Financial Planning

Looking for a Financial Advisor for Physicians?

By  Brian Thorp

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Do doctors have unique financial planning needs? Absolutely. A specialist financial advisor for physicians is just what the doctor ordered.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual compensation for physicians and surgeons ranks among the highest of all occupations, around $208,000 in 2021. But what the BLS doesn’t mention, is that the average medical school graduate owes over $240,000 in total student loan debt.

Beyond these headline numbers, a range of other factors can play a significant role in how a financial plan is personalized for physicians. For example, if you’re a doctor employed by a large hospital, your salary and benefits may look very different from a physician in private practice. And your career decisions and lifestyle aspirations can substantially impact your financial planning needs when it comes to how quickly you can pay off student loans and how soon you may be able to retire.

Rather than tackling this challenge on their own, many doctors turn to financial advisors who understand the unique obstacles faced by physicians so they can spend more time enjoying life and practicing medicine with less money stress.

But where can you find a financial advisor who specializes in financial planning for physicians?

You’ll likely find dozens of nearby financial advisors in your community well-suited to help you reach your money goals with a personalized plan. But it may be more difficult to find a financial advisor with the experience and knowledge of serving professionals in the medical field who knows what it took for you to become a doctor and the opportunities now available to help you achieve your financial goals.

Fortunately, many financial advisors offer virtual services so you can meet online no matter where you (or they) live. This means you can choose to hire a financial advisor who lives hundreds of miles away if you decide their knowledge and experience working with physicians could help you achieve better outcomes.


👩‍⚕️ Smart Financial Planning Insights for Physicians

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

  1. Q&A with Financial Advisors for Physicians
  2. Get Answers to Your Questions About Financial Planning for Physicians
  3. Browse Related Articles

– Financial Advisors for Physicians –

Three Questions with Brett Tushingham

We asked Wilmington, NC financial advisor Brett Tushingham, a specialist financial advisor serving physicians, to answer three questions to help doctors make smarter money moves to achieve their financial goals.

Q: If you had one piece of financial planning advice you wish all doctors learned before starting medical school, what would it be?

Brett: These can be difficult times for physicians.  Most are earning a fraction of what they will earn after graduation, incurring substantial student loan debt, and working long hours.  The key is to establish a base financial plan that we call “ICU”. 

Income – Protect your income as it’s your greatest asset and obtain the maximum disability coverage available.  If someone relies on you for income then get a term insurance policy.  Forget about permanent insurance products as they can be very expensive and will rarely meet your needs.    

Cash – You need access to cash in the event of an emergency.  Put at least three months’ worth of expenses in an online money market account.  Most pay over 10x the national average rate and have no fees.    

Understand your student loans – Your federal student loans can potentially qualify for forgiveness.  Before you refinance see if you qualify for loan forgiveness and plan accordingly.  We recently worked with one physician who stands to have over $100,000 of debt forgiven.     

Get to Know Brett:

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

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Q: How do the services you offer distinguish Tushingham Wealth Strategies from other advisory firms a physician may have been referred to by a peer?

Brett: Most physicians work long hours, are on call, and have stressful jobs.  They don’t have the time, expertise, or interest in proactively managing their financial affairs. Our “Personal CFO” service is ideal for physicians as it takes the financial planning burden off of their shoulders and addresses the challenges unique to their profession.  This includes:

  • Student loan planning
  • Asset protection
  • Minimizing taxes
  • Benefits planning for private practice
  • College Planning
  • Developing a lifetime income strategy 

We have developed expertise in these specific areas of planning that help physicians make more informed decisions and obtain better outcomes. 

Q: For physicians who are nearing retirement, but have managed their finances on their own to this point, what would you suggest they consider to help them decide if they should begin working with a financial advisor at this stage in their lives?

Brett: If you’re someone who enjoys proactively managing your finances and coordinating planning decisions with other professionals such as CPAs and attorneys, then continue to do it yourself.  

The information is all out there on the internet and in numerous publications.  The challenge is determining what applies to your specific situation, how to implement it, and navigating the ongoing planning so when those inevitable changes occur, you’re ready to act accordingly.      

There’s a lot at risk here when making specific planning decisions:

  • At what age should I start Social Security?
  • How do I coordinate the liquidation of my investment accounts so I pay as little tax as possible? 
  • What’s the most tax-efficient way to give to charity?

The physicians we work with prefer to delegate these tasks to a financial planner who understands their challenges and can provide the solutions they need. 


🙋‍♀️ Have Questions About Financial Planning for Physicians?




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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.

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