On this episode of the Healthy, Wealthy and Smart Podcast, I welcome Joseph Reinke on the show to discuss student loan debt solutions. Joseph Reinke is the CEO and founder of FitBUX, Inc which is introducing innovative finance products and technology to the student lending industry with a specific focus on physical therapists.

In this episode, we discuss:

-How family, work and financial goals effect your loan repayment options

-Why refinancing public loans may not be an optimal strategy

-Practical examples of loan forgiveness strategies

-The personal and societal importance of financial literacy

-And so much more!


FitBUX Website

FitBUX Courses

A big thank you to Net Health for sponsoring this episode!

Check out Optima’s Top Trends For Outpatient Therapy In 2020!

For more information on Joe:

Joseph Reinke

Student loan debt

Joseph Reinke is the CEO and founder of Fitbux, Inc. FitBUX is introducing innovative finance products and technology to the student lending industry with a specific focus on physical therapists. Thus far in FitBUX’s beta test, they have helped PTs develop financial strategies on over $11mn in student loans. Joe has been in the finance industry for over a decade and is one of the few CFA Charterholders in the world who has experience in both wealth management and business valuation (globally, there are only 120,000 CFA Charterholders). He has hosted numerous live chats about student loans with SPTs across the country, presented at the California Student Conclave, appeared on podcasts, and written numerous financial blogs.

Read the full transcript below:

Karen Litzy:                   00:01                Hey Joe, welcome back to the podcast. I am happy to have you back.

Joe Reinke:                   00:07                Glad to be here. It’s been a few years. I know that we see each other at different conclaves and different events and stuff, but it’s been a few years since I’ve been on the podcast.

Karen Litzy:                   00:16                It has. I know, I’m happy to have you. And, we’ll talk a little bit about what a difference a couple of years make in a second. But the first thing I want to get to is student loans. So let’s talk about first, cause I know you have a lot of data on this. You have a huge data set within fit box. So what is the average debt? And we’ll stick with physical therapists. We don’t have to go across the board, but the average debt for physical therapists loan debt.

Joe Reinke:                   00:45                Yeah. So PTs or student loan debt. So we now have about 7,400 students and our platform, it comes out to about $900 million of student loan debt. The average is about $144,000 for PTs. We have some other graduate students that we also work with too. Before PTs, it’s about $144,000 in debt. And like you just said too, it’s like a moral, I know when we first came on the podcast years ago, we had like $30 million or something like that on the platform. And when I tell people we have like 850 $900 million down there, like, you know, congratulations like you know all the growth that you’ve had. And I look at it, I’m like, that’s disgusting. Like the fact that there’s graduates and it’s like, okay, $900 million of debt, that must be a lot of people. It’s like, no, that’s only 7,400 people.

Karen Litzy:                   01:35                Yeah, it’s criminal, it’s criminal. So let’s say you’ve got 900 million in loans, the average of $144,000 which is mind blowing. So what are the options for these students coming out to help repay that loan?

Joe Reinke:                   01:54                And the first challenge is trying to figure out how these things even play a role in the bigger picture. But then the government doesn’t do us any favors. So right now there’s nine different student loan repayment options and it’s a minefield trying to figure out which one you should use. How does it play a role? Like what happens if I do this? What happens to my retirement, what happens to family planning? Can I get a mortgage? All these different things. And instead of just being like, okay, I’ll pay back my loans, here’s the answer. You’ve got gotta dig through all these things and that’s where people get lost. So what we’ve done is simplify that into two strategies. Either you’re going to pay off your loans, or B, you’re going to go on some type of loan forgiveness strategies. And the pay off loans is really dominated by the headlines of refinancing because that’s what we get bombarded by in terms of advertisements.

Karen Litzy:                   02:38                And what exactly does that mean when someone says they’re going to refinance?

Joe Reinke:                   02:43                Yeah. So refinancing means you go to a brand new lender and they offer you a brand new rate and a brand new loan and you’re literally replacing your old loans with a brand new loan to get a lower interest rate. Okay, so like I know PTs they get bombarded by low road, which is one of our partners, but they get bombarded by a low road because a low road has a partnership with a PTA. So they just get bombarded. So we get everybody, everybody comes to us and like, well, I’m thinking about refinancing. I was like, well, why? It’s like, well, I’ve got these things. That’s what I see in my mailbox. And on the other side of that, they hear all these headline news articles about loan forgiveness and public service loan forgiveness and whatnot. So those two things dominate the headlines. But really it’s even upload from that is either you’re going to do a payoff strategy or loan forgiveness strategy.

Joe Reinke:                   03:34                And what I mean by a payoff strategy is what we typically think about when we get a loan. Like you get a mortgage or a car loan, you make payments over a certain amount of time after that, it’s over. You could do different things to be strategic with that. Like instead of doing a 10 year plan, you can do a 25 year plan. So you can make prepayment strategically and save money. You can do refinancing, you can see if refinancing is right for you. And those are the big things with the payoff strategies is just figuring out what’s the most effecient way to make my payments. Now, unfortunately, one of the problems is that the loan servicers don’t always apply your prepayments correctly, so you got to stay on them and make sure they’re doing the right thing. But that’s, that’s a whole nother topic on that.

Karen Litzy:                                           So quick question. When you say making prepayments, can you define what that is?

Joe Reinke:                   04:16                Yeah. So when you have a payoff strategy so most of us on average, so like when a DPT graduates, they actually have between 10 and 20 loans. So when I say $144,000 in debt, it’s not just one loan, it’s like 10 to 20 loans. They’re all different sizes, they’re all different interest rates. And so what a required payment is the payments. They add up every payment on those loans and then say here’s your required payments. So they might say it’s $1,000 a month. So on that required payment, you don’t have any say on that. You have to make that payment every single month. And then you don’t have a say where it goes. They just throw it across all your loans equally. Okay. A prepayment is like the complete opposite.

Joe Reinke:                   05:06                You have a hundred percent control of it, meaning you determine the dollar amount, you determine when you do it, but most importantly you can determine which loan that you want to go towards. So like if you wanted to pay your higher interest rate loans faster because that would save you the most money, you can do that. So the trick with payoff strategies is just knowing that general idea of the difference between a repayment, a PR, a required payment. And a prepayment is, well, how can I drop my required payment so I can increase my prepayment? Right? And so that’s a lot of the tricks that we go through and mix and match the different plans to allow people to do that. And then you throw a refinancing on top of that and you can save even more. So that’s really the payoff strategies.

Karen Litzy:                   05:58                Yeah, it would seem to me that everyone should refinance to a lower percentage but like why wouldn’t someone do that?

Joe Reinke:                   06:03                It really depends. I’ll give you a few examples. We might work with a travel PT for example, and with travel PTs. First of all it’s harder because of the stipend. This is for OTs and nurses as well. It’s a stipend, so it’s actually hard to get qualified because they don’t qualify that as income. So like we have nine lending partners, only three of them will do travelers first of all. So that makes it a little bit harder. But in that situation you’re traveling so you don’t know the cost of living when you’re moving from place to place. You don’t know how long it’s going to be between contracts and you don’t know, most importantly what your income’s going to be when you stop traveling. So it’s really hard to lock yourself into a refinance loan, even though you can always refinance again later, you might not qualify later to refinance.

Joe Reinke:                   06:54                So oftentimes we do do refinancing with that, those types of individuals, but it’s more strategic. So instead of doing like a 10 year loan, we might do a 20 year loan and instead of doing all their federal loan debt and refinancing, it might only be three or four of their higher interest rate loans. So just in case there’s something there that they can’t do they’re not obligated to this huge monster payment every single month. So that’s one example. Another example we see often times is, I’ll give you an example. I just actually talked to somebody today. She had about $210,000 in student loan debt and she’s paying it off. Mmm. And my thing was the tail are like, look, you know, slow down. Because when you do your budget and you’re doing paper and pencil, all the numbers always looked like they make sense. But this individual just started working.

Joe Reinke:                   07:49                They’ve never had a budget in their life. They’ve never had like real expenses in their life. It’s like wait three or four months because you might decide that you can’t make those payments. You rather do a loan forgiveness strategy and if you refinance, you can’t do a loan forgiveness strategy anymore because private loans don’t qualify for loan forgiveness strategies anymore. So just different situations will dictate. Does it make sense? And then sometimes the refinance rates are just not that good. So it just doesn’t matter. Yeah, exactly. It’s like stay there and just chip away at your loans. And I’ll give you one more example, Karen. When you refinance, you also consolidate your loans. What that means is you merge your loans into one big, big, big loan.

Karen Litzy:                   08:37                Got it. So for instance, if you took a loan from a bank or a federal loan or whatever, when you refinance did, so let’s say you have a federal loan, does that federal loan is no longer a federal loan, it becomes a private loan.

Joe Reinke:                   08:54                That is correct. And instead of having like 10 you might only have one big, big, big loan. So sometimes what happens, you have to understand how federal loans work though too. Like I said earlier, you have 10 to 20 loans, so every time you pay off one of those loans, your required payment actually drops. With the refinance loan, it won’t drop because you have one monster loan, you never pay it off until the whole balance is zero. So sometimes people come to us and say, look, what am I goals is to buy a house in five years? And so if that’s the case, we might turn around and say, okay, we’ll stick in your federal loan. Because if you keep making prepayments and you pay these specific loans off, your required payment would go from $1,000 down to like $500 when you want to buy your house.

Joe Reinke:                   09:37                Why is that a big deal? They use the required payment in the ratios for qualifying for a mortgage. So a lower lower required payment on your student loans, the easier it is to qualify for a mortgage. So that’s some of the analysis that we would do to say, okay, well how much does a refi actually save you versus are you better off just trying to drop your monthly payment over time so you can qualify for your number one goal buying a house? And so that’s what I meant earlier when I said these things. It is more than just the student loan strategy.

Karen Litzy:                                           You’ve got to look at how does this thing play a role in the bigger overarching strategy, right? Because oftentimes I would think the student loan debt isn’t the only debt. So can you explain how maybe you have to work around other debt as well and how to navigate all of that?

Joe Reinke:                   10:27                Yeah. And I’ll give you an example. We just did a poll and we also took some of the data from our members as well. And it was something like 68% have more than one form of debt. So that could be cars, mortgages, credit cards. And again, another example, I just talked to somebody today, and actually we get this probably four or five times a week where somebody calls us to talk about their student loan debt and we noticed that they have credit card debt. Okay. And we’re like, look, you want to do this strategically with your student loans to drop your required payment as low as you can and focus on paying off your credit card debt. And it’s like, I didn’t even think about that. It’s like, yeah, credit card debt, socks, get all of that stuff like as fast as you can and use the flexibility of refrigerator loans.

Joe Reinke:                   11:10                That’s another reason why you might not run a refinance is because the federal loans are more flexible. There’s more options of what you can do. So if you have other debt, it may be allow you to pay that off faster. And that’s why sometimes people go into the student loan forgiveness plans also in the short run is the drop that lower payment focus on something else and then go back to their student loan strategy and say, okay, now I’m going to go focus on that. What do I need to do to focus on my student loans now.

Karen Litzy:                                           Got it. So it’s all part of a bigger plan. So let’s talk about quickly the student loan forgiveness because that’s been in the news lately. I feel like there’s been rumblings of that. It may not exist anymore, Betsy Devoss may cut it or what’s the story?

Joe Reinke:                   11:51                Yeah, so there’s actually two different forms of forgiveness. Okay. And this is where people get confused. The actual repayment plan you’re on is called an income driven repayment plan. And the government also says that these are things our student loan forgiveness plans. Long story short on these plans, your payment is based as a percentage of your income. And the payments really low is like 300 $400 a month. But for most of us, that means that we’re not paying the interest that’s being charged on loans, which means the balance of your loan Rose. And that actually will happen for about 20 or 25 years. And then under normal loan forgiveness at that 20 year Mark or your loans are forgiven, but you have to claim it as income and pay taxes on it.

Joe Reinke:                   12:44                So your balance of what you owe will grow because they just add the interest of your balance, just like in your differing interests cause you’re not making payments. Happens in these plans. Okay. So then you worked for 10 years or 20 years or whatever, and then your loan is forgiven. So in these plans loan forgiveness, they last for 20 or 25 years. Department of education forgives them. Okay. However, in this country, it doesn’t matter what type of loan it is, it can be an auto loan, a mortgage, student loan. If it’s forgiven, you have to claim that as income. Yeah, so like let’s just use that example. $144,000 is the average person on our platform. If, you’re single for those full 20 years, just working, whatever it is, your loan balance might grow, does being worth $200,000 in 20 years?

Joe Reinke:                   13:44                So at that 20th year, the $200,000 is wiped out. You don’t have to pay it anymore. But you have to claim that $200,000 as income, which means your ordinary income that you made that year. It’s just here it is. You got to pay it. And so the goal on these plans is like the complete opposite. You’re not trying to pay it off as fast as you can. You’re trying to save for that tax liability as fast as you can. Cause like what we always tell people the number one risk on those plans, you don’t know what the tax rate is going to be. That’s right. It could be 35% it could be 80% it could be 60% now you also factor in like we just moved from California, so if you had $200,000 plus you made 120 grand because you’re, you know, 20 years in as a PT in California and federal taxes, you’re going to be in a 35 and 40% federal tax bracket. As of right now, plus a 12% tax bracket in California doubled on top of that. You should definitely move to Texas.

Joe Reinke:                   14:50                But that’s a big thing there. So that’s normal loan forgiveness. Now there’s another form of loan forgiveness. And this is the part that’s been dominating the headlines where if you’re on one of these plans, but you work for a nonprofit hospital, a hospital, it could be a full time teaching job. I mean you can say I don’t even want to be a PT, OT, whatever anymore and I want to go work at Goodwill full time. I mean it just has to be at a nonprofit full time. And if you’re on one of these plans working full time and you make 120 payments, your loans are forgiven in 10 years cause that’s 120 payments and you owe nothing in taxes. Okay. And so those have been dominating the news recently because there’s been 110,000 people that applied and only about a thousand people have gotten it actually approved.

Joe Reinke:                   15:40                And people are like, Oh well that’s less than 1% so that’s like the big headline. You know, Loan forgiveness is failing. But when you actually dig into the numbers, over 90% of the people that have applied for that, it should never have even applied. Meaning, they don’t even work in a nonprofit or they do work at a nonprofit, but they haven’t worked for 10 years. Mmm. So they’re finding the people for forgiveness and that they shouldn’t even been filing it yet. And so that’s where the news kind of distorts that stuff. But then at the same time, you have that percentage, two, three, 4% that is told the wrong thing by fed loan servicing. That’s the company that, that does this. They’re told the wrong monthly payments. They’re told that their payments are qualifying even though they’re not there. We’re told that their employment qualified even though it’s not.

Joe Reinke:                   16:26                And so that’s where the mass confusion comes in on that. I’m actually shameless plug. We just rolled out a new technology that actually tracks all that for you to make sure if you’re on public service loan forgiveness, you’re actually doing everything you need to do to get it forgiven. And we rolled that out. We rolled that out specifically because of all the headline news of all this stuff. People getting this stuff forgiven. They have nowhere to go to get the answer. So it’s like well we can build this pretty easily. And it took us about three months to ramp it up and build it and it’s like here it is and we’re actually going to release that. We just got done testing it. It’s going to be out in about a week or two. So yeah I’m excited about, it’s given me a lot of gray hairs and a lot of sleep aside. I’m excited for it.

Karen Litzy:                   17:07                Well I mean that’s such a gift though. That’s such a gift for people because there are a lot of physical therapists who work in hospital systems that would be considered nonprofits and so if they can just sign up for that and have something else, keep track of it for you. Like automation is so much easier in our lives. So this is a way to kind of automate your student loan forgiveness programs so that you don’t have to keep track cause we’ve got a million other things that you have to keep track on. Because like you said before, you’ve got student loan debt, but then you may have credit card debt, you may have mortgage debt or you have a car loan. And so there’s so much that kind of goes into this puzzle. I mean to say I did not realize that it was so, all this is so complicated because I graduated like in the stone age, you know, so I didn’t really have all, I didn’t have $144,000 in loans.

Joe Reinke:                   18:01                Yeah, I mean it’s amazing. And, that’s why the big thing that I’m excited about. So like the average person that’s gotten their loans forgiven so far has basically saved $62,000 okay. That’s a lot. We’re rolling this plan out for $5 a month and when we roll it out for the full 10 years, we’re just charging a one lump sum fee of $300 if you just want us to track it for all 10 years. And it’s like, you know, and we did that cause it’s like guys, yeah cause somebody has, some of the people that signed up to beta test it for us. They’re like dude we pay like a thousand dollars a year for this. I’m like no, no, no, no, no, no. Like the technology doesn’t cost us that much to run like this stuff needs to be out there because again it plays a role in a bigger picture and fast forward, we haven’t really disclaim this to very many people cause I don’t know when it’s going to actually roll out but it’s supposed to come out next year.

Joe Reinke:                   18:50                Like you said, all this stuff plays a role in the bigger picture. We’re developing a technology where instead of just tracking the student loans, we track everything. Like, we help you set up the plan and as your 401k your retirement, your budget, your student loan plan, everything. And so to me, like when we say, Hey look, we’re only charging, you know, $5 a month for this thing, it’s making sure that it works. So when we roll out that bigger plan, it’s like we got this piece checked off. We don’t have to worry about it anymore. Cause again, I bring up those gray hairs. It gives me something else to worry about.

Karen Litzy:                   19:25                There’s always something else to worry about. So just one little part of it. So now, so let’s talk about something that you had mentioned before we went on the air and it’s, people don’t really understand money.

Karen Litzy:                   19:42                Tell me why you said that and tell me what people can do to better understand it. And on that note, we’re going to take a quick break to hear from our sponsor and be right back.

Karen Litzy:                   19:57                This episode is brought to you by Optima, a net health company. Optima therapy for outpatient is a software solution enabling therapists and staff to do their jobs efficiently and accurately. Their software provides anytime, anywhere access to documentation, even while disconnected and workflows that streamline patient care and save valuable time. You can check out, optimize new on demand video to learn what’s in store for outpatient therapy practices in 2020 with some of the biggest industry trends along with tips and best practices to successfully navigate these changes. Learn about these trends for the new year at go OptimaHCs.com/healthywealthy2020

Joe Reinke:                   20:36                Yeah, so we have this big thing that like if you watch our courses that we released or go on the new website that we just released, we talk about our method and it’s understand, plan, implement those like the big three things. You’ve got to understand, you’ve got to have a plan, you’ve got to have a way to implement that plan. And there’s been a lot of chatter because it’s political season and we’ve seen all the stuff about, Oh, this politician is gonna forgive X amount of student loan debt. And then another politician wants to one up and then say, well we’re gonna forgive X amount and another politician wants to one up them and say we’re going to forgive everything. And so it’s like, well, you know, went up in each other to see who can get the most votes for this. And you know, I get the question all the time is what do you think about these policies?

Joe Reinke:                   21:18                And I just turn around and say to people, it doesn’t really matter because they’re missing the root of the problem. You can forgive all the student loan debt. But like I brought this statistic earlier, over 60% of the people on our platform have more than one form of debt is not just doing loan debt. And it’s not like these things like money problems didn’t exist before. Student loan debt. I mean just before this we had the mortgage crisis. Okay. Like before that we had savings crisis. We still have people savings crisis, like retirement savings. I mean we talked about baby boomers and stuff like baby boomers. Like it’s something that I saw a report the other day that 65% of them don’t have enough to last like more than five years.

Karen Litzy:                   21:58                Yeah. And they don’t have student loans. And then isn’t it true that the majority of Americans don’t even have like a retirement plan or don’t have that savings?

Joe Reinke:                   22:12                They don’t have anything and that they’re dependent on social security, which the social security was never meant to be a retirement plan. It’s supposed to be a supplement to retirement. But for a lot of retirement age individuals, that is their retirement. And I’ll give you even more. I discussed the statistic I was about to write an article about this. Is something like 43%. It’s somewhere in the forties, I want to say the low forties. I’ve got to look at the article again. It’s in the low forties, that the super, that percentage of people in this country don’t have enough money in their bank account to cover a $400 expense. Okay. So when we sit there and we talk about, Oh, well, you know, if we just forgave student loans, the problems of the world would be over.

Joe Reinke:                   23:03                And it’s like, well, no, no, no, no. You know, like, I give this example in a workshop all the time. I used to work a lot with athletes and statistically 60, the 70% go bankrupt within three years of being out of league that’s in the NBA and NFL. Well, in those three years that they work and play football or basketball, they will make more money than the average American makes their entire working life span. Yep. They go bankrupt. Within three years, they had the complete opposite problem. They had all the money in the world and they still went bankrupt. So it goes back to that fundamental root of not understanding. And that’s actually one of the reasons why, like we used to do, or actually we still, I shouldn’t say used to, we do workshops. Oh, it’s the last time I came on the podcast, like it was, I don’t think we had any workshops before that.

Joe Reinke:                   23:55                And then we started doing them. I’ve done over 120 workshops at different DPT programs and conclaves different conferences. And that was one of the big things that like, everyone’s like, we love his workshops. Well, where can we learn more? And it’s like, how, how do you explain this? Understand, plan implementing? And I couldn’t find anything. So I was like, well, we’re just gonna roll out our own courses. So we rolled those out about two months ago kind of in a soft launch type of beta test. And the feedback that we’ve gotten off of them is fantastic. So that’s like our new thing that we just rolled out was the courses. The next new thing is that that public service loan forgiveness solution and the next year is like the big solution that we’re coming out with. So it’s exciting. But yeah, those courses, it’s fun to see people taking them and being like, Oh my God, like this stuff is, makes so much more sense now. And it’s, it’s actually simple. That’s my big thing. Keep it simple. Don’t make it complicated. So, that’s the bigger thing when I see the student loan forgiveness hype and all these political things, like it doesn’t matter what happens there. You got to get that understanding. You’ve got to develop your plan, you’ve got a whole way, have a way to implement it.

Karen Litzy:                   25:02                Yeah. And just so if people want to learn more about it, if you go to the fitbux website, it’s under monies.

Joe Reinke:                   25:10                Yeah. That is cool. Yup.

Karen Litzy:                   25:13                What would you say in your opinion and in your work with people, what are maybe one or two fundamental misunderstandings about money that people have?

Joe Reinke:                   25:18                I don’t even know. No, I will narrow it down. This is one of the big things and this how we start off our workshops now when we start explaining some of this stuff. So, you know, and this is about a minute or two explanation on this, but then when I was back in wealth management, I would ask people what are your goals? And I started bucking those into three main groups. They would basically say my family goals, I have my work goal and then financial security. And what I mean by like family is like, okay, I want to do this. I wanna be able to buy a house because I want to provide for my family, my daughter, whatever it is. My work, my work, I want to have my work, have a meaning on life and an impact.

Joe Reinke:                   26:07                People like I joke around with all the time. No, none of you went to school because you couldn’t wait to have student loan debt. You went to school because you wanted to help people. That’s what I mean by career goals or life goals. And then the third one was financial security. And when I started asking people, yeah, rank these, it was always in that order, family, their work and then financial security. But when I would ask him, where do you spend the most of your time? They’d be like, well, I spend about 90% of my time on financial security. I’m like, well, that doesn’t make any sense. That’s like your third goal. Like that. And then I would ask them, here’s like, when you say a misconception, I would say, what is financial security? And they kept telling me a lot of money and I’m like, wait, wait a second.

Joe Reinke:                   26:47                I just gave you that example of NBA players and NFL players. Lottery winners are the same statistics. They all go bankrupt. They have all the money in the world and they can’t manage it. I used to manage people money that had millions and they were financial train wrecks. I know guys on wall street that were making million dollar bonuses every year that are financial train wrecks, so that can’t be the case. So then I started looking at it and saying, well, what is it? And that’s where we came up with the understand plan implements. Like those things is you’ve got to have a simple understanding. I mean I give examples of people that I know that are, have been barbers for 40 years. I mean they have no college education, they have none of this stuff and they live in San Jose, California, the most expensive place in the country.

Joe Reinke:                   27:30                And they’re millionaires, like they had an understanding, a simple understanding of money. They had a simple plan, you know, and I joke around all the time about my dad. Like when I was 22 years old, like I come home from college thinking I’m like this big investment guru guy, right? Cause I’m a 22 year old punk kid and I’m just like, Oh I’m going to tell my dad. I’m like dad, you know, his strategy was always just, you know, he started a business when he’s 18. Yesterday, he started, he bought it from my grandma and you’re just put money in the bank and they would buy a piece of property and that’s all he did. He never did the stock market anything. I’m like, dad, dad, dad, check this out. Like, if you would have done it, you know, in the stock market it would’ve been worth like $10 million.

Joe Reinke:                   28:09                And he’s just like, I don’t give a shit. Like I don’t know anything about the stock market. All right. That was his plan. It was simple and it works for him. Great. And then you had a simple way of implementing it. That was a thing that really lacked Mmm. Is everybody that I knew that had an understanding it and had a simple plan, it would taking them hours to implement it because it would have to do their own Excel sheets or they had these files all over the place. I’ve got gotta do it all by hand, but they did that. But those are the three big things. And so actually that’s why people always ask like what’s the technology behind FITbux and why do we do this stuff for free? Like why do we actually have people call us? And if we walk through their plan for free because we say the understanding and part is free and then the technology that we’re building, especially for next year is going to be the part that helps them implement it. So they have to spend hours and 90% of their time doing that and they can spend that time doing something else. You asked about the biggest misconception that is the biggest misconception is what is financial security? It’s not having a lot of money. It’s those three things. Understanding, planning and implementing.

Karen Litzy:                   29:13                And if someone, let’s say someone were like me, so I don’t have any student loan debt or credit card debt or any debt really. So if I wanted to use this technology, like does it apply to someone like me who’s like, well, I don’t have any debt, but I definitely want to try and buy an apartment in New York city, which we know is like not cheap. I mean, in all seriousness, to buy an apartment in New York city to get a decent apartment is $650,000. Yeah. And that’s a lot of money. If I want to get an apartment with two bedrooms, it’s like over a million dollars.

Joe Reinke:                   29:43                Yeah. I was going to sell our apartment in San Jose and they got appraised that $900,000. And instead I was like, I’m just going to rent it and it’s like $3,000. And then like I tell people, so I moved to Texas cause really I wanted to have a backyard for my daughter. And we bought like, it’s like 0.3 acres and it’s almost a 4,000 square foot house. It was a way too ridiculous. Like I don’t use half the house and it’s just ridiculous. And it was like 300 grand but yeah they like the technology but really on the next year.

Joe Reinke:                   30:37                Yeah, definitely for people like you, it’s actually for anything, and this is why so many people, we talk about the student loan stuff, but we already have a piece of the technology out to help people plan. And this actually leads to like the number two misconception that I would have to say when we sit down and people talk about budgeting. They used to always come to me and they still come to me and say, Hey Joe, I spend like $1,200 a month on my student loans. Is that a lot? And it’s like I have no idea. Right? Because $1,200 for one person might be nothing for somebody else. Okay. And so what that means is when it comes to money, absolute numbers mean absolutely nothing. It all has to be relative. And the way we do that as percentages, so like when people sit down and look at their budget, they always look at absolute numbers.

Joe Reinke:                   31:23                So if you go onto these budgeting apps and all this stuff, it’s all absolute numbers and it’s like, Oh well I’m going to cut, stop drinking coffee, you know, and boil and make my own coffee. It’s like, great, you save $2 you know, a day or $50 a month. Like that might be 0.04% of your budget, but you don’t want to learn something about retirement savings and taxes. I can save you like 10% like learn the learn. And so when you start looking at percentages, you start seeing where you should focus your time on. And so that’s number one thing. But the number two thing would that allows you to do is then we could sit there and say, look we break this down very easily here, right? So we say the first formula is income minus expenses equals discretionary income. With that discretionary income, you can then do two basic things.

Joe Reinke:                   32:09                You can either build assets or pay off debt and before you even decide what to do with that, we can upload it and say, okay, on average, a new grad PT for example, can take 30% of their gross income and put it to those two groups, assets or debt. You just got to figure out how you want to do that. And so if you have no student loan debt like yourself, Karen, you’d be like, okay, well can I do 30% can I do 35% can I do 40% once you figured that out, then it’s, well, now what do I do? Do I do my 401K you know, do I have self-employed income? So can I do a SEP IRA? What about a Roth IRA? What about HSA? What about just brokerage accounts? Oh, well I also want to say for a down payment for the apartment, what do I need to start saving for that?

Joe Reinke:                   32:50                What do I prioritize first? And then that, so that’s the part that we’ll have the technology that we have built now what we’re building for next year is where we can say once you say, okay, this percentage is going here, this percentage is going here, this percentage is going here, implement link all your accounts into the profile. And they would automatically track to make sure you’re moving those percentages and that you’re doing it correctly. And so yeah, right now we only help anybody with student loans. And then we track the student loan strategy to make sure they’re doing it the efficient way. And then next year we’re going to roll out the bigger piece of the technology. And that was part of the preview with the courses is the courses talk about all that stuff. And that was like the first phase of what we’re launching for next year.

Joe Reinke:                   33:35                We just got the courses down early and we’re like, let’s get ’em out. Like people are asking for them. So happy to get those out. But yeah, next year if you want to sit down and talk, let me know.

Karen Litzy:                                           I think I might have, I’m thinking about a lot here. So is there anything else that we didn’t cover that you’re like, Oh, I definitely want to talk about this. I wanted to get this in.

Joe Reinke:                                           Like we’ve talked about the percentages. The reason why I’m so adamant on that is because then it makes life easy. And what I mean by that is if you say, look, I know 5% is going here, 10% is going to here, percent going there.

Joe Reinke:                   34:21                Well guess what? You get a raise every year, so all you have to do is calculate and say, okay, well no, I just have to increase how much I’m going into those, those different areas. It’s automatic discipline. You don’t have to think about it anymore. And not only that, but like if you get a bonus or a commission or a tax return. Yeah, you already know the percentages. Take this here, take this here, take this here, put it here, the rest I can go use on vacation. Hell have fun with it and you don’t have to think about it anymore. Instead, I see a lot of people being like, Joe, I just got this $5,000 bonus. Like I’m stressing about, do I put it in my investments? Do I pay off my student loan debt? It’s like, well, if he’s had those percentages that you don’t have to think about anymore, you already know what you’re doing with it.

Joe Reinke:                   35:00                So that’s, you know, one more like they played it was one last thing to add. That’s one of the big things is those percentages I strongly recommended. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re at, if you have student loan debt or not. If you’re saving for a wedding, saving for college, saving for you know, kids. By the way, if you do have kids and you’re saving for college for them, don’t do it. Save for your retirement first please. They can fund college other ways. But make sure you fund your own retirement first before you can fund your kids. That’s one of the biggest mistakes I see parents make. They want to fund their, call it kids’ college education and their retirement is lacking. It’s like no on your retirement first on their stuff later. So those are the big takeaways.

Karen Litzy:                   35:42                Awesome. I mean, such good information. I really appreciate all of this. And now this question I been asking everyone lately who come on the podcast and it’s given where you are now with your life, your business, what advice would you give to yourself as that 22 year old punk going home to his dad more than he does?

Joe Reinke:                   36:03                I wish I would draw my ego level way before. That was, I was an athlete at that time too. So you get once, yeah, once you stopped playing sports and reality starts hitting then and all of a sudden it’s like Mmm, well not on this pedestal anymore. You get shot down a little bit. But no, actually at that time for me, my big thing was I grew up around, you know, the rule of finance because that’s what my degree was and everything. I was around wall street guys.

Joe Reinke:                   36:41                I had a plan for money coming out of school, but it was simply just to make a lot of money. And you quickly find out that if your motivation is money, you’re going to end up burning out. It doesn’t matter what you do. If that could be going to take a certain PT job simply because it pays more because you need to pay off student loans. So I guarantee you, you didn’t go to school for student loans. You went to school to be a PT. So if you’re going for income and that’s your only reason you’re going to burn out. Okay. And like I said earlier, I’ve seen guys making half a million dollar bonuses on wall street that don’t even work in finance anymore because they’re so burned out off of it. And it took me a long time to realize that you’re not money that shouldn’t motivate you.

Joe Reinke:                   37:28                It’s whatever you’re trying to accomplish, that it’d be building a technology that’d be treating patients. And if all you do is strive to be the best at building that, that certain thing or focusing on those first two goals, I talked about your family and your work and you’re really focusing on those, that the monetary side will take care of itself in the long run. Like stuff will happen and take care of itself if that’s what your main focus is. And like, I mean, fitbux is the living proof of that. I’ve said it from day one to our investors and everything. Don’t ask me about revenue. Don’t ask me about shiny objects. Like we talk about business owners all the time. It’s one of the hardest things to do because you see so many opportunities out there. You’re like, Oh, if I just do that, just a little shiny object, it’s going to make me a couple extra thousand dollars, but it’s going to be a distraction.

Joe Reinke:                   38:18                It is not part of your main thing. Now you’re chasing money instead of being focused on why you are doing what you’re doing. And so that was one of the big things that I had to learn was, you know, it’s not about making a million dollars or $5 million or $10 million. It’s focusing on what you love doing and the recipe, it will come true. I mean like Karen and you’re, you’re a perfect example of that. You love doing the podcast, you love getting out there doing that stuff and helping people and guess what you’ve been successful at doing it. You’ve been successful as your PT career, all that stuff falls in line. If you’re focusing on the right things and money’s not the right thing to focus on is the bigger picture. What does money actually represent to you? What does it mean to you? Why do you want it? Because you can have all the money in the world. Do you want it to do something? Focus on that. Do something first and then the money will come from that because you’re going to be the best at what you do.

Karen Litzy:                   39:10                Great advice. I love it. And now where can people find more information about you? Contact you find more about Fitbux.

Joe Reinke:                   39:20                https://www.fitbux.com/ As the website. As you said with the courses, it’s just underneath money school. If you drop down the header underneath solutions, there’ll be money school on there. That talks about our courses. If you want to come on and, you already know for example, that you want to do the student loan forgiveness strategy and you just want to sign up for our $5 a month tracking solution. You just go into solutions and sign up. We have a payoff strategy. We also had the loan forgiveness strategy. If you want to go in and use our refinance service, it’s free. All you got to do is build your profile and schedule a call. We’ll walk through making sure that refinancing is right for you and then go shop nine lenders. And if you have no idea what you’re doing

Joe Reinke:                   39:59                And don’t feel ashamed, about 70% of the people that come on our platform don’t have a clue where to even start. And that’s statistically true cause we asked them have you looked at anything? And they say, I have no idea. And so we, that’s all free too. We’ll have you come on, you build your profile, we go through the payoff options, we go through the loan forgiveness options. And then depending on which one you feel more comfortable with, we’d go deeper and deeper into how to actually implement that strategy. I mean that’s all free too. You just go to the website and click join now and sign up, schedule a call and we’ll be talking soon.

Karen Litzy:                   40:30                Perfect. And just so if people aren’t familiar, it’s fitbux.com. So Joe, thank you so much for coming on. This was great info. I learned, I learned a lot. So thank you so much. Glad that we can teach and it’s always fun and hopefully we’ll see you at another conference or conclave or something soon and I’m sure talk more. And everyone, thanks so much for listening. Have a great, great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy, and smart.


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©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.
©2019 Karen Litzy Physical Therapy PLLC.