In this episode, Emily interviews Dr. Jay Zigmont, who holds both a PhD in Adult Education and Certified Financial Planner designation. Jay has focused his financial planning practice, Live Learn Plan, on the childfree community, and his book, Portraits of Childfree Wealth, will be published on June 1, 2022. Emily and Jay discuss the stories and interview excerpts from the book and Jay’s observations about the relationship between being childfree and finances. Jay holds up the model of the Gardener and Rose as a potentially useful one for dual-PhD couples, which is what he and his wife practice.
Links Mentioned in this Episode
- Portraits of Childfree Wealth (Book by Dr. Jay Zigmont)
- PF for PhDs Community
- Childfree Wealth (Dr. Jay Zigmont’s Website)
- PF for PhDs Register for Mailing List (Access Advice Document)
- PF for PhDs Podcast Hub (Transcripts/Show Notes)
00:00 Jay: And I was amazed that people would share this. I mean, to be frank, people would rather talk about their sex life than their finances. But people were sharing it all, and it’s just amazing to see.
00:15 Emily: Welcome to the Personal Finance for PhDs Podcast: A Higher Education in Personal Finance. I’m your host, Dr. Emily Roberts. This is season 12, episode one, and today my guest is Dr. Jay Zigmont, who holds both a PhD in Adult Education and the Certified Financial Planner designation. Jay has focused his financial planning practice, Live Learn Plan, on the childfree community, and his book, Portraits of Childfree Wealth will be published on June 1st, 2022. We discuss the stories and interview excerpts from Jay’s book and his observations about the relationship between being childfree and finances. Jay holds up the model of the gardener and rose as a potentially useful one for dual PhD couples, which is what he and his wife practice.
01:10 Emily: If you’ve been getting value from this podcast, would you please do me a favor? This is a perfect time of year to recommend me and my work to an appropriate host or sponsor at your university or Alma mater. In case you didn’t know, I offer numerous personal finance seminars and workshops on topics like taxes, investing, budgeting, and debt repayment, all tailored for graduate students, postdocs, and/or prospective graduate students. If you think that you and your peers would benefit from my teaching, please recommend me to your graduate school graduate student association or post office. These recommendations help me get my foot in the door with new clients or remind past clients of the need for this material. If you choose to recommend me over email, please Cc me, [email protected] so that I can pick up the conversation. It’s only possible for me to create free-to-you content like this podcast if I have paying clients for my speaking engagements and prerecorded workshops. Thank you in advance for recommending me. Without further ado, here’s my interview with Dr. Jay Zigmont, CFP.
Would You Please Introduce Yourself Further?
02:29 Emily: I am delighted to have joining me on the podcast today, Dr. Jay Zigmont. He is a CFP whose practice is called Live Learn Plan. And he’s also a PhD. His PhD is in Adult Learning from Yukon, and we’re going to be talking today about his kind of specialty within his financial planning practice, which is in childfree people. So, that’s kind of the topic, and specifically how like his career has progressed and how he and his wife together have progressed in their careers and trade offs in their childfree life. So, Jay, it’s such a pleasure to have you on the podcast. Thank you so much for volunteering! And would you please introduce yourself a little bit further for the listeners?
03:06 Jay: Absolutely. Emily. So what I do for my day job is I help people understand their dreams and figure out their life and financial planning. I specifically work with childfree folks, which is a interesting area, because in finances it’s completely ignored. There’s no mention in the entire certified financial planning training of being childfree. So I try to bring a little bit of my own life and my research into the practice.
03:30 Emily: Yeah, that’s really, I just think it’s really exciting to learn people’s niches and like why they chose them. Obviously, I have a very specific niche in my like financial education stuff. So, that’s awesome that you’re kind of overlapping your own life choices with what you focus on in your profession. So, it’s a little bit of an unusual path, right? To get a PhD and then get a CFP later on. That’s a certified financial planner by the way, for those who aren’t familiar with the acronym. So, can you tell us how your career took that path?
04:00 Jay: Yeah, so I spent a lot of time in healthcare and academia and you know, everybody listening, there are probably some people who have done both those careers. And it’s always good, bad, and ugly. And across that time, the thing that was common was I was doing coaching. So, whether it’s executive coaching, career coaching, life coaching, academic coaching, whatever it is. And the reality is people are more willing to pay for financial coaching than they are for some of the other. And as soon as you do that, you need to start working on a CFP, become an investment advisor, all the other ones to cross the T’s dot the I’s. And what I’ve found is that I can combine life coaching or life planning with financial coaching and financial planning, because I don’t know if you can separate your life and your finances, but at least that’s the way I look at it, they’re all together.
04:45 Emily: I have the exact same viewpoint. It’s one of the things that has always like excited me about personal finance is that it is so intertwined with just your life holistically. It’s impossible to separate. And I think you really can like get to know people really well, what their values are, what excites them through how they are using their money or how they would like to use their money in the future. So, I totally agree. That’s really, really fun.
05:08 Jay: So, I’m also advice-only. So, I’m an advice-only CFP. I don’t do investment management for people. So, my work is around teaching people to do it themselves. So, that matches where I come from. But it’s also, frankly, different in the financial world, because I’m not charging an AUM fee or anything like that. I meet with people on a regular basis. I actually meet with them monthly and we work through their life finances and it just helps people grow.
05:31 Emily: I totally agree. This is a really new, like exciting model within financial planning. I don’t know if the listeners will be familiar with the AUM or assets-under-management model, but that’s where you hear like a, you know, an advisor’s charging you 1% or some other fee similar to that, to do all your investment management for you, but your model is completely different. And a lot of, I think younger planners are moving towards this fee-only model where, like you said, you’re paying kind of for someone’s time and expertise, but it’s a teaching relationship. It’s a coaching and guiding relationship. I’m working with a financial advisor as well who’s a CFP who works under that same model of a subscription model instead of this like AUM model. So yeah, I really, I love that.
Portraits of Childfree Wealth
06:10 Emily: So, in preparing for this interview, you sent me a book. Can you tell us about the book and the study that you did that leads into it?
06:20 Jay: Yeah. So, I actually started off with a different plan than my book. And, you know, when you dive into research, you have this idea of what you’re gonna look at and then it goes somewhere else. And I’m a qualitative researcher by nature. So, I really wanted to look at the question of what is it like to be childfree, and how does that impact your life and your finances and your wealth? And I’d done a bunch, you know, got a bunch of surveys, got a bunch of data, started going through it. But I was doing these interviews with these people, and these amazing stories came out of what their life was like. And I said, okay, I have to kind of pause some of the analytical work I’m doing and just share these life stories because they don’t exist. You know, and the childfree, they’re about 11% of the U.S over 55 are childfree. And a recent study in Michigan found that 27% of adults are childfree, but there’s no stories about kind of like, well, what does that mean? How does that work? What is that life like? And I was like, how is it possible that such a large group, I mean, we’re talking millions and millions of people, don’t have something, and in the financial literature it’s completely ignored? So, I’m sharing the stories, and hopefully people can go, “Oh, that’s me,” or, “Wow, I didn’t realize that was a way of life.”
07:28 Emily: Can you say the name of your book and when it’s coming out?
07:31 Jay: So Portraits of Childfree Wealth comes out June 1st.
07:35 Emily: Okay. So, I read this in preparation for the interview, and what I found fascinating is that it feels very honest. It feels very unfiltered, especially about a topic like finances, which is so sensitive. And a lot of people are not willing to speak openly about it. So, it is really exciting that you could, you know, compile these interviews and really share, like you just said, like exactly what life is like for these, you know, selected people that you included in the book. So, it was really a fascinating read. Disheartening at times, honestly, but also very encouraging at times. Because obviously different people have different kinds of stories.
08:10 Jay: So, you’re right on it. And I think one of the most shocking things to people is, being childfree doesn’t mean you’re rich. There are people in there literally talking about living on an air mattress. You know, I’m like, the way I look at it is, you know, if they had a kid they’d drown, you know, they just barely keep, and I was amazed that people would share this. I mean, to be frank, people would rather talk about their sex life than their finances, but people were sharing it all. And it’s just amazing to see.
08:37 Emily: Yeah, and I don’t know if this is one of maybe the threads that you pulled out of this set of interviews, but definitely in a number of them, finances were not necessarily like a motivation for making a choice to be childfree, but it helped a lot on that front. Like you said, some of people interviewed would not, I think, be able to financially support a child without some additional like outside assistance, the way they were earning and living like at the moment. And so, it seems like a practical choice as well.
09:10 Jay: Yeah. And I think, so because we’re talking to researchers, this is always a fun one. There’s a relationship, I’m being technical on that, between growing up in poverty or poor and choosing childfree. I don’t have enough data to look at correlation/causation, but there is something there, you know? I didn’t come up with it. I don’t have the money. And then I’ve made that choice. And I think that’s one of those that we’re going to have to dive deeper in to understand, but there are also people that have chosen, well, I’m not having kids because of climate or medical issues or all different reasons. So, I mean, they’re just as varied as the people themselves.
FIRE versus FILE
09:47 Emily: Yeah. And I’m sure this is probably typically a multivariate decision, right? It’s not just one overriding reason for making the choice to be childfree, but it’s, it’s a few things that all kind of come together. Besides the relationship between growing up in poverty and choosing to be childfree, what were some other like key observations or other relationships that you saw?
10:06 Jay: So, I think some of the interesting ones, I was surprised the amount of childfree folks that say they don’t really want to retire. So, there’s a lot of work right now on the FIRE movement, Financial Independence, Retire Early. And there are a couple people that are FIREd and some people like inadvertently FIREd and all that. But most people are going, I’d rather do what I call FILE, Financial Independence, Live Early. It’s kind of dimmed the work. You know, Ryan shares his story in the book of, he works 25 hours a week, never on Fridays, never before 10:00 AM. And like he could take his laptop and go to Palm Springs and do work from anywhere. And that’s really interesting because I think that might be a unique thing to the childfree community that you can get up and go and have that mobile life. But it’s also, if your goal is not retirement, it completely changes your financial plan.
10:54 Emily: I really like that you had that acronym that you explained a few times throughout the book, the FILE. And it reminded me of some of these other like flavors of FIRE, like barista FIRE and Coast FI and all of those. Yeah, super interesting.
11:09 Jay: Some of the people in the FIRE community will argue with me and say, well, Choose FI or Slow FI, the same as FILE. And I go, well, here’s the question? The question is, are you retiring at the end? And what you hear is a lot of FIRE people go, “No, I don’t really want to retire.” Well then you’re not FIRE-ing. You are doing something else. And I think the point I was trying to work through is if I’m not retiring, then my financial plan shouldn’t reflect retiring. And people go, well, what does that change? Well, it changes a lot of your assumptions, and it changes what are your goals, and how does that fit?
11:41 Emily: Yeah. That’s a really exciting concept. Were there any other observations or relationships that you’d like to pull out from the study?
The Gardener and the Rose
11:48 Jay: Yeah, I think the other one I mentioned in there comes out of me and my wife to an extent is this concept of the gardener and the rose. So, my wife and I were both PhDs, and anyone that has a family with two PhDs, you know how hard it is to get a career with two PhDs. Does that make sense, Emily?
12:04 Emily: I know it very well. My husband has a PhD, too.
12:07 Jay: Yeah. So, we get this trailing spouse thing, and it just, it’s a nightmare. My personal belief is it’s almost impossible to get two careers at exactly the same level at exactly the same time for two PhDs. It is possible, but I mean, it’s like you won the lotto. And what I heard from the childfree folks was people were looking at, Hmm, what are the options? And what my wife and I did is we look at it as the gardener or the rose. Somebody’s the rose growing, and somebody’s the gardener providing the support. And I have to clear, you know, that is not gendered roles or anything like that. It’s just expectations, because somebody has to provide support, and somebody has to grow. And my wife and I, we actually have made a conscious effort that we’re going take turns, you know, and that allows the rose to kind of grow and do its own thing.
12:54 Jay: And what you heard is people in this book saying, “Well, you know, we have two incomes. We don’t need both. One of us is not happy.” And I’m like, “So, quit.” And they’re like, “Wait, what?” I’m like, “Well, take turns growing and you can work this gardener and the rose approach. And I’ve got people in there that one’s creating his own video games and he’s doing indie game design and they’re living in an RV. He’s the rose right now, and his wife works in healthcare. It’s this thing that can happen where you can take these turns. Does that make any sense?
13:24 Emily: It absolutely makes sense to me. And as I was reflecting on this concept, I was trying to sort of apply it to like my relationship with my husband and how our careers have progressed. It doesn’t fit, I think, quite as cleanly for us as it does for you and your wife. But I see elements of it at different times and in different ways.
13:43 Emily: Emily here for a brief interlude. If you are a fan of this podcast, I invite you to check out the Personal Finance for PhDs Community at PFforPhDs.community. The community is for PhDs and people pursuing PhDs who want to take charge of their personal finances by opening and funding an IRA, starting to budget, aggressively paying off debt, financially navigating a life or career transition, maximizing the income from a side hustle, preparing an accurate tax return, and much more. Inside the community, you’ll have access to a library of financial education products, including my recent set of Wealthy PhD Workshops. There is also a discussion forum, monthly live calls with me, and progress journaling for financial goals. Basically, the Community exists to help you reach your financial goals, whatever they are. Go to pfforphds.community to find out more. I can’t wait to help propel you to financial success! Now back to the interview.
14:49 Emily: The examples in the book, as far as I remember of gardener and rose, were like the one that you decided of like, well, one person’s going to like take a break from earning or like earn less than they maybe could because the other person is financially able to provide. But from what I can tell for you and your wife, that’s not the case. You’re both working, you both have income, but it’s more about whose career is driving some other decisions in your life. Is that right? How does that work?
15:12 Jay: Yeah, so my wife is in the academic path. And as everybody here knows, when you get the right tenure track position, you just go <laugh>. So, we actually recently moved 1200 miles for her career, and you’re right. It’s not about income, but it’s about that support. So, if somebody’s going to be on that tenure-track path, there’s a whole lot of other stuff that needs to get taken care of. I mean literally like the gardening and the house and the landscaping and the, whatever it is and paying the bills and whatever it is. It’s not about money, but it’s about that support that you need to do that. Because if my wife had to stop and do all that while she was on this tenure-track fun, it would hurt her career. So, we take those turns. Now, mind you, my turn as a rose, I’ve told her 15 years I’m retiring completely and we’re going to get in a boat and travel the world. That’s it. And that’s what I want to do. And she knows that, but that puts a limit, frankly, on her career. But also, it’s a fairness of taking turns.
16:14 Emily: Do you think that the turn-taking aspect is like essential to the concept of gardener and rose? Or is it okay for a couple to choose permanent roles as one or the other?
16:24 Jay: Yeah. So, it’s a rough question. I believe that if people pick one role or the other, it’s way too easy for someone to be neglected or not appreciated or have concerns, let’s call it that. What I think happens is, there are some great stories in there of people that have tried to do the type of gardener and rose without the swap, but then the person that’s in the rose position feels guilty. You know? Well, I’m taking advantage of, well, no, if we know we each have our own turns, I can be selfish for my turn. You can be selfish for yours, and that’s okay. I think if one person decides, “Hey, I want to be this role forever,” and that’s their conscious choice, maybe. But especially when you’re talking about like two PhDs, that’s hard, you know? Fortunately, I can do my finance work from anywhere, but there are other career options I could follow if I was being the rose. So, I think there’s just a balancing act. Does that make sense to you?
17:24 Emily: It does. And I’m actually thinking back to, I’m not going to be able to like cite research on this, but it’s something that I think I read maybe during our premarital counseling that my husband and I went through about how it was maybe about like life satisfaction or something with, we’ll just say married couples, where they had an agreement about whose role was whose. Like maybe there was a working spouse and a non-working spouse. As long as they both were in agreement about what their roles should be, they had a pretty decent level of happiness, even if their circumstances caused them to be flipped. So, let’s say, you know, more traditional, let’s say the husband’s supposed to be the one working, let’s say the wife’s supposed to be the one taking care of the home. Well, the husband becomes disabled, and the wife is the one who has to go into the workforce. Couples who were in agreement about like what their roles should be were happier, even if they couldn’t actually live out those roles, but just having the agreement between them was satisfactory to them. So, it reminds me a little bit about this. Like how do you negotiate, you know, who should be the gardener and who should be the rose at any given time. As long as you’re in agreement, I feel like it’s going to help, even if maybe life circumstances end up playing out a little bit differently.
18:31 Jay: Yeah. And I think there’s some of that that nature does to it. You know, like just your life, your career, there are times in your career. There’s a great example, somebody in the book who just needed to take a 90-day sabbatical, just needed to like get her brain back, you know? And we’re seeing some of this with the great resignation where people aren’t really quitting jobs forever. They’re like, I just need to stop and do something else. And that might be just for a period of time. And I think you’re right. It is the clarity on the roles. But I think with childfree couples, one of the challenges is you have the time, money, and the wealth, the freedom to do what you want. And that actually can cause a little bit of analysis paralysis routine of having too many choices. So, by taking these turns in the roles, you go, “Okay, you’re the rose. Follow your dream. I’ll do like the day in, day out work and vice versa.” And it’s almost like it’s just a little anchor between the two of you. And it also gives people to think through that chance, like you’re talking on the marital counseling of, well, what are our roles? What do we want to do? And a lot of couples have never had that discussion. It’s just implied. And that can cause issues.
19:35 Emily: Yeah. I mean, I’m just trying to think about like two people trying to be the rose at the same time. And if you both want to be the rose, then you’re both also going to have to be the gardener in some ways. There’s going to have to be some kind of negotiation and agreement there. It’s a little bit more clean if it’s like, okay, clearly one person’s a rose, one person’s a gardener. But maybe there are ways you can work out, you know, different aspects of your life or something like that where it could play out a little bit where both of you sort of get to feel like the rose, maybe. This is maybe a little bit how I was applying it to the course that my husband and I have had with our careers. Because, like you and your wife, we moved in 2015 for my husband’s job.
20:15 Emily: So, his first like post-PhD job in industry. We moved across the country. And I was okay with that. I was starting my business. And so I was like, you know, I had a location freedom within my job, but I wasn’t making nearly as much money as I could have had I taken a traditional job after my PhD. And so, in a way, you could interpret that as he’s the rose, because we’re moving for his job. Our location where we’re living is determined by his work. I also see it as my husband was providing financially for both of us, to a large degree, so that I could grow my business, which has flourished over time. And so, I see it like kind of both ways in different ways, right? Location on the one hand, and actual like finances on the other hand. So yeah, I just, there are different ways, I think, that you could imply this framework, but I think it works.
Outsourcing the Gardener
21:03 Jay: Yeah. And I think the gardening roles can be a whole bunch of things. And frankly, if you make enough money, you can pay somebody to do all the gardening roles. Literally. I mean, you can pay somebody to do all that. And then you can have two roses. But as long as location doesn’t mess with it. Some people do look at it as the financial support and the other. But if we go back in time, and I hate to say these old gender roles, but the idea was somebody was doing their primary job and somebody was providing support at home. And I don’t think we realized how much work it is to provide support at home, with or without kids, there’s just a lot of stuff. You know, we need a new roof on our house. Well, that’s a giant project, you know? So, you’ve got to have somebody with the flexibility to do that. Or, you have to be able to pay somebody to manage these projects for you. And I think that’s overlooked because if we’re both at the top of our careers, then we’re going home and have to figure how to mow the lawn. Like, our brain just explodes. Money is not important. What money gets you is important. So, if you’re just working to make the dollars, and it’s not making your life better, change something,
22:16 Emily: I’m feeling this like so strongly right now because my husband and I purchased our first home, which is like a single-family like house a year ago. And so, we went from like apartment living as renters to this managing an entire house situation. And it is a lot of work. I was not quite prepared for this. So yeah, and we’re trying to figure out ways, like how much should we be outsourcing? How much should we keep, you know, us to do the work. But it is a lot, a lot, a lot of work that it takes to run a household. Yeah. And I definitely did not appreciate this a few years ago back when I was still a renter.
22:51 Jay: Let me give you a number on that one. I’ll actually give you the answer on what you should outsource. The question is what do you make per hour, and would you rather work an hour than do the work? So my wife and I, we have somebody come in to help clean. I’ll work an extra hour of work and not have to clean the toilets. I mean, that’s the math behind it. If you enjoy mowing the lawn, do it. If you don’t, <laugh> figure out your hourly and, you know, pick up an extra, you know, class or whatever it is to cover that.
Communication is Key
23:18 Emily: Yeah, this is like airing my dirty laundry on the podcast, but like literally my husband and I are talking about this right now with respect to a house cleaner. I am very confident that we both made more per hour, and that a house cleaner could do a better job and faster than we could do it. But he still has this like, idea that like, you should do it yourself or something. We’re working on that. That’s something we have to agree on together. So yeah, we’re sort of in negotiations about that right now. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this like gardener and rose concept?
23:51 Jay: I think the big thing is communication. I mean, that’s the bottom line of all of it. And I think, when it comes to finances, unfortunately, even couples don’t talk about it, you know? And here’s what I’ve found, with my clients, I talk about this type of concept all the time. The person who needs to be the rose, the person who’s burnt out of their career or whatever, the other spouse is perfectly fine with. It’s the rose that has trouble taking it, you know? Of saying, okay, I will step down or I will change, or I will do whatever. The other person always supports it. So, I think it’s that communication. And I think the other part of it is, what I’m seeing at least in the great resignation world is it’s not about money. It’s changing jobs for either meaning or, you know, whatever that feeling is for the soul, not about the dollars and cents. Hey, I want to make more in my career.
24:46 Emily: Kind of tying into that. One of the big patterns that I saw reading through the stories in your book was this concept that childfree people, and the people are sort of speaking about their own experience, they have this sense that they can make changes in their lives without maybe considering how it would affect a child or maybe other people in their lives. And that they, in theory, have like a freedom to do that. Did you have that observation as well? But what I also observed is that they weren’t always acting on it. They thought they had the freedom, but they weren’t using it.
25:22 Jay: So, I have this moment frequently and it was in the book and also with just everyday people. And I look at their numbers, I go, “You’re fine. You can do that. You can make that.” And then you get this look in their face, like, “No, no I can’t.” And I’m like, “I’m looking at it financially, you can.” And there’s like this tension. And it happens with people that could cut back on work or retire or change their careers. And I think, you know, I just had a good conversation with somebody that’s this concept of like the middle class work ethic or the Protestant work ethic, which is kind of what you’re talking about with your husband, where I’ve got do this. No, you don’t. Like, so for childfree folks, our goal is not to pass generational wealth. It’s to pay for our bills on the way out. So, adding more zeros to a bank account doesn’t help. So, there’s a point where you’re like, well, I want to go on that, you know, trip of a lifetime or whatever. Well, then do it. And people are like, “Oh, I can’t. I still got…” I’m like, why? And I think it’s just this cultural component. It’s why your husband won’t let somebody else clean the toilets.
26:28 Emily: Yeah, I totally agree. That Protestant work ethic thing <laugh> how people are brought up. And I guess what we see in the book is like people, you used the term LifeScriptTM in the book. And how people who have made a conscious choice to be childfree have deviated from the LifeScriptTM. But it sounds like even though they’ve made that step, some of them are still being held back by this like cultural conditioning around making radical changes or really experiencing the freedom that they have earned through their finances and through their career.
27:02 Jay: Absolutely. So, the LifeScriptTM goes this way. You go to school, high school, you graduate, you go to college, by the way, most people don’t even like pick where they go to college. Their parents put something on them. So, that’s part of the script. You go to college, you get a job, you get married, you have kids, you get old, you retire. That’s kind of like the standard script. So, childfree people threw out the middle of it. Like, nah, I’m not doing the kids. And also, interestingly enough, 32.1% of childless people, this is per census, will never get married. So, they even threw away the married part. So, they threw that all out. Cool. Throw away the part about job and career and like, it just locks up because, well then what do I do? And they’re like, well, I don’t like where I live.
27:50 Jay: Well, then move. And they’re like, well, but you know? So, another great example is people go, well, I have to buy a house. You don’t. If you’re childfree and you’re going to move every two years, there’s no reason to buy a house. But then people go, well, but how do I, you know, make money without a house? That’s fine. We can do reeds. We can do some other stuff with it, but it’s just like this, it locks them in. And I have to spend a lot of time going well, there are other options and working it step by step.
28:18 Emily: This is just that observation you just made is why I’m so pleased that you chose this as your niche, because some of those elements you just said, you know, the FIRE movement is kind of working on people’s psychology around this, but I love that you have that further spin on it of focusing just on the childfree community. Because they, as you said, you know, at the beginning they have different financial lives than other people who do have children. And they deserve to be served specifically with their finances. And so, I’m so glad that you chose that as your niche and connected that personal element of your life to your professional life. I’m just so excited for your business. Tell us where people can find the book and where they can contact you if they’d like to learn more?
Best Financial Advice for Another Early-Career PhD
29:13 Emily: Well, Jay, thank you so much for giving this interview. I conclude all my interviews by asking what is your best financial advice for another early-career PhD? And that could be something that we’ve touched on already in the interview, or it could be something completely new.
29:27 Jay: Let me give you something that’s a life advice, if that’s okay. One of our colleagues taught us this and I wish others knew it. He said him and his wife both were MDs, had made a deal that they don’t have to go to each other’s corporate events. You know, the Christmas events, all that. So, my wife and I early on adopted this and we don’t go to each other’s events, because frankly, we don’t know anybody. And it’s been the best thing for our life because we don’t have to have that awkward conversation and the other. And people go, well, that’s not financial. No, it’s a life thing. You know, I don’t need to have that convo. And by the way, it’s easy to explain to people go, yep, we have this deal. This is how we do it. We have separate careers. And it works. And it sounds silly, but if you try it, you’ll like it.
30:12 Emily: Okay. Very interesting. Well thank you, Jay, for this fascinating interview. Thank you so much for coming on!
30:17 Jay: Happy to be here!
30:24 Emily: Listeners, thank you for joining me for this episode! I have a gift for you! You know that final question I ask of all my guests regarding their best financial advice? I have collected short summaries of all the answers ever given on the podcast into a document that is updated with each new episode release. You can gain access to it by registering for my mailing list at PFforPhDs.com/advice/. Would you like to access transcripts or videos of each episode? I link the show notes for each episode from PFforPhDs.com/podcast/. See you in the next episode, and remember: You don’t have to have a PhD to succeed with personal finance…but it helps! The music is “Stages of Awakening” by Podington Bear from the Free Music Archive and is shared under CC by NC. Podcast editing by Lourdes Bobbio and show notes creation by Meryem Ok.