December 28, 2012
Dental management consultants are noticing that dentists are practicing longer. While this could mean that many enjoy their jobs, it likely means that many are just unprepared for retirement, according to surveys taken in 2011 by members of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants.
Debra Seidel-Bittke, dental consultant and president of Dental Practice Solutions, agrees. She says that at least 60% of her clients are hurting financially. “Some are younger than 50 years old and have to dig into their retirement,” she affirmed.
As of 2011, most of the clients of ADMC members – dentists who are actively seeking guidance on practice management and financial planning – had been practicing for 11-25 years (73.3%), while only a quarter of clients were in their first 10 years of practice (23.3%). Those practicing for more than 25 years comprised only 3.3% of consultant’s clients.
Graph from the 2011-2012 Practice Management Review, presented by the ADMC
While these dentists might need the most immediate help with retirement planning (especially after realizing that they didn’t prepare), it’s the dentists in their first years of practice that can benefit the most from a consultant’s guidance on planning for retirement, and yet most of them (91.5%) are not believed to be saving enough money for the future.
But according to a press release issued by The Wealthy Dentist titled “Retirement for Dentists: These Days, It’s Totally Optional!”the reason dentists are working longer is just for the fun of it. 68% said they would keep working, at least part-time, to keep themselves busy, while 19% said that, while they would love to spend more time on personal hobbies and trips around the world, they weren’t financially prepared to stop working. A mere 13% of dentists said that they were planning a traditional retirement.