Determining Needs and Goals: Set Non-Traditional Goals for Your Dental Practice

“I always thought that facing retirement would be easier.”

This was a really insightful, honest response from a Townie in a discussion thread about encore careers. This post isn’t about setting typical dental practice goals, like year-over-year growth, new patients, or profit margins. Instead, this post is about setting goals for your transition to retirement.

Retirement can mean:

  • You’re in your 60s and anticipating a full retirement from dentistry.
  • You’re in your 40s and want to pursue another career.
  • You’re any age and want options besides a full-time dental practice.

Setting goals for your retirement is different than setting goals for your business. Instead of numeric results, the end point you’re seeking is your own happiness and fulfillment. Quotes are from this thread on Dentaltown.


“I really do not think most people are hard-wired to do the same thing for 25-30 years; We crave different, we crave what we don’t know.”


  • Implement a new technology in your practice that will expand your knowledge and increase earning potential over time.
  • Attend more and different continuing education sessions to learn about a different aspect of dentistry.


“For me, it’s all about balance.” 


  • Hire an associate and work part-time.
  • Transition the practice and work two to three days a week.
  • Find a source of passive income and work in the practice less.


“I don’t want to wait to enjoy life until I’m at ‘retirement age.’”


  • Start pursuing hobbies now.
  • Make a bucket list.
  • Get disability insurance (no, really; it’s important!)

And a final piece of advice from a wise dentist:

“A final word to the young guys… make sure you have good disability insurance. Practice hard. Save money like you had to retire when you’re 50 and enjoy the ride if you get to , or want to go longer. Either way, don’t let dentistry be your identity.”

Would you add another retirement and transition goal? Contact N/L Transitions to share your perspective, or tell us in on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.