Physicians and Dentists

Your financial security starts here.

Darrin Englebert is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM (CFP®) professional, Wealth Management Advisor, and member of Physicians Nationwide.1 He specializes in helping physicians, dentists, successful families, and those in or nearing retirement by transforming complex financial situations into a customized financial plan.

"I work with successful doctors across the country, many of whom I have been helping since they were residents or interns.

As your trusted advisor, I will spend time getting to know you and your vision for the future so we can create a plan that will help you attain your professional and personal financial goals.

Married to a physician, I am passionate about and specialize in addressing the financial planning needs of medical professionals. I have helped many successful physicians and dentists plan for and achieve their financial goals, often starting when they were residents or interns. Colleges, residency programs, and physician/dental groups frequently request I speak to their members on a variety of financial security topics. In addition, I provide group and executive benefit planning for small businesses as well as detailed retirement planning for those in or nearing retirement."


Doctors have unique financial needs that require expert planning advice. While they may enjoy higher incomes than most Americans, all those years in med school means a later start to their careers, higher than average student loan debt, and fewer total working years. Add to the mix the tendency for many doctors to reward themselves (for the lean years spent in school and residency) by spending all their money on big homes, fancy cars and other luxuries. Working with a financial professional is a critical first step to make sure retirement doesn't fall through the cracks.

Whether you are a medical student or a practicing physician, it's never too soon to start planning for your financial future. The most pressing financial issues and decisions you face depend greatly on the stage you are in. Here are some helpful suggestions for each phase of your medical career.

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During medical school, your studies are your top priority. It is also a good time to set the stage for a financially secure future once you graduate. Here are a few ways to get on the path to financial security.

  1. Track Your Student Loans
  2. Managing your student loans during and after medical school is extremely important. Our free student loan tracker will help you stay on top of your student loans and help you save time and money down the road.

  3. Establish a budget
  4. One of the most common mistakes medical students make is not establishing a budget. Don't put it off, use our free sample budget to help keep your finances in check now and as your income grows.

  5. Create a vision for your future
  6. It is nearly impossible to reach your goals if you don't have a plan. Now is the time to turn your hopes, dreams and thoughts about your future into a written document. Your plan doesn't have to be perfect it will evolve throughout your life. Now is the best time to create your first draft of your plan for your financial future. Click here to make an appointment for a free personal planning analysis.

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Residency &

At this stage of your medical training, you'll have to give your attention to and make smart choices regarding your student loans, risk protection, and financial planning for your future. Here are four financial priorities at this stage of your medical career.

  1. Create a Debt Reduction Strategy
  2. Your first student loan payments come due 6 months after you graduate from medical school. It can cost you thousands of dollars if you do not properly manage your student loans and establish a smart payback strategy while you are in residency. Click here for more information.

  3. Protect your income
  4. It is important to protect your ability to earn an income, and if you're married, you also need to consider how to protect your family. The right kinds and amount of insurance depend on your specialty, and other factors. Click here for more information.

  5. Establish an emergency fund
  6. Having an emergency fund is financial planning 101. Don't look at it as "nice to have" but consider it a necessary financial step. The amount you need in this fund will grow as your income and expenses grow.

    Click here for additional information.

  7. Manage your risk
  8. If you have a family, managing your risks is key for your family's financial security. Creating a will and considering purchasing life insurance are to basic steps to help provide financial protection for your family. Click here for additional information.

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Once you become an attending physician, its easy to forget about your financial plans for the future. Before you even cash your first paycheck, take a few steps to make sure you are making smart financial decisions for the near and long term.

  1. Protect your family
  2. Knowing your family will be able to maintain their lifestyle if something happens to you is a major source of financial security. A high percentage of physicians' children also become physicians, but many do not qualify for financial aid. If you have children, college tuition planning is critical. Click here for more information.

  3. Plan for your financial future
  4. As a doctor, your financial needs are too complex to leave to chance. If you have not already, consider finding a financial professional to help you create a written financial plan. Click here for more information.

  5. Manage the impact of taxes
  6. With tax laws constantly changing, it's important for high income earners to have a plan that includes tax efficient strategies. Click here for more information.

  7. Explore your investment options
  8. Many people try managing their investments on their own, and often make mistakes or regret it later. You have too much at stake - work with a knowledgeable professional who can help you with your entire financial picture, including your debt, risk management, investments, and retirement planning. Click here for more information.

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With retirement on the horizon, choosing the right financial strategy can impact the type of lifestyle you'll enjoy during your "golden years." Strategies that worked during your working may no longer be appropriate. Make the most of the planning you've done and continue to plan ahead.

  1. Address retirement risks
  2. One of the biggest pre-retirement concerns is outliving your income in retirement. Plan ahead to take into account things such as changes in your health or the health of a loved one, inflation, investment fluctuations and other post retirement risks. Click here for more information.

  3. Assemble a retirement plan
  4. A written financial plan is an important step to help securing a comfortable retirement. Create a strategy that takes into account long-term care planning, and implements options for Social Security that are right for you. Click here for more information.

  5. Professionally manage your portfolio
  6. As you approach retirement, you may need to adjust your investment strategy. When you're saving for retirement, stock market volatility may have less of an impact on your overall portfolio than it does when you are taking withdrawals. Work with your financial advisor to make sure you are appropriately diversified.

  7. Plan for estate taxes
  8. Many states impose their own estate tax making this a necessary planning consideration. Naming the proper beneficiaries, guardians and custodians (for minor children), and choosing a personal representative are among the basic steps for creating an estate plan. Meet with an estate planning attorney to create an effective strategy and plan. Click here for more information.

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Once you reach retirement, you'll need a strategy that ensures you are accessing your investments in the most efficient manner. Sometimes, your retirement plan is the last place you want to turn.

  1. Income distribution planning
  2. Without a well-thought out strategy, you can inadvertently trigger excess income taxes as you pull from your retirement savings. Meet with your financial professional to ensure your income distribution plan is implementing the tax efficient strategies that are most appropriate for you and your circumstances. Click here for more information.

  3. Medicare/Medicaid planning
  4. Retirement triggers a need to reevaluate all your insurance needs considering your adjusted cash flows and income goals. Consider the role Medicare supplements can play in your plan which should also address how to pay for unexpected health care costs. Click here for more information.

  5. Leaving a legacy
  6. How do you want to be remembered by younger generations? Do you want to establish a scholarship fund? Do you want to make a significant difference in a favorite charitable organization? Legacy planning can be a cost-effective way to make a dramatic impact beyond your lifetime for the people and organizations you care deeply about. Click here for more information.

Financial Representatives do not give legal or tax advice. Taxpayers should seek advice based on their particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.

Do you have a quick question? Click here to ask Darrin or make an appointment.
1Physicians Nationwide is a group of qualified and experienced Northwestern Mutual Financial Representatives who specialize in serving the unique financial needs of physicians.