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This is the way

By 2 December, 2019Members

This newsletter is aimed at the younger spectrum of my readership, although it might have some insight for any and everyone.  However, if you are one of those who becomes angry when you feel your view on the world is threatened, perhaps don’t read it.

So let’s get my inane and flawed thoughts out there

Did you know that you are being conned?  Society gives you several paths that you are supposed to follow.  By not following that path, your society tells you that you are somehow flawed, broken and possibly even dangerous.

Here is one such the path:

  • Get good grades
  • Go to university
  • Get a good degree
  • Join one of the professions
  • Work long hours and work your way up through the hierarchy
  • Year on year take on more responsibility so you can earn more
  • At some point, you should get married and settle down
  • You should buy a house and get a nice car
  • Perhaps have children so that they can be put in a nice school (and repeat the cycle)
  • You should buy nice things because you are worth it
  • Perhaps invest in the stock market in your ISA
  • Retire and live off the fruits of your labour.

Well let’s look at some of those points shall we because that’s A path not THE path:

  • If you go to university you will be saddled with a significant amount of debt that you will be paying off when you are at the beginning of your earning phase
  • What is your university degree in?  Obviously most of those reading this are dentists, but you may have noticed that the days when dentists could make vast sums just by being dentists are over.  It’s possible, but the silly money is now only for the top 10% at best.  So huge wealth shouldn’t be expected in this career although it is still attainable.
  • The professions used to be respected and looked up to.  That is no longer the case, many of them being vilified.  Even our medical friends are suffering in this regard, and most of them are abused by the state as well.
  • Ah yes, the hierarchy.  FD, to associate to partner/practice owner.  When I did it, it seemed to make sense.  I’m not so sure now, not with the prices being asked for practices.
  • I’ll not mention the divorce rate
  • Buying a house eh?  Again, the affordability of housing is an issue for many.  And the bigger the house, the more issues can arise.  I mean, how many rooms do you need.  You can only occupy one at a time.  And I know, you need somewhere to put all your stuff…but why do you need so much stuff?  You keep upgrading your box to a bigger box so that you can have more boxes to keep your boxes in.
  • And don’t start me off on cars.  Now I know, there are some of you who can make cars work as an investment.  But for most of us, we get the flash car with money that we don’t really have, often to try and impress people we don’t even know.  And then you find someone kes it in Waitrose car park.  The tyres cost more than some people pay in rent.
  • The nice things you buy do not bring you happiness.  They deliver a brief endorphin rush, which then needs to be topped up by more stuff.  Thus you end up in a never-ending spiral of consumption that forces you to earn earn earn so you can spend spend spend.

Society is designed to keep you trapped and cash poor.  The cost of doing business increases each year, which means you need to earn more to keep yourself at the same level.  at the same time the threats to your income increase through things like litigation, the GDC and ineffective social health care forcing you down the road of private health insurance.    It’s almost as if things were designed like this.

Back in the old fee per item days, we called this the treadmill.  For many, the treadmill still exists, and I know dentists who make almost obscene amounts of money compared to the average, and yet they have to keep that income churning because the cost of their lifestyle is very high.  One major illness, one GDC hearing, one broken limb, and they will be in severe trouble.

They are doing dentistry to service their lifestyle, which means they end up working more than they want to.  If you break the cycle where your expenses rise to meet your income, you find you have money left over which can then be invested.  These investments then start to bring a return which means you can earn less and less to cover your overheads.  Once you passive income covers your day to day living, you find yourself working because you want to, not because you have to.

Then you are free.

It’s easier to do this if you start early, so that compound interest works in your favour.

3.5 days a week.  That’s the optimum workweek for dentists according to the Pankey Institute.  Just think of all the other things you could do if you weren’t fetling around in someone’s mouth 6 days a week.

As the Mandalorian would say, “This is the Way” :)