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EPISODE 154: Why is the Average Retirement Age for Dentists Higher than the Rest of America?

Casey and Jarrod discuss a very interesting factoid about how the average age for retirement for a dentist is 69 while the average retirement age for the rest of America is 62.5.

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EPISODE 154 TRANSCRIPTION

Announcer:
Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Millionaire Dentist Podcast, brought to you by Four Quadrants Advisory. On this podcast, we break down the world of dentistry finances, and business practices, to help you become the millionaire dentist you deserve to be. Please be advised, we do speak with an honest tongue, and may not be safe for work.

Casey Hiers:
Hello and welcome. This is Casey Hiers, back at the Millionaire Dentist Podcast, in studio with co-host, Jarrod Bridgeman.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Hey, Casey, how are you?

Casey Hiers:
I'm good. I need some intro music, man.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Oh... Nah, it's not right. I got nothing for you buddy. I'm not a musician anymore.

Casey Hiers:
You're just... I know, we got a client in from Florida and we're-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah.

Casey Hiers:
... Looking dapper and it just feels like we need a...

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah, some kind of-

Casey Hiers:
Need some kick ass-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
... Songs, some tunes. Some dope beats.

Casey Hiers:
Dope beats.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Dope beats. Some fresh beats.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah. The client that we have in today came in from Florida was surprised at the temperature. This morning, it was 30 degrees.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, in Indiana normally it's 60 to 70 degrees this time of year.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yep. And as you know this the first week of spring and it doesn't feel very springy outside.

Casey Hiers:
No, not at all.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
But you know what kind of does was the kickoff of March Madness?

Casey Hiers:
Oh, St. Paddy's Day and the brackets for March Madness are always so exciting.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right, right. How's your bracket looking?

Casey Hiers:
Eff off. No, it's so...

Jarrod Bridgeman:
My overall winner has been kicked out already, so.

Casey Hiers:
I'm a boiler maker, so I was a little biased and I got kicked in the pick a body part. Shins.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yep.

Casey Hiers:
It's a dental podcast. Teeth.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's right.

Casey Hiers:
Anyways. Yeah, Thursday I picked Arizona to win it all because I'm an unbiased Purdue boiler maker.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right.

Casey Hiers:
And Arizona gets beat. I'm like, "Fine, I don't need to worry about my selfish brackets and win a little side money. Let's focus on my team and then the second ever to get beat by a 16 seed.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah.

Casey Hiers:
So, Friday evening was kind of sad.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
On a bonus for you, didn't IU also lose?

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. But I don't like doing that. The program, I don't mind. It's just those pesky IU fans. And I'm sure we've got some IU dental school grads listening.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Probably.

Casey Hiers:
From a sports perspective, boy, those pesky IU fans, most of them aren't... What's the joke? Purdue fans are called alumni.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's right.

Casey Hiers:
IU fans are... They didn't-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
[inaudible 00:02:23].

Casey Hiers:
... Quite go there, but.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's all right. Listen-

Casey Hiers:
My bracket is busted.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Mine. Yeah, I picked Marquette University that win overall. Obviously, they lost pretty early on.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, it's brutal. Brutal.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Brutal. And luckily I didn't sink my life savings into a bet on this one. I threw in 20 bucks, which is nice.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, it's safe.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So, I'm not going to be retiring anytime soon though, based on that bet. You and I were talking not that long ago, we were looking at some statistics for your presentations for some of our literature, and it came to our attention that the average dentist retires at... What was it, 69 years of age, right? And then the average American non-dental person is 62.

Casey Hiers:
We are a numbers firm. We deal with a lot of numbers. You and I may be less than the brain trust that deals with them. But yeah-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Certain numbers do make me giggle, yes.

Casey Hiers:
We got into some numbers and probably nothing spectacularly new for our listeners, but we knew this and that's why we fight the good fight every day. But, yeah, the average dentist retires at age 69, and the average American retires at age 62.5.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's crazy because I mean, dentists make money, right?

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, no, that stands out. It hasn't gotten better over time. If anything, it has gotten a little worse over time. And then we just started digging a little deeper. Average salaries that... It's a fascinating stat to find because so many different origins for this have different answers. And then I reflect back to when I talk to practice owners, most practice owners don't even know how much they made.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right. Right.

Casey Hiers:
Because it's so convoluted that it kind of made me giggle. But the best we could see maybe between this is an average range, which is massive, 164,000 to 238,000 is just an average salary, which seems incredibly low. You're going to dental school for many more years than your friends. You're getting hit with some debt, then you go buy a practice, you got more debt. And that's-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So, the average American tends to go and work for somebody else.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. But to go out and bust it like that and take risks for the average to be 164 to 238 is...

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, dentistry, in general, if you don't play your cards the way you want them to, or you hope to, there could be a lot of burnout and stress involved in that and you're working even longer.

Casey Hiers:
I talked to a lot of practice owners who make 500, 600. I've talked to practice owners who make 750, and guess what? They're stressed and they don't know where the money is and they don't feel like they're a wealthy success.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And that's on the highest... I mean, how many dinners are making way less way? Way less.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. Yeah. Well, I talk to those that make less and they act like there is not a problem in the world because they're so used to faking it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah. Fake it till you make it. At least hope to.

Casey Hiers:
The problem is if they are retired at 69, they're not making it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's right.

Casey Hiers:
And then the hardest thing about dentistry that popped up... It's like the AI just knows. I start typing stuff and then it starts giving me all these different options. I'm like, "Yeah, I want to know this. I want to know that." The hardest thing as a dentist is stress-induced burnout.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Okay.

Casey Hiers:
It's not a procedure. It's stress-induced burnout.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right. Just being overly stressed about your debt, your salary, your finances, your practice, and your employees are all kind of... I think it ties together.

Casey Hiers:
A dental student might think the pressure of performing great dentistry is the greatest stressor. Or maybe they've heard an older practice owner complain about their team or their staff. But yeah, you just said a whole bunch of things, right?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, because... I mean, if you love dentistry and you went to school because of your love for it. I'm guessing being in the chair is the one... It's almost like your mini vacation from the rest of the business. It's the one thing you really know well and know how to do and you can focus on helping your patient and not have to worry about the other 3000 things.

Casey Hiers:
That's exactly right. But most enjoy the dentistry, most find that, even with honorary patients or people that are just... They enjoy that. But boy, some of these numbers, it's just a good reminder. Again, it's not a revelation, especially on this podcast, but these are the things we master for the world of dentistry that work with our firm. These are significant headwinds.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Just seeing that average retirement age should raise some eyebrows. Even if you don't work with the team and if you don't work with us, you should be asking yourself, what am I doing and what is my field doing that's causing us to work that much longer?

Casey Hiers:
Well, here's what you don't want to be. Let's say you're slightly above average in your income. You don't want to be the dentist that's making... Let's call it 250, you've still got significant debt, retirement is nowhere in sight... I mean, I talked to somebody who was 67 years old and told me they were going to practice for at least 15 more years.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah.

Casey Hiers:
You want to do that quick math for me?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
68 and 15. That's 83.

Casey Hiers:
67 and 15.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Oh, 67.

Casey Hiers:
I mean, it's...

Jarrod Bridgeman:
72.

Casey Hiers:
No.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I am not an accountant everybody. But no, I mean, that's-

Casey Hiers:
You're just yelling out numbers.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Five, I don't know.

Casey Hiers:
But you look up and what are you doing? And again, for us, this is what we try to do for our clients. We help them master this so they have millions more, all these areas of overhead, all the things that we talk about all the time, we help with this. To us, it's simple, but why do so many practice owners get into dentistry for the love of dentistry? And by the end of it, they're just, it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. I'm making much less than I should, and I'm working longer. Time and money. I mean, time and money are really important. And so if you can have more money and work less time, that should be the goal. That is my Mr. Robbie statement of the day.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Appreciate it.

Casey Hiers:
But man, I don't understand why so many practice owners convince themselves that they're okay or that it's going to be okay.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Do you think-

Casey Hiers:
Because they have their tax CPA, who they've been friends with for 20 years, and their financial advisor who tells them they're doing great and they have that feeling in the pit of their stomach that it could be better, but they don't have the courage to do anything about it. Again, millions and millions of dollars are at stake as a practice owner.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Do you think a lot of that could tie into the idea of when you're in your thirties and maybe even early forties, I'm going to be 40 this year, which is sad for me, but I still feel younger than I am number-wise. And it wasn't until I started working here that I actually got a 401K and started saving for retirement. So, I'm 10, 15 years behind where I should be. Is it possible that there are other people, especially in the dental field, that way they think I'm still beginning my career. I'm only five years into my career, 10 years into my practice and things will get better. I just know if I put my nose to the grindstone, it'll all work out.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, I won't give my opinion. I'm going to give you facts from dozens and hundreds and practice owners that I talk to. It goes by quick. They feel that they can just produce and it'll get better. Or they're going to try a thing and it's going to get better. Well, my debt is going down and my practice is worth something. They rationalize it and they think time is on their side. Again, unfortunately, we know people who have passed away early and left their family and spouse in a bad position. We know people who have had a freak accident and are no longer able to practice.
So yeah, I think you're exactly onto something. It's just that feeling of it'll all work out because I'm producing a ton of dentistry and eventually it's just going to work out. And again, for our listeners who have owned for... Typically, again, it takes three years to realize you don't know what you don't know, and you might need some help. And if you're stubborn, you're 60 and you're screwed. Hopefully, that's nobody listening. But for those that are owned for three years and they're in their mid to late thirties or early forties, or even mid-forties, my God, $20 million in dentistry. We see it. We do it. I get very frustrated when I present to a room full of practice owners, and then I speak to some folks afterward because they want to have an offline conversation and they're in just such bad shape and it's no fault of their own to a point. But again, what do the most successful people do? They delegate out what they're not trained in or skilled in or can master or have the time to do. But yet so many are so stinking stubborn because it's that dichotomy of high achievers, typically the problem solver that has to go, "Oh, this bonus job of running a company or a practice I don't have." And so then you have stubbornness and ego and do it yourself or just all those things. And then again, as a dentist, you're only making a 250 and you're retiring at 69?
That is what we try to help all the time. And when I run into people who get it, and now they have been with our firm for four or five years and they're on track for $15 million and their overheads 57% and they work three to three and a half days a week. And they are smiling because they've got a team of all-stars called Four Quadrants. When I see that, and then I have conversations with people who are headed towards these statistics that we quoted today that's probably the hardest thing. It's becoming more frustrating for me because I see such a divide, the successful folks who are crushing it and living a great work-life balance life, and the people that are just... They're missing it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right.

Casey Hiers:
And the... Yeah.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So, here's the deal. Check out FourQuadrantsAdvisory.com. We are offering... We called it a free financial assessment. We can also just call it like a 15-minute discovery call. You can always get ahold of us, shoot us an email and maybe set something up. But if you want a second pair of eyes, maybe on your debt management or... There are several different options to choose from. If you're not working with anybody now-

Casey Hiers:
First step is getting off your ass.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right. If you're not working on anybody or you're not happy with who you're working with currently, it's not going to hurt. Just reach out.

Casey Hiers:
Even if you are happy.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's right.

Casey Hiers:
We've had people fire friends who they like and they don't know that they're unhappy because they don't know what's possible.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Oh, that's a good point.

Casey Hiers:
Oh, cool. I'm on track for four and a half million dollars. Hey, dummy, you could have had 12 and a half.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah.

Casey Hiers:
We better cut this short. I'm getting fired up.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I know you're getting real fired up. Your face is getting red. If you like seeing Casey fired up, face red, steam coming out, his ears just talking passionately about dentists in the dental world. We are going to be in several places and we're going to go just over April events, right? We are going to be in Tampa, Florida hosting our own event at Top Golf. It's called the Avoid Cash Flow Traps in your dental practice. You can go to FourQuadrantsAdvisory.com/events and click and register. And on April 21st, we'll be outside of Dallas, Texas at the Colony at Top Golf as well. If you're in Glendale, Arizona area on April 20th through the 22nd, we will be at the Western Regional Dental Experience, come visit our booth. And Chicago... Hey, I love Chicago. From April 21st thru the 24th, we'll be at the AAO Annual Session. And finally, from April 26th thru the 29th, we'll be in St. Paul, Minnesota at the Star of the North meeting. That's a lot of stuff.

Casey Hiers:
I'm going to go have a Fresca.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Go have a Fresca, buddy. All right. Thanks, Casey.

Announcer:
That's all the time we have today. Thank you to our guests for their insight and for sharing some really great information. And thank you to you, the listener for tuning in. The Millionaire Dentist Podcast is brought to you by Four Quadrants Advisory to see if they might be a good fit for you and your practice, go on over to FourQuadrantsAdvisory.com and see why year after year they retain over 95% of their clients. Thank you again for joining us and we'll see you next time.