Sell now or wait? That is the question

If you are a dentist thinking about retiring, you might be wondering if it’s better to sell your dental practice now and work for the new owner, or keep running it yourself and try to sell it later. Here’s a look at what each choice might mean for your money and peace of mind.

These are the choices for 90%+ of dentists out there:

Choice 1: Sell Your Practice and Work as an Associate for Awhile

When you sell your practice, you get a big amount of money all at once. This money can help you feel secure when you retire.

If you decide to keep working there as an associate, you won’t be the boss anymore, but you will still earn a regular paycheck. This is less money than what you made as the owner, but you don’t have to worry about paying for things like staff or fixing equipment.

This should mean less stress and more time to enjoy other parts of life.

Choice 2: Keep Your Practice and Try to Sell Later

Keeping your practice means you can still make more money because you own it. You could try to make the practice better and more valuable. However, there are some risks:

  1. The Future Market: We don’t know if people will want to buy your practice for a good price in the future. If fewer dentists are looking to purchase or if money situation in the country get worse, it might be hard to sell it for a good price later.
  2. Unexpected Problems: If a new dental office opens nearby or if new patient numbers drop, the practice might decline and make less money.
  3. Health: Running a dental practice takes a lot of work. As you get older, you might not want to or be able to handle the stress.  At some point your (back, elbow, wrist, shoulder, neck – choose all that apply) will tell you when it’s time to slow down.
  4. Spending Money on Updates: To make sure your practice stays modern and worth a lot of money, you might need to buy new technology or update things, like staying at the forefront of new digital technologies like 3D Printing.

Learn about 3D Printing Workshops Available

Comparing the Two Choices

Selling now means you know exactly how much money you will get, and it might be a good choice if you think prices are high right now. It’s also simpler because you won’t have to worry about running the business.  The main risk here is if you underestimated just how much money you will need to live the life to which you have become accustomed.  Also, the bottom could fall out of the stock market and today’s dollars might not be worth what they are now.  You just never know.

If you keep your practice, you might make more money later, but you also have to deal with more risks and work.  But, at least you should be able to keep up with an inflationary monetary cycle better.

What Should You Do?  Every dentist is different that that’s a great thing.

Think about what feels right for you. Do you want to be sure about how much money you will have when you retire, or do you feel okay with some risk if it means possibly making more money?

Ultimately, the decision to sell your practice now or continue working hinges on your risk tolerance, financial goals, and personal circumstances.

Find a dentist who has sold out and see what they think.  Find someone who you trust to tell you the real truth and not the party line of, “Everything is great!  I don’t regret selling one bit.”

Better yet, find several dentists who have sold out.  I bet after those discussions, your gut will tell you what to do.

About the author, Chris

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