Financial Planning for Physician Moms- Part 2

Raising a family while working as a physician can require a great deal of juggling both at home and at work. Financial concerns can make things stressful and take the joy out of what should be a happy time in life. Financial planning is especially critical for physician moms who want day-to-day organization, long-term financial security, and peace of mind. With the right strategies in place, physician moms can achieve financial success for themselves and their family. Below, we outline key considerations and actionable steps for busy working moms to effectively plan their finances. 

The first step in financial planning for physician moms is to identify their financial goals. These goals may include budgeting, saving for retirement, funding children’s education, paying off debt, purchasing a home, and/or starting a business. By clearly defining their objectives, physician moms can tailor their financial plan to meet their needs and aspirations. 

If you’re a female physician who is raising a family, it’s important to start planning early. There are many financial matters you’ll need to consider, including lost or reduced income, increased health insurance costs, and childcare needs. Managing work/life balance, saving for college and retirement, and putting additional child-related expenses into your budget (such as after-school or summer break childcare) become paramount.

In the first installment of a two-part series, we discussed planning for a physician mother-to-be. In this second installment, we’ll discuss planning considerations for a physician mother who has young children.


We’re happy to answer any questions you have about our firm and our processes. Here are answers to some of the questions we receive most frequently.

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Being Doctor Mom (with Young Children)

If you are reading this article as a female physician with young children, you have a different set of financial concerns and goals than other physicians. First of all, high five: you’re amazing! Setting and prioritizing your goals can help you make wise decisions about how to allocate your limited resources among various competing needs and wants. By knowing what is most important to you, you will be able to decide where you are willing to make sacrifices and how to align your resources with your goals. Oftentimes, this may mean choosing between a roomier home, a private K-12 education and saving more for college.

Most financial plans include advice about creating a budget for your income and outflow. Physician moms are no different! We suggest that you build a balanced budget that includes:

  • Child-related expenses (such as after-school and summer break childcare, extra-curricular activities, birthday parties and trips to visit family).
  • Self-care: This does not simply mean a gym membership or regular massages. It also means outsourcing stressful, time-consuming tasks such as grocery shopping, house cleaning, and driving your children to extracurricular activities.
  • Saving for retirement: Save as much as you can as early as you can. Given the late start most physicians have, it’s often advisable to save 25-35% of your income towards retirement. For detailed information, read The Best Retirement Savings Options for Physicians in the San Diego Area
  • Saving for college:  We recommend setting up a 529 plan as soon as the baby is born. Start saving an amount you can afford into the account each month. For additional information, read our related article: Financial Considerations for Having Kids Later in Life


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Other Factors to Consider

Besides budgeting, you would also want to consider the following:

  1. Managing work/life balance: This is a tough one, especially for physician moms. When building your career, think long-term and determine if you want the option to work part-time or on your own terms sometime in the future. If so, intentionally work towards a position that allows for such flexibility. Secondly, determine what it takes financially to make that transition. Oftentimes, it’s a combination of saving aggressively, living below your means while working full time, and reducing costs after the transition.
  2. Setting up a basic estate plan: At the minimum, you’ll need a Will to name your child’s guardian should you pass. If you have the time and resources, we recommend that you visit an estate planning attorney to put together a personalized estate plan, which typically includes a revocable trust, wills, financial durable power of attorneys, and advanced health care directives. This often becomes a non-urgent to-do item after the baby is born, so take care of it early and re-visit the documents regularly to make sure your intentions are still accurately represented.
  3. Consider joining local mommy groups: They can be a source for new, used and sometimes free baby items. The other moms can also provide friendship and support during this exciting and sometimes anxious time.

Financial planning is a critical component of success for physician moms. By establishing clear objectives, creating a budget, researching leave options, protecting assets and income with insurance, and thinking about future costs, physician moms can navigate the complexities of financial planning with confidence and achieve long-term financial security for themselves and their families.

At Blankinship & Foster, we help busy physicians bring clarity, confidence, and direction to their personal finances. Contact us to learn more about how we can partner with you and take actionable steps toward achieving your personal definition of success.

Disclosure: The opinions expressed within this blog post are as of the date of publication and are provided for informational purposes only. Content will not be updated after publication and should not be considered current after the publication date. All opinions are subject to change without notice, and due to changes in the market or economic conditions may not necessarily come to pass. Nothing contained herein should be construed as a comprehensive statement of the matters discussed, considered investment, financial, legal, or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy or sell any securities, and no investment decision should be made based solely on any information provided herein. Links to third party content are included for convenience only, we do not endorse, sponsor, or recommend any of the third parties or their websites and do not guarantee the adequacy of information contained within their websites.

About Monica Ma

Monica Ma, CFP®, CFA® is an advisor and the chair of the Investment Committee at Blankinship & Foster LLC. She helps clients build sound investment portfolios and develop strategic plans to reach their goals. Since Monica is passionate about sharing her knowledge with women and retirees, she co-leads the firm's Wise Women and Living Wisely Educational Series. Monica is a member of the International Community Foundation's Investment and Finance Committee. She has been living in San Diego since 2008 and enjoys travelling and cooking with her family.

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