Retirement: When to List Your Dental Office for Sale

During the day-to-day grind, it can be easy to forget that you won’t always want to come to work, and retirement will be your future sooner than you think. Take the time now to plan for retirement so you’ll be ready when the time comes. In addition to putting money aside in a retirement account, you also need to know the current market trends so you can gauge when it’s the ideal time to list your dental office for sale. 

Statistics from the ADA and Current Retirement Trends

Statistics from a Dental Workforce study show that as of 2015, the average age of dentists in the United States was 50 years old, up from age 48 in 2005. The numbers also showed that the average age of retiring dentists in 2015 was 68, which is an increase from the average age of 66 in 2005. Findings from this study demonstrate that while dentists overall are waiting a little longer to retire, as many as half of all practicing dentists will reach retirement age in this decade.

What does that mean for you and your dental practice? In about five to ten years, increasing numbers of dental practices will be up for sale, possibly driving sale prices down. If you’re also looking to retire around this same time period, you may want to either put it off for a few extra years, or retire early to avoid a flooded market. Start planning for your retirement today so you’re ready to sell when the timing’s right. You may get a higher price for your dental practice today than in five years from now when buyers have their pick.

Retirement: Common Questions and Concerns

We get asked a lot of questions about retirement, and we want to address them as completely and openly as we can. If retirement is not on the immediate horizon for you, contemplate these questions and figure out what your game plan will be in the next ten years.

How much is my practice worth?

As a dentist, you’ve probably poured your blood, sweat, and tears into making your practice a success. This might create a gap between what the practice is worth to you, factoring in the emotional and psychological attachment, and what it is worth on the open market. The best way to find out just how much your practice is actually worth is by speaking with a dental practice transition specialist. 

At ddsmatch Four States, specialists have the expert knowledge and experience to give you an accurate estimate whether your practice is in Kansas, Western Missouri, Arkansas, or Oklahoma. They know which local market factors will play a role in the price, and how to arrive at a value that feels right for you.

Should I bring on an associate?

Many dentists want to gradually transition out of their practice by bringing on an associate. Their thought process is that this associate will end up taking over the practice and already know the ropes. This is a great option for a dentist who isn’t ready to list their dental office for sale right now, yet they do want to lessen their hours and still pop into the office a few times a week. 

ddsmatch Four States can help you figure out if your dental practice is ready to take on an associate and, if so, help you find someone that can fill that role to your satisfaction. Whether you are planning for retirement, looking to grow your dental practice, or just want a little help, the experts at ddsmatch Four States can help you pick a dental associate that meets your criteria and will benefit your practice.

Is it a good idea to sell to a DSO?

Sometimes dentists don’t want to worry about the business side of things and just want to focus on the patients and providing the absolute best care for them. If this sounds like you, selling to a DSO may be a great option. A DSO can relieve the hassle of managing the business side of things and could make working in your practice more attractive for potential associates. They can also frequently pay more than a private practitioner.

On the other hand, DSOs can also come into a practice and shake things up quite a bit. You may not like the new management style. This helpful post by a dental and medical law firm goes over the benefits and compromises of selling to a DSO.

How can I find the right buyer?

If a friend of a friend of a friend wants to buy your dental practice, should you consider it? It’s hard to find the right buyer if you don’t know where to look. ddsmatch Four States helps dentists in Kansas, Western Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma find the right buyer to take over their dental practice. With the Trusted Transition Process, ddsmatch practice transition specialists can determine your wants and needs and how much your practice is worth. They can then search through their list of buyers to find someone who has the right skill set and temperament for your specific practice. Contact the experienced transition specialists at ddsmatch Four States to find out more about this process before you list your dental office for sale.

What are the things I can do now to prepare for retirement?

A financial advisor is crucial if you’re thinking about retiring in the next three to five years. If you haven’t spoken to one already, meet with an advisor as soon as possible. An advisor can look at your books and determine if you’ve got enough money set aside to retire when you want. Read this post from Dental Economics about retiring on your time table. You’ll also want to speak to a dental transition specialist with the expertise to get you on the right path towards a stress-free retirement.

What do I do about my real estate?

Even though it seems counterintuitive, when you decide to list your dental office for sale, that doesn’t mean the real estate where your office is based is included in that bargain. If you are already the owner of the building, you may decide to go ahead and sell it in addition to your practice. 

If you’re not ready to lose all your revenue streams just yet, you could also sell the practice, but keep the real estate and collect rent from the new doctor. In these types of transactions, it can be hard to know just what to do. ddsmatch Southwest has this detailed post that outlines what options buyers and sellers have in this type of scenario. Consult with a dental CPA and dental attorney to determine the impact your decision will have on taxes and which option is the right fit for your future. 

Should I sell now to get maximum value or wait?

The values and trends of dental practices are constantly changing. It’s hard to know what will happen four months from now, let alone four years when you’re contemplating retirement. Your experienced dental practice transition specialist may encourage you to sell now before the market floods, or list your dental office for sale a year from now based on your individual situation. There is no ultimate end-all be-all right answer that works for everyone.

I have a partner who won’t buy me out, now what do I do?

Maybe you and your partner had a recent disagreement, or maybe your partner just truly doesn’t have the funds to buy your share, or maybe they just don’t want to. No matter the circumstance, ddsmatch Four States is here to help. Some buyers are explicitly looking to buy into a partnership, so a dentist that wants to sell part ownership in a practice is ideal. This process can get complicated, and comes with a lot of specific legal minutiae, so your best bet is to schedule a consultation with an experienced dental transition specialist to find out more details.

Who can I trust to help me with my dental practice sale?

Before you list your dental office for sale, take your time looking at all of your options and talking to as many advisors and specialists as possible. You don’t want to sell to just anyone, and you want to ensure you’re getting a good deal while leaving a lasting legacy. Find a dental practice transition specialist that has local knowledge, years of experience in the business, and proven examples of successful transitions. For dentists practicing in Kansas, Western Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, the specialists at ddsmatch Four States can help lead you through the transition process and go over all the particulars with you so you’re confident in whatever decision you ultimately make.

Plan for Retirement Before Listing Your Dental Office for Sale

ddsmatch Four States can do more than just help you sell a dental practice in Kansas, Western Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Using our Practice Optimizer Experience, we ensure you get fair value out of your dental practice and we help you prepare for an enjoyable retirement experience. The Practice Optimizer Experience has everything you need for a successful dental practice transition, including:

  • Conceptual Transition Experience: We’ll help you establish goals and plan out strategies so you can ease into retirement.
  • Trusted Valuation Analysis: There will actually be two valuations, the first at the beginning of the process. The second when you are ready to begin your practice transition.
  • Dental Insurance Navigator: We’ve partnered with an insurance advisor to advise on new insurance plans to consider adding to your practice, or plans to discontinue, to achieve your ideal payer mix. 
  • Clinical Opportunity Blueprint: We provide you with an analysis of your practice to reveal potential for additional earning.
  • Critical Metrics Analysis: We provide you with a customized practice report on critical items, reviewed and updated annually until your complete you practice transition.

Our Practice Optimizer Experience also includes important elements needed for an overall secure retirement, such as: 

  • Ideal Retirement Calculation: We’ll look at your investments and projected future income to figure out the ideal timing for your future transition.
  • Estate Preparedness Gameplan: We’ll put you in touch with a local area attorney who has the appropriate expertise in wills, trusts, and estates. They can help you update or outline the essential legal documents to protect your practice assets and value in the event of an unforeseen death or disability.

Feeling like now is the right time to retire? Want to retire five to ten years from now? Whatever your goals, you don’t have to do anything alone. The experts at ddsmatch Four States can go over all your questions and concerns with you and help you plan for a successful retirement. Set up a consultation today to find out more about our comprehensive plans and services.