Employer

Financial Planning for Faculty and Staff of the University of North Carolina System

By  Brian Thorp

Disclaimer: In order to make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured on our platform. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor promotion of our clients over other professionals and firms not featured on Wealthtender. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

Do you work for the University of North Carolina System? Get the resources you need and expert insights from financial professionals who specialize in helping UNC faculty, staff, and physicians make the most of their compensation package and benefits.

Whether you’re a new University of North Carolina faculty or staff member, a physician affiliated with the UNC Medical Center, or you’ve moved up the ranks into a senior administrative officer role over a multi-year career, it’s important to make smart money moves with your income and employee benefits. For example:

✅ Do you know the right moves to make to get the greatest value from the UNC System benefits available to you?

✅If you’re thinking about leaving the UNC System for another job or planning to retire in a few years, are you taking the right steps today to ensure you will receive all of the compensation and benefits that you’ve earned?

Get the Most Value from Your UNC System Benefits and Compensation Package

Throughout the year, the UNC System Human Resources department provides its more than 48,000 faculty and staff members with updates about their benefits ranging from health insurance and health savings plans to retirement plans like a 403(b), 457(b), 401(k) and the TSERS Retirement Program, among others. While the UNC HR employees offer many useful resources and access to knowledgeable staff who can assist with questions, you’ll also find financial professionals not affiliated with the University of North Carolina System who specialize in helping UNC faculty and staff make the most of their income and benefits.

Whether you work on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, another campus, the UNC Medical Center, administrative location around the state, or remotely from home, you may have questions about your compensation package and benefits better suited for a financial professional who can offer unbiased advice and guidance.

For example, sensitive topics like discussing the steps you should take before quitting your job at UNC to work elsewhere and deciding when you should plan to retire are all conversations that may be more comfortable with a trusted financial advisor.

Should You Hire a UNC System Specialist Financial Advisor?

💡 In the Q&A below, you’ll gain insights from financial advisors who work with UNC faculty and staff to help them make smart decisions to get the most value from their compensation and benefits, reduce their money stress, and prepare for a comfortable retirement.

🙋‍♀️ Do you have questions not yet answered? Use the form below to submit questions anonymously and watch this article for updates with answers to your questions. You can also reach out to the financial advisors below to set up an introductory call or contact them with your questions by email.


💸 Smart Money Insights for University of North Carolina System Employees & Executives

This page is organized into sections to help you quickly find the information you need and get answers to your questions:

  1. Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for UNC System Faculty and Staff
  2. Get Answers to Your Questions About Your UNC System Benefits and Career
  3. Quick Facts & Resources for University of North Carolina Faculty and Staff
  4. Browse Related Articles

Q&A: Financial Planning Tips for UNC System Faculty and Staff

Answers to Faculty and Staff Questions with Brett Tushingham, CFP®

Brett Tushingham is a financial advisor based in Wilmington, North Carolina, who specializes in offering financial planning services to UNC System, faculty, staff, and physicians. Brett helps his clients get the most value from their UNC System benefits and compensation package so they can enjoy life and feel confident about their financial future.

Q: As a financial advisor with experience helping University of North Carolina faculty, staff, and physicians save for their retirement, how do you help them make the most of their employee benefits?

Brett: Benefits are an integral part of a financial plan and should not be overlooked. Utilizing the UNC retirement accounts and saving for retirement is important, but it’s the other benefits that protect your assets and income and serve as the foundation for your financial success.

Every family’s needs are unique, and if both spouses have benefits, it can get even more confusing.  This is why we have an annual benefits enrollment review with UNC clients to ensure that they are optimizing all that is offered.  

There are five key areas we focus on:

  • Health insurance
  • Disability
  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Flexible Spending Accounts     

UNC Physicians also have access to supplemental benefits, which provide additional disability, life insurance, long-term care, and retirement plan options. The benefits packages can be confusing, and we often find coverage gaps.  We recently helped one client save over $11,000 in taxes by informing them of their additional retirement plan options.

Get to Know Brett Tushingham, Financial Advisor for University of North Carolina System Employees:

View Brett’s profile page on Wealthtender or visit his website to learn more.

Q: What are some of the unique financial planning challenges you commonly see among your clients who are UNC System employees and how do you help them overcome these obstacles?

Brett: Our UNC clients, mostly physicians, work long hours and have stressful jobs. They don’t have the time or interest to proactively manage their finances and prefer to hire us as their “Personal CFO” to take care of it.  A common concern they share is what to do about their student loans.   

Most physicians and executives have borrowed money to pay for their education. They want advice on how to smartly pay off the balance. We start with educating them on their student loan planning options so they can make more informed decisions. The government programs can be confusing, and some decisions are irrevocable, so you need to tread carefully.    

One prospect wanted to refinance their loans before we advised them of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. You lose the ability to use this program if you refinance your loans with a private lender. After reviewing the program requirements, we determined that the physician qualified. They now stand to have over $100,000 of student loan debt forgiven, tax-free.                  

Q: What questions do you recommend University of North Carolina faculty, staff, and physicians ask financial advisors they’re considering hiring to help them decide if they’re a good fit?

Brett: There are many types of financial advisors, but the below questions should help you find the one right for you.

Are you a CFP® and for how long?

A Certified Financial Planner is required to meet certain educational, training, and ethical standards. They are legally required to act in your best interests (aka fiduciary), and only 29% of financial advisors hold the designation. Make sure your advisor has the designation and ask how long they have been practicing.      

Who do you work with? 

Does the advisor understand the unique challenges you face, and can they provide the solutions you need? We work with clients approaching or in retirement who want to delegate the proactive management of their financial affairs. Our services meet their needs as we can advise them on when to take Social Security, how to secure a lifetime income stream, and how to minimize taxes.       

What is your planning process? 

The advisor should be able to walk you through their financial planning process, the areas of expertise they can provide, and how they can add value. This should go well beyond just managing your money.  

Their process should start with asking questions about your values and what you hope to accomplish with the money you save. After they provide you with an initial financial plan, how will they help you navigate the inevitable changes that occur to ensure that you stay on track?          

What is your investment philosophy?

Some advisors’ value proposition is that their investment strategies can “beat the market”.  From our experience, few can follow through on this promise. We believe in a more passive approach, keeping expenses to a minimum and investing in different asset classes to minimize the ups and downs along the way.           

How are you compensated?  

It should be 100% clear how the financial advisor will be compensated and what you can expect to receive in return. 

Are you a financial advisor who specializes in working with faculty and staff at UNC or another large institution or company?

✅ Join Wealthtender and get featured as a specialist financial advisor based on your knowledge and experience working with staff at UNC or another large institution or company. (Subject to availability and terms.)
Sign up today and join financial advisors attracting their ideal clients on Wealthtender
✅ Or request more information by email:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Quick Facts & Resources for University of North Carolina System Employees

University of North Carolina System Quick Facts & ResourcesDetails / Useful Links
University of North Carolina System Main Address140 Friday Center Drive Chapel Hill, NC 27517 (📍 Google Maps)
UNC System Human ResourcesVisit myapps.northcarolina.edu/hr
UNC System CareersVisit myapps.northcarolina.edu/hr/careers
How much do University of North Carolina employees Make?View University of North Carolina Salary Research on Glassdoor
How many people work for the University of North Carolina System?University of North Carolina has over 48,000 employees (Source: UNC System)

🙋‍♀️ Have Questions About Your University of North Carolina System Benefits or Career?




Are you ready to enjoy life more with less money stress?

Sign up to receive weekly insights from Wealthtender with useful money tips and fresh ideas to help you achieve your financial goals.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

About the Author
Brian Thorp, Founder and CEO of Wealthtender profile picture

Brian Thorp

Founder and CEO, Wealthtender

Brian and his wife live in Texas, enjoying the diversity of Houston and the vibrancy of Austin.

With over 25 years in the financial services industry, Brian is applying his experience and passion at Wealthtender to help more people enjoy life with less money stress.

Connect with Brian on LinkedIn

Disclaimer: In order to make Wealthtender free for our readers, we earn money from advertisers including financial professionals and firms that pay to be featured on our platform. This creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor promotion of our clients over other professionals and firms not featured on Wealthtender. Learn how we operate with integrity to earn your trust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.