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Medical Professionals Wanted To Pay Off Debt and Build Savings

Ian and Erin were married medical professionals with significant student loans who wanted save up for a house, optimize their employee benefits, and implement a retirement plan

I first started working with Ian when he was a medical student who had inherited a portfolio from his grandparents. He wanted to be a good steward of the money and intended to grow the account while he finished med school so he could use it for a down payment on a house when he graduated. About a year later, Ian married Erin, a professional in the medical field as well. They had about $500K in combined student loans and were living off one income while trying to figure out how to build savings and pay off their debt.

Erin initially did not see the value of having a financial planner and figured they would be fine without one; however, since I was already working with Ian, she decided to give me a trial run as her adviser too. Over the next two years, I was able to help them implement a payment plan for their student loans (both federal and private), a savings and investment plan for their Roth IRA accounts, optimize Erin’s employee benefits package, and advise them on an appropriate amount of life insurance. I converted Ian’s inherited portfolio into a joint account so they could both contribute to it, and moved his Roth IRA to Schwab, which lowered his fees and allowed them to access all their investment accounts on one platform.

When I reviewed Erin’s employee benefits, I found that she could protect her income at a lower rate and with a larger payout by buying a disability policy outside her plan, which was also portable if they needed to move for Ian’s residency. Ian and Erin now have more than enough for their down payment, and a game plan for the next five years of Ian’s residency and fellowship after that. Their plan leverages the advantages of physician mortgage loans for the home purchase and integrates Erin’s student loan repayment schedule into their cash flow and savings plan, with a similar integration lined up for Ian’s loans once he begins residency.

After helping to optimize Erin’ benefits and creating a plan to manage their cash flow, pay off their student loans, start saving for retirement, and purchase a home, my skeptical 2nd client was very happy with the engagement and confident about their future plans.

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Adam K. Wright, CFP, CFP®
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