Dr. Todd and Beth Christy
Berrien Springs, MI
During their annual client visit to our offices, Todd and Beth graciously shared their remarkable journey of success with us over the past seven years as valued clients at Berrien Dental in Berrien Springs, MI.
Ours was a referral from a good friend. We hadn’t really done any planning for the long-term, and he said he trusts (Four Quadrants). He said “I want you to talk to them. That’s all you need to do, just do me that favor.” And we just were impressed with what we saw back then.
Well, I mean we really didn’t have a plan for our retirement for our kids’ school for things like that, and we just knew that things were coming up, and we needed to have a plan
We always have our end–of–the–year–review, where they always list off all of the awesome things - in a great kind of a review for a year.
It’s having that trusted advisor that is, there’s not emotion to it. It’s taking the emotion out of it, so we don’t get stressed out about the practice, or try not to. It’s knowing that this is going to be reviewed thoroughly and that we’re working all together from a couple of different perspectives. We look at it as acquiring over the years three practices, a new location, a new office with that last one. Making the movements so not just going out on a limb and doing it. It’s (Four Quadrants) saying “Here is what we need to look at, we want to look at this, what do you think?” And they always say “No” to certain projects because it was not going to work out right away. Having that forecasting because I’m busy doing dentistry and I don’t have the wherewithal to do that. I don’t have an MBA, but I have great people to work with like Four Quadrants to get us right through it.
Four Quadrants asks the right questions too. Like today, they were just here asking Todd “What are your goals?” “What do you want to do?” And in a way that we would never ask ourselves because we don’t know, what we don’t know.
Him working, I mean, dentistry is a physically demanding profession, and it’s something you just can’t do forever.
We’ve already had friends of mine who have had to retire from practice in their 30s and in their 40s because of physical problems. You see that happen, and you want to make sure you protect yourself and protect your family, most importantly. And so from where we started at seven years ago, to where we are now, we’re protected, and that’s the good part of it. We’re talking back problems, neck problems. You know we lost a number of good friends that have had to retire from the dentistry profession because of physical problems. They’re out of dentistry, and that’s what their passion was.
The first year here was not a regular year, they would note, we’ve all admitted to that. You know we made a distinct change within one week, and it wasn’t based on our conversations with Four Quadrants. We had to make a change with an associate who is no longer with the practice. And so that first year was a recovery year for us to get ready and a year later is when we brought our associate in who has now been my partner for the last five. I was treading water that first year because I knew that the team here had our back and was helping in getting things going.
Well Four Quadrants is focusing on cutting down overhead just things like that moving forward.
Moving forward with intention. If you have a three or four-year plan so, then you’re looking at 2019 and 2029, but also what’s the next two years going to look like? Because things will change. They look at where the market is then, and what the practice is doing. What are we wanting to do differently? And so there is some fluid nature to it, but it’s based on what our wants and needs and goals are. That’s like what we do for our patients, asking what their goals are. Four Quadrant says “Alright, where do you really want to get to, and how can we structure it so we can get to that point?”
It’s going through, making sure that we’re getting an opinion based on return on investment. We need to make up certain things. There are a couple of things that need to be replaced, but really going through and saying, you know what? Let’s hold back a little bit and look at the long-term goal. Sometimes the short-term gain is great, but will this decision be effective for that long-term goal? Both for my partner, and for myself, and for our family, we know what a terrific opportunity we’ve been given to do what we do as a dentist, plus make sure we have that 2029 goal. 2016 was a great year for us. 2029 is the date we’ve targeted to retire. You know what? It’s a number that’s out there but even the 2020 goal, our oldest will be going to college in 2020. We were joking around here, that when we first met (with Four Quadrants) seven years ago, our boys were sitting in the next room, you know, watching a show and playing Legos. Now they’re not doing that in the next room, they’re in seventh and eighth grade and getting ready to go to high school. So that’s a part when we look back, and when you look seven years later, and I look at the results in the numbers, and it’s been terrific. Having an advisor, having someone like that to help to help us get to it we never would’ve done it on our own. There’s no way we could have. In for what we got working with Four Quadrants here to help us here to help us through.
When you see these charts like in 2029 you’re going to have this many dollars to retire on and that does seem very unbelievable because it’s so far away.
That’s the part, there is no way I have the mechanics for doing those kind of numbers. When is the right investment ones right time to sell wins the right time to put on a 401(k)? I don’t know those things, there’s been no part of it where I looked back where I said that was not a good idea. And you know there are times with our patients where we ask them, “You have to trust us in what we’re doing,” and that’s what we have with Four Quadrants. They’ve done it, and it’s been the right decision each time, and that’s the truth. With our friends and the folks that we know we’ve referred to Four Quadrants, when they made the choice to go with Four Quadrants they’ve been really happy with it.
It’s been mind-blowing looking at this relationship from the start. Because when we come back from this meeting every year I go through, and I pull out the first year, we have a binder, and we look at it. We go through all the notes and we look at the roadmap for the year and we look back and compare it from beginning to current you go “Wow! We had $20,000 in savings back then and now we have substantially more based on the hard work that’s been done. And our lifestyle has been terrific. And our kids are enjoying it and so are we.