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Pharmacy Leaders Podcast: Inspiring Pharmacy Leadership Interviews


Jun 25, 2018

Today's guest is Tim Ulbrich, the founder of Your Financial Pharmacist.
Your Financial Pharmacist is a community of pharmacy professionals
empowering one another to achieve financial freedom. On today's show, we will talk about the brand new online student loan course launched by the YFP team. Tim currently serves as an Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy. Find a link to the course here:

https://www.memorizingpharmacology.com/

Full Transcript:

welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast
with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy
leaders podcast is a member of the
pharmacy podcast network with interviews
and advice from building your
professional network brand and a
purposeful second income from students
residents and innovative professionals
all right hey welcome to the pharmacy
leaders podcast I'm your host Tony
Guerra and today I have Tim Albrecht the
founder of the year financial pharmacist
group and then your financial pharmacist
podcast your financial pharmacist it's a
community of pharmacy professionals
empowering one another to achieve
financial freedom and on today's show
we'll talk about a brand new online
student loan course flown by the yfp
team Tim Albrecht currently serves as
the associate dean and associate
professor of pharmacy practice at
Northeast Ohio Medical University
College of Pharmacy welcome to the
pharmacy leaders podcast
thank you Tony excited to be here okay
well let's start I always asked you know
just a little bit to get some background
on you if somebody's never heard about
you before but I think of you guys as
famous but maybe that's because I've
been listening to you for almost a
couple years here but everyone's
leadership roads a little bit different
tell us a little bit about where you
started and how you got to where you are
today specifically with the yfp team
yeah so I've been out of school for
about 10 years graduated from Ohio
Northern University got polar bears in
2008 did my residency in community
ambulatory care in 2009 at the Ohio
State University and I've been up here
on faculty and an administrative role at
Northeast Ohio medical university since
2009 and so I've always been in an
academic leadership type of role and
then always have had a passion around
personal finance partly out of the
school of hard knocks I graduated with
lots of student loan debt about $200,000
of student loan debt went through a
journey of really trying to figure out
how to pay it back and making a lot of
mistakes along the way having some wins
having some failures finally got that
paid off in the fall of 2015 and about a
week later I started talking a lot of
pharmacists and and kind of heard the
message of wow like we don't get a lot
of personal finance education
and really we need more of this from the
pharmacist angle and perspective and so
I started blogging about my journey got
a lot of great feedback
long story short partnered with a former
student of mine Tim Church and we wrote
a book together 7-figure pharmacist then
launched the the yfp podcast and kind of
the rest has been history as we've gone
in that journey and I think for me what
gets me so excited is there's so much
need in this space for personal finance
education and we'll talk about student
loan debt and all that and if we can
provide value as the yfp team to help
people manage this beast that is
personal finance and really help
alleviate some stress and help give some
people some peace and education along
the way I think we're fulfilling our
mission and we're doing that and we're
having fun doing that and for me it's
been a perfect mix of education in my
day job and really going after a passion
and personal finance and also having fun
in terms of running a business with it
as well so it's been a fun journey and I
can't wait to see where it goes in the
future okay well let's start with a
couple questions then we'll talk about a
recent podcast episode you had on
student loans in this part one and then
part two will be completely devoted to
the student loan course I want to hear
more about it what's inside so let's
first talk about I don't want to call it
apathy or insensitivity but I was on
Disney Cruise with my kids and and they
had no concept of money so they cried
sometimes we're unhappy sometimes like
how can you be unhappy on a Disney
cruise right you know and so we talked
about this before the show but in some
ways it feels like monopoly money that
you're playing with and/or I was
thinking maybe it's like hypertensive
meds where you have no symptoms but you
have a chronic condition so it recently
you've talked about there's 130,000 in
public and this is the most recent
figures they're not out yet but from a
public college of pharmacy you graduated
about 130 K in debt from a private 200k
and when you made this announcement you
heard crickets yeah you know when I go I
we've been speaking to colleges all
across the country this past year and
and one of the things will often lead
with is talking about some of student
loan debt in the numbers and so I'll
throw out numbers like 160 165 you know
depending on the private school maybe
200 as you mentioned and literally Tony
there is no emotional reaction
in the room nothing and you know I
always tell that group like hey if the
general public heard this data on figure
they would be like oh my gosh what do
you mean two hundred thousand dollars a
day and and I think that speaks to a few
different things you know one until
you're in the phase of having to pay it
back and actually write the check and
you can feel the impact of it it does in
some sense feel like monopoly money and
I can attest that going through this in
my own personal journey that when I was
going through school it's easy to take
out the money at six seven eight percent
interest and you don't yet feel the
weight and pain of that until you really
fully understand the impact that it's
gonna have on other financial goals and
and I think when you get post graduation
you get to the point of hey I'd really
like that in a home and you're starting
a family and these other things come
into play oh by the way retirement then
you start to look at all these things
and say wow I wish I had a little bit
more money what happened to my income
well there goes to student loans and so
I think there's also been you know kind
of a numbness to this feeling and
pharmacy education that ad is the way it
is I'm gonna graduate
I got a pharmacy degree and I'll figure
it out after I finish well one of my
goals is to really raise some of the
concern and hopefully elevate the
conversation around this topic because
nobody should look at a number like one
hundred sixty thousand dollars of debt
and say and so I try to put it in a way
that is tangible right so one of the
examples I use is if you graduate with
the average indebtedness right now it's
equivalent to about a three hundred to
three hundred fifty thousand dollar home
over a 30-year mortgage in terms of the
monthly payment that you're going to
make I want to create a lot people in
and you know this year a lot of farms to
say I feel like I'm making two mortgage
payments while you are these numbers and
so I think if we can help in any way
minimize the indebtedness or at a
minimum equip people with the tools to
help them to handle it then then I think
we're on the path to success but the
first thing is you know with your own
for financial journey and trying to
teach your kids about this is you have
to feel it right you got to feel the
emotion of it you have to recognize the
impact that it has before you can say
I'm gonna get serious about a plan
because the only way to get serious
about a plan and to execute that plan is
to get fired up about it
and I
think that's something we need to think
about when it comes to student loans
well I think what I guess what I got
when I talked to Tim Baker and I want to
say this was the very first time I'd met
him and he actually used the expression
you feel naked when you start talking
about money and your credit score and
things like that and I guess it's almost
difficult for people to come in and so
can you talk a little bit about the yfb
Facebook group and kind of how warm and
welcoming it is because people are
coming in and it's you know it's it's
like a hi my name is Tony and I have
student loan debt you know yeah and
that's how I feel coming in can you talk
a little bit about kind of embracing it
and just taking the dive into the pool
and saying okay well are there other
people that feel this way - yeah we have
to make this topic more welcoming right
if we have to make people comfortable
sharing helping encouraging each other
sharing wins you know asking questions
where they're getting stuck and and that
was really one of the goals overall with
yfp is to create a community that can
empower each other and then also in the
yfp Facebook group which we would love
to have your listeners join that group
is is that's a space where you can
really come in we had somebody post this
morning and said hey I just paid off
another student loan people are like
awesome congratulations what was your
success but also you know we have people
that jump on and say hey I'm really
struggling with this you know what do
you guys think whether it's an insurance
question or student loan question a home
buying question it's a space where there
is no stupid financial question and I
think having a community of pharmacist
pharmacy students residents whatever is
that we can relate to the situation that
we're all in and we kind of understand
okay roughly we're working with this
kind of take on pay and if you're a
resident
you've got other residents that can give
you feedback or people that have gone
through that stage and that's really
what that community is about and as if
you have seen in witness the
conversation and there's incredible and
I'm so excited about one of the most
rewarding things over the last six
months is to see how comfortable people
are asking questions in that group and
to see how quickly people will jump in
and say hey we're ready to help
we've got your back here as it relates
to this issue so when when I came out I
was financially ignorant the word fr the
rushon fi financial independence I also
used for financial ignorant sand when I
graduated I graduated with I only had
forty thousand in student loans because
I only paid sixteen thousand for college
so that that's kind of they were like
whatever forty thousand but I just did
some dumb things like I had twenty
thousand and credit card debt and then I
also I had I bought a car in March so I
could get off the plane and then get
into my new car and I put a down payment
with a credit card so some dumb things
on my part but I don't want to repeat
stuff that you've done in the podcast
was was that in podcast episode 32 find
your why with Tim and Jess Albrecht like
your own story yeah we talked a little
bit about there and we also have a post
on the blog in and I can send it over we
can link in the show notes that kind of
chronicles my journey but also
chronicles the top mistakes that I made
and what's funny is that that might
actually be that'd be the most viewed
blog post we've had because I think
people like to hear that hey here you
are writing a book well you know doing a
podcast whatever but you've made a lot
of mistakes and yeah if we had time I
could tell you all the mistakes I made
over the last week right that's just the
nature of money and so if we can share
those mistakes and learn from one
another and I'm with you Tony when I
think back to my journey I had no idea
what loans were in terms of subsidized
and unsubsidized I didn't understand
interest or compound growth and but but
I had a commitment to learn and that's
what we want to provide to people is to
say hey if you haven't yet been taught
this information that's okay let's learn
let's learn together and let's learn
from our mistakes so we can obviously
all grow in that journey but I've made
similar mistakes carbyne home by and you
name it but the reality is I'm better
off now because of those those mistakes
I've made some of them I kicked myself
more for more for than others but the
reality is obviously you learn from
those and you grow and you move on yeah
okay and then I just want to mention
again that so 32 was the episode and 32
and 33 were the episode with you and
Jess and then episode 36 was the one
with Andrea and Tim Church and then he
also made mistakes so so we're all in
the same boat in terms of making
mistakes but let's talk a little bit
about some of the solutions that you had
in episode 52 which was just released I
think a couple days ago so let's go over
those five things and and the first
thing was inventory
your loans and when I looked at my loans
I just said I have 40,000 in loans I
didn't know there was a division like I
understood to some extent something's
unsubsidized something subsidized but
but what does that mean to inventory my
loans and and what what are the
divisions I guess of my loans in part
one of that podcast episode yeah and I
think a lot of students would here to
hear your story and feel that same way
that's the impression I get some people
may may be able to say hey I roughly
have 150 or 200 thousand with one thing
it's one big number but what we've
realized is that in order to get to the
end and and the end for us when it comes
to your student loans just being able to
choose the best repayment strategy and
to get there the first thing you got to
do is you have to know exactly what you
have in terms of all of your loans and
the division of your loans is so
important because which repayment
strategy you choose depends on which
loans and the types of loans you have so
are these direct loans are they
subsidize are the unsub size are they FF
al loans all different types of things
and there's really three areas that we
talked about on episode 52 of the YP
podcast when it comes to inventory your
loans first is your federal loans second
is your private loans and then the third
area I talked about is what we call the
bank of mom and dad so money you have
from mom to add family friends whatever
and so for most listeners I would say 80
to 90 percent if not more of their loans
are probably federal loans and we can
link again into the show notes and we
reference it on the podcast if you go to
nslds nslds ad gov or the student loan
repayment estimator and you log in once
you log in with your federal student aid
FSA ID right away boom you'll see an
entire list of your loans you'll be able
to see the breakdown the interest rates
who the servicers are those loans are in
which repayment options are available
with each of those loans and then
simultaneously we recommend you go and
do your private loan inventory we which
we recommend you start by getting a
credit report at annualcreditreport.com
to make sure you don't miss anything
because what we've found out Tony is
that some people say yeah I think I have
about ten thousand dollars in private
loans and then we do an inventory and
really that number is whoops 25 you know
so you gotta you gotta first make sure
with an inventory before we can say
what's the game plan we have to know
exactly what the list is of everything
we're working with and and for me I
think this is a big barrier for many
people rightfully so because a lot of
times I think you see big numbers like
this $200,000 especially if there's that
kind of numbing effect and you think I'd
rather just I didn't have to worry about
this at all right and this is really the
first step to kind of feeling that
emotional pain that I mentioned where
once you start to learn about everything
of these individual loans naturally you
start to get a little bit fired up and
you say all right let's go let's figure
out the best way to get these paid off
but step number one he's got to
inventory your federal loans your
private loans and then the loans that
you have from family and friends
okay well let's use a medical analogy
here so so we've gone to the you know to
the physician or whatever we found this
is you know what we've got going on so
then the next thing we go okay well doc
what are my options
and I think I was the next thing you
talked about so can you talk about just
the one thing that I think was newest to
me when I've been listening in this over
the last month is I didn't know that
there was forgiveness outside of I guess
I didn't know there was forgiveness for
loans outside of the public service
sector can you talk a little bit about
that kind of forgiveness yeah absolutely
and I'm glad you brought that up because
that's probably the one that people are
the least familiar with there's really
three big buckets that we think about of
options available first is tuition
reimbursement so these would be things
like military reimbursement some some
employers like the VA and others if
there are these types of options on the
table usually this is the first option
that you're going to take because
obviously it's free money for 95 percent
of people listening they don't have that
option on the table and one of things we
talked about in the course so we can
come back to and part two of this is
there's actually state-level programs in
terms of tuition reimbursement that a
lot of people aren't familiar with and
we reference those in the course then
there's really the second bucket is what
we call the forgiveness bucket and the
two parts of the forgiveness bucket is
the public service loan forgiveness
program which we talk a lot about on the
podcast as well as on the blog and so we
had point people there for more
information
and essentially in that program is if
you work for a qualifying employer which
is for most pharmacist a not-for-profit
employer or a government agency for 10
years and you make qualifying payments
at the end of 10 years your entire
balance left is forgiven and it's
forgiven tax-free sounds incredible it
really is if all the pieces and parts
work but there's certainly some
limitations and risks that are
associated with the public service loan
forgiveness program as you mentioned
what a lot of people don't realize is
that there's actually a non pslf
forgiveness option or a forgiveness
option that is in the federal system but
is not the public service loan
forgiveness program now with this
program the big difference is from the
public service loan forgiveness is that
instead of 10 years you're looking at
our 20 or 25 years until you reach
forgiveness and instead of that
forgiveness being tax free you're gonna
have an income tax bill with the
remaining balance so for most people
this is really not an option they're
gonna pursue but for somebody that has a
really high debt to income ratio and
we've determined that to be a debt to
income ratio that's greater than 2 to 1
so maybe you're somebody that's gonna
graduate we say $300,000 of student loan
debt and you're gonna be making
approximately $100,000 that would be a
debt to income ratio of 3 to 1 so if you
have a very high debt to income ratio
and you're working for a for-profit
employer CVS Walgreens Rite Aid whomever
this would be an option you at least
want to evaluate among the other options
to see if it's something that's
worthwhile and obviously part of making
that decision which we'll come back to
here in a few minutes is what are your
feelings about having this around for 20
or 25 years so those are the two
forgiveness options pslf and non PS left
and then the third option is what we
call the non forgiveness bucket and this
essentially is either keep them in the
federal system and pay them off it could
be the 10 year repayment or it could be
paying off with it with an income driven
repayment plan or you could obviously
pull them out refinance them with a
private lender and then pay them off
anywhere from really 5 to 20 years
depending on the individual lender so
once you do your inventory then the
second step here is really to look at
these different options and make sure
you understand them in detail so we can
then move
and start to do the math and get one
step closer to choosing the best
repayment plan strategy okay
well what I wanted to do is kind of put
the three and four from your last
podcast episode together because and and
I want to use Kirk and Spock so for
those of you that aren't familiar with
Star Trek Captain Kirk is really an
emotional guy
you know charge forward move ahead you
know darn the the logic
whereas Spock was very logical you know
you'd say well you know would make
financially it'd make the most sense to
do this and to leave the loans there for
30 years and then Kirk's like what keep
loans for 30 years let's pay him off in
three years you know and and so we've
got this logic vs. emotional and I want
to talk especially about partners so the
one thing that you've had I think on
your episode I want to say there's maybe
five there's you there's Tim Church and
then at least two couples maybe three
couples that you've had on can you tell
me a little bit about sorting out the
emotional versus the I guess logical you
know this would be the you know the the
least expensive way to do it between
partners because I think that's that's
kind of I think that everyone ends up
being in that eventually so important
and so just to tie this together here
with our steps three and four step three
is do the math so get all your numbers
get all your data looking at the
different plan options that are
available and then step four is a layer
on top of the math what we call the
factors beyond the math so what are your
feelings toward debt are you okay with
it do you hate it does it make you
anxious is it is what it is to you you
know what's your family situation are
you in a spouse or significant other on
the same page
what other financial goals do you have
what's the stage of life and when you
can do the math and layer on these
factors beyond the math then we really
start to get towards choosing a
repayment strategy an option that's best
for you and the reality is Tony for your
listeners that option is going to be
likely different depending on all those
individual variables and so there's no
one blanket right answer when it comes
to student loans and to your point when
two people are working together and I
can attest to this from my wife and I
because we are so different when it
comes to our finances and those that are
on the podcast and listen know this and
I've really come to appreciate
powerful our differences can be when we
are talking communicating and really
leveraging the strengths of each other
now when we're not it can be a nightmare
so that's the that's a challenge but
when we're working together you know I
tend to be much more of the kind of
rational logical let's look at the
numbers let's look at the math and my
wife really focuses more on the opposite
end of the spectrum of you know thinking
about the bigger picture and the family
and some of the emotional components in
the situations and not necessarily
starting with the math and taking those
two together is really critical even
when we're talking here about student
loans and I think the message there is
that you can't just look at the math
alone regardless of where you are in
that camp the math is important but if
somebody does the math on their student
loans and they see ooh this one option
is the best in terms of the math but it
means I'm gonna have my loans around for
20 years and I really get anxious about
student loan debt well the math falls
short right there right so we have to
combine the emotional components the
family situation other financial goals
stage in life with the math and when you
have two people working together you've
got to be able to balance both of those
to see how can we put this together so
if you're somebody that says hey I'm
all-in I want to get these paid off in
three years and I'm gonna live off of
nothing for three years and kill this
debt but a spouse is like whoa timeout
like and what about the kids and no we
can't live off of a grocery budget for
$300 a month with the kids you know then
you got to work together and say okay
where's the compromise and how do we
come to a shared decision maybe it's not
three years maybe it's not 20 years
maybe it's a seven year repayment right
and then you put those variables
together and you work together to make
sure you're on the same page with that
plan yeah and to point people to the
episodes I think there was let's see so
I know recently we just had the group
from Tempe Arizona episode 50 197,000
and loans in 27 months and then I think
we had an Ethan ko was it he said an
Alan Koh yeah yeah that I can't find the
episode but that was also another one
that yeah episode 34 so kind of coming
together I feel like it was a physician
and a pharmacist and they were kind of
working through
in seas and you know okay you know we've
got to work with yours and mine and then
it kind of all came together working as
a couple so I think there's at least
five or six episodes that people can go
to for that
well let's before we go to the fifth one
determine your payoff strategy I guess I
wanted to talk more than just okay will
determine your payoff strategy this is
it but also can you talk about becoming
part of the group and mid-course
Corrections because let's say I make a
payoff strategy right now there's going
to be life events and each time there's
a life event we really need to kind of
come back and say okay is my payoff
strategy still makes sense so yeah for
me you know if somebody had the same
thing I did which was to have three
children at the same time to have my
wife not work for six months to be on
hospital bed rest for you know half that
time and then yeah in the NICU with them
half that time first can you talk about
determining the payoff strategy and
second how do you maintain contact with
a group that can or a person like Tim
Baker that can evaluate what your
strategy is or how that affects that
payoff yeah I'm so glad you said that
Tony and and you know I can relate to
that as well obviously as I think about
where where I am at today in my
financial situation with three young
kids is very different than where I was
7 years ago pre kids right and which
repayment plan works if I still had my
student loans now it would be very
different than it was when I first
graduated from from school and so when
we get to this step number five this
step number five is really about
obviously putting these four steps
together and actually choosing a
repayment strategy and plan and we'll
talk about more in part two about what
the course provides to get you here but
this is the step where you look at okay
I've got eight or more believe it or not
eight or more federal repayment options
that are available to me so
unfortunately the federal government has
not made this very easy to choose from
surprise when it comes to easy
navigation so you have you actually have
more than a federal repayment option so
you have the standard ten year repayment
you have an extended payment a graduated
payment then you have the series of
payment plans that are called the income
driven repayment plans that calculated
monthly payment based on a percentage of
what is your discretionary income and
those fluctuate as your income
fluctuates and all of those have
different nuances and pros and cons so
not only do you have those options but
then you have the the variable around
forgiveness like we talked about
yes forgiveness no forgiveness and then
you also have a whole host of options in
the private sector when it comes to
refinancing and so we have a whole
section of our website dedicated to
refinancing where you can learn more
find out who it's for who it's not for
what to look for that's at your
financial pharmacist comm forward slash
refinance and so Tony when you put all
these options together people often get
to this phase and they get paralyzed
because they're like ah I don't know
what to do and I don't know which of
these options is best for my personal
situation and in order to get to this
point you've got to walk through the
variables we already talked about with
inventory and your loans looking at your
available options and so forth and so to
your point there are one of the one of
the good things when it comes to suit
loans is that you do have flexibility to
change with your personal situation
changing but there's one important
caveat that people have to be aware of
if and when you take your loans out of
the federal loan system into the private
sector if you were to refinance once you
go into the private sector you can never
go back into the public federal system
so if you think for whatever reason
whether it be loan forgiveness that you
might pursue or some other variable if
for whatever reason you might need the
benefits of the federal loan repayment
system you obviously don't want to yet
make that move to a refinance however
within the federal loan repayment system
you can choose repayment plans at any
given time so Tony to your point kind of
leading up to this this portion of the
show if I were to choose say the one
income driven plan and then my family
situation changes and I need to pivot to
something else or all of a sudden I can
make bigger payments you have the option
to choose and switch between federal
payment plans but once you refinance
into the private system which for many
listening actually probably would be a
move to consider but the downside of
that if you do that option as you're
then giving up the federal repayment
option so you first really want to
evaluate through these steps that we
talked about on the show
today do I need the federal system or
not and usually the answer to that is am
I going to pursue forgiveness or not the
second you say forgiveness is not for me
then usually more often than not
refinance is going to be a play to
consider okay well great that will
finish part one there and then we'll
start part two and we'll start talking
about the student loan course great
thanks from me on Tony support for this
episode comes from the audio book
memorizing pharmacology a relaxed
approach with over 9,000 sales in the
United States United Kingdom and
Australia it's the go-to resource to
ease the pharmacology challenge
available on audible iTunes and
amazon.com in print ebook and audiobook
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