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Ten to Watch
Carolyn McClanahan Illustration by Kathryn Rathke

Ten to Watch in 2020: Dr. Carolyn McClanahan

Dr. Carolyn McClanahan is co-founder of Whealthcare Planning and founder of Life Planning Partners.


Dr. Carolyn McClanahan’s mission is to equip every financial advisor with the capability to guide clients through some of the most difficult chapters of aging. 

That’s why she co-founded Whealthcare Planning, a software developer to provide direct-to-advisor digital modules to help guide clients through very personal age-related decisions; for instance: When should a client quit driving? When should a client seek help for health care decision-making? How can you recognize elder fraud or dementia? 

Health care decisions have an outsize impact on a client’s financial life, and mitigating those risks should be part of any conversation with clients around their financial plans. 

Since launching its first software package in 2017, Whealthcare Planning has released a direct-to-consumer version, and most recently announced a capital raise and addition to its Board. The technology company won a 2019 Industry Award for its thought leadership. 

The roots of Dr. McClanahan’s mission go back at least 15 years, when she switched from being an emergency room physician to financial planning. 

“I started seeing all these ways that financial planners could do a better job if they just knew a little bit more about the health care side,” she said. “I started putting together talks for advisors on the intersections of health and finance.” 

The talks morphed into a series of processes for advisors, which eventually grew into their current form, with input from Whealthcare Planning’s other co-founder, Dr. Chris Heye, who holds a Ph.D. from MIT in political science and has a background in economics. The software is targeted toward clients in their 40s to 60s, who are taking care of their own aging parents and are interested in making the process easier for their children. 

In addition to her role at Whealthcare Planning, Dr. McClanahan has her own financial planning firm, Life Planning Partners, and she keeps her medical license active so that she can continue serving as a volunteer physician at a clinic for uninsured individuals. “I love both professions,” she said of her dual responsibilities as doctor and financial planner. “I just feel so fortunate that I’ve been put in this position,” she said. “I can see things that other people can’t see, just because of my exposure to both sides.”


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