In this episode, Founder of FitBUX, Joseph Reinke, talks about financial planning.
Today, Joseph talks about financial planning technology, the three buckets of financial planning, and the importance of focus. How can FitBUX help people with financial planning?
Hear about thinking about percentages, self-employed financial planning, and get Joseph’s advice to his younger self, all on today’s episode of The Healthy, Wealthy & Smart Podcast.
- “Money is always relative.”
- “The big takeaway is percentages.”
- “If I focus on one, maybe two things, I’m going to accomplish things much faster.”
- “The more you concentrate on something, the sooner you’ll realize it.”
- “This should be complementing your life, not dictating it.”
More about Joseph Reinke
Joseph Reinke is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder and is the founder of FitBUX. FitBUX has helped more than 11,000 PTs manage $1.6 billion in debt and assets. In addition, FitBUX recently partnered with the APTA to provide APTA members with awesome discounts on their technology.
Joseph has appeared on numerous industry podcast, been an author for various industry publications, and has done over 200 student loan workshops at university graduate programs, SIGs, Conclaves, and annual conferences throughout the country.
Healthy, Wealthy, Smart, Physiotherapy, Finance, Financial Planning, Income, Expenses, Debt, Money, Technology, Retirement,
FitBUX Investment Round: https://republic.com/fitbux
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Read the Full Transcript Here:
Hey, Joe, welcome back to the podcast. I’m happy to have you on again.
Yeah, I’m glad to be here. It’s been a long time. It’s the very first time. I think there’s like a third time, maybe the fourth time. But yeah, it’s been quite a journey. So glad to be back.
I’m happy to have you back. Especially because today we’re going to be talking about financial planning. Now, I know a lot of people might be like, oh, gosh, this is so boring. But regardless of whether you own your own business, you’re working for someone else, you have to have a good financial planning, because you want to be able to get through the rest of your life and have the security of knowing you’re financially sound. Right.
Exactly, exactly. So we’ll make it we’ll make it exciting. We’ll give you some, some tidbits that you don’t hear anywhere else. So
yes, excellent. Well, let’s let’s start out with what are a couple of tips for the audience, that you counsel people on when it comes to financial planning?
Yeah, so a lot of us to help is all about the technology, and we’re there to guide them through it. And it’s really geared around a lot of stuff that I learned when I was in wealth management. You know, everybody always talks about, oh, the problem in financial planning and financial education, and this and that. And basically, what I look at used to look at is everybody in the financial industry, they just double down on using the same stupid stuff. And then when the technology comes out, they just put some cute interface to it, and it just doesn’t work. Okay. And there’s, there’s two areas that I could, you know, illustrate on that. One is like, on these apps, so like these budgeting apps, I won’t name any names, I won’t pick on anybody, but there’s a lot of big popular apps out there. Or maybe you just use Excel. And a lot of times what they do is they just throw a bunch of stuff in basically an Excel sheet, and they put a user interface around that. And it’s like, okay, well, where does all my money go? Like, this doesn’t make any sense. So that’s the first issue that we’ve seen in the second one, I used to joke around about this, this is where financial technology that I used to have, like, you know, a 60 year old client would come in with like, a stack of paperwork with like, an inch or two thick and say, Okay, what am I supposed to do? And to me, all FinTech did was take that makes file and put it on the internet. And just make a pretty little graph around it. It’s like, okay, this doesn’t tell me anything. Like, what if I want to buy a house versus rent? What if I want to pay off my loans versus well forget? How am I supposed to look at these things? Like, am I supposed to decide this? And so those are the two big areas that is like, how do you do this. And so the first big tidbit on financial planning to satisfy that first problem, just one big thrill plus, you got to think of things in almost buckets when you start stretching out your plan. So you have things like your income and your expenses. And I’m not talking about like your debt expenses. I’m literally talking about your day to day expenses, like food and rent and utilities. So that’s like, step one is your income and your day to day expenses that is happening today. The second step is to say, Okay, how much is going towards investments and how much is going towards debt? And that’s the step two is over the long term. And then step three is, well, what am I doing to protect my financial plan? Those are things like insurances. So life insurance, long term care, insurance, disability insurance, home insurance. And so the way you can think about it is, this is day to day, this is long term. And and this is risk management, because protection. And when you start thinking about it that way, it makes life a lot easier to do it. And then you know, we’ll pause there, and then go into also, you know, what happens like, Well, what about projecting? What about managing this over time? What’s an easy way to set this up from there, but that’s the primary the main component of in terms of just setting up the plan itself, of those three buckets when you start thinking about this stuff?
Yeah. And so you suggest people kind of sit down and look at all of those things and kind of write them out. So they have they know their income, they know what their expenses are. They know what they have asset wise, debt wise. So when you’re talking debt, can you be a little more specific? Are we talking long term debt like loans or short term debt like credit cards, or bony
any real debt, I mean, credit card. So with credit cards, if you’re paying them off monthly, we don’t even consider it that we just consider that day to day stuff. But we’re talking about where like you have a monthly payment, so car loans, student loans, mortgages, if you do have credit card debt, and you refinance it, for example, into a personal loan, and you’re paying that off over time, if you have business debt, whatever it may be, that’s the debt that we’re that we’re talking about in that step two.
Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for the clarification on that. And then of course, All the insurances and things like that, that we all need, that we all should have moving forward, I would say especially if you’re a physical therapist, and especially if you’re in private practice, boy, do you need those insurances to be on point?
Yeah, exactly the biggest, like the most overlooked one is disability insurance. Because it’s like, what do you do if you go to say, well, I can’t do my profession anymore. It’s like your financial plan completely just ruined if you don’t have that. And that’s the way you can think about insurance is okay, well, I did my step one, I did my step two. Step two happens over time. What happens if I don’t have time because of whatever it is. So like, what happens if I become disabled? My financial plan crumbles. What if I’m married, and I pass away or my spouse passes away? Like we have children like our plan crumbles? What happens if I have a car and I don’t have the proper car insurance and I get in a car accident? I don’t, I can’t buy another car. Now my plan crumbles because I gotta get all this auto debt for another car. So that’s what you can think about insurance is protecting just in case time doesn’t happen?
Yeah, fair. Okay, so great. Tip number one, just to recap is to break up into three areas, income expenses, assets, debt, and the third protection, or, and that’s where all your insurances come in. Okay, what other what other tip do you have when it comes to financial planning?
This one is one of the most important and this, this makes life so much easier, both when you’re setting up a plan. And also when you’re actually like monitoring your plan. Oftentimes, somebody will come to me and say something like, you know, I’m paying $1,500 a month on my student loans. Is that a lot of money? And it’s like, I don’t know, like, Well, what do you mean, you don’t know you’re an expert? Don’t you know if that’s a lot? It’s like, well, no, what I mean by that is, do you make $300,000? Or do you make $30,000? Because it’s all relative to your income. And money is always relative. Another example of that, like investments, somebody can’t come to me and says, I made $10,000 on my investment. And it’s like, okay, is that good? It’s like, I don’t know, like, Did you invest? 20,000? I’m like, Yeah, I’ll just do that. But if you invested a million and only made 10,000, like, that’s horrible. Like, don’t quit your day job, like, what are you doing? Right? So it really just depends on percentages. And you can take that knowledge and apply it to your financial plan. So when you’re actually setting these things up, especially on step two, where you’re saying, where’s What am I investments? Or what am I debt, when you look at percentages of where your money is going and allows you to say, hey, like, I want to focus on, you know, paying off my mortgage? Well, if that’s not your biggest percentage of where your money is going, and you’re not focusing on that, okay, and this is like, it’s funny, because people like, how did you come up with that percentage thing? And I’m like, well, one of the ways I did was when I first started working, I put all the percentages there. And I realized how much money was going to taxes. It was like, Holy crap, like, what can I do to reduce that? So I’m the financial dork that I am, I went and read the IRS tax code. But it’s like, those percentages that I assume realized, from a financial planning aspect, it makes life easy, not just setting up your plan, but actually following it. Because if you say, Look, I have 20% going towards my student loans, I have 5%, going towards savings for a down payment for a house, I have 4% going towards my 401k. Over time, your income should be going up. So it makes it very easy. You don’t have to think about how much of my money should be going where you just keep the percentages the same and increase how much you’re doing in those categories. Or if you get a bonus or a tax return, say great, I take the percentage, I put it to those categories. If I want to do more, I’m fine. But I don’t need to I can go out and actually enjoy this money if I want to and not feel guilty about it. Cuz I know I’m following my plan. And then once you’re following that plan, let’s just say you have a good life event happened. Like let’s just say you paid off debt, you paid off a student loan, you paid off an auto loan, well, then great, you just look at the percentage and say, Okay, where do I move this now to meet my next goal? Very quick and easy. Or maybe you have a negative life event, like you get a car accident, You wrecked your car, and you need to buy a new one, where it’s like, okay, well, I have I was focusing on this. But if I’ve moved this percentage and this percentage here, I’m good to go. And that’s it. And then you can actually go out and simulate that and I’ll talk about simulating that in a minute. But that’s the key thing. One of the biggest takeaway that you can take from this podcast as percentages, what percentage of my money is going where and then from there, instead of tracking your dollars and cents, every single place that goes track the percentages are my percentage is going to where I said they’re going to especially going towards your investments and your debt. Some people really like looking at those percentages on their day to day expenses too. That’s fine if you want to go that into it for me, as long as you’re following the assets and debt sureselect don’t enjoy. That’s the way I look at it. Because that second floor of the building assets and debt, that’s the financial plan. So that’s the key thing. There’s that percentages, percentages, percentages. And, you know, I wish I could talk to everybody that’s like 40 and 50 and 60 that have been doing like the dollar amount their entire life. And it’s like, I just switched to this. It’s easier, like, do that. Yeah. So that’s the big takeaway is percentages.
Yeah, I switched over to percentages a couple of years ago, and it’s like a no brainer. You know, so like, when, like you said, for example, a tax return comes in. So I had a tax return. I know it was last year, the year before. And I knew exactly where all of that money was going. Because it was in my percentages. Yep. So it just makes life so much easier. And you’ll see you’ll accumulate wealth in the places that you need to, because that’s your plan.
Yep. And you’ll realize, while if I focus on one, maybe two things, I’m going to accomplish things a lot faster. And so that’s where the the behavioral side of finance comes in to. And it’s a proven fact that more you concentrate on something that the sooner you’re able to realize it. And so one of the big mistakes that we see people make, especially on that step two, they’re like, Alright, I’m going to save in a Roth, I’m going to save in a 401k, I’m going to save for my child’s 529 plan, I also need to save for a house and I want to save or pay off my student loans. And it’s like, you’re going to do none of those. Like, if you’re trying to do all that good luck. Like seeing the percentages and how thin they are, and how long it’s gonna take you to accomplish those is a red light to a lot of people, it’s like holy cow, like, will instead I just focus on like, paying off my loans, for example. And your my retirement for the time being, you’re gonna be able to accomplish a lot more sooner. And then you can get to those other things down the road. So that’s another big takeaway is focus, focus, focus, focus.
Yeah. And it’s okay to move those percentages around as your life changes. And as things change in life. It’s good. Yeah. Okay, cool. Yep. So now, yeah. What I mean, this all sounds great. And I’m sure a lot of people are wondering like, oh, okay, how am I supposed to keep track of all this? How am I supposed to do all this? This sounds complicated. I don’t work in Excel. QuickBooks makes me nauseous. What can I do? Like, so explain to us how fit books, can I help people with some of this financial planning stuff?
Yeah, this is where I’m so personally excited. Because this is where we always wanted to take the company even like, it was one of like, five years ago, I first came on the show on your podcast, we specifically we knew this technology was gonna take a long time to build. And so we specifically started the first piece of the technology around student loans to help students, new grads, and then we’ve been building it, especially during COVID, we’ve been building out more and more, as long as we don’t lose engineers that COVID Every other week. But we’ve been building out more and more, and we launched the first version out of beta last November. And it literally does all that for you. So when you go to build your plan, like step one is income expenses that two is is your asset contributions, your debt contributions, that three goes into risk management. And then we took it a step further, actually, on step four, you can add in goals and life events. So everything from like getting married or buying a house, or whatever it is that you’re going to do. And what that allows you to do is it allows you to say, Hey, this is the plan that I want to follow. And you can actually build out the entire thing and see in the long run what it does, or you can run simulation. So if you’re trying to say Hey, should I pay off my loans versus loan forgiveness, or should I rent versus buy, or I’m married, and we just had a child should myself or my spouse stay at home instead of working so we don’t have to pay for daycare, you can simulate all those to decide what you want to do. Okay. And then with the technology, once you say this is what I want to do, we take all these complex components, so like your income and your expenses and your assets and your debt. And we bought them all into one data point we called the fitbug score. So you can really easily compare everything and what the fitness score is in the short run, it looks like your risk and your profile and everything else. And then by the time you hit retirement is basically the probability of you hitting retirement and not running out of money. Okay. And so once you say this is the plan that I want to follow, you can then link your financial accounts into the hitbox profile, track yourself right on your profile, and it literally tells you step by step each month, are you doing this right or not. And then if you have one of those life events where you have to change your percentages around you just go back in and have your plan with the percentages around hit save and go back on with your life. So that’s why I’m so excited because we’ve been building that literally for like two and a half years that that bigger technology and it’s finally out. So I can actually smile and have a few more gray hairs because of it but it’s out So that’s where we’re at right now.
Yeah, it sounds it sounds like definitely makes life a little bit easier. And now does this connect to your bank accounts or to your QuickBooks and all that kind of stuff so that it’s constantly updating? How does that
work? Yeah. So it doesn’t connect to QuickBooks, it connects to bank accounts, credit cards, some debt. So it connects almost everything not, you know, there’s some credit union stuff that it doesn’t link into. Some accounts are more thorough. So like the bank accounts, or the savings accounts are all in there. Some debts, like some companies, like first of all, some companies are there, some aren’t. Even if they’re not, you can still manually put them in. And I just tell people updated like once a month with your transactions. So it can up to date tell you, the big thing is, is making sure that your gross income is in the technology? Because that’s how we base everything, are you following your your plan, based on these percentages, and the only way we know that percentage is if your gross incomes, they’re not your net, your gross income. Because we want to see, we want you to see where your taxes are going and everything else in your entire paycheck. And so yeah, you can link your accounts, we do it through a company called plaid, which is, you know, the other major banks use them and everything. So that is who we use to link the accounts.
And can you quickly just for people who don’t know, define gross versus net income?
Yeah, so gross income is what you get from your employer on quote, unquote, that top line, so it’s what you’re actually paid. And then from there, they deduct out things like your taxes, your Social Security taxes, your unemployment taxes, your Medicare taxes, any contributions to your 401k that you’re making, anything that you’re paying in terms of like medical care, dental care, whatever it is. And then after that is your net pay. So when you get a deposit into your bank account, that’s what we see as net pay. And so you have to reconcile that the gross income. And so what we try to do on the technology to make it easy is is once you put in one of your gross incomes, so like if you get a net pay of like two grand, and then you reconcile it to say 3000. Next time we see $2,000, we automatically reconcile it for you. So you don’t have to keep doing it. But yeah, we need that done a few times. So that way the technology updates and can start learning what that is and make those adjustments for you. But yeah, that’s the difference between gross and net income.
Perfect. And let’s say you’re self employed, and maybe you’re so you’re not getting a steady paycheck, but maybe your pay can fluctuate slightly from month to month. So how does the technology work with that? Is it like, on our end, when it comes to a little
bit more, yeah, a little bit more, because you don’t know what that income cash flow looks like. But what I tell everybody, like when you’re setting up your plan, and you have variable income, so you might not even be self employed, you know, just be based on commission or commission. And what we tell people on that is be very conservative. So like, if you typically make like 80 grand a year and commission or self employed income, do your financial plan based on 60 grand, and do those percentages. And then every month, when you get those waves of money coming in, just take the percentages, and that’s what you do. And so again, it makes life very easy. Like if you’re putting money to the SEP IRA, or whatever it is, you just know what those percentages are. And that’s what you put in. Instead, try where I see a lot of commission based or business owners where they make mistake is actually on twofold. They try to do everything monthly. And then they ended up in a month. It’s like, oh shit, I don’t have any money. Like, oh, or they go the opposite. They say, I’m gonna do this every six months, I’m gonna see where I’m at, I want to put money into these things. And then six months go by and they’re so busy, they just forget. No, they don’t do anything. And then all of a sudden, they have 50 or 100 grand sitting in cash, just not doing anything for them. And they don’t even realize that it’s sitting there. It’s like, fantastic. And so, yeah, that’s another place where those percentages come in into play big time.
And do you suggest people looking at, look at all of these percentages every month.
If they’re following the percentages every month, the only real time you need to change them is when one of two things happen. The first one would be is if you have a major life event happen. So things like you get married, you have a child, there’s a debt, you’re inheriting money, whatever it is, those are major life events, that’s when you go in and change it. Or you hit a major goal. So you pay off one of your debts or something like that, and you have a lot of money now that you need to move around. So those really are the two times and that’s one of the big reasons why I’m so excited about the technologies because when I was in wealth management to me, it’s like this whole model is messed up like you pay 1000 to $3,000 to a person to come up with a plan and then you walk out and it’s completely obsolete. And in some of these guys charge $100 a month, but they don’t track anything. They don’t have any technology to actually even track anything. So what the hell are they doing for $100 a month? So we were like, Okay, well, we give out the financial planning technology, it’s free to build your financial plan, you can even talk to a coach, and it’s free to build it. And then when you track it, we could charge a monthly subscription fee, that’s, you know, 20, or $30, whatever we charge on that. And it’s there, you don’t have to worry about spending $3,000 a year, any of that garbage. It’s like, oh, it frustrates me so much when I talk about it, because the whole model is just like, completely upside down. And actually, the stuff we’re coming out with Next, we just started working on it. As far as investment recommendations for allocations and how you had your investments allocated. And I had heart, I’m an investor, I mean, that’s what I’ve been doing since I was like 12. And so I’m just starting to get my tea sharpened on that one, I’m hoping to have it out by March or April this year, where you can literally build your profile. And then it will tell you how your allocation should be on your investments, how much risk you shouldn’t be taking. And the big part that’s different, we didn’t touch on this. We factor in this thing called human capital into our analytics. We ask everything from like, what’s your profession to things? Like do you run marathons? Because that all goes to speak about behaviors. And just like healthcare 80% of outcomes and behaviors, it’s the same thing in finance. And so there’s no point in our technology saying, Hey, you should do this complex plan, when the behavior is not necessarily there yet. And so we factor all that into our algorithm. And that’s part of what we’re going to be coding next with the investment allocation. Which that’s a whole minefield that to me, is that all traditional advice, like, Hey, you’re young, like you can afford, you know, to put everything in the stock market. It’s like, No, you can’t like you know, what happens if you have $5,000 in emergency fund, and you have $5,000 in a 401k and COVID hits and your 401k goes down 50%. And you also just got laid off that $2,500 that just went out the door might be pretty valuable. So why were you aggressively invested at that point in time? Like, it makes no sense? Yeah, so I, yeah, I can go off for hours on that investment allocation stuff. But that might be a far whole nother podcast.
And that’s okay. We’ll have you back on. That’s not a problem. Well, it sounds like a lot of exciting stuff and a lot of stuff that’s really user friendly, and really good for people who aren’t financial planners, right? Who like they didn’t go to school for this. And they need a little bit of guidance, a little bit of coaching. And this certainly sounds like it makes it very easy for people to do that. Now, what are I know that you said this before? But I’ll have you repeat it. If people take away anything from this, what is a big, big thing that you want people to take away from this talk?
Yeah, keep it easy in terms of how you set it up. So again, today, what’s your expenses? What’s your income today? What are you doing over time with your investments and your debt? And then the third piece is what am I doing to protect my financial plan, that’s insurance. The second big takeaway is following your percentages of your income, it will make your life extremely, extremely easy. And then to your key point, caring. This stuff should be complementing your life not dictating it. And it should be easy. And again, that’s one of the hours that retirement of it for a PT when I decided, yes, I’m going to launch the company. And the main reason was because I was like, I always wanted to invent something in terms of technology to help people like, but I’m not. I can’t like I’m not Elon Musk, I’m not gonna build neuro link or some of these other companies, right? It’s not gonna happen. But I know finances. And it’s like, okay, well, if we can develop a technology that reduces the amount of time you need to think or stress about money, that means you can do what you’re supposed to be doing when you’re going to school, like being a PT. Or if you’re an engineer, and you’re the next Elon Musk, you don’t have to think about money because that part of your life is actually taken care of. So it’s my small contribution, if you will, to the technology world. Just funny because everyone’s like, you’re a founder of a technology company. I’m like, I’m a finance guy. I know algorithms. I know math, and I know money. And I’d like I give it to coders and engineers, right? They do it. Right, right, right.
Hey, listen, that’s why it’s we always work better as a team, right? It’s hard to do everything on your own, if not impossible. And now where can people find more about all of this info and how to sign up and how to start using this?
Yeah, so Bostock comm just go on build, your profile is free to go on and you can build like all the tools are accessible to you to build your plan. You can schedule a call with a coach which we highly recommend because this version of the technology We built specifically for people to actually call us and have them help us walk you through the technology to make sure you’re using it correctly. And then as we grow, we’re building out more and more automation. So that way, it’s easier. And then once you want to sign up and say, This is the plan I want to do, that’s where you start the subscription and go from there.
Perfect. All right, so that’s fit bucks fit bu x.com. Yep, you’re right. All right. So before we end, before we wrap things up. Last question, I asked everyone, and that’s knowing where you are now in life and career, what advice would you give to your younger self? I know you’ve answered this question before answer it again, come up with a new piece of content, you get to say more advice to your younger self instead of just one piece.
Yeah, this one, I touched on it earlier, and I can’t stress it enough as focus. You know, I’m the type of person that like I was at CSM last week. And I pretty sure that I wrote down like seven or eight business ideas. And I’m the type of person that just wants to start working on everything. Like, I used to joke around with my wife. I was like, you know, this was back when I was doing my investment trading. I was like, if I come up with something, I will literally be up for 72 straight hours researching this and figuring out if it works or not. And sure enough, the very first time like, I came up with something, I stayed up, I was on our 71 I thought it was gonna work. And then our 72 is when I found out that it will work. But focus is we’re so distracted with things. We’re so distracted. You know, that’s one of the behavioral things I’ll share is like, when you start saying, This is what my focus is, and you have a fundamental reason of why you’re doing it. And it’s not because you’re, you think you’re gonna make a lot of money or you think you’re gonna do this, but you have a real fundamental, real reason why you’re doing it. Focus actually becomes very easy. Like you no longer care about watching TV, like I’m a big sports person. I haven’t watched sports in about eight years. Just because there’s like, I won’t play I was watching a football game. I’m like, Well, this sucks. I’m wasting four hours. And the game’s only an hour and a half and watching commercials. So let me TiVo it. And I started TiVoing. And I’m like, wow, they’re still wasting an hour watching this thing. Like, I’d rather be doing something else, which I stopped watching sports. And so it’s like, if I could go back, I just think about it. Like if I had that same mentality when I was like, 20, instead of getting that mentality when I was 28 or 29. I’m like, my life would be looking a lot different right now. So focus, focus, focus, focus.
Great advice. Joe, thank you so much for coming back on the podcast, giving us great tips for financial planning. I’m sure everyone will take a lot away from this podcast. So thanks so much for coming on. Yeah, thank you for having me. Anytime and everyone. Thanks so much for tuning in and listening and have a great couple of days and stay healthy, wealthy and smart.