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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

Hey everyone, welcome back to the Dentists Who Invest podcast. This is episode 102, would you believe. I am joined today by my good friend, dr Vez. Eagle-eared listeners of the Dentist who Invest podcast will know that the last time Dr Vess appeared was way back when on episode number four, and I’m looking forward to welcoming you back today. How are you, vess? I’m good, thank you, and you, I’m 10 out of 10. What we’re going to talk about today is a little bit of an interesting one. It’s a philosophical one, slightly more ethereal than your technical finance typical podcast that we have on the Dentists who Invest show.

Dr Vesselin: 

Yeah, it’s. I think it’s an important topic, especially now nowadays with all kind of the information that we all get. You know how there’s a lot of talk recently about body positivity and kind of like people’s shapes and sizes, and I feel that we’ve got kind of the same thing going on with money. The first time I got interested in that I was reading a book by Kahneman and Tversky, behavioral economists. Okay, they did some research and apparently they found out that money and life satisfaction are related, which of course we can kind of intuitively get to that conclusion. We’ve all heard, like you know, money doesn’t make you happy, but it’s more comfortable to cry in a nice house than out there in the rain, and how the best things in life are free. The second best ones are extremely expensive. There are all these kind of quotes going around. So intuitively we know about that. But what they found out is that, for example, if someone has very high salary expectations and if these expectations are not met, they may sustain permanently reduced life satisfaction. And I think that it’s a bit of a problem because obviously on this occasion it would be just the unmet expectations that are causing the problem. Then, on the other hand, we’ve got nowadays so that kind of flow of information from social media news. You get like notifications on your phone. So on my phone I get like base rate increase. You know, this talk went up, the other one went down, and so on. But I do get a lot of like entrepreneurial news on my feet, like this person, this startup made 50 million, the other made 20 million, the other made 10 million, and I’m kind of bombarded with that all the time and I’m afraid that sometimes people may think that someone may think that they’re a failure if they get that kind of feed, because they would be thinking, okay, look, now everyone’s making millions and I’m just up there in our case drilling teeth and kind of going nowhere. But I absolutely disagree and I think that’s not the case. It’s just that we get certain kind of filter information. So I’m not getting a lot of information about the people that did startup and failed, for example. So, as we know from statistics, these far outweighed ones that made it big. So just because someone has not made 10 million, that doesn’t necessarily make them a failure and they shouldn’t feel miserable about it. So that’s, I think that’s why we’re doing that podcast, right 100%.

Dr James: 

That’s the point. Well, that’s the illusion that’s out there. I’m going to say that social media probably has a role to play in that. And here’s the thing as human beings, it’s so easy for us to focus on a very narrow perspective of what’s right in front of us without seeing the bigger picture. And the problem is, is that narrow perspective skewed in one particular way? And in likelihood it probably is. There’s only so much information that we can filter, and the thing about it is the whole reason why we’re exposed to that information over and above, over and above how it actually, you know, it’s overrepresented within our field of viewpoint, in our field of view, and the reason why that is is because it’s interesting to read about, rather than the mundane day to day stuff, ie what the people who are earning an average wage, people who are earning an average life or have an average life from, whatever, whatever your proclivities are, whatever that you want out there, that you want to achieve. It’s just important to remember that likely the media that you’re being exposed to, exposed to, is skewed heavily towards you being, you learning and reading about people who are much, much, much richer or wealthier than the average individual, and it’s easy to get a misrepresentation that everybody is doing well and much better than us.

Dr Vesselin: 

So I think that perhaps the best way to go about it would be to see what happens when we look at some factual research. So unfortunately, we’ll have to meet the two social science heavyweights, psychology and economics. The thought that gives me a headache, but we have to do it. I think that first because we’ll be talking about psychology a bit it’s important to define reality as a start, just to kind of set the scene. So, according to social science, the definition of reality is that reality is a dynamic process which is created by an individual’s interaction with the environment and by environment. Obviously we look into that in the broadest possible sense communication with people and the actual environment, where it’s raining or not everything. So it follows that there are we are indeed living in the multiverse and there are billions of realities out there, and that’s okay. Each person has their own reality and that’s absolutely fine. There doesn’t have to be any kind of clash between them or anything. People just have different experiences and see the world differently, and that’s absolutely fine. We also talk about, I suppose, population level kind of information to see how it affects, how money affects people in richer countries, poorer countries, things like that, and I think that the kind of going back to what I said about that research where people’s expectations kind of determine their overall life satisfaction. It’s kind of that kind of goes together with the reality because, like we talked before how I come from a former Soviet puppet state, so obviously, like when I grew up, the situation was a lot different than here in the UK. So if we have an individual who’s the same age as me, chances are that we’d see money, wealth, income in a very different way and that’s fine. It’s just that we’ve had different bringing different life but different reality. So no arguments with anyone on that one. What we do want is kind of like to say, make people kind of like see the whole picture and if someone’s kind of thinking negatively about their income, to maybe check and see how that kind of goes together with all the research. So shall we start with something easy like life expectancy.

Dr James: 

Let’s do that. Yeah, 100%. And I’m here to listen as well, because this stuff is new to me.

Dr Vesselin: 

Do we live longer if we’re richer? What do you think? I think intuitively, perhaps we can say yes, like if it’s a richer country, we’d expect that it would have better education, better healthcare. So better education and better healthcare lead to healthier lifestyle. So we could say chances are higher life expectancy.

Dr James: 

Yeah that would be logical. That would be logical.

Dr Vesselin: 

Unfortunately, the research doesn’t support that. So apparently life expectancy does go up as the country gets wealthier, but it kind of fades out around when life expectancy of 70 years is reached. And the gross national product, that’s all the goods and services generated by each individual. So we’re looking at the per capita value Reach is about $5,000 USD Now for reference, that figure in the UK for 2022 is $45,000 USD. So already the UK is kind of like eight times above the kind of 70 year threshold.

Dr James: 

Sorry, to jump in. 5,000 is really not that high, isn’t it? I mean, you’re really talking about the wealthy Western nations. From memory, they’re usually around like 30, 40k mark, so we’re already miles above that.

Dr Vesselin: 

That’s right, but also a life expectancy of 70s somewhat low by modern standards as well. Average life expectancy.

Dr James: 

Oh okay, yeah, that’s true actually.

Dr Vesselin: 

So on the other hand, you know it’s because, like people in developed countries, generally, the average life expectancy in the UK, I think, goes round towards the late 70s or something like that. Now the bit that isn’t clear is what happens after that, and the actual results on that are questionable. So once that threshold is reached, from there on it’s pretty much a dice throw because all the developed countries have somewhat slightly different life expectancy, although the gross national product is kind of on par. And one of the things I found out is obviously Japan is one of the countries which is very famous for high life expectancy, right? The only thing that sets Japan apart from other countries like the UK, france, germany and so on is that a bit more of the wealth distribution goes towards the bottom 60% of income. So if we take the income distribution, the bottom 60% get a bit more money compared to other developed countries, but even so. Basically, the research is a bit unclear because there could be a number of social and lifestyle factors that would affect the life expectancy. So overall we can say that it’s wealth does affect it, but only to a certain extent. And once we get past 70 years it becomes a bit unclear. What are the driving factors? Now we could say health care. But what the research found out is that on an individual level, if we take like a few rich people, they’re not immune to kind of certain health conditions, right, and a lot of these health conditions are by definition emergencies. So if the health care system is developed to a certain extent, it should be able to cope with someone who has, say, like a heart attack. So in that case a greater investment in health care is unlikely to kind of increase the outcome as much. Then we do have like kind of healthy habits and so on, but it’s not clear why this would be different in different countries. So unfortunately, on that one I was left with more questions than answers. But we can still say that there is some kind of a relationship, but at some point it becomes less clear. So we’ll leave the economics and psychologists to do a bit more research on that one and maybe we shall find out one day.

Dr James: 

Seems reasonable. Seems reasonable, I mean it sounds to reason, because I know that obviously you know there’s a point that you hit where you have enough wealth that people are not succumbing to very rudimentary infections and very basic health problems like issues with malnutrition and what’s the quality of what they eat. And then, past a certain point, I could actually see it working against the nation in that we all enjoy the good stuff a little bit too much and we tend to overindulge. You know so that it stands to reason. And then how we apply that to the people listening individuals is basically the same way. Effectively is that providing you have enough where you can have a reasonable diet, reasonable eat reasonably well and look after yourself. Actually it’s not correlated necessarily with a longer lifespan past a certain level.

Dr Vesselin: 

There is also the element of look, because some, there are some conditions which can never be diagnosed or like someone may define one day, then two weeks later something happens. So there’s that element of uncertainty. So shall we go into life satisfaction 100%.

Dr James: 

Let’s do that.

Dr Vesselin: 

Let’s, shall we define it first. What is life satisfaction? From what I gathered, it coincides with happiness and we can define it as a cognitive assessment of an individual’s own life. And I suppose you can already see where the problem is here that inevitably, depending on people’s personalities, some would be more positive, others may be more negative, so that would kind of affect that assessment of the individual’s life. The good news is that, as a general kind of assessment, most people say that they do overall kind of feel satisfied with their life, which is great. But it’s not quite so clear what makes them satisfied. So they split it into a few different categories in psychology. So, for example, job satisfaction, relationship satisfaction like personal life, say friends. And then we satisfaction, and what we’re talking about is well-tanned income. So does income make someone happy? And again, as we’re talking about social science, we never get any straight answers. The answer is yes it does and at the same time it doesn’t. Now why does it does? Because as people’s income increases, then they can afford more things. You know, perhaps maybe engaging activities they won’t be able to engage before, and so on. So inevitably getting a bit more cash would make them feel happy. But unfortunately the result of that is temporary, because people tend to adjust to their new level of income and then they’re again unhappy because now, say, that person may have lived in a shed, now they have a new house, but now they want to Lamborghini as well. So there’s that notion in psychology that happiness is something that is kind of Pursuit but rarely achieved, because it’s a process which, kind of like, makes people feel miserable because they’re constantly in pursuit of it and there’s no ending point where you can say, okay, now I’ve achieved like 100% happiness. Now, having said that, what they found out is so they went through the income distribution of developed country I think was the US in particular and they interviewed some middle class people and ask them how did they think that people on lower and higher income respectively would, whether they would feel happy or whether they would feel high life satisfaction. So the respondents generally said, basically they attributed Higher life satisfaction to higher income consumption and wealth and lower to the To the kind of lower income percentiles. But when the data came in, what they found out is that the difference in the overall life life satisfaction is not as large as it was anticipated. So like, for example, I think that the top ones, like the million years experience the life satisfaction say something about like 75%. Someone on 50,000 per year was at about 70% and the ones on 5000 a year were around like the 5560%. So you don’t see that massive difference where, say, one is 10, the other one is 90, and I think that part of the reason is that they’re like happiness is generally like these domains that we mentioned about relationships. You know we income, job satisfaction and all that. They all kind of contribute a bit to the happiness. One interesting fact was that the people that attributed higher weighting to wealth, basically their financial situation affected their well being more, but those that said that well, it’s not important to them, it turned out that their life satisfaction was actually affected by wealth, even though they didn’t think that it does, but unfortunately does. So they were Wrong in their own kind of like self assessment. So it’s generally, as you can see, it’s a very kind of difficult subject. So one of the things is like the expectations. If you have, like, said you have higher income expectations, if these are not met, that can lead to permanent reduction in life satisfaction. The theory that you’ve adopted to say higher or lower levels of income, that is true to an extent for income, but it’s not true for other events like, for example, the loss premature loss of a loved one or divorce, or like continuous employment things like that. They do permanently decrease a person’s life satisfaction. Now, thankfully, this podcast is about dentists in mainly in the UK, and we know that no one is going to end up in the current climate, so we have to worry about that. There would always be a job for everyone maybe not their dream job, but there’s going to be something. No one’s going to be left unemployed, so that’s one thing to be happy about, right.

Dr James: 

Totally. Oh sorry, we finished just then.

Dr Vesselin: 

Almost. I was going to say something else about. It was about money. Basically they split it into income, wealth and consumption and what they found out is that normally that shouldn’t be the case because obviously kind of the, you can eliminate one out of the two if you put it in a formula. But because it’s a study and sometimes you can get the skewing the results, they decided to use all three at the same time and they found out that consumption was actually the most correlated with life satisfaction. And if we think about it, which makes sense, like, say, for example, your network 10 million and you can afford to buy X amount of stuff, if your network drops to 9 million but you can still afford X amount of stuff, then you won’t care really, would you? Maybe a bit, but it won’t be like a massive issue.

Dr James: 

You’ve known about it, but you still manage, more than manage.

Dr Vesselin: 

Yeah, you’d kind of tell your friends, you know what, I just lost a million. But other than that you’d kind of be okay, you’ll get used to it. It’s the same with income. Say you’ve got income of, say, 10,000 or something and you can afford certain things with it. Let’s say there’s like deflation and then all of a sudden you can afford more. Then you’d be like oh yeah, that’s nice. So it turned out that the consumption is what’s really more correlated with happiness. At the correlation of 0.5, which is kind of relatively high it’s not like the kind of I wouldn’t be looking for causality, but it’s still something. For wealth and income, it was at 0.25. So that’s a lot two times lower. So there’s clearly a difference there. But I think that one of the important things that perhaps each one of us including people listening to the podcast and it’s like a take-home message is what they found out is that it’s not so much the wealth or the income or the consumption or like painting else, job satisfaction, relationships, it’s more about the person’s sense of control over their lives. So people that have a sense of control over their lives, they generally have kind of better life satisfaction and again, I suppose intuitively we can think of two dentists. Say, one dentist is goes to work and they feel they’ve got a great team, all the team. They kind of do whatever it is that they’re supposed to do. So that person’s in control of the team, they’re in control of their appointment book, they’re in control of their communications with the practice manager. If it’s their own practice, with suppliers and so on, they would kind of feel comfortable right. Whereas if it’s someone who kind of goes to their work and they don’t feel they’ve got any control over their team, they don’t feel they’ve got any control over their reception or the equipment and like the treatment of the patients, clearly then they would feel anxious and comfortable and perhaps a little bit miserable. So one of the things that kind of people can work on is getting that control over their life and that goes quite well with investments and income and wealth. So I suppose if whether it’s me, you or someone else, we don’t feel better if we know we’re in control of our work, our pension, our investments and we kind of have that sense that we can control the situation right 100% and you know what, anecdotally right, once upon a time in my head it was really it was quite simple that you know, the more we were remunerated led to more life satisfaction.

Dr James: 

I really don’t believe that anymore. Past certain point I find. I find that for me personally, the day that I had more freedom, the day that I worked for myself, whether or totally independent of how much cash came in I was just way happier because that worked for me and that I had more freedom and choice. As you said, now everybody’s going to be different, yeah, but I would. The reality is this. Here’s the reality. So let’s say, someone earns. There’s that bracket where, let’s say, someone earns like 30k a year, maybe up to like 150k a year right, whatever. So you have all this extra money right now. You can reinvest some of it, whatever it is that you want to do. If you’re using traditional growth assets like your ISA and your pension and things like that. Realistically, it’s going to be late 50s before we can even think about retirement anyway, and that is true whether we’re earning 30k a year or 150k a year. Now we might be able to pull it a little sooner, a little closer forwards, because of the extra money that we earn unless we start a business. But if we’re using the traditional FAs method of investing, then even if our income is really, really, really high using those methods, it will still mean that we have to wait until the latter periods of our life to retire. Now I’m going to build on that by saying something else. Would you agree with me so far?

Dr Vesselin: 

yeah, yeah, but I would agree, because I by myself sometimes have a bit of grief with like the normal kind of investing approach, and my grief is mainly based on kind of like personal experience really, because when I was a kid I think there were times when we lived on like a couple of doors per day or not more than five, so we were kind of in the extreme poor category, right. So then like my parents, they kind of did the not the FAs method, but they kind of saved money all their lives, kind of like built their kind of free retirement and so on, and they did retire. But and they did retire quite well actually for Bulgaria, managed to kind of travel abroad and all that. But the thing is it took an awful long time and I was suddenly thinking, do I really want that? And the answer is no, and I don’t like to kind of wait for 40 years and in the meantime struggle. So in my case it was a bit easier because I took advantage of something that in strategy we call position, familiar with that.

Dr James: 

No, interesting to hear.

Dr Vesselin: 

So there’s a thing in economics it’s called position. So basically position is strategy. So like, for example you know how it’s a bad year in the stock market this year? Right yeah, goldman are still making money. Goldman have not lost anything and the reason why is that they’re in a position to make money. So basically, they’re an investment bank. So if someone wants to do an IPO, they go there, they charge them fees, then they come to you. They’re like oh James, do we want to buy the IPO? Then they offload shares on you, make money again and in the end, whether you’re making any money or the management team of the company is making any money, no one cares. The important part is that Goldman is making money and it’s because of their position, and there are a lot of cases like that if you look at industries where companies in a good position. So in my case, we have translated into dentistry. So I qualified in Bulgaria and you can still work as dentists there. It was okay. But the financial crisis hit, it was like bad times and they were doing the recruitment to the UK. So me and my wife came in with a couple of brief cases and three months later I actually made more money than I had ever imagined when I was 18, and it was only because I changed my position. So I didn’t do anything special. The only thing that’s kind of not special, but the only thing is the risk, because it may not have worked out, so we may have lost the money that it took to come here, which for us at the time was like a relatively large amount of money, but nothing life changing. But it’s kind of you wouldn’t want to lose it either, right, but that’s like an easy example of, for example, my position changed overnight. So there’s no kind of drastic difference in my personality over these three months or anything that I have done anything special. I just carried on practicing as a dentist. Only change the country and there you go. My position is now totally different. So that’s one thing always look at what’s your position.

Dr James: 

Yeah, 100%. And yet, to build on that, coming back to what I was saying earlier, so, realistically, if we’re earning, however much we’re earning, we’re earning maybe. Maybe let’s call it like 50,000 all the way up to like 150, 200 K, 300 K, what’s some which some dentists are on. Realistically, if you only invest in the stock market using the traditional methods that FAs use or using the methods that you can educate yourself upon, like buying index funds, let’s say that, for example, right Basically, it’s still going to take you to about 57, 60, maybe early 50s at the very soonest to retire. Because you have to think about, basically, you have to be invested long enough to appreciate your capital to a point where you can live off it. Then you have to wait to a point where you retire as well. This is the double whammy. You have to wait to a certain point in terms of your age, so that your longevity won’t exceed how much your assets will last, how long you’ll be able to live off them. So it’s actually a double whammy. So, even if you had enough, even if you had like 2 million but you were 30, 2 million might be enough for a 60 year old to retire on, but would it be enough for a 30 year old to retire on. We have to look at it in different ways, but it depends on how much money we’re siphoning out of our investment accounts, right? Does that make sense, vez?

Dr Vesselin: 

Yeah, it does. And also another thing to build upon what you’re saying is that there’s a lot of talk about like average market return. The average market returns like 5% or whatever, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that if we take an individual case, let’s say we’ve got person X. Person X will be retiring at a particular period in time time Y and wants to achieve an outcome Z. So basically that person would be looking to retire at time Y plus minus like a year or two. So we’re talking that we need to deliver to that person some kind of an outcome which would happen exactly at that time and not a moment too soon, not a moment too late. And that’s one of the things that you can’t really kind of do that with index investing, because you may catch a bad period. For example, if we look at the Great Depression in the 1920s, when the Dow Jones crashed, it took it 15 years to get back to the pre-crash level. So if anyone was retiring within that 15 year period, they would have made a loss on their investment. So these things are very sensitive to the timing of the event. Now if, for example, I had like 2 million and I didn’t particularly care when I’m going to get the proceeds from them. I can, of course, throw it in some kind of an investment account and leave them there. If they’ve not made anything by the time I retire or something, I’ll just leave it to the kids and then they’ll wait another 30 years and they’ll probably come out on top. So then that would work perfectly fine. But if I need that money in that particular time wide, then it may not work like that. So that’s why, if you look at, say, for example, university endowment funds like Harvard it’s on Google, you can look it up Very little of their portfolio is invested in stock. They’ve got a lot of other investments in, like real estate, private equity and so on, and also sometimes putting a large amount of money into stock to wait for a 5% return is not the most efficient use of capital either, right? Because then why don’t you take some of that money investing something else? Then look for higher return 20, 30, 40% or something. It would be active, it would involve work. But, for example, venture capital and private equity are such industries where in private equity they are normally aimed for 20% to 40% return, in venture capital 40% to 70%. So it’s a lot higher than what you’d expect from stock market, it’s more risky. So of course then, for example, I’d be looking at investing lower amount of money and also I wouldn’t be doing it through a fund. I would look into maybe kind of starting something myself, because if it’s an exchange traded fund, it sends us back to what you were saying about the financial advisor route.

Dr James: 

Yeah, well, pretty much, yeah, absolutely, and where I was going with that. And yeah, just to again, just to add even more into the mix. Where I’m going with that is here’s the thing. Right, you know, it comes back to what we were talking about earlier, which is satisfaction and happiness. Right, and doing something that, let’s say, you really don’t enjoy dentistry that much, right. If you solely and exclusively use those methods to appreciate your capital and get to a point where you have enough to retire on right, the traditional index fund methods, right, yeah, then we’re going to spend 30, 40 years of our life by default, no matter how, almost independent of how much we earn, unless we earn some totally wild sum of money. You know what I mean. But realistically, for most dentists, even if we do earn say, we earn like five figures or six figures right, it’s still going to take that period of time, right? So my point is that, past a certain point, money doesn’t actually serve us in terms of our happiness from that perspective, especially if we’re doing something that we don’t really like anyway. So my point is why not pull happiness forwards to the present rather than waiting for it to appear in the future, ie inverted commerce retirement, which is when we’re supposed to down tools and be happy in inverted commerce. Right, but if you’re going to have to wait that amount of time anyway because we’re solely investing via an FA, then more money is actually the opposite, does not actually permit us to be happy because of the amount of time we have to spend acquiring it, and it would be easier to earn less money, still have the same path in life broadly, but have more time off and channel it into things that actually do give us happiness.

Dr Vesselin: 

I absolutely agree with that. I’m on many different levels, so one of them what we were talking about earlier about happiness, and remember when I mentioned about control over one’s life. Now, too much control has negative effects in the same way. For example, if we’re too obsessed with money, then we kind of end up missing other things. Like if we, for example, reframed the issue of wealth and if we say that a wealthy person is the person who has left the most people with fond memories of their interactions with that person.

Dr James: 

Well, it is well-consistent.

Dr Vesselin: 

The person who’s touched the most lives and the person who always leaves people in a better state than they found them in. So if that’s a wealthy person, then the Fortune 500 list would have to be restructured like a lot Because, for example, let’s say one of us was a billionaire. Let’s say you’re a billionaire, you make like a billion a year, but you work 16 hours per day, six days per week. That’s all clearly kind of overdoing it. If the person has such personality that actually makes them happy, then that’s fantastic. Like we said, there are different realities, so we’re not arguing with anyone. Everyone should be living their life in a way that satisfies them. But what we don’t want is for people to get into some kind of like a morbid relationship with money in the same way that we can get into a morbid relationship with, say, our bodies or like, for example, gambling would be one example of a morbid relationship with money. So we don’t really kind of want that, and you’re absolutely right that we shouldn’t get that kind of tunnel vision where we’re focused on just one thing and one thing only and miss everything else that’s going on around us. And yeah, I agree Definitely now, but I think that someone may say that me and you were being a bit unresponsive about now, but I would just like to point out about what you said, that in finance, while there’s lots of talk about investing and so on, there’s another thing which says that money now is worth more than money later. There are different reasons why that may be now. One of the reasons is like, for example, would you take one million now or would you take two million in five years? Let’s say it’s 20% per year. Non compounded, one million turns into two million. So would you take the million now or would you take two million in two years? I’ll start by saying I’ll take the one million now, and the reason is that I don’t know what’s going to happen in two years time. Are there going to be money? What situation is going to be like? Is two million going to be actual money or a loaf of bread? So we don’t know that. So I take the money now and I can invest it. I can gear it by something leverage, say property or something, or I can just spend it. And I think that when they say, oh, you can invest from 50 pounds per month or something, that’s a bit useless really, because in 30 years you have 10 grand or something like that. It won’t change your life at all, so I’ve not always been kind of like investing. For example, like I said when I was a kid, my dream was to make 1000 pounds per month, and it sounds like a fortune to me. That’s not the case anymore, but the first time I made 1000 pounds in my career, do you know what I did? I didn’t invest any of it. I bought a brand new computer and I went partying with my friends, and the memories of that are working out to me way more than 1000 pounds. So if I could go back in time, I would do exactly the same thing.

Dr James: 

Yeah, absolutely no. It’s about happiness, and happiness is a choice. And the saddest thing I see is the fact that most probably, about 70% of people again, not figures that are researched, just totally anecdotal 70% of people go through life, go through life delaying happiness, doing something they don’t like, and delaying happiness until they’re retired, right, because that’s supposedly the time that they’re going to be free, and then where their time becomes their own and they can do whatever they want. And my point is for most people that’s a long way off, right. And if we’re sacrificing so much in the short term, actually, who’s to say that we’ll even get to that point where we’re happy? Because it’s such a distant point in future and the choice, the power to be happy, is actually something we can do in the moment. For most people, what that requires is taking a little bit of a step outside their comfort zone, because it’ll be a little different to what they do already, and that’s the only thing holding us back. And you know what? Who’s to say that when we do reach retirement, that we will be happy anyway? Because have you noticed that when most people reach retirement, they don’t even down tools anyway? They continue to do a little bit of work. It’s not like they just stop right. Yeah, so we’re spending our whole life waiting to this point where we can quit, and then we don’t even quit right, and then we’re just going to be happy.

Dr Vesselin: 

Yeah, that kind of ties in with what they say in psychology, that if it’s not some kind of a very traumatic event like say an abusive relationship, for example would be very traumatic to any individual. If it’s something money related, then you’re absolutely right. Like people would kind of get adjusted to it, so they’d be saving, oh, I’m going to do this, that and the other one, I retire, and the retirement comes and they found out that their life’s not kind of that different, so they get adapted to it. So even if someone gets kind of like extremely happy the day they retire, that happiness would be in most cases transient. So say, over like a year or a few months or two years they’ll just get used to the fact that they don’t go to work anymore and can do whatever they want, and that won’t be sufficient enough anymore. So then there would have to be something else to come around. And but I think that, although you’re right, I’ve noticed that lately people generally don’t work full time anymore. Yeah, which?

Dr James: 

is good which is very good yeah.

Dr Vesselin: 

I mean I, I myself, I work, uh then street like three and a half days, um and uh. I often take like a day or two off, uh, fly out somewhere. I’m trying to do it every kind of like six weeks or something.

Dr James: 

I love that. I love that 100%.

Dr Vesselin: 

So, for example, if you take my working hours and if you average them over 52 weeks let’s take out holidays out of the question I probably average about 20, 20 hours per week. Um, for if, if I don’t take any holiday at all, that’s what I’d be working the whole year. So if you then kind of extrapolate that it’s, it’s not that that much. So, um, I think that sometimes it’s um also like the balance between um work and leisure. Um years ago I was doing my induction with my dentist like 12 years ago I think it was and uh, one of their clinical directors made an excellent point. He said that when he first qualified he wanted to beat all the other dentists at the practice by the amount of turnover he does. Right, okay, I did not take any holidays, right? So all the other dentists they were older and respectively wiser, I would imagine and they said no, no, no, no, just take your holiday, don’t worry about it. He was like no, no, you know what I’ll, I’ll kind of beat their turnover. So they all took like six weeks holiday and when they came to kind of count the results out of that, it turned out that he made less than that. So the next year he took off his six weeks holiday and he made more money than the previous year. So there’s an element of where you get tired, you get a bit burned out and you, you, really you’re kind of brain to relax a bit and drift away from work. And I think it’s an excellent point he he makes when he does these inductions, because it’s very important, especially for young people, to get the good work-life balance.

Dr James: 

I love that and you know what. We’re going to end this podcast on that thought there’s. You’ve been a super thumbs up. You’ve been super generous with your time today, my friend. Thank you so, so much. We’re going to get you back on the podcast a little bit sooner this time. We’re not going to wait another hundred episodes before you share your thoughts and wisdom again, and I very much look forward to it. Vez, hope you have a smashing day. We’ll see each other soon.

Dr Vesselin: 

Me too Nice to see you again, James Bye.