3 Things A Dentist Should Know Before Hitting the Retirement Age

3 Things A Dentist Should Know Before Hitting the Retirement Age

What is the average age of retirement among dentists?

According to the ADA, the average retirement age among U.S. dentists was 67.9 in 2021; in 2022, it moved closer to 68.2. The average dentist is retiring later in life.

Why do dentists retire so late?

Like many other professionals, dentists often retire later than the general population. There are several reasons why dentists may retire later than others:

Financial considerations: Dentists must complete extensive education and training through dental school, and they often accumulate significant debt before they start practicing. Additionally, many dentists are private practice owners, which requires a significant investment of time and money. As a result, dentists may need to work longer to pay off their debts and accumulate enough savings to retire comfortably.

Passion for the profession: Dentistry can be very rewarding, and many dentists enjoy helping their patients and providing quality care. Some dentists may continue practicing because they enjoy their full-time work and find it fulfilling.

Longer life expectancy: With advances in medical technology and improved healthcare, people live longer than ever. Dentists may need to work longer to support themselves financially during their retirement years.

Generational differences: Compared to previous generations, many younger dentists may have a different perspective on retirement. Some younger dentists may prioritize work-life balance and may not want to work as long or hard as their predecessors.

Overall, several factors contribute to why dentists may retire later in life. However, it’s important to note that retirement decisions are personal and depend on individual circumstances and preferences.

3 Things You Should Know Before You Retire

As a dentist, you should know several important things before you retire. Here are three key things to keep in mind:

  1. Your retirement income needs: It’s essential to have a good understanding of your retirement income needs so that you can plan your retirement finances accordingly. This includes estimating your living expenses, healthcare costs, and any other expenses you may have in retirement. Knowing your retirement income needs can help you determine how much you need to save before you retire and how much income you’ll need from your retirement savings.
  2. Your retirement savings: Dentists must save aggressively to ensure a comfortable retirement like other professionals. Before you retire, it’s important to clearly understand your retirement savings, including your retirement accounts, investment portfolio, and other assets. This will help you determine whether you have enough savings to retire comfortably or need to continue saving.
  3. Your post-retirement goals: Retirement is an opportunity to pursue your passions, travel, and spend time with family and friends. As a dentist, it’s important to consider what you want to do after retirement and how you plan to spend your time. This can help you plan your finances accordingly and maximize your retirement years.

By understanding your retirement income needs, retirement savings, and post-retirement goals, you can better plan for a comfortable and fulfilling retirement as a dentist.

How much should a dentist save for retirement?

The amount a dentist should save for retirement depends on several factors, such as age, expected retirement age, lifestyle, and retirement goals.

For example, if a clinician, such as a DDS or DMD, is looking for an early retirement plan, he or she would need to. As a general guideline, financial experts suggest that individuals save enough to replace at least 70% to 80% of their pre-retirement income.

For dentists, this may require a higher savings rate due to the cost of education and the start-up costs associated with setting up a practice. Additionally, dentists may need to consider the cost of maintaining a certain lifestyle in retirement, including travel, hobbies, and healthcare.

According to a survey by the American Dental Association, dentists over 65 have a median retirement savings of approximately $600,000. However, the amount needed for retirement varies based on individual circumstances, such as anticipated retirement lifestyle, anticipated healthcare costs, and expected Social Security benefits.

To determine a personalized retirement savings goal, it’s important for dentists to work with a financial advisor who can provide guidance and recommendations based on their specific financial situation and retirement goals. A financial advisor can help dentists develop a retirement savings plan that considers factors such as savings rate, investment strategy, and retirement income sources.

What are the benefits of a retirement plan?

A financial plan is essential for dentists because it helps them achieve their financial goals, prepare for unexpected events, and enjoy a comfortable and secure retirement. It can also help them make informed financial decisions, manage their finances more effectively, and avoid costly mistakes.

Financial security: A retirement plan provides a way to save money for retirement, which can help ensure financial security in later years. With a retirement plan, individuals can contribute a portion of their income to a tax-advantaged account, which can grow over time and provide a source of income during retirement.

Tax benefits: Retirement plans offer tax benefits that can help individuals save money on taxes. Contributions to traditional retirement plans are typically tax-deductible, which can reduce taxable income in the current year. Additionally, investment gains within a retirement plan are tax-deferred, which means that taxes are not due until the funds are withdrawn in retirement.

Employer contributions: Many employers offer retirement plans as a benefit to employees, and some also make contributions to these plans on behalf of their employees. These contributions can help boost retirement savings and provide additional financial security in retirement.

Investment options: Retirement plans offer a range of investment options, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. This allows individuals to diversify their investments and potentially earn higher returns over time.

Retirement income: Retirement plans provide a way to convert savings into retirement income, which can help ensure a steady stream of income during retirement. Depending on the type of retirement plan, individuals may have several options for receiving retirement income, such as annuities or systematic withdrawals. 

Overall, working with a financial professional can offer a range of benefits to a dentist, from creating a personalized retirement plan to providing ongoing support and advice. By working with a financial planner, a dentist can achieve their financial goals more efficiently and effectively and enjoy a comfortable and secure retirement.

What is a dentist’s pension?

A dentist pension is a retirement plan designed specifically for dentists and other healthcare professionals. Dentists can have a pension plan through their employer, such as a dental practice or hospital, or they can set up their pension plan as self-employed individuals.

A pension plan allows dentists to save for retirement and receive a regular income stream in retirement based on their years of service and earnings history. Contributions to a pension plan may be tax-deductible, and earnings on contributions are tax-deferred until withdrawn in retirement.

A dentist can create their own pension plan through a variety of options, including:

  1. Individual 401(k) plan: A self-employed dentist who owns their own practice can set up an individual 401(k) plan. This type of plan allows the dentist to contribute as both an employer and an employee and to potentially contribute up to $59,000 per year (as of 2021), depending on their income and age.
  2. Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan: A dentist who is self-employed or who owns their own practice can set up a SEP plan. This type of plan allows the dentist to contribute up to 25% of their net self-employment income (up to $58,000 in 2021) to the plan.
  3. Defined Benefit Plan: A dentist can also set up a defined benefit plan, which is a traditional pension plan that provides a guaranteed retirement income based on the dentist’s years of service and earnings history. This type of plan is more complex to set up and administer than a 401(k) or SEP plan, but it may be a good option for dentists who want to maximize their retirement savings and have a reliable income stream in retirement.

To create their own pension plan, a dentist will need to work with a financial advisor, accountant, or pension specialist to determine which plan is best for their individual situation and to ensure the plan is set up and administered correctly.

Questions commonly asked by dentists.

Asking retirement questions is important for dentists as it helps them plan and prepare for their future financial needs, ensuring a comfortable and secure retirement. It also helps dentists identify potential retirement planning gaps and take proactive steps to address them. Here are some commonly asked questions by dentists about retirement: 

How much do I need to save for retirement?

Dentists often ask this question to ensure they have enough savings to maintain their lifestyle in retirement. Knowing how much to save depends on factors such as retirement goals, current income, and anticipated expenses in retirement.

What are my retirement savings options?

Dentists may ask this question to explore retirement savings options such as 401(k) plans, IRAs, and pensions. Understanding the options available can help dentists choose the best plan to meet their needs.

How can I maximize my retirement savings?

Dentists may ask this question because they want to ensure they are saving as much as possible for retirement. Understanding how to maximize contributions to retirement plans and take advantage of tax incentives can help dentists build a larger retirement nest egg.

What should I do if I haven’t saved enough for retirement?

Dentists may ask this question if they have not saved enough for retirement or if they are starting to save later in life. It’s important to know that it’s never too late to start saving and that there are options available such as working longer, reducing expenses in retirement, and exploring different retirement income sources.

How can I ensure my retirement savings last throughout my lifetime?

Dentists may ask this question because they want to ensure their retirement savings last as long as they do. Understanding options such as annuities, Social Security, and portfolio diversification can help dentists ensure their savings provide a reliable income stream in retirement.

These are just a few questions that dentists may have about retirement. Retirement planning can be complex, and dentists need to seek the advice of a financial advisor who can help them navigate their options and make informed decisions about their retirement savings and income.

Working with an advisor can help alleviate the process of beginning financial planning, help sort through insurance companies, and set up IRA retirement accounts.

Financial professionals like our staff at WealthCare Financial are geared towards the medical professional demographic due to the understanding of the industry to ensure your financial well-being.

We provide Advisors, Planners, and CPAs to help track your savings accounts and whittle down student loan debt. You must select a team that will put you first and cares for your life after retirement and your financial goals.

How much does a dentist make per year?

The amount of money a dentist makes per year can vary depending on several factors, such as location, specialty, years of experience, and type of employment. The median annual wage for dentists in the United States is around $164,010.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for dentists in the United States as of May 2020 was $164,010. However, this figure can range from around $76,000 for the lowest 10% of earners to over $208,000 for the highest 10%.

Dentists who specialize in specific areas may earn more than others. For example, oral and maxillofacial surgeons are among the highest-paid dental specialists, with a median annual wage of $237,570 as of May 2020. Pediatric dentists also earn a relatively high salary, with a median annual wage of $173,370.

In addition to location and specialty, years of experience and type of employment can also impact a dentist’s salary. Dentists who have been in practice for a longer period may earn more than those who are just starting out. Similarly, dentists who are self-employed or own their own practices may earn more than those who work for someone else.

Overall, the salary of a dentist can vary widely depending on several factors, but according to the BLS, the median annual wage for dentists in the United States is around $164,010.

What do dentists do after they retire?

After retiring, dentists may choose to accumulate wealth by investing in real estate or the stock market. Some may travel or pursue hobbies and interests, work as consultants, spend time with family and friends, or combine these activities. Others may volunteer their time and expertise to dental clinics or charity organizations. Some may even consider working part-time for their dental practice.

There is no one answer to what dentists like to do after they retire because it depends on their interests and priorities. Some dentists may find fulfillment in pursuing philanthropic endeavors, while others may prefer to focus on their hobbies or enjoy a slower pace of life. Ultimately, what dentists like to do after retirement is a matter of individual choice and preference. 



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