The Profession of Retirement from Dentistry

This is a guest post from one our earliest dental clients.
It seems to me there are a lot of things about retiring from
dentistry that need to be addressed. 
Having been in retirement for 2 years following 50 years of active
practice in the specialty of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the lesson to be
learned is that one must study, prepare, and understand the “profession of
retirement.”  Just as we studied
hard and long for our dental career, so should we prepare for this phase so
that our natural desire to be helpful, caring, loving, meticulous, generous,
exacting, tolerant and all things that combine to make us good practitioners,
should be evident when we no longer take that journey to the office every day.
The first obvious preparation for retirement is
financial.  Those of us who were
fortunate enough or wise enough to have good advisers probably feel quite smug
about our situation at the end of our career. 
However, this is not an end, but the beginning of a new journey and in
most cases, it is an unknown
journey.  The use of time, the discipline
of daily planning, the desire to contribute are but a few of the areas of
preparation that need to be addressed and to be learned.  The financial issue is so important.  To that end, I would advise every student,
young practitioner and even the mature doctor to make it mandatory to
contribute to their retirement fund. It is essential that they have the best
advisers that are available and willingly compensate them for their time and
talent just as we were compensated for ours. 
This begins with an attitude first. 
Then the accountant can bring together the people necessary to reach the
goals, needs, and wants that you are seeking. It is never too late to begin
this phase of the journey.  What are the
financial goals, what are the needs (health, insurance, family obligations)
etc. that are required to give you financial stability in retirement.   If this sounds like a team effort, you are
correct.  Just as we had a team in place
(front desk, treatment coordinator, chair side assistant, RN, etc.) so do you
need the team for retirement.  That might
just be a coined phrase – The Team For Retirement. 
This begins with the accountant and extends to the banker,
insurance broker, investment adviser along with other specialists as necessary
in a given situation.  Then a goal is
made, an end-point established and success for financial security become a
reality.  It only happens with a plan and
the plan must start with mandatory investment while earning power is
there.  It can even start with the senior
practitioner if he was not wise enough to begin in “embryo.”  The first step is always the hardest, but it
is the beginning to that new journey called retirement.
More mistakes made and lessons learned next time.
Dr. Donald B. Lurie, DDS
phone:  717-235-0764

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