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Retirement Difficult For Majority of Dentists

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According to the article from DentistryIQ, dentists struggle to retire and maintain their lifestyle because they are ?at the chair? while working in their practice, meaning that the dental clinicians wear multiple hats, which ultimately affects their long term goals.

?As a breed, dentists lead a life of control. Dentists are the ones in charge of the practice, seeing virtually every patient, or at least overseeing what happens in each operatory. Dentists spend a great deal of time at the chair being dentists, and for the most part, production depends on them. Many dentists tend to be "at the chair" working on the wrong things. This means dentists doing their own payroll, or accounting, handling their own HR, or keeping their own books. They are ?at the chair,? but it?s the wrong one!?

How can dentists continue on in their practice while still retiring comfortably? Below are some steps from the article to help aid in the process.

1. Invest in your staff?I don't mean giving raises or bonuses, although that could be a part of a future incentive program. I mean have a professional conduct personality profiles and strength/weakness tests on each staff member. That professional can then assist in placing the current staff in positions that match their strengths and weaknesses and address interpersonal issues.

2. After implementing some changes, it might make sense to offer performance and production-based bonuses?Profit sharing can be a strong motivator. Along with the incentives, it might make sense to also have very clearly defined key-performance indicators that must be met to receive the profit sharing. For example, staff could earn an extra paid day off for hitting certain production goals.

3. Be proactive in building your team of advisors?Take 1 day a quarter to touch base with your CPA, financial planner, and attorney. This will keep financial plans top of mind. If you do not currently have this team in place, then get referrals from other well-respected dentists in your area. You will be much happier and successful by choosing your advisors as opposed to having them chosen for you.

4. Make some time for you and your family?Book personal and family time just like you book a CE meeting or a day of surgery. The frequency and time are up to you, but this time is sacred. Besides, with that well-trained staff keeping your schedule full, you won't mind taking a day just for you.

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