Picture this scenario – you are standing in line at a private event, and you begin to talk with the person next to you. As a dentist, what is one of the first things you notice about that person? It is their smile, right? And I am sure that there are times when you see someone with a less than perfect smile, that you say to yourself "If only they knew what I could do for them. If only they knew how I could change their lives.”
Nearly every dental professional is faced at some point with making smart financial decisions. It is my hope we will simplify and improve your life by inspiring you to implement financial strategies based upon those things that are most important to you.
Specifically, we will:
- Help you avoid costly mistakes that may prevent you from achieving your personal and financial goals in the timeframe you are hoping for.
- Assist you in maximizing your wealth potential, by making smart choices with your money, regardless of where you stand financially at this moment.
Through my work with dental professionals in Vancouver and across British Columbia, I have found that most wind up reacting to events (and salespeople) instead of proactively designing a financial plan and then implementing the plan.
Has this ever happened to you?
You have a new patient who comes in for an initial exam – let us call her Amanda. As you prepare to complete a comprehensive exam, which includes an evaluation of Amanda’s teeth and gum tissue and x-rays, you notice Amanda has a broken tooth which requires immediate attention, and as you finish explaining the protocol for a crown, she responds with, “Can’t you just fill the tooth?” You explain why it is important to have a crown vs a filling, that she would be better off overall. Her response this time is “I think I’ll just have a filling for now; maybe we can do a crown later if the filling doesn’t work.” After getting a filling, she leaves happy, relieved she did not need a crown.
Two years later, Amanda returns to your office, experiencing pain and discomfort in that previously filled tooth. Of course, she is upset that she is back in your office. A further evaluation shows that in addition to a crown, she will now need to see an endodontist for a root canal. When she leaves this time, she is not so happy. In fact, she is upset with you, because in her mind you should have done the job right in the first place.
The ideal patient
The ideal patients for most dentists are those who come in and allow the dentist to design a comprehensive treatment plan and then implement the plan accordingly. In our example, Amanda would not be considered an ideal patient. However, the fact is most dental professionals act very much the same way with their finances as Amanda does with her teeth. Too many dental professionals are on the lookout for the fastest and cheapest way to solve a financial issue. The truth is as dental professionals they would be much better off if they would simply design a financial plan and implement it in a systematic fashion.
Designing and implementing the financial treatment plan
Dental professionals tend to be no different than anyone else when dealing with their finances. I am focusing on dental professionals because I have worked in the field for many years, and I understand the unique challenges within the dental profession. Before we get started though, I think you should know a few things. First, we follow a planning process. It is not about picking the best stocks for your investment portfolio. It is not about how you beat the system with convoluted tax schemes. Our work together is not intended to teach you everything you need to know about financial planning so that you can “do it yourself.” Working collaboratively with your allied professionals, it is, however, designed to help you make smart financial decisions in several key areas that every dental professional is faced with at some point in their careers.
What is a Comprehensive Financial Plan?
Here is my definition: a comprehensive plan is a systematic approach toward integrating all aspects of a person’s financial life for the purpose of improving their financial well-being – today and in the future. It includes the accumulation, use and distribution of wealth establishing written goals that are compatible with your core values. Documenting your written financial plan is critical, including goals, implementation, and systematic reviews to maximize the likelihood of achieving your prioritized financial goals, looking at cash management, debt management, insurance (life, health, disability, business overhead), income taxes, business structure, asset accumulation, investment analysis, and estate planning considerations.
My team and I are devoted to helping you implement and continue the process of good financial hygiene. Regardless of where you are right now, whether you are just getting started in practice as an employee, are starting your own practice, have been in practice for several years, or are looking at retirement, your planning process will help you identify the things that are the most important to you – those things you value most, streamlining your financial life, avoiding costly financial mistakes.
We’d love to discuss your complex needs and how we can offer a great solution.