Estate Planning

The power of planning: a physician’s journey to financial wellness

By Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF®, Financial Advisor, WisMed Financial

Mark Ziety

With uncertainties and change a constant, financial planning stands as a beacon of security and peace of mind. Today, we bring you a remarkable story that sheds light on how a dedicated physician and her family reaped the rewards of a well-structured financial plan, proving that even the busiest of physicians can find stability and fulfillment through proper financial planning.

Meet Sarah Thompson, MD (alias, of course), known for her compassionate care and unwavering commitment to her patients. Outside the exam room, however, Dr. Thompson faced the same financial challenges that many of us do – managing student loans, planning for retirement and ensuring her family’s future stability.

The Initial Challenge

Upon completing her medical education, Dr. Thompson was burdened with significant student loan debt. Balancing her medical practice while managing these loans was no easy feat. She often found herself conflicted between her passion for healing and the pressure of financial obligations. As her family grew, so did her responsibilities, making her realize the need for a comprehensive financial plan.

The Turning Point: Seeking Professional Guidance

Dr. Thompson decided to take a proactive step and sought the guidance of a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional. This move marked a turning point in her journey towards financial wellness. The financial planner analyzed her situation, considering her income, expenses, outstanding loans and future goals. They collaboratively created a customized plan that addressed her specific needs, aligning her financial strategy with her life aspirations.

The Plan in Action

  • Debt Repayment Strategy: The financial planner helped Dr. Thompson switch to her ideal repayment plan for her student loans. She made consistent progress in reducing her debt without compromising her family’s daily needs.
  • Investment and Retirement Planning: With a steady income and a solid debt repayment plan in place, Dr. Thompson could now focus on long-term financial security. The financial planner introduced her to a diversified investment portfolio and guided her through retirement planning, ensuring she could enjoy her retirement years without financial stress. “In my experience, those who save smaller amounts consistently tend to save more over time than those who try to save everything at once,” Mark Ziety, CFP, founder of WisMed Financial notes in this CBS News article.
  • Family Protection: Recognizing the importance of safeguarding her family’s future, Dr. Thompson also secured:
    •  life insurance
    • disability insurance
    • estate documents
    • college accounts
    • an emergency fund

This provided a safety net in case of unforeseen circumstances and offered peace of mind to her and her loved ones.

  • Tax Strategy: The largest lifetime expense for physicians is often taxes, and Dr. Thompson was no exception. Through yearly tax strategy, her deductions were maximized and taxable income shifted to save hundreds of thousands of dollars of lifetime tax.

The Outcome: A Life Transformed

As the years went by, Dr. Thompson’s commitment to her financial plan began to yield remarkable results. She saw her debt steadily decrease, her investments grow and her family thrive with the knowledge that their future was secure. This transformation didn’t just impact her financial health – it positively influenced her overall well-being. The reduction of financial stress allowed her to focus more on her patients, her family and even take time for her own personal growth and hobbies.

Key Takeaway

Dr. Thompson’s story is typical for physicians and underscores the incredible potential that a well-crafted financial plan holds. Regardless of your profession or life circumstances, careful financial planning can pave the way to stability, allowing you to navigate challenges with confidence and pursue your dreams without compromise.

For personalized help eliminating debt, investing smart and securing retirement, please contact Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF® 608.442.3750.

Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF®

WisMed Financial, Inc. part of the Wisconsin Medical Society

Note: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial or tax advice. Please consult with a qualified financial advisor or tax professional before making any financial decisions. Full disclosures.

What’s in a financial plan?

By Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF®, Financial Advisor, WisMed Financial

Mark Ziety

A financial plan is like a roadmap that helps you navigate through the twists and turns of life, whether you’re saving up for a new car or preparing for retirement. Think of it as your secret weapon to achieving your financial goals and living your best life.

Now, let’s break it down into the three scenarios we all share: a long healthy life, getting sick along the way or passing away early. We need to be prepared for all of them, and that’s where financial planning comes in handy.

Cash Flow

You might call it a budget, but we like to call it the “4 Fs.” It’s like a secret formula to financial success! You just need to know your:

  • Fixed expenses (the boring stuff like housing and utilities)
  • Future expenses (like saving for retirement or your next vacation)
  • “F”ilanthropy expenses (how much you want to give back to your community)  
  • Fun expenses (the things that make life worth living!)

Once you have these figures down, you can put your cash flow to work and watch your bank account grow.

Eliminating Debt

We all know it’s easy to fall into the trap of overspending. But a good financial plan will help you avoid that and pay off any debt you already have quickly.


We might not like to think about it, but getting sick or passing away early is a possibility for all of us. That’s why having the right insurance and right amount is crucial. Health insurance, disability insurance and life insurance are all important components of a good financial plan.


A well-diversified portfolio with the right asset allocation and asset selection can help you achieve your financial goals. And don’t forget about asset location, putting the right investments in the right account, which can make a big difference in your after-tax returns. Bonus: check out the 7 proven ways to improve performance.


Retirement is often the biggest topic that financial planning covers. How much do you need to save for retirement? When should you start withdrawing your money? Which account should you use first? And when should you start taking Social Security? These are all important questions that a good financial plan can help answer.


If you have children, college planning is often important. Saving for college is just the beginning – picking the right school that offers grants and scholarships can help cover the costs.


Taxes can be a huge expense for most people, which is why tax planning is a crucial part of a financial plan. By creating a strategy to manage your taxes, you can keep more money in your pocket.

Estate Plan

Finally, estate planning is something everyone should consider. Who will take care of your finances and health care if you become incapacitated? Who will take care of your children if something happens to you? A good financial plan should include a will, health care and financial power of attorney documents, beneficiary designations and possibly a trust.

Phew! That’s a lot to consider, but don’t worry – you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. A financial planner can help guide you through the process and create a personalized plan to help you achieve your financial goals. Are you ready to take control of your finances and start living the life you deserve?

For personalized help eliminating debt, investing smart and securing retirement, please contact Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF® 608.442.3750.

Mark Ziety, CFP®, AIF®

WisMed Financial, Inc. part of the Wisconsin Medical Society