On average, dentists expect to retire around age 69. The average age of dentists responding to this survey was 55.
Younger dentists are looking at even more years of work ahead of them. Dentists under 50 expect an average dentist retirement age of 74. This group, with an average age of 43, forecasts about 31 more years of work.
Even though less that half of dentists expect to retire by the age of 65, two out of three say their retirement plans are still on track. For one dentist in three, though, retirement plans have fallen off track.
Here are some comments about dentist retirement age:
- “Actually, I do not plan on retiring in the traditional sense. I plan on always being active and doing something productive with my life. Retirement = DEATH!” Nevada dentist
- “Competition in orthodontics is fierce, and I am not expecting it to improve in the future. With dental insurance companies reducing coverage and a weak economy, I am just hoping to hang on to retirement.” Wisconsin orthodontist
- “I don’t have a hobby to retire to. I like what I do, so I am not in a rush to retire.” Missouri dentist
- “I have cut down to 160 days a year for many years, and I expect to continue to reduce days worked. I could retire financially but have no desire at this time. Instead, I only do procedures that I enjoy.” Illinois dentist
- “I plan on working until I am physically in the grave. However, I want to make sure that I plan that 6 months in advance.” Colorado orthodontist
- “I’m feeling pretty confident. My house and condo are paid off. $2.5M put away in plans, still funding about $200k/year, and expect to net about $700k when I sell my practice.” Indiana dentist
- “Thankfully, years ago I put my 401k contributions on automatic withdrawal every two weeks as opposed to what was left at the end of the month. I never missed the extra money that I was saving, and now I am on the path to a comfortable retirement.” Connecticut periodontist
- “There is a noticeable decrease in demand for dentistry, and we’ve felt it lately.” General dentist
- “We should be able to retire in five more years at age 52. But I don’t want to retire! I will continue to work as long as my wife and my health will allow.” Florida dentist
- “We, as a profession, are doomed to the role that Pharmacists play: working for Managed Care. Working for 50% of what was paid 20 years ago based on inflation, with impotent leadership and a willingness on the part of dental schools and those that build dental schools to make it worse by putting out twice as many professionals as the economy and the population dictates. Too bad. This is a great, great profession and has been for over 100 years.” Colorado orthodontist
- “While the government employees have all voted themselves generous pension plans for life, the rest of us have no such thing. At 62, in the current environment, I have absolutely no business even thinking about retirement. My government employee contemporaries all retired in their 50’s. Wake up, America!” Illinois dentist
What do you think about the economy and dentist retirement age?