Last year I wrote an article for The Progressive Dentist Magazine, “Things I Worry About as a Dental Accountant.”
That article has become a “work in progress” because I think of more things to worry about every day.
Some of my biggest worries stem from doctors’ improper use of their corporation bank accounts, not keeping proper corporate minutes (important record keeping), incorrect IRA beneficiary designation forms, lack of proper estate planning, and not being sufficiently protected with the right kind of insurance. These worries are outlined in detail in the article. What the article lacks is a fear factor that might better incent people to take action to determine whether or not they are deficient in these or other areas of their professional and financial lives. I’ll work on that by sharing some horror stories in the near future about labor disputes, embezzlement, sales of practices gone wrong upon the death of a doctor, and purchases of practices gone wrong from insufficient due diligence. Feel free to share any horror stories you may have or particular things you worry about as a dentist.
In the meantime, can you think of some catastrophic event you may not be prepared for? I live on the San Andreas Fault. You may live in Tornado or Hurricane prone areas or in Flood or Fire zones. Are we all prepared for those inevitable events? How about the unexpected? When is the last time you checked your homeowners’ insurance policy? How long will it pay for you to live somewhere else if your home is destroyed? Having built a house, I can tell you from first-hand experience that construction always takes a lot longer than expected. It always costs more, too. Don’t ask me why, but I checked my homeowners’ policy – 90 days! How do you rebuild a house in 90 days? It will take longer than that to get construction bids. Then there is planning and permits! This is but one example of all the minute details to consider in just one insurance policy. I pulled out all my insurance policies and had them reviewed. My coverage for everything was pretty good but now it is much better – and all for the same amount of money. Oh, if my house is destroyed, there is no limit on how long my new policy will pay for me to live somewhere else. I like the incentive that gives my insurance company to see that my new construction moves along at a good pace. While on the subject of homeowners’ insurance; how about your valuables? Do you have a detailed inventory and digital photographs of all your valuable possessions? You will need a separate policy to protect them and you may need appraisals in some cases. Putting that information together is an onerous task, but, believe me, you will be amazed at the scope of what you find upon completion. What about all your important documents? Does your Dental CPA/Financial Advisor have them in digital format?
One important facet of Wealth Management is Asset Protection. I talked about this in my last post, “The Best Laid Plans.” Asset Protection goes way beyond protecting your money and your stuff. In my world of Wealth Management, it means protecting your money and your possessions, but, equally or more important, it means understanding what those assets represent to people in both real and personal terms, and, hence, why they are important to protect in the first place. How about that check-up?