Creating a Plan for a Family’s Future

The Thompsons were two physicians in their mid-30s with two children, one who suffered from some mental disorders. They believed their youngest would attend college, and wanted to plan for their oldest to live with them into their adult life. After accumulating significant student loans from medical school and recognizing the pressures of saving for college and retirement, they could not find a way to save money. Between their careers and raising a family, they had put off the task of figuring out a financial plan.

Our Approach

  • Step 1

    We discussed their personal and financial goals and their situation. After a review of their cash flow, it was clear they needed to track their monthly expenses, so we provided resources to help track their budget.

  • Step 2

    We reviewed their monthly inflows and outflows and found areas that could be adjusted to begin a systematic savings plan. We placed greater emphasis on building an emergency fund and saving for retirement since there are many different options to explore for financing college.

  • Step 3

    Because the interest rates on their student loans were low, we agreed that they should continue making their regular payments.

  • Step 4

    After a thorough review of their cash flow, we dove into their investments and found that they each have a retirement plan at work that offered a matching contribution.

  • Step 5

    We discussed the importance of implementing various estate planning documents, particularly a will and a special needs trust for their oldest child. These documents would lay out their wishes after their deaths and help ensure that both of their children would be taken care of.

The Solution

  • We implemented a plan with the action items mentioned above and included a cash flow analysis, investment analysis, budgeting plan, education savings and options planning, and retirement planning.
  • We defined how much they should save each month toward an emergency fund until the agreed-upon amount was reached.
  • We encouraged both of the Thompsons to contribute the maximum to their workplace retirement plans, or at least up to the amount that they would receive a full match.
  • We arranged a meeting with an attorney to establish a will and a special needs trust.


  • They implemented their plan and we continued to meet with them throughout the years to monitor their progress and make adjustments along the way.
  • Since both their retirement plans would be funded with pre-tax dollars, this would help enhance their present tax situation by lowering their taxable income.
  • They felt comfortable that their goals were being met and trusted us to continue developing their plan for their ongoing needs.
Two people in blankets laughing outside

The preceding case study is for illustrative purposes only and may not be representative of the experience of other clients. Actual performance and results will vary. This case study does not constitute a recommendation as to the suitability of any investment for any person or persons having circumstances similar to those portrayed, and a financial advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation.