By Dr Thomas Potisk
Sad truth: Many DCs struggle in their later years, having little financial stability to support a comfortable retirement.
Double sad truth: Many DCs want and need to retire but can’t, with some hiding behind the guise of “I love Chiropractic and will never stop!”
If you truly want to keep actively practicing chiropractic you should, but it’s even better if you can practice without the necessity (retire in practice). And keep in mind that you can still love it as a fully retired DC, perhaps still assisting with promoting it as an advocate and/or teaching DCs.
Early in my career I was blessed to cross paths with some successfully retired DCs who shared their strategy with me. I acted on that advice and have prospered. Now retired from practice at age 47 and laughing my way with world-wide travel , a debt free abundant lifestyle, teaching and writing Chiropractic books, giving thanks for abundant health, a loving spouse and children, and trying to help other DCs get on a more prosperous path.
Here are 10 Tips leading to a successful retirement I learned and refined:
1) Start these tips your first day of practice, or now if you are currently practicing. It’s never too late to begin.
2) It’s NOT all about money. No, not at all. It won’t solve all your problems; nor will it solely make you happy. Travel to some destitute areas of the world and you’ll notice something astonishing – generally the less material possessions people have the happier they seem. Money can’t be your focus. It’s simply the usual reward for hard work, persistence and dedication. Let go of any dependency you feel towards money or other material acquisition and you’ll freely begin to enjoy life more thoroughly.
3) But there is nothing wrong with making money ethically. The Bible says the “LOVE of money is the root of all evil”; not money alone.
4) It IS all about your purpose, knowing it and working to fulfill it. Yup! Spend time and effort contemplating your God-given higher purpose. Seek professional help from a trusted source to define it if necessary, perhaps a Pastor. Gaining certainty of the reason for your existence tends to release a mother-load of opportunity, opening doors for you to share your talents and abilities. You’ll find that people won’t buy what you do as much as they’ll buy why you do it. The joy you’ll experience from certainty of your higher purpose is unmatchable and makes money and other materialism seem insignificant. Paradoxically, you’ll likely experience an abundance of material rewards resulting from your increased productivity.
5) The best investment you can make is in yourself. Take excellent care of your physical, mental, and spiritual self. Money spent on self improvement produces monumental returns. And think well beyond just eating quality food, having gym memberships, and spa days. How about improving your communication, management abilities, technical skills, and even self awareness. You’re also setting a good example for others; people are watching and learning from you.
6) Be generous. And do it humbly and unconditionally. You can’t out-give God; but have fun trying.
7) Stay out of debt. If you do have to borrow then aim to pay it off ASAP. Debt reduction is the second best investment you can make.
8) If you do invest money then do so conservatively. There is no need to gamble for higher returns. Look for a consistent, insured, and moderate return as seen in tax free, insured municipal bonds. Even Einstein commented that compound interest is an astonishing phenomenon.
9) Retire from active practice only with a plan to take up another activity. There is nothing wrong with taking a significant rest, but it’s critical to get back to some kind of productivity even if it’s volunteering. Don’t retire, Inspire!
10) Lastly, set your goal to exit with a great big smile. The day will come when you either must stop (i.e. perhaps because of injury) or you simply choose to stop. Either way, live and practice so you’ll be able to look back and be content with your efforts, integrity and the service you provided. Now that’s a priceless reward!
Put these tips into action and you to will be laughing your way through retirement.
“The principled men are the principal men.” – BJ Palmer
Dr Thomas Potisk is a 30 year veteran of Chiropractic, author of Reclaim the Joy of Practice: An Advanced Guide for Advancing Doctors, and assists individual DCs with his Chiro-to-Chiro Mentoring and Consulting service. Information can be obtained on his website http://www.reclaimthejoy.com.