As a group, dentists are some of the most highly paid professionals in the country. The median salary of $151,440 (as of May 2017) puts dentists firmly among the top earners in the United States.
However, for the most part dentists’ salaries are based on the wages of the great mass of wage earners. If we put dentists among the top 15 percent in terms of income, that income is generated by the bottom 85 percent. Those lower-tier incomes are the hardest hit in an economic downturn.
The verdict of history is clear: every long-term economic expansion is followed by a contraction. Currently, the United States is in the longest expansion in its history. It’s not a question of whether the current growth trend will reverse itself. The only unknowns are are when it will start and how deep it will go.
There’s a growing consensus that the stock markets are overvalued. That would be reason enough to be concerned, but the incredible student loan debt – estimated at some $1.5 trillion – is of equal if not greater concern. Widespread default on those loans leaves the Federal government responsible for repayment.
With the U.S. already experiencing a burgeoning deficit and national debt, lenders in that scenario will wait for their money, and wait, and wait. The deficit balloons even further adding to the overall economic woes. Dentists will feel the pain as more and more people are unemployed and unable to afford even basic dental care.
In the Great Recession that began in 2008, dentists’ incomes took an average hit of about 7 percent. Financial controls were put in place to avoid the kind of meltdown that made recovery so difficult and so long. However, not all of those controls were implemented and others have been seriously watered down.
What would you do if your income decreased by 1o, 15, or even 2o percent?
Even Recessions Play Favorites
There’s a significant segment of almost every market that will continue to do reasonably well even in a recession. Even though higher earners may have to curtail some spending, they won’t need to seek out discount dentists for their care.
The best hedge against the coming downturn is to fill your practice now with those better patients. You won’t accomplish that with price-based marketing, particularly when the economy is strong like it is now.
SmartBox will make that happen for you. Our industry-leading Patient Attraction System® helps more than 550 dentists on three continents work less, earn more, and enjoy life again. They enjoy far higher average case value than the typical dentist as well as intense patient loyalty.
The Time Is Now
Don’t wait until things go smash to secure your future. Schedule a free, no-obligation Roadmap call. Invest about the amount of time it takes you to place a single crown or an implant to discover what’s possible for your practice.
Following the call, we’ll send your customized Roadmap to serve a guide to your practice’s future. Use it however you like. There’s no obligation of any kind.
The next downturn is coming. We’ll all hope that it won’t be nearly as bad as the Great Recession – but smart dentists will prepare their practices for whatever comes.