private practice? If the answer is, Yes, I'd be spending this, even if I weren't a private practice owner, well, then it's probably a personal expense and put it on your personal account. The reason that's so important is that if you have an incorporated business entity, an LLC, professional corporation, therapists, sadly, cannot use an LLC in California. Just a little side note there. But if you have one of those, you absolutely have to have separate financial accounts and never pay personal expenses out of those accounts. It will ruin some of the protections or potentially ruin or compromise some of the liability protections that your incorporated business entity offers you if you intermingle personal and business. So definitely do it. But even if you don't, even if you start as a solo practitioner, say in California, and so you're just going the sole prop route, which is pretty common, still just use separate bank accounts. And the reason is because it's just going to make everything so much easier. I was just working with a client the other day, and it's just like there's expenses commingled, and that's okay. You don't have to do everything perfect right out of the gate. But moving to get things more cleaned up, it will make everything in your life so much easier. Because when I think It's not about the big financial fundamentals for any practice owner. It's like having a budget, having a bookkeeping process, having a tax preparation process and tax savings strategy. And then the fourth is having a profit It's a budget distribution practice. And I'll explain a little bit more about what I mean with each of those. So a budget is just a best guess of how much money you're going to be making this year, how much revenue is going to be coming in the door, what are my expenses that I need to pay what's left over from the business, and then what's left over as my profit. And that's really your profit before taxes. So that's all a budget is. It doesn't have to be this big, complex thing. I actually just recently wrote a blog post on that, just how to begin thinking about budgeting. So have a budget. So just have an idea of about... Have a best guess, a guesstimate, if you will, of how much money you'll be earning from your practice. The second is having a bookkeeping practice. So just have a way to keep track of your expenses going and the revenue that's coming in. And here's the great thing about having those separate financial accounts is especially when you're getting started, you're probably going to fall behind in your bookkeeping. You're not going to know how to do it. You don't necessarily need to use something as fancy as Quickbooks. You can do something as simple as just using a spreadsheet. That's totally okay. But you probably fall behind at some point because as a new business owner, you've got a lot of things to take care of. If you have separate financial accounts and you don't have personal expenses mixed in there, you could just go and download the transactions from your bank account and your credit card, you pretty much have got everything. Not perfect, but you got pretty much everything. And then setting aside money for taxes. Yeah, I think that's so important. The The final guidance I give for folks starting out is just assume that whatever your profit before taxes is, assume that you're going to have to pay 30 %. So 30 cents of every dollar of profit that you have. So that's after you deducted or subtracted out all of your business expenses. That's a reasonably safe number. That's for people in California or New York, other high income tax states. If you live in some place like Texas or Florida, where there is no state-level income tax, you can reduce that number to maybe 25 %. But that's a good rough number to use starting out. Definitely seek out a tax professional if you want to get more granularity. But I think that's the The biggest way folks get in trouble in the beginning is just not realizing how high their tax rate is going to be. Yeah. And then the last piece is having a profit distribution practice. What I What I'd like to say by that is that have intentionality. When you go to take your profit out of your business account and move it into your personal account so that you have money to spend in your personal life, which, of course, we all need, just don't do it willy-nilly. Don't just feel like, I need a little more money to pay this credit card bill or whatever and pull it out. Just be very clear that, Okay, here's how much profit I have leftover after I've set aside for my expenses, after I've set aside for taxes. And then just once a week or twice a month or once a month, you take what is your profit after taxes and move it into your personal account. There's different ways to do that. I think Profit First is a great system. Of course, Julie Harris from Greenoake has got a book called Profit First for Therapists, I tell everyone, even if you never intend to implement profit first, read the book. There's so much valuable information in it. It's solid. Just to think about it. Yeah. Those are the fundamentals from finance, from a finance and accounting perspective.

Uriah
That's super helpful. Thank you. Yeah, I was literally having this conversation with the therapist that I was mentioning earlier, and he had heard different things from different people, and he thought, Maybe it's 30%, maybe it's 40%, but the important distinction there is what you said is really helpful, 30% of profit after expenses. Because if you save 30% of your gross revenue, you'd be saving too much, which is... Probably. That's not a problem, but... Yeah, it's not a problem. It's not necessary.

David
It might create problems for the sustainability of your life. But from a tax-saving perspective, you're probably in your chip.

Uriah
Yeah, that's good. I love the four times a year that I do the quarterly profit distribution. It's It was the most fun day. On the personal side, my wife asked me how many bank accounts I have the other day. I was like, I think it's like 15 because I have personal accounts and then two businesses. It's a lot. But I transfer the profit distribution from my business account to our... We have a special savings account for home. It's actually for travel and remodel projects, stuff like that. This year, it's going to a trip to Europe. That's super fun.

David
Nice.

Uriah
Yeah. It's nice when you have a business that pays you well. That's a bonus.

David
Yeah. You probably didn't start out that way. Just businesses don't start and the systems aren't set up. It's a lot of work to build these systems. And it's not tons of work to maintain them and use them, but it is work. Having... This is part of being a business owner is setting aside time. This is the other big tip. It's just put on your calendar a time, at least once a week, where you're like, What I'm doing with this time is the finances and accounting, the money stuff related to my private practice. Because as a business owner, that is just a big part of your responsibility. And the more you invest time and knowledge there, the better returns you'll have over the long term.

Uriah
Yeah, that's good. I think a lot of people still don't look at their money and look at their finances, and they're scared to do so. I mean, I enjoy it. You enjoy it, but we're nerds in that way.

David
Totally. And that's okay, too. Sometimes in the beginning, if money is super overwhelming, and maybe you haven't done taxes for a couple of years, or haven't done bookkeeping, or you feel like things are a little bit messy or sloppy or whatever, of course, there's going to be anxiety, and you're going to have some big feelings about it. If you find yourself in that spot, what I encourage folks to do is develop a daily money practice. Really make it part of your daily routine. But just a couple in the beginning, five minutes or less. Five minutes or less, and all you're going to do is pick something, log into your bank account, open that notice from the IRS, whatever it is. And so this is really just exposure therapy, right? You're just showing up, you're being present, you're engaging in the thing, you're noticing what emotions come up in you and just realizing, oh, my gosh, I didn't die. That wasn't fun. It wasn't pleasant, perhaps, but didn't die. And then if it gets to be too much or the five minutes are up, sweet. You're done for the day and you'll do it again the next day. And just to slowly move into something rather than thinking, I'm just going to wait till I have a clear day, and then I'm just going to do it all. Yeah, I like that. We can never do it all. We can never do it all. It's very difficult to do much of anything that way.

Uriah
That's a good suggestion. To wrap up, it would be awesome to just chat briefly about the ideal partners to work with, tax-wise and just financially speaking, for a growing business. Maybe not on day one, you don't need all these people on your team, so to speak. But for me, I've been in business for many years. Who would you recommend that you surround yourself with as you grow your business?

David
Having a good tax professional, I think, is probably going to be your first order of business. That's They're going to be someone who can prepare your taxes. So that's either a certified public accountant, a CPA, someone who has the enrolled agent or EA designation, or as a tax attorney. But usually it's going to be one of those first two. So that's someone that can put your taxes together, file your taxes with IRS and state taxing authorities, and can, importantly, also represent you to those authorities in the event of an audit. So having a good person there is really, really helpful. And if you don't have one, I always suggest interview a handful, talk to a a couple of different people, understand their approach, ask them questions, see what it's like to work with them. Do they give you answers that are nonsensical that you just can't understand? Or are they really good at being patient and explaining? So just really find someone in your corner there. The other part is going to be getting bookkeeping services. Sometimes CPAs and accountants will offer bookkeeping, but not always. So there's two different functions there. You can do your bookkeeping yourself. And in fact, When you first start out, I really encourage people to do their own bookkeeping just for a little bit, just so you can understand, Oh, this is how it works. Oh, it's not actually that complicated. Software like Quickbooks, pretty complicated, but you don't have to use that. So you I can eventually outsource that to someone. But if you've done it a little bit yourself, you understand what it is you're outsourcing, which makes it much easier for you to manage. I think those are probably the two most important pieces to begin with. And then at some point, I think also getting a financial planner who's going to take a holistic approach and actually help you look at your business, but plan your taxes can be really important. And that's something that I do for my clients as well, because I can act as an intermediary between what's happening in your financial life and what's happening on the tax return and making sure that everything is accurate, we're not overlooking anything, that not everything is mischaracterized. Because I can ask and be like, Hey, this form 8606 isn't here. I know that that needs to be there. The average therapist isn't going to know what the heck that is or whether it's missing or not missing, right? Nor would I expect anyone to. So having a second set of eyes that will be willing to look at your bookkeeping, look at your taxes, can be really invaluable to just help make sure that nothing is missed or screwed up. You beyond that, from a financial perspective, I think that... I think those are the obvious ones. Do you feel like there's anything that I missed or you would recommend?

Uriah
No, I think that makes sense. Yeah, I really appreciate working with a good bookkeeper and a good CPA and a good financial advisor. I think that's amazing. This is less on the business side, more on the personal side. Yeah, that's correct. But we recently started working with an estate planner to actually, we put together, finally, put together a proper living trust, the real deal. It's huge. The thing is huge. But there's another box to check to just feel like we're really in a solid place across the board, business-wise and personal-wise. That's something to think about, too.

David
For sure. A comprehensive or holistic financial planner will also help you navigate that element, the estate planning process. That's good to know. Yeah. Estate planning is part of the certified financial planner curriculum, and that's a designation within the financial services industry. That's the one that I hold, the CFP designation. So estate planning is a big piece of that. But you want to make sure... Financial planners will make sure that all the different pieces are working together. But you'll almost certainly want to engage an estate planning attorney your state to help you execute and create that plan. Although I will say that there are increasingly technology solutions out there. In fact, my own financial planner was like, I'm like, Hey, I have to update my estate planning documents. And he's like, Oh, I'm using this new AI tool that I'll just do it. I'm not going to have to. I was just like, Okay, maybe. We'll see. I feel like the jury's out.

Uriah
You're like, Don't test it on me. Yeah.

David
I'm like, I really like the estate planning attorney that I worked with, so I might just go back to her, but we'll see. But there are options there. But having attorneys as well is, I guess, important. If you're a group practice owner, having an employment law attorney that you can consult with, really helpful. It always doesn't have to be an attorney. There are also HR consultants and services out there that are going to be cheaper than just going to an attorney in most cases. There's some good options there.

Uriah
That's great. I think the thing that I appreciate the most is even though talking about and working on these aspects of business and personal life, they're not the most fun things to do for most people. But when you pay attention and you have systems in place to make sure that you're doing things the way you should be, it's a good feeling of confidence that you're checking the boxes and you're safe and secure. It's a good feeling once you get all that lined up.

David
Yeah, it is. It's work. The All this stuff is work. It's not fun. I will say, like many things, the most painful part is before you begin. Once you begin and start diving in, most times it's like, Oh, I mean, this isn't necessarily fun or the most pleasant, but it's also not that bad.

Uriah
Yeah. It's usually a heavy lift in the beginning, but you're right, it gets a lot easier, especially if you're working with other professionals, they do most of it for you. Exactly. You don't have to do all this stuff alone.

David
I think that's an It's an important investment to me. Sometimes it's just the partnership and the accountability piece that can pay the biggest dividends.

Uriah
The next thing I need to work on is a contingency plan for both my businesses, which back in the day, I had a professional will for my solo practice, and I was pretty proud of it. I worked hard on it, but it's way out of date. If something was to happen to me today, all the responsibility for figuring out what to do with my and my employees and all these things would fall on my family, really. I'm going to be working on that pretty soon to put together something for every eventuality, right?

David
That stuff, that is hard. That is really hard. And especially that type of planning, I tell everyone, and this is something I work on with clients, too. It's just like, okay, yes, we need to do this. Let's put it in the appropriate order. It's not going to get done overnight. It's not going to be something that you sit down and do once. I encourage folks to is just notice what activities and decisions you are making as the business owner and just keep a running list. Like, hey, every day, this is what I do. This is what I do. This becomes a living document that gets better over time. But yeah, it's just hard to think that through. That type of operational planning, planning operations when you're not around to be able to do something, it's hard work. It's just really hard work.

Uriah
It's also like adulting level 110.

David
So much adulting. That is hard core adulting for sure.

Uriah
Should I watch Netflix or work on my contingency plan? Okay.

David
Tough decision.

Uriah
That's a hard choice, isn't it? Well, thank you. Gosh, thank you so much for all this. I feel like we packed a lot of good stuff into another episode, into round two. We might have to come back for a round two at some point and see if David will earn his crown. I made that up. Trophy crown jacket. I don't know. Maybe crown should be at the end. I don't know.

David
You brought up jacket. I want a jacket Right?

Uriah
Yeah. I'll get to work on that.

David
Awesome. It's been a pleasure. This has been super fun.

Uriah
Always happy to chat with you. All right. Take care.

David
All right. Thanks.

Subscribe & Review in Apple Podcasts

If you're not already subscribed to the Productive Therapist Podcast, now's your chance to join the hundreds of other therapists who tune in each week. You'll get weekly encouragement, support, tips and suggestions for growing your practice and reaching your goals. 

The world needs you to be the best, most productive therapist you can be. And you owe it to yourself to reach for your big dreams. The Productive Therapist Podcast is here to help you do both.

Click here to subscribe now on iTunes.


You may also like

You Are Already Successful

You Are Already Successful

Thank You

Thank You

Essential Reading for Successful Therapists

- Curated content to make your work easier and more fun.
- The only newsletter you'll look forward to reading!
- One super short & helpful email per week.

A young man in a white T-shirt smiling and pointing to his left on a bright yellow background.
>
Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!