10th Annual Meeting Summary

Summary 10th Annual Meeting.

Dr. Hugh Habas, Dr. Blaine Leeds, Dr. Maria Kunstadter

October 26, 2018


We’re pleased with the turnout for our 10th Annual Meeting with Dr. Hugh Habas presenting, “Retirement Money.  Creating it. Managing it . Using it”. In the afternoon session on Tele-dentistry,  Dr. Blaine Leeds described the operation of “SmileDirect Club” and Dr. Maria Kunstadter talked about “The TeleDentists”. The programs were generally well received and very informative.

Dr. Habas covered virtually the entire spectrum of “Retirement Money”.  Creating retirement money demands putting money away into tax deferred accounts as early as possible to allow the “Rule of 72” to be most effective.  Hugh, regarding managing retirement funds,  repeated the importance of diversification, having a financial advisor vet all relevant decisions, and the success of stocks over the long run.  Long term investing is critical because corrections happen and it is virtually impossible to predict them consistently.   It is also impossible to predict precise days when the market returns to a positive direction. The big gains that happen in just a few days when a market correction reverses can garner a huge portion of long term gains.    Many investors wait until an uptrend is clear before recommitting funds to the market.  By that time the potential for big gains diminishes greatly.  There are more up days than down days, so a bigger risk for a long term investor is being out of the market.

Dr. Habas, in addressing using retirement money, cited studies that indicate a 4% withdrawal rate under the right circumstances is a good benchmark for determining how much to take out in any year.  As part of a withdrawal strategy, it has been suggested that a longevity portfolio and a liquidity portfolio be used, where the liquidity portfolio is used to fund living expenses and other short term needs. The longevity portfolio is composed of assets invested for the long term to weather market volatility.   Having adequate cash on hand reduces the need to touch funds that are subject to market fluctuations.  Being forced to sell holdings during a downturn reduces the ability for portfolios to recover.

Dr. Leeds’s presentation helped us all understand what is being done with at-home clear aligners.  He emphasized that cases are overseen by dentists licensed in the states where patients reside.

Dr. Kunstadter presented an innovative approach to reducing the cost and length of time required for hospital emergency room visits by patients with oral problems.  Computer kiosks are being set up to allow patients to connect directly with dentists who can triage the problem and direct the patient to a dentist who will treat the problem expediently.

Dr Kunstadter also presented Dr. Marc Ackerman’s slides about tele-dentistry which provided an overview of the broad possibilities of tele-dentistry.

The takeaway for us as retiring dentists is that there is considerable potential in tele-dentistry for dentists to continue to be connected to dentistry even if we aren’t operating out of an office.  In addition, tele-dentistry affords the opportunity for disabled dentists to continue using their skills when hands-on clinical care may not be an option.

Next year’s speaker is Steve Vernon, speaking on his new book, “Retirement Game Changers.”


-Neil Hiltunen, D.M.D., F.A.G.D.

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