While many dentists focus on and plan for retirement, at Catalyze, we talk more about financial freedom than we do about retirement. Retirement might be one part of your goals for financial freedom, but financial freedom is so much more than just retirement, or the day you stop working.
Financial freedom to go anywhere
The purpose of our Atomic Planning process is not just so you can retire one day but, rather, to catalyze financial freedom – giving you the freedom to go anywhere, do anything, and create a lifestyle you love way before you reach retirement age. Through our Atomic Planning process, Catalyze clients can have that freedom now, without needing to wait for a future retirement. You may have other goals beyond just retirement – perhaps taking your family on an RV vacation out West for a month, or taking several weeks off to travel to a remote country and provide free dental services, or helping an older parent with health expenses, or giving generously to those in need. This kind of freedom is not experienced with substantial debts and/or a lifestyle that requires 100% of your current income.
Let’s use the RV travel vacation out West as an example (My wife can vouch that this is on my bucket list when our kids are a little older.). This not only requires the, not insignificant, financial resources to pay for thousands of miles of gas at 6 miles per gallon, but even more difficult, the ability to forego income for a month while you’re out of the office. And, if you’re a solo practice, who will cover for you while you’re out so that you don’t lose long-time patients who may need emergency care during this time? If this is a goal, there are significant financial and non-financial issues that would need to planned for, maybe even years in advance, to provide the freedom necessary to achieve this goal.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Going out West may not be a goal of yours, but we all have things we would like to do in the future that require some amount of freedom – often times it is directly tied to having the funds to do these things, but other times, it may require other types of freedom, such as having an associate who affords you the ability to take time off work.
From a young age, many of us have been taught in various ways that you get a degree, work for the majority of your adult life, and save enough along the way so you can retire at 65, golf, and play bingo.
While there is nothing wrong with this mindset, we want you to know that this is not the only mindset you can have. Often times this mindset results in work being viewed as a necessary part of life until you hit retirement and are finally free. This often results in overworking, which leads to burnout and a feeling of obligation to work full-time in order to meet financial obligations.
The truth is, you have the freedom to choose what your future looks like. If you want the freedom to have more time and flexibility regarding your work schedule, that is completely possible. It just requires some planning now.
Don’t get caught up in feeling that you ‘have to’ do things a certain way when it comes to your finances and career – consider the life you truly want, and then make a financial plan that fits with those dreams.
The atomic planning process
While our atomic planning process encompasses more than just financial independence (the ability to stop working and sustain your lifestyle goals), financial independence is still at the core because this is a universal goal that every client we work with has in one form or another. This is why the nucleus of your Atomic Plan displays a single number – the number of years you could sustain your lifestyle if you stopped working today. Financial freedom is more than just a number, but the process of achieving financial freedom provides a necessary foundation for building the wealth required to be financially independent.
Whatever your goals are – whether you want to retire early or start working part-time hours before retirement age, whether you want to travel around the world or build something new in your city – financial freedom takes all of this into account. Catalyze is dedicated to working with dentists who want financial stress to be eliminated from their daily lives while helping you achieve long-term goals and dreams. That is what true financial freedom is – alleviating financial stress today and building new opportunities and possibilities for the future.