Benjamin Yin, co-founder, and principal of Generational Financial Partners shares his inspiring story and why he co-founded the company with his mother. His focus is on financial planning for the unique needs of physicians. Many people think that doctors generate big incomes but Ben believes that they are currently underpaid with all the debts and plans that they need to balance in order to continue living comfortably.
Benjamin Yin, MBA, is the Co-Founder of Generational Financial Partners, a comprehensive financial planning firm in Atlanta, GA. He helps physicians plan for today, plan for tomorrow, and plan for generations.
Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to the program, I’m your host Neal Howard here on Health Professional Radio for this Health Supplier Segment. I’m going to have a conversation this morning with Mr. Benjamin Yin, he’s an NBA and the co-founder of Generational Financial Partners. It’s a comprehensive financial planning firm in Atlanta, Georgia here in the United States and he basically helps physicians solve some of their unique financial needs. Welcome to the program Benjamin.
Benjamin Yin: Thank you so much, I appreciate it. Thank you for having me.
Neal: Well a bit of your background. You’re the co-founder of this financial company, is that your area of expertise – finance and banking?
Benjamin: yeah, absolutely. We come from a family business. My mom has been in the financial services for 33, gosh now 34 years and so it was one of these things where I really didn’t want to do it growing up and finishing college and all that but ultimately the calling was strong and here we are working together. She’s the other co-founder because when I came into the business, I always said “Listen mom, if we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it the right way.” We have to be comprehensive. We have to be objective to offer really great advice to our clients. Going to Emory here in Atlanta for undergrad, a lot of my friends growing up finally became real doctors in their mid-thirties and here we are in the … last five or six years working exclusively with physicians.
Neal: What are some of the unique financial problems that physicians face and why are they unique to physicians?
Benjamin: Yeah, so a lot of people think that these physicians who come out of training, med school and all that, they’re just so … money right? They have so much money to spend to make it such a great living and I always joke that I work in the the low network market which is not something that other people brag about. They always say “I work with these clients, high network.” Look, for me because it’s all physicians, a lot of them who have come out of training, it’s the low network market. You got to think about this. I’ve been saving money since undergrad, since finishing College when I was 21 or 22. These physicians, they come out of training, out of fellowship depending if you’re a chief fellow or chief resident, they might be 34, maybe even 35 depending on what it is you get a late start and so you’re behind the 8-ball by fourteen years, so that’s number one. And then you come out of training, you’ve got student debt certainly from undergrad and in med school. You’ve got credit card debt for making sure that you can still live off of having a decent lifestyle because you’re making fifty five thousand dollars a year … from training. You’ve got a nice car debt, big house debt, keeping up with the … debt because as a physician you come out of training and you’re like “Well what about me? I’ve put off that nice car for such a long time.” And it’s unique that you have to find that balance. Yes, you deserve that nice car. Yes, you deserve that nice house. But how do we balance paying up that student debt and retirement at the same time? That is the unique challenge that physicians face on a day-to-day basis.
Neal: What about just thinking about the future? Is that something that physicians don’t think about when it comes to their finances? Are they so involved in helping others and curing diseases that they’re not really thinking about “How am I going to take care of my family? What about my life insurance? What about my health insurance?
Benjamin: That’s right. I mean these physicians, when they’re working, here’s the thing when they’re working a shift, let’s just say you are an emergency physician. When you’re on shift whether it’s fifteen, sixteen, seventeen shifts a month, the last thing you want to do is think about your finances. And so that’s the first thing that go by the wayside and just these doctors, they care about all these other people but they don’t ever sit down to care about themselves or their families. These physicians who see tragedies happen on a daily basis, I’m talking about emergency physicians, whether it’s a motorcycle crash or some type of bomb some type of other incident, these docs have never sat down and have they don’t have their own advanced directives, right. Well what if something were to happen to them on the way home from work and they need an advance directive? If they were incapacitated, who we sign off on their behalf? Something as basic as a state … documents, wills like you said Neal, life insurance, umbrella insurance because the asset protection planning is a huge component to working with physicians, right, because you work with doctors or you talk to doctors on a day-to-day basis and so do I. We know that physicians just aren’t swimming in money but the general population, they don’t know that. They think that these doctors are just made of money and so every opportunity they have, they will sue and I read a stat somewhere that it cost about seventy thousand dollars just to settle some type of frivolous lawsuit if you were … someone in a car crash so it’s very important that these docs sit down, slow down and look at their financial lives, make sure the house is in order…
Neal: It’s becoming more than the norm for physicians to be rated and paid on those ratings based on their performance, based on client or patients coming back again for the same treatment, based on how much time they spend in meaningful use on the computer. Do you address some of these problems because there is a financial aspect to a physician’s rating?
Benjamin: There’s a huge component, whether it’s … based or customer satisfaction, client based and so that’s a challenge so these physicians, I went to a seminar because like any good person who works within a niche, you have to really truly understand what your client and what your customer customer base is going through. I went to a seminar for physicians a few months ago and trying to learn these metrics. Neal, my mind was blown. So these doctors are no longer just focused on clinical care, they’re no longer just focused on bedside manner. ‘How do I heal this person? How do I educate this person on their body and on what their body is trying to tell them?’ No, like you said, they’re sitting down and they’re saying ‘Well how do I bill this patient? How do I make sure not only this patient is treated fairly but I’ve got to be compensated fairly as well?’ And there’s so many different metrics that I had no idea what a physician has to face every single day and I’ll tell you this and this may be controversial but I absolutely believe that physicians are underpaid. The amount of red tape and politicking they have to go through, the amount of liability every day when they walk into that hospital, I believe that physicians are underpaid especially that they’re no longer given the responsibility of providing great care. Like you said, it’s all about these metrics, conversation metrics, performance metrics in order for a physician to truly be, for lack of a better term, well-paid and compensated fairly.
Neal: Do you feel that when one of your clients decides that ‘Hey this red tape, this bureaucracy is a bit much for me’ and there are physicians who get out of the industry for varying reasons. Finances still remain regardless of your vocation, do you still advise them if they decide that they want to switch careers but still take your expert advice?
Benjamin: Yes because what’s you’re a physician, you’re always kind of in that physician mentality. Neal, I work with a lot of yelling physicians. When I say young, I would say probably 45 and under, kind of my demographic, and this new trend, physicians side hustles so whether you jump on Facebook or some other type of blog or Physicians on Fire which is really really famous these side hustles are becoming more and more prominent. These physicians no longer want to work the 30 to 35 years that the generation above them works. These docs probably want to work 10 or 15 years, they go through all this training, they go through all this medical student debt but they want to do something else and so I feel a lot of entrepreneurs. But once you’re a physician, you have a certain mindset and so I love working with great people and that’s kind of the differentiation for our program. We don’t work with everyone, it’s going to be a really great fit but for the most part Neal, if you’re a physician, an MD or a … for a couple of years regardless of the new job that you have, those concepts still hold true. You still have a late start in your career, right. Your human capital by far is still your biggest asset. How do you play a catch-up? How do you pay off your student loans? Just because you switch careers, it does not mean that your loans get forgiven.
Benjamin: The challenges are still there and so we have a lot of clients who transition to different gigs and they’re still working clinical but instead of working 15 to 20 shifts, Neal, they’re may be doing you know 5 to 10 shifts and using the other time to start business things. I just got done talking to a client who’s creating his startup, I can’t talk much about it but he’s no longer interested in practicing medicine full-time. He wants to be an entrepreneur and so those bring their own circumstances and their own unique challenges.
Neal: Now you’re very passionate, in wrapping up, talk about where your passion originates for helping families of physicians and physicians themselves financially.
Benjamin: Yeah, so the reason why I like working with physicians so much it’s because more so than your average person out there at the foundation, the financial foundation is key. I’m a big sports fan. I love watching sports, love playing sports and the old adage is defense wins what Neal?
Neal: The day?
Benjamin: Defense wins the championship. Well the day too, but defense wins championships, right. That’s kind of the old saying, it is a cliche saying it. And as a physician, defense absolutely win championships because as a financial planner, I’m not necessarily a guide that’s going to make you rich. It’s your own human capital. It’s your brain, it’s your hand, it’s your ability to make
a healthy income that’s going to make and keep you rich. I’m here to help you be a good steward of your money, help you not mess it up but it all starts with a foundation which is whether it’s disability insurance, life insurance, asset protection, umbrella insurance – those are the things that I really love to place and the reason why that is because I lost my dad when I was five and that’s why my mom and I are in the business that we’re in to make sure that the foundations are laid in your plan to make sure that your family is protected. To make sure that worst-case scenario if something were to happen to you, you became disabled or you passed away that your family wouldn’t have to move, would not have to change schools. And then after that foundation is laid, after you play that defense, then we can have some fun, then we have the balls and we play offense. And then we talk about rates of return, then we talk about taxes and all these other more sexy topics. No one ever wants to talk about defense but so we take our clients through a process and they often enjoy that process.
Neal: Well we’d like to learn some more about Generational Financial Partners. Where can we go online and get some more information?
Benjamin: Yeah, so for physicians, clients out there or for some people that are interested, go to www.generationmd.com and we’re happy to walk you through and do what’s called a financial EKG, Neal. A lot of these docs that we work with, if I ask okay ‘How much money do you need to make work optional?’ They have no clue. They’ll say ‘a million, 2, 3 million.’ I’m here to tell you it’s a lot more than that so if nothing else, set up a call and we’ll do this financial EKG and we’ll tell you exactly how much money you’ll need to make work optional and what you need to save on a monthly basis in order to reach that goal.
Neal: Ben, it’s been a pleasure. Thank you for joining us on Health Professional Radio this morning.
Benjamin: Yeah, I really appreciate it. Thank you again for the opportunity, have a great day.
Neal: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at hpr.fm and healthprofessionalradio.com.au. You can also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, listen in and download at SoundCloud and be sure and visit our Affiliate Page at hpr.fm and healthprofessionalradio.com.au