Content Dam De Print Articles Volume 107 Issue 4 1704de C1

Finding balance in life with the right financial plan

April 1, 2017

Bill Bender

From the many meetings I’ve had with clients, I have found that people often focus on obtaining a liquid net worth that represents the money they believe is needed for a comfortable retirement. In pursuit of this financial goal, many people - dentists in particular - work long hours, thinking that is the best way to achieve their goals. But this mindset can throw off the balance in their lives. Is life about making money, or is money about making a life?

When I ask clients what they want from their money and their lives, I typically hear happiness, balance, serenity, and meaning. How well and how wisely you manage your money will have an impact on all four of those cornerstones of life. The challenge for some is not putting too much time and energy into financial goals, which might be a natural inclination because dentists’ personal and professional lives are so closely connected.

Think about how much time you spend in the office with patients versus how much time you spend on your health, hobbies and leisure time, family and friends, and even sleeping. How does it balance out?

If you find yourself spending too much time working simply because you are trying to achieve a financial goal, an advisor can help you find a better balance. A good financial advisor can help you create a realistic strategy to manage both your personal and professional debt - such as that incurred for equipment purchases, commercial real estate, and personal mortgages - while also minimizing taxes, maximizing savings, and managing risk. This gives you the best chance of building wealth for a comfortable retirement. It is important to work with an advisor who incorporates a Monte Carlo analysis into your plan because this valuable tool will help you foresee the odds of outliving your money to ensure you are saving appropriately.

By developing a strategy that can weather the ups and downs of the market and having an advisor you can trust who will urge you to seek balance in life, you can feel free to focus on the things that are most important to you. If you had all the money you would ever need, what would you do differently right now? What is holding you back?

Defining your true goals - whether those include happiness, balance, serenity, meaning, or something different - can help you envision what you want out of life and eventually in retirement. Be realistic about how you want to spend retirement. Playing golf five days a week may sound like a grand life right now, but after a month or two you may very well wish you were back at your office. Thinking through these decisions now can help you find balance not only now but well into the future.

Bill Bender is a wealth advisor at Buckingham Strategic Wealth, a wealth management firm with a niche practice area focusing on financial solutions for dentists and their families. Buckingham is a member of the Bam Alliance, a community of more than 140 independent firms across the United States. To learn more or find an advisor, visit or contact Buckingham at (800) 711-2027.

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