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Why Do Dentists Wait to Retire Later in Life?

May 17, 2021
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For those that own their own dental practice, retirement might be the ultimate daydream. If you can’t wait to be living on your schedule, golfing at off-peak times, and enjoying yourself on any day of the week, you aren’t alone—but for many dentists, this fantasy does not become a reality until much later in life.


The average retirement age for a non-dentist is around 63 years. For dentists, however, the previous average was 67, and the most recent survey done by the American Dental Association puts it at 69. Many dentists are working long past their target retirement age for a variety of factors, which we will look at below.

Reasons Why Dentists Wait Longer to Retire

They Haven’t Stuck to a Savings Schedule

Over half of Americans are behind on their retirement savings, and dentists are certainly no exception. Though dentists (and especially practice owners) do make a good salary, as lifestyle expectations rise alongside a paycheck, a higher salary often doesn’t translate to extra savings in a retirement fund. Many dentists realize they are quickly approaching retirement age without having strengthened their strategy enough to retire at their targeted time.


They Haven’t Gotten Smart About Taxes

Dentists are fortunate to make a healthy salary every year, but if they are not being smart about their taxes, many of that money is gone before they even get to use it. For anyone with a high income, working with a financial advisor to save on taxes and invest in a smart way can be a fantastic method to get more money from each paycheck into your retirement accounts.


They Haven’t Planned to Transition Their Practice

Being able to walk away from your dental practice for the last time is a bittersweet moment, which is why many practice owners put off thinking about it entirely. Selling a dental practice is much more involved than selling a home, and even an internal transfer is not without complications. As with any big decision, planning ahead is one of the best things dentists can do to ensure they are ready to start enjoying the retired life as soon as they’re ready.


Are you a dentist hoping to retire on schedule? We can help! Contact us today to learn more about our savings strategies, tax break knowledge, and business transition assistance.