Why Dentists’ Retirement Plans Are in Danger

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Patient Attraction Episode 1089

Did you know the failure rate of dental practices is only about 2 percent? That’s reassuring, until you stop to think that there are many ways to fail. True, the economy seems to be booming right now, so failure may not be on your radar. But there’s a very real possibility that many dentists won’t be able to sell their practices for what they need to fund their retirements. You might be one of them. Stay tuned – after the break, I’ll tell why dentists’ retirement plans are threatened and what you can do about yours.

– Thanks for watching the Patient Attraction Podcast™.

– I’m Colin Receveur, CEO of SmartBox.

– There’s an old saying that the past is prologue.

– And the fairly recent past was a huge recession that depressed dentists’ incomes for 7 years.

– It was only in 2015 that dentists’ incomes stabilized, but that’s not the same thing as increasing.

– You’ll recall that quite a few dentists found their retirement plans put on hold by the Great Recession.

– The value of their practices plummeted, and they couldn’t get the price or the terms they needed to retire as they’d planned.

– You might think that the Great Recession can’t happen again, and you might be right.

– But economic downturns don’t hit every industry equally.

– Right now, the profession of dentistry is unusually vulnerable to another recession.

– And a wide array of economists are warning that we’re overdue for the next.

– Why are dentists particularly vulnerable right now?

– Because there are 3 major forces in play now that weren’t nearly as powerful prior to the Great Recession.

– Those 3 forces are corporate dentistry, new dental school graduates, and declining insurance reimbursements.

– Let me clear – those forces existed prior to 2008, but 9 years later they’ve gotten stronger and more interconnected.

– There are far more corporate dental practices than there were 9 years ago.

– Those practices offer a haven for an increasing number of debt-laden new dental school graduates.

– The corporate chains are luring them through debt-repayment offers and sign-on bonuses.

– Once those graduates have paid down or paid off their debts, they’ll still represent increased competition.

– Some will continue to work for a chain practice, while others will open new corporate practices.

– Some graduates will go to work for large group practices, and the last will open their own private practices.

– Any way you look at it, the private dentist is facing steadily increasing competition for the foreseeable future.

– And this is happening at the same time that dental insurance companies are cutting reimbursements like never before.

– With more of the payment burden shifted to patients, they’ll seek out the lowest-cost provider.

– A race to the bottom on price seems inevitable, and corporate and large group practices are the best positioned to win that race.

– Those 3 forces are more strongly in play now than at any time in the past.

– But the impact of the recession of 2008 to 2010 hasn’t faded for most people.

– At the first sign of economic trouble, many individuals and families will begin to hoard money.

– They’ll be concerned about the possibility of loss of income – again.

– So they’ll defer or even cancel needed care.

– We’re already hearing reports that the number of canceled appointments are increasing.

– Add economic uncertainty to the mix of corporate dentistry, new dental school graduates, and declining reimbursements, and dentists are facing the perfect storm.

– No matter how close or far away your retirement may be, you’re looking at having to change your plans.

– Just like all those dentists during the Great Recession.

– This is the short version of what you’re facing, but I’ve written the long version.

– My new book, “The Four Horsemen of Dentistry: Survival Strategies for the Private Dental Practice Under Siege,” examines the problems in depth.

– More importantly, it tells you what to do to prepare your practice for what’s coming.

– I feel so strongly about warning dentists that I’m giving the book away for just 2 bucks.

– Get your copy by going to PracticeUnderSiege.com.

– You’ll learn how you can keep your retirement on track no matter what the Four Horsemen do.

– Join me for our next podcast.

– And as always, keep moving forward.