Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD

What retirement planning is (and isn’t)

March 21, 2023
If you’re a young dentist or dental student, the subject of retirement planning may seem counterproductive or at the least untimely. But no matter what point you're in your career, it’s time to start planning now.

I remember being advised in dental school to begin retirement planning as soon as possible. It seemed silly as a dental student who was incurring unfathomable amounts of debt, or a young dentist who was early into practice, but that advice has proven to be sound.

Unfortunately, many dentists wait to save for retirement, and as a result, dentists tend to retire approximately seven to eight years later than the average American.1 One may argue that this is a result of high amounts of student debt, poor planning, or living outside one’s means. Regardless, if your target timeline for retirement is equivalent to or earlier than the average American, you’d better start planning!

Retirement planning has evolved to a multifaceted approach in which “saving for retirement” or depending on a 401(k) contribution is inadequate. Maximizing the value of your practice, maintaining a variety of investments, and surrounding yourself with a strong financial team will encourage success. Practicing with the expectation that a DSO will come in and offer you multiples of EBITDA that will fund your retirement is not a reliable approach.

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This month’s Dental Economics discusses strategies to encourage practice growth, including creating the best dental team, lowering overhead, implementing medical billing into practice, relying on tried-and-true clinical techniques, and protecting your practice from ransomware attacks that impact both your finances and reputation. We also investigate estate planning and considerations and pitfalls in investments. If the term “cryptocurrency” seems vague and unsettling, we’ve got it covered, and perhaps you may feel compelled to learn more!

I’m also very pleased to announce that this year’s Principles of Practice Management Conference will take place on October 13–14, 2023, in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada. This year we will uncover “The Secrets of Successful Dentists for Creating Wealth.” Join us and learn from some of the most influential dentists and effective coaches to maximize the value of your assets, save on taxes, implement wealth strategies of billionaires, and create an action plan to secure wealth that will last for generations. Register early to take advantage of early-bird pricing and to reserve your seat, as tickets are limited.

I hope this issue inspires you to think about, start, or level up your plans for your future!

Editor's note: This article appeared in the March 2023 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.


  1. Bateman A. 5 reasons dentists retire 7 years later than the average American (and how to fix that). Dental Economics. January 7, 2022.

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