Retirement for Dentists. Time to Contemplate…


Retirement for Dentists. Time to Contemplate…

I recently returned for a delightful long week of unplugged (mostly) vacation in two of my favorite places: Savannah, GA and Amelia Island, FL. I can’t recommend both spots enough. Reach out for recommendations. I’ve got plenty. 😊

As I was on vacation, it made me think about the financial planning work we do on one of the most important financial goals: retirement. Most of us will live as long, if not longer, in retirement than we did in our working years. That’s part of the reason I’m not keen on the word retirement and prefer words like “next phase”, “financial freedom” among others. (for the sake of being concise I will be using the word retirement here). We have retired clients who are now consulting, writing novels, started hiking clubs, volunteering full time and exploring new careers. Notice how I didn’t mention travelling. Travelling is something most of my retired clients do. But at some point you need other things to keep you occupied.

Top important steps to have a great “retirement” are:

  1. Financial security: Initial step is to make maximum contributions to your retirement plan as early in your career as possible. Details here and invest in diversified portfolios. We are fans of target date funds. Especially these. It’s also important that your net worth be diversified. It should include stocks, bonds, business interest(s) and real estate.
  2. Have hobbies, friends and activities to keep you engaged: Harvard University did a study on longevity and found that the #1 predictor of a long life is the quality of people’s relationships. We have actually recommended to financially ready dentists that they delay their retirement and work on these connections. Yes, we go that deep with our clients. Wall Street Journal did an article on this topic. If you’d like a copy, we would be happy to share it. Send us an email.
  3. Be prepared for the unexpected: We have found that 50% of our clients make the decision to retire based on a recent event. It’s included a health issue, family needs and practice burn out. Take care of numbers 1 and 2 so you can be ready. Part of our planning includes estate planning. Be sure to have your legal documents outlining your wishes in life and death up to date.

Are the wheels turning? Reach out and let us help you review your existing plan or building one with you.

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