Never Too Late to Make a Difference

Dr. Diego Mendez – Bakersfield, Calif.

Dr. Diego Mendez & consultant
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Dr. Diego Mendez was happy with a career in pediatrics. That is, until he came face to face with one of the most brutal realities he’d ever seen.

Working in Los Angeles in 1990, he found himself surrounded by innocent people fleeing the cruelty and turmoil in Nicaragua, El Salvador and other Central American countries. These people landed in some of L.A.’s poorest areas.

During their escape, most of the women had been beaten. Now, free from abuse, these women and their children were exposed to chicken pox and measles. Few had access to even the most basic medical care.

“I knew I could make a difference providing medical care to these women,” he says, “so I returned to school to become an obstetrician and gynecologist.”

As he changed his career focus, another aspect of his life became clear.

Dr. Mendez realized that missing in his medical education was an education in financial literacy. He didn’t know how to manage a medical practice, open a clinic, or plan for his family’s future. He was in his 50s. Well into his career. Yet, in some ways, he’d barely begun.

And he knew he wasn’t alone.

“Most of my colleagues are not prepared for the financial aspects of medicine,” he says. “Our focus is on serving people. That singular focus comes at the expense of understanding how to prepare for our own financial security.”

Dr. Mendez is helping care for women and on track to meet his retirement goals.

So Dr. Mendez and Financial Advisor Ethan Aparicio created a plan with the right products to maintain a healthy practice that serves the community – and keeps his family protected.

“It’s harder to get to a secure place when you get a late start,” Dr. Mendez admits. “But you can make it work. It’s never too late to work with an expert, to define your goals – which now seem so much closer than they did when I was younger – and to determine how best to reach those goals. I am proud of the doctor I have become, and the contributions I’ve made. Along the way, I’ve gained the confidence that, while I am taking care of my community, I am also taking care of my family.”

“It’s never too late to work with an expert, to define your goals.”

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