Dr. Thomas and Tamma Kennedy
Thomas Michael Kennedy, DDS
Four Quadrants partnered with Dr. Tom Kennedy to effectively restructure and merge accounts, significantly reducing his overhead costs and accurately forecasting his tax obligations. This strategic collaboration eliminated the need for him to accumulate excessive cash or resort to taking out loans to settle IRS payments. Consequently, his cash flow was liberated, continuously bolstering his retirement savings accounts.
It’s a solo practice. You could describe it as a boutique practice, but I think what we try to do is emphasize the quality of care versus the volume of procedures as our business model. I guess the boutique solo practice label fits the best.
As the age was creeping up, and having handled things on my own for a long time, I got to the point where I really needed to do something (about retirement.) I was looking at the retirement account numbers and came to the realization that the original model my generation assumed — that you just sell your practice and retire on that — the reality is that doesn’t really work it more. Four Quadrants came to a dental society meeting and the more they talked about issues, the more I said to myself, ‘That sounds like something I really need.’ I need somebody to guide me in all aspects of planning for retirement. I knew I needed to do something I just didn’t know what it was.
“Shepherding,” I think is the word you can use. We needed someone to help us, to guide us through to a better retirement.
It was just becoming the ‘same old - same old.’ We were getting paychecks every week, but our retirement accounts weren’t growing much. In this first year working with Four Quadrants, it’s just been phenomenal what they have saved for us just by restructuring everything. We had no clue what we could or could not do or how we could restructure the practice. It’s just been amazing.
For someone my age I would say saving for retirement can be done later in the game, like me. Don’t be afraid like I was, wondering if I had late waited too late. I wondered if I would have to go to work for corporate dentistry until I’m 80? Saving for retirement no matter how late you start actually can be done.
Our only regret is we didn’t work with you ten years before.
For someone just starting out, and whether to work with Four Quadrants on their retirement or not? I just say ‘Jump on it.’ Retirement seems so far away, something that you say ‘I’ll get to it soon enough,’ but it comes sooner than you think. There’s always going to be something that comes along to take away from your savings strategy if you try to do it on your own.
Yes, weddings, college or something.
If you put a structure in place early, you are just that much more ahead of the game.
I was somewhat skeptical at first, but my questions have been answered. One of the takeaways from the annual meeting we had with the staff is that the future is a lot clearer this time than last year. We looked at a lot of strategies, but I wasn’t really clear on how it would all end up; how it would go. Now that we’re a year out, I see how the strategy makes sense, and how things are going to proceed.
We feel so much more secure now than we did a year ago.
I think just the direction that they’ve given us. I’m willing to make changes; I just need to know which direction I need to go and then run with it. I feel like we are heading in the right direction. If you tell me to run this way, okay fine, I can run, I just need someone who’s been there before to point in our direction. That’s what I was seeking, and that’s what I found with Four Quadrants.
And for us, when you think about your practice, our emotions are involved with it. But Four Quadrants has an outside perspective that is knowledgeable but not emotionally attached as we are. So they can more easily see what we need to do and tell us.
Four Quadrants has really helped on our taxes. The tax savings has been tremendous.
I’d agree, taxes have always been a challenge. Each year we wonder what kind of hit we’re going to take. Are we going to have to take out a loan? There’s so much uncertainty. Now that is pretty much under control; we don’t really fear any surprises with taxes anymore. I know they’re going to take a little bit away from here and put towards there and it’ll be nice and smooth. As far as a peace of mind and stress reducer, having certainty with our taxes has been really important. It was a nice surprise not having a surprise. Honestly, one of my anxieties was that Four Quadrants was going to change all of these things and I worried that all those changes would add to my stress level too. But it’s gone the opposite direction; all these changes have reduced my stress and anxiety a lot. Before I didn’t know what the tax bill was going to be; you could try to guess. I could go on my computer and try to see if I was going to owe more or less, but I was always wrong (laughs). It’s so nice to have that predictability with taxes now because I really tried my best to predict what would happen and just couldn’t do it.
Four Quadrants has cut overhead too.
Yes. When (Four Quadrants staff) told me what my overhead was and what we got it down to, it was a lot higher than I thought it was when I started working with them. Four Quadrants wanted to get me down to certain level and I said “Right.” I wasn’t sure I believed them. But sure enough, we did drop it dramatically, and that was a nice surprise.
Our first year has been positive. I’ve been feeling more motivated now after I’ve seen what’s happened in the first year.