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Retiring dentists meeting to focus on finances

August 20, 2014
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Manchester, N.H. — How can dentists prepare financially for retirement?

Robert Powell, editor of the Wall Street Journal's online newsletter, "Retirement Weekly," will present The Pitfalls and Challenges of Retirement; 15 Risks to Consider at the sixth Annual Meeting of the Association of Retiring Dentists Oct. 24 at the Executive Court Banquet Facility.

ARD is an organization with a mission to assist and inspire dentists transitioning through retirement, said Dr. Neil Hiltunen, one of ARD's founders.

"There are so many things to consider several years from retirement, so you are prepared for the changes," Dr. Hiltunen said. "Where will you live? How will you fill your time with meaningful activity? Is your spouse/significant other prepared for your retirement? How healthy are you?  What happens if you have a financial setback and need to go back to work? Our organization can offer ideas that can help in making the transition."

Dr. Hiltunen said his father, also a dentist, had no plans for retirement and died suddenly of a heart attack in his office.

"It was a shock for my mother and for his patients," Dr. Hiltunen said. "I tried to keep his practice going, along with my own, but it lost patients and value by the time it was sold. That conditioned me to think there must be a better way."

So in 1996, Dr. Hiltunen sold half of his 22-year-old practice and began tapering off. He said that dentists who transition gradually can delay withdrawing retirement savings so the money lasts longer. In addition, a gradual transition allows dentists to learn how to use the extra time that may or may not include dentistry.

"Dental care is appreciated all over the world, and retiring dentists can combine travel with providing a highly valued service," Dr. Hiltunen said. "Volunteering can be meaningful and by retaining a license dentists also have the option of generating income if their financial situation requires it.

"The ARD hopes we can stimulate conversations and help dentists share their experiences, while learning about retirement issues," he added. "Anyone who is thinking at all of retiring should consider attending our meeting."

Cost is $145 for ARD members and $175 for non-members.

For more information or to register, visit retiringdentists.com.