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Is that Deductible?A Week of Highs, Lows, and New Beginnings

Jun 10, 2024

Welcome back to my "Is That Deductible?" series, where we navigate the nuances of deductible expenses and share personal stories that bring these concepts to life. This past week has been a whirlwind, marked by a spectrum of emotions and activities that underscore the complexity of our professional and personal lives.

A Call to Testify: The Stress of an Unexpected Duty

Early in the week, I received a surprising and somewhat stressful notice: I was required to testify in a murder trial involving one of my former patients who resides in Florida. This has been slowly percolating through the Florida legal system over the past few years, and I have had a deposition, and multiple communications about the case, but the actual trial was now scheduled to start this month.

This case involves a former patient of mine whom I have not had contact with for nearly 10 years, and the prospect of being away from my clinic for an extended period, especially during my final month before semi-retirement, was daunting. The thought of traveling to Florida for several days weighed heavily on me, not just because of the time commitment but also due to the emotional and logistical challenges it posed.

Thankfully, after some discussions with local Judges & Attorneys and Florida Judges & Attorneys, I was relieved to learn that I could provide my testimony via video from our local courthouse.

This development is a mixed bag. On one hand, it's great that I can stay close to home and wrap things up at the clinic without too much disruption. But on the other hand, being tied up for up to 4 days when I only have 3 weeks left is a major pain. It's going to throw a serious wrench into my plans and make things really hectic as I try to get everything squared away before I leave.

On the positive, it's a reminder of how technology can alleviate stress and make professional obligations more manageable.

A Joyous Occasion: Our First Grandchild

Amid the hustle and bustle of life, this week brought an overwhelming wave of joy as my oldest son and his beloved wife unveiled the gender of their first child – our precious first grandchild! We're over the moon to announce that a little bundle of blue is on the way, due to grace us with his presence in December! The way they thoughtfully shared this momentous news with both sets of parents, despite the vast distances that separate us, filled our hearts with warmth. That beautiful bouquet of flowers had tears of pure happiness streaming down our faces as we celebrated this incredible blessing together. And let's not forget the added thrill of being proven right in our family's gender predictions – what a delightful cherry on top! Truly, this is a moment of unbridled joy that we'll cherish forever.

The excitement of becoming grandparents has been a delightful counterbalance to the week's challenges. This joyous news has given us something wonderful to look forward to and has filled our hearts with anticipation and happiness.

The Grind of Entrepreneurship: E-Visit Product Takes Shape

On the professional front, my e-visit startup, has been consuming a significant amount of my time and energy. This week was particularly intense as we took several crucial steps towards our launch. I met with a startup coach who connected us to state programs focused on health tech, providing valuable insights and resources. We finalized our brand name, company name, logo, and business plan, which are critical milestones in establishing our identity and direction.

Additionally, we created a pre-launch website to start building our waitlist, and we completed our non-provisional patent submission. Each of these tasks involved long hours and meticulous attention to detail, but the progress we've made is incredibly satisfying. The startup journey is demanding, but it’s also incredibly rewarding to see our vision come to life.

A Dinner to Remember: Connecting with Old Friends

Amidst the busyness, my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful dinner date with a former medical partner and his wife. Our conversation ranged from reminiscing about old times to discussing their life with five children and my impending retirement. They offered invaluable advice: to take time to connect with my wife and explore the world together, to allow myself to slow down and not become consumed by my new ventures, and to enjoy supporting my wife in her scrapbooking business, scrapping in my sleep. Embracing my new role as her "support person," we've affectionately nicknamed me her "Scrappy-Doo." Their insights were a timely reminder to balance my professional ambitions with personal fulfillment.

Celebrating Friendship: A Birthday with Dan

The week concluded with a celebration of my best friend from high school, Dan, who is also my life and business coach. We marked his birthday with reflections on how the Lord has blessed us, sharing a profound appreciation for our journey together. Interestingly, we both share a peculiar trait: a reluctance to receive gifts, which often perplexes our wives and children. This idiosyncrasy sparked a lot of laughter and camaraderie, reminding us of the simple joys of friendship and the importance of staying grounded.

Balancing Deductibles with Life

Through all these events, the underlying question of "Is that deductible?" remained a constant consideration. The difference involves using pre-tax money or post-tax money. The reality is that as the owner of my micro-businesses, the personal and business is all mine, it’s just a matter of which pocket it comes out of.

The travel expenses for the trial, the startup costs for my e-visit product, and even the meals with friends, coaches, and colleagues—all these activities have potential tax implications. Navigating these deductions requires a keen understanding of tax laws and a strategic approach to managing both personal and business finances. Unfortunately, the time out of the clinic and lost wages for the trial will not be tax deductible.

As I reflect on this week, I am reminded of the delicate balance between professional responsibilities, personal joy, and the importance of strategic financial planning. Each experience has reinforced the value of community, support, and the relentless pursuit of our passions. As we continue this journey together, I encourage you to embrace these moments, find joy in the process, and always ask—"Is that deductible?"

Stay inspired and stay informed. You will stay the most informed by becoming a SimpliMD member. To celebrate summer I am offering half-off on our attending physician membership, and half off on our resident/fellow membership, so take advantage of this deal and follow the links.