Graduating dental school after four years of hard work and beginning your practice brings about a myriad of changes, which include embarking on a rewarding career. Unfortunately, many new dentists do not pay close enough attention to financial considerations. The team at Schiff & Associate can work with you to avoid the common pitfalls that new dentists often encounter. Take care to avoid these five common mistakes.
Poor Debt Management In 2018, the median debt for dental school graduates was $280,410. Compounding interest on school loans can add up quickly. While it’s tempting to buy cars and clothes that you previously weren’t able to afford, managing student loan debt during the first years of your practice can make the difference when the time comes to get a mortgage or expand your practice. Talking with our team of professionals can help you strike a balance between paying off your debt and taking advantage of the student loan income tax benefits.
Few or No Written Goals Having a financial plan for your life will help you set a course, even when the unexpected happens. Saving for retirement needs to happen early on. The average age of retirement for dentists is now 69, according to the American Dental Association. Not considering retirement can have you living beyond your means early on in your career. Because of schooling, many dentists are age 30 or close to it before they start earning a significant salary. Having a sound plan as soon or soon after you start working will set you up for the future.
Ignoring Changing Overhead Costs Newer dentists are often anxious to further their practices, but what comes along with that is an increased cost in overhead when more supplies, employees and the like are needed. Review your practices every few years to determine where you can cut costs or streamline processes to reduced overhead.
Insufficient Billing and Collections Procedures Every practice has bills that are eventually written off because of the failure of insurance companies and patients to pay. Working with your accountant to develop a plan can help minimize those write-offs and maximize profits.
If you’re a newly practicing dentist and want to get your professional career off on the right foot, contact our office to schedule a meeting. Developing a financial plan at the outset is one of the keys to creating a sound dental practice.