We’re back with another episode of GrowOrtho. In today’s episode, Luke talks with Dr. Erik Nilssen, a foot and ankle surgeon from Pensacola, Florida. He and his partner, Dr. Saif Zaman, are the creators of The Strategic Doctor, an educational platform to help doctors improve their financial literacy—important more than ever thanks to what he calls our “unprecedented times.”

Tune in to hear what Dr. Nilssen has to say about:

  • Why he thinks cash value life insurance is the perfect wealth-building system for all doctors and a big picture view of how they work
  • What he means by thinking three-dimensionally when it comes to your finances
  • Three key elements to a successful cash value life insurance policy
  • The difference between a microeconomic and macroeconomic perspective on your retirement (and why he thinks 401(k)s are “scary”)
  • Real-world examples of Dr. Nilssen’s innovative financial solutions at work and how he’s able to leverage income-producing assets (example: a $200,000 CT scan he financed with his own policy)

Dr. Nilssen’s ultimate goal is to help doctors change their way of thinking financially to protect their bottom line and, ultimately, learn the science of wealth building, asset protection, and tax strategy.

To this point, he says a traditional “linear model” of a physician’s career—go to a professional school, get a degree, open a practice, and start making money—is outdated and no longer sustainable in today’s environment. Instead, he encourages physicians to look to a “new normal” that includes an innovative strategy relied on heavily by banks:

Cash value life insurance, aka “infinite banking.”

Cash value life insurance is similar to a “personal banking system,” Dr. Nilssen says. He believes it to be the “single greatest way to build wealth.” Here’s why:

  • Properly structured cash value life insurance allows you to finance all expenses yourself while also acting as your own savings, investment, and retirement plan in one.
  • He’s not talking about the death benefits here, either—inside a properly designed policy are the living benefits that provide you with a pool of cash to “save, invest, and retire with.”
  • The key difference? Cash value life insurance helps you build wealth, not by focusing on inflow (e.g., chasing more assets), but by optimizing outflow. “You can create more wealth by recapturing debt, expenses, and interest than you can ever create by buying more assets,” Dr. Nilssen explains.
  • Dr. Nilssen offers helpful insights into creating the right cash value life insurance policy and urges people to focus on three key elements: the right company, the right agent, and the right policy structure.
  • As for Dr. Nilssen himself, he certainly seems to walk the talk. He has nine of these policies himself and says life insurance is his retirement plan. Because of the way his plans are structured, he’s able to “pull money out tax-free” and isn’t worried about things out of his control, like government influence, stock market volatility, tax implications, and the environmental impacts of things like a global pandemic.

By the way, you’ll hear plenty of insightful one-liners and innovative ideas in this episode. We thought we’d leave a few of our favorites here:

  • “Professional school education earns you a living; cash value life insurance will earn you a fortune.”
  • “Don’t do what banks say. Do what banks do.”
  • “Would you rather have Tiger Woods’s golf clubs, or would you rather have Tiger Woods’s swing?”

To learn more about Dr. Nilssen and his team, visit thestrategicdoctor.com and consider signing up for one of their training courses.