Is Your Exit Strategy Well Crafted?


A Financial Planning Checklist for Dentists Gearing Up for Retirement

After decades of tireless work and diligent saving, your retirement date is finally on the horizon: in the next 3 to 5 years, you’ll be embarking on a new, exciting stage of your life!

However, there are some key investment and insurance planning issues you’ll need to carefully consider well in advance of your retirement date. Fortunately, the licensed certified financial planners and professional insurance advisors at CDSPI Advisory Services Inc. (in conjunction with your other professional advisors) can help guide you in creating a customized exit strategy. Here is a partial checklist of some issues we can explore.

Investment Planning Considerations

Properly Structure the Sale of Your Practice—and Manage the Proceeds

Consult your tax professional about the prospect of restructuring the ownership of your practice to minimize taxes ahead of its sale (which may involve incorporating or adding shareholders). You’ll also need to consider how to strategically invest the proceeds from the sale.

Revisit the Asset Allocation of Your Retirement Investments

As you approach retirement, it may be advisable to take on less investment risk in your portfolio. One option to consider when mitigating that risk is through discretionary portfolio management.

Formulate a Retirement Income Distribution Plan

You will need to plan the method and timing for taking distributions from your retirement assets (e.g., your RRSP, non-registered investments, and dividends from your corporation).

Assess Financial Risks

It’s important to understand how to manage financial risks that can impact your retirement, such as a outliving your savings, withdrawing too much income, inflation, investing too conservatively and health care expenses (for more on health benefits, see the box “Introducing CDSPI Retiree Benefits”)

Insurance Planning Considerations

Consider Insurance Plans You May No Longer Need

If you plan to completely retire, you’ll want to discontinue certain insurance plans upon retirement. These may include, but are not limited to, your disability, office (unless you will continue to own the practice), malpractice (if surrendering your license to practise) and office overhead insurance plans.

Review Coverages You May Need to Maintain

Introducing CDSPI Retiree Benefits

CDSPI has a new offering, specifically designed to help dentists enjoy a better retirement. 

With CDSPI Retiree Benefits, eligible1 retired dentists outside of Ontario and Quebec (or eligible dentists about to retire2) can obtain health benefits coverage, such as prescription medications, dental, vision and extended health care. This benefits program, which is offered at greatly preferred pricing with no medical information required, reflects CDSPI’s ongoing commitment to providing relevant financial services solutions for dentists through all stages of their lives and careers.

To obtain CDSPI Retiree Benefits, you must be covered by a health benefits plan (or must have been covered by one that recently ended). However, if you are retired and not currently covered by a health benefits plan, you can apply without providing any medical information if your application is received by March 7, 2014. After that date, enrolment is limited to dentists already enrolled in a health benefits plan.

For a comparison of the four available coverage levels and premium rates, visit or call 1-877-293-9455, extension 5002 to speak with a licensed insurance advisor at CDSPI Advisory Services Inc.

1 The CDSPI Retiree Benefits plan is not available to residents of Ontario and Quebec. Call or visit for information about other eligibility requirements.

2 If you are arranging for coverage to begin on or after your retirement date.

CDSPI Retiree Benefits are provided under the FollowMeHealth benefit program through CDSPI’s affiliation with Manulife Financial. Coverage is underwritten by Manulife Financial.

Some dentists decide to retire gradually by working reduced hours in advance of completely retiring. Dentists in this circumstance may need to fully maintain certain coverages, like malpractice insurance, but may potentially need to consider reducing others, such as disability insurance.

If you’ll be working as an associate in advance of retiring, consider obtaining the TripleGuard Insurance Associate Package, in lieu of cancelling your office coverage. The Associate Package provides economically priced coverage for office contents losses, commercial liability lawsuits (e.g., a patient slip and fall) and income loss resulting from an office disaster.

Don’t forget to maintain your travel coverage if your retirement plans will involve vacationing outside your home province.

Re-examine Your Need for Life Insurance

Term life insurance is generally designed to protect your family’s lifestyle. However, as you approach retirement, you may want to convert a portion or all of your term coverage to a permanent life insurance plan, which can be used for estate planning purposes, such as covering estate taxes and/or creating a bequest for your heirs.

Review Your Estate Planning Documents

Are your will, power of attorney and insurance beneficiary designations up to date? Does a trusted person know where to locate these documents?

Of course, financial planning is just one component of the many issues you’ll need to think about when preparing for retirement. To gain insights on others, consider speaking with your retired dentist colleagues. They will undoubtedly be able to offer valuable advice, including potential issues to avoid.

For a personalized assessment of your specific financial planning needs in advance of retirement─or at any other stage of your career─contact CDSPI Advisory Services Inc. at 1-877-293-9455. The non-commissioned certified financial planners and professional insurance advisors at CDSPI work exclusively for dental professionals and have extensive experience in providing solutions* for the profession’s unique financial planning needs.

*Restrictions may apply to advisory services in certain jurisdictions.

TripleGuard Insurance is underwritten by Aviva Insurance Company of Canada.



Ron Haik, MBA, CFP, FMA, FCSI, CSWP™, TEP, is the vice-president of Investment Advisory Services at CDSPI Advisory Services Inc.


Susan Roberts, BA, FLMI, ACS, AIAA, CHS™, is the vice-president of Insurance Advisory Services and deputy principal broker at CDSPI Advisory Services Inc.