November 2015: My wife (Jess) and three boys Samuel (4), Everett (2) and Levi (7 months)
Hello there! My name is Tim Ulbrich and I am the Financial Pharmacist. I am excited to have you join me on the journey to reach your financial goals.
I’m a pharmacy educator by day and husband, father and financial nerd by night. I serve as the associate dean of workforce development and practice advancement at Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) College of Pharmacy. I received my Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Ohio Northern University and completed residency training at Ohio State Univeristy. Before beginning my current role at NEOMED, I served as the co-manager of Medication Therapy Management (MTM) services at Giant Eagle Pharmacy in Rootstown, OH. I am passionate about preparing students for postgraduate training and developing sustainable patient care services and practice sites. I have served in various roles on the state and national level and currently serve on the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) Board of Trustees.
So why the financial nerd part? I am motivated to empower pharmacists and pharmacy students to take control of their personal finances. Like many pharmacists coming out of school, I graduated with approximately $130,000 in student loan debt and after purchasing a home and a couple used cars, I looked up and was over $350,000 in debt. I had borrowed money that I had no business borrowing for things I didn’t need to buy. It had all seemed so normal and manageable. “I have it under control,” I thought. I was making a 6-figure salary and never thought twice about taking out that much debt. “It’s not even stupid debt,” I rationalized in my mind. I had neither credit card debt nor fancy cars.
Here is the problem. Our society has more than $890 billion in credit card debt, more than $1 trillion in student loan debt, and a population with a median retirement account balance of $3,000 for all working-age households and $12,000 for households nearing retirement. We simply have too much debt and not enough savings and it is time to change that.
I’m happy to say that as of October 2015, my wife and I have no debt except for our mortgage. We managed to pay off $200,000 in seven years. What an amazing feeling.
While getting out of debt, I learned a lot along that journey about what works and what doesn’t work. About how to balance saving, spending, paying off debt and giving. About how to set a budget that works. About how to stay disciplined through the grind of paying off debt. I will be sharing what I learned along that journey. I hope you will join in the conversation and together we can achieve our long-term financial goals.
Please submit your financial questions through the home page and follow me on Twitter @FinancialRPh.