Dental Economics: How to Prepare Yourself and Your Dental Practice for Retirement

Dentists have the opportunity to carve out a career path that involves improving the dental health of several patients, earning a great deal of money and running dental practices. The contribution that dentists make in our society makes dentistry one of the top 10 best-paying jobs in the United States. Given the fact that this is a profession that should offer financial stability for those in the industry, it is surprising to know that one of the main concerns for dentists and dental professionals is their retirement savings

Depending on their age and career stage, dentists have different kinds of concerns about retirement savings. For some, it might be a question of how to save, budget and make build their investment portfolio. For others, it might be confusion about the best tax strategies for retirement. For a few, especially during the current 2020 Coronavirus Recession, there may be a pressure to close their dental practice and retire. Regardless of what the question or specific concern might be, it is clear that there is a need for dentists to have a solid financial plan and path towards their retirement savings. 

This is the second article in our dental economics series. Over the course of the series, we will discuss the measures dentists can take to manage their wealth and achieve their financial goals. In the first article of the series, we discussed the ways dentists can navigate ongoing recession. That article recommends studying the times and making key decisions for the future – and this is exactly the kind of mindset that is needed as you plan for your retirement savings. In this article, you will learn some of the steps that you can take to start planning for your retirement now or in the future. 

If you’re reading this article and you’re a dentist who runs a dental practice, you may be considering the nature of your transition from dentistry into retirement. Chances are you may be thinking about selling your dental practice or closing it altogether. Maybe you’re about to step into retirement but you don’t want to have to lose certain aspects of your lifestyle when you retire. This may be possible but there are several things to consider before you retire. 

The first thing is to know is that, if life, health challenges or the current recession isn’t forcing you to retire, you should take your time before you retire. Ideally, you should start planning for your retirement three years before you actually retire. The earlier you start planning, the more prepared you will be when you reach the finish line. By taking your time to properly plan and prepare, you could save yourself so much stress and fully enjoy your retirement. It is okay to have a date in mind but when deciding on the date, you should ensure there is enough time to plan for that date. 

If you don’t already have a transition team, now might be a good time to start looking around you and putting a team together. Your transition team should consist of family members, friends, colleagues and experts who can guide and walk with you in your transition or retirement process. These are people you can talk to about different aspects of your transition away from dentistry. 

You should have a family member or friend with whom you can talk to about the emotional aspects and effects of not being actively involved in dentistry or your dental practice. You should have colleagues in your dental associations, in Canada or the United States, who may already be retired or have transitioned away from dentistry and can share lessons they’ve learnt in the process. 

You should have business, marketing and financial experts who can help you plan and strategize as you sell or close your dental practice. Marketing experts at Connect the Doc will guide you on the steps you need to take to ensure your dental practice is in good marketing conditions. This way, you can increase the chances of having a high valuation for your dental practice when you sell it. Find qualified investment planning advisors who can help you draw out a plan towards your retirement savings. 

When you’ve got good counsel and relationships that can guide you through this process, trust them. Ask them questions and pay attention to the steps they suggest. Trust that your family, friends, colleagues and experts are honest with you. As you do this, find time to do your personal research and ask even more questions when necessary. Between your research, questions and diligence in listening to your transition or retirement team, you will begin to get a better understanding of what your financial goals are for your retirement savings, the steps you can take and the habits you need to avoid or develop to meet those goals. 

Remember, even if you are in the early stages of your dentistry career, it is important to start planning early for your retirement. The reality is that no matter how long or successful your career or dental practice is, you will eventually have to retire. You can retire the right way if you start taking the right steps today. If you have a dental practice, you can start taking the right steps by ensuring your practice is profitable and ready for when you transition away from dentistry.

Contact us today to learn more about the right steps you can start taking today to optimize your dental practice’s marketing operations as you map out your career path and create a solid financial plan towards your retirement.