Phil Cole 0:05
Hello, and welcome to class solutions dental education Podcast, the podcast series where we share knowledge and experience to provide you value to you and your practice. I'm your host, Phil Cole, and I am joined with my co host, Chris Webb. And in today's episode, we're going to be talking about your financial future. We want to give you a dental specific perspective on setting up your financial systems. So I'm joined today by Steve Huskey, he is with Bluewater dental advisors. And he's going to be sharing his thoughts and his experience. So welcome, Steve to the the podcast.
Steven Huskey 0:43
Heard so much about it I just had to be on I really appreciate it.
Phil Cole 0:48
Well, I'm glad that it is become so popular. So we really appreciate you being on with us. So I guess I'll start off with once again, we're anybody that's listened to this podcast know that we're big huge pushers for dental specific. And so I guess I would like to ask you, why did you choose to go down that dental specific approach to the business financial planning piece?
Steven Huskey 1:22
Good question. Phil. Appreciate it. You know, it wasn't an overnight type of thing for us. Brandon Wilson, my partner and co owner and Bluewater dental advisors, we've had our own separate paths for for a number of years, I've been in the business, financial business for 14-15 years on my own in my own practice for four. And it's been doing financial planning for almost 20 years now. And he worked with a lot of blue collar folks. Most of his clients are business owners, and my clientele base has geared more towards business owners in my later years in practice. And he had a few clients already who were dentists. And so, you know, me being a certified exit planner, and him already having the knowledge of working with business owners and some dentists already. We were really taking an inward look at our practices and saying what are some areas of need, that are really largely untouched, underserved, and also need a lot of help and experience in education. And so through our research, we found that there's a dentist down here in Charleston, South Carolina, sometimes two of them all, all, you know, on this huge block down the street from us, there's like 15 of them. We drive around, and there's there's a ton everywhere. And they're all making good money, right. But they went to school really specifically to learn about dentistry and how to help you perfect your smile and give you the oral health that you need. They didn't necessarily have all that education regarding their finances while they were in school. So they're getting it from multiple sources, Google, YouTube, podcasts, you know, being whatever AI search engine you use. And there's just a lot of stuff out there. So we tried to create a concise blankets type of educational videos that anybody could watch and learn from. And we found that we were really good at it, you know, people were giving us really great reception for it. We When interviewed a bunch of dentists to see if this was a market we even really wanted to explore. And through our conversations with them, we found that there were a lot of pain points, all of them were pretty similar. And we already were really well versed in planning for those specific pain points. So we just came up with Bluewater dental advisors as a way to get in the market have a niche and and basically provide as much education as we could to these dentists who really need it.
Phil Cole 3:37
Yeah, I think that's I mean, it fits so well with with KLAS solutions, too. Because I think that's the biggest thing is education, right is just being able to know that you got to a place to go a trusted source that has worked hard and over the years, like ourselves, you know, with 25 years myself, of experience in with all of our coaches and all the people that worked with us, or you know, over 300 years of dental experience, to know that you got somebody that that can give you the right perspective and it isn't become something that falls into the trap of just being a typical business. Because I think if anything, that's something that we run across all the time is it's there's a lot of when we deal with on especially on the transition side, dealing with different CPAs, financial investment guys I call him because I think there's a very big distinct difference. You know, a lot of these guys they just don't they don't care to know what the business is. They just look at the client as is it's it's cash right there. They're gonna pay me my fee and I'm just going to do my thing. And so, I guess for you what's what do you consider your unique value that Besides being dental specific is anything, anything that gives you that just other specific proposition for somebody?
Steven Huskey 5:12
Steven Huskey 5:14
Yeah, I think we do that, you know, we have a finite number of steps, something that's really easy for someone to grasp, initial 15 minute meeting with us of all the things that we know and can provide help with inside of the office. You know, of course, you know, Brandon, I can can manage assets, we can underwrite, you know, insurances for the business, you know, we can do all the same things that other advisors can do, I think the biggest value proposition for us is we take everyone through a process, we don't sit down at the first meeting and already have some type of box, we're trying to fit each client into and have some type of proprietary product that we want to push. All of that stuff is uncovered through our meetings. And we find that by having really deep, you know, philosophical, sometimes emotional conversations around what this practice means to not only the business owner and the family, who who are inside of the practice, but also the employees that are inside your practice, the ones who benefit from your practice being there, as well as you know, the patients. So there's a whole community that your one practice is really providing for oral health. And so I feel like our biggest proposition is, is just trying to build relationships you already have, work with those individuals to better your experience as a business owner, and educate you along the way. And we don't product push man, we just are process oriented. And we're not going to try to put something on you that you don't need.
Chris Webb 6:37
And, I love that it's Hello, that it's tailored to like the specific needs of the practice and the practice owner. That's, that's something that we that we strongly believe in as well. So one of the things you mentioned, which kind of stands out and to me is unique is a certified exit planner. And so give me give me like a real quick rundown on on what does that really mean? And then tell me like, What is what is the best time to start talking to somebody about like your exit plan and, and your exit strategy and what that's going to look like for succession?
Steven Huskey 7:15
Thanks, Chris. I appreciate it's a great question. You know, I got this designation, because I really wanted to be more confident when talking to business owners, and business owners have one thing in common, it doesn't matter what industry you're in, there's a 100% guarantee that you're going to leave your business. And a lot of a lot of the focus with business planning is really focused on what's your immediate needs, you need a 401 K, do you need an insurance policy like all that, so I wanted to stand out among my peers. And you know, there's a there's a SEPA CPA, and then there's a CEXP, in my experience in talking with CPAs. The CEXP is more rigorous from a curriculum standpoint. And there's there's a few essays you have to complete at the end took me almost two weeks to write them to get this designation. So took me a long time. And I learned a lot about inside transfers, and third party sales and keeping the keeping the business until you can no longer practice, which are really the three doors of exit you can choose. And our job is to educate the folks around the pros and cons of each the planning considerations that you need to make depending on which door you choose to walk through. And the CEXP designation just allows me to have more confident and factual conversations with these business owners around what they're looking for. And their lifestyle after they get out.
Chris Webb 8:26
Yeah, yeah. So when. So I know that typically, when when you start talking to somebody about planning, you say, hey, the earlier the better, like from start day one. So why is it so crucial? To start talking about and thinking about your exit plan? What are some of the things that help you set yourself apart, so that a doctor no matter where they're at in their career, can come and talk to you and you can help them start looking at that Exit Planning. So benefits of talking to you late career, mid career, early career,
Steven Huskey 9:00
I would always significantly better to start talking to someone and getting educated on all this information sooner than later. And I often Steven, because one of his principles of highly successful people is to plan with the end in mind. When you start a business, you should already have an exit strategy planned out. Just like any investment you make, I mean, a business is an equity. You know, you buy into that business or you start the business and whatever your basis is what you put into the business and you want to be able to get a good gain for all the effort and work you've put into the business. And so like for instance, when we started a Bluewater dental advisors, we had a 3, 7, 10, 15 year plan for it drawn up before we even signed the paperwork to get it started. And I think that just makes you really successful. It makes you prepared. It makes you confident in the blueprint. You're going to draw for yourself as you build this business together. And then you also give yourself some deadlines. It's just like training for a marathon. I don't know if you guys have ever run one before I've run about three, sticking to the half marathons now because they're just there's too much time consuming. But you have have an end date, okay, that marathon is on this date and a program that's six months long, or whatever it is. And then you work towards that goal. So having that goal in mind, at the end, when no 100% of the time you're gonna get to this business, it just makes things much smoother for you. It gives you a lot at the end of the tunnel. And also you can bring the culture to the practice that your folks might need in order for them to feel as as one with a practice, they're, they're interested in helping you grow, they're interested in helping you get new patients, they feel like they're part of it, and you need to recognize them along the way. So that's all that stuff is part of the exit strategy, but it just helps everybody feel like a cohesive part of the practice, when you have that strategy already set up.
Phil Cole 10:38
I think that that, you know, putting them the way you just put it is exactly what is what needs to be done. And when we get guys, when it comes to, you know, wanting to sell their practice, at the very end, you can really tell the ones that have not thought of an exit strategy. They haven't planned for an exit strategy, because they're the ones that when when Chris and I and the rest of KLAS deal with them. They're the ones that are always rushed. Like how, what do I got to do real quick to do this? What do I got to do to get this done, you know, blah, blah, blah... And they're always the ones that I would say not always, nine times out of 10, the ones that say, Don't tell anybody, right, versus the guys that are, you know, like you said, they have their exit strategy, they shot for, say, 55. And maybe they're, maybe they're 60. Now, but and so. But they're they found out at 55. They still love dentistry, right? And they and they're still having fun. So they don't want to so they've extended it. But it's still all in mind. And the team knows that what the ultimate goal was. And so there's no surprises. And I will tell you, when we deal with those kinds of customers. The the how fluid, how easy the transition is how how much everybody is ready to accept the new person on because they know that they're prepping for that that person to take over properly and stuff. It's just night and day difference with seeing someone prepared versus see and someone that sits there and says, Well, I woke up this morning, and I hate going to work and I have for the last week. So get me out of here. You know?
Steven Huskey 12:22
Yeah, that's a that's a good point. And you can tell just on that basic conversation, who's planning for it and who hasn't. And in all my conversations with business owners, not just dentists, but those in manufacturing and home remodeling, and all the different clients that I have. The conversation was like this, like we will serve when you want to go out of your business, maybe within five to seven years. And let's say we never did anything about it right? I'll come to you five years later, seven years later and say, All right, you know, how how's it going that extra strategy, oh, I'd push it off another five to seven years. It's because some of these business owners are so they don't do the limiting effect. I call it the limiting effect. I don't know if that's trademarked, but maybe I should. But it's they don't take their head up from the business to look around and see how to work on the business, the blind spots inside the business. And so they just keep their head down, you know, and they work on working inside the business a lot. And, you know, there's no dress rehearsal for this is the largest financial transaction of your life. This particular part of planning is very underserved. And you know, there's sometimes a lot of family issues inside of this as well, especially if you're an aged dentist, practice owner, and maybe your son or daughter went to school, and they've come in and they kind of expected some type of nepotism, maybe that happens, you know, or, you know, you've got some legacy issues where you have you want to sell this business and part of your legacy is to give some of those proceeds to the to one kid, and then you know, there's a family member already inside of that, how do you figure out this legacy issues, which people really don't think about inside of that, too, that's where the retirement planning kind of comes in. But you know, because this is the largest financial transaction of your life, you should not put it off you need to have at least a conversation with someone who's well versed in it, to give yourself an idea of when and even make sense do you have the capacity to get out when you want to? Is it gonna give you the best result...
Phil Cole 14:07
When it comes to the when it comes to the financial planning piece, for you know, the ATA has a has statistics on stuff. They don't start until the age of 46 and a half, it was over 62% of the of the dentists. But when you're when you're dealing with, with the dentist, knowing that they you know, we're now at what there's a couple of different polls that we've that you and I have talked about where you know, 69 to 73 years old before the the average dentist retires now, I mean, when when people ask us when's a good time to start thinking about retiring? We always tell them, we want to meet them at least 10 years, even 15 years out, because once again, there's so many other things that there are to do for that practice. What we also run into a lot of times, though, is financial guys that sit there and say they don't even want to start working with a dentist until they have X amount of money involved. What's the? What's the downfall of, you know, waiting for that? Or what's the downfall of dealing with somebody like that? Because I just feel like every time I hear that I cringe, that, you know, it's like, Hey, you got to have X amount of dollars in the bank? Because to me, that's one of those things where I feel sometimes dentists are praying for their practice to be the retirement and it's not the case.
Steven Huskey 15:38
Yeah, Yeah...I think I think the sale of your business should really just be the icing on the cake of all the work you've already put into this. And speaking about cakes, I mean, it is just like, using the right recipe, in the cookbook that you have, there's different steps you need to take, there's different amounts of time, each step needs to be, you know, cultivated inside of what you're trying to build. And so if you put the sugar in at the wrong time, or you put the butter in at the wrong time, it doesn't always work. So in order to make the best cake at the end, you have to follow that recipe to a tee. And if you don't do it that way, it's just not gonna work out in the best possible result. I mean, you can not plan right, and you could sell your business to the highest bidder. But could your business have been worth $2 million more could you have ramped it up in the last five years and done a better job of patient retention and, and you know, key employee retention inside of your business because that's what's ultimately desirable for someone who may want to purchase you if it's a third party, the associate as well, like they were they in in the practice long enough to know the culture and know the clients and know the procedures and know the standard operate. Guys do is that all well informed and as everybody on the same page with DDD, like those are the types of things that not everybody really considers most of the most of the folks I spoke with in the past six months around, retiring or getting out of the practice, were the ones that were so burned out, they were ready to get out yesterday. And unfortunately, there's not a whole lot to do from them, I can make that more of a retirement planning case for them and say, Hey, with whatever it is you get from this practice, I can certainly help you with that. But you probably should have met seven years earlier and done something about it. So for those who are listening, that maybe are waiting to push this out, just consider what your life would look like had you done some more planning.
Chris Webb 17:17
Yeah. And not and not slowed down, because you are getting tired and you are getting sick of it and cutting down days and things like that, where you you end up on that, on that downward trend, that not only makes it harder to, to attract the right buyers. But then also, it's harder for those buyers to get financing for it.
Steven Huskey 17:39
It is so because you're showing you're showing a lot you're showing less than less income every year is a practice. And usually, whenever dentists want to get out, where they're nearing retirement, they go from working five days, a day to two and a half days, sometimes they're only going in once, you know once they'll shut down some of the multiple practices maybe they had because they only want the one now that they can manage, but really should be in growth mode your last five years, it's just like a W2 two employee in the last five years of their working career. It's the highest average earning years of your entire life. And so people who tell me they want to retire early, I'm just like, why? Like you could be making so much more money and add another $100,000 per quarter, you know, to your savings or whatever you want to do. Like you're really cutting yourself short. And same, you know, same thing can be said for taking Social Security, you know, why would you take only 80% of what you could get when you can take 132% of it. There's some things you really need to do in brilliant ready to look at before you make that decision. And you have to follow your friends, your family members do some things custom for what you need.
Phil Cole 18:36
Yeah, yeah. So I want one thing for you to explain to the to the audience and stuff too is is when we sat down and we've we've gone over your your plan, and so forth. One of the things I think that is that's been very unique, that I think is something that we push big time. And that is the importance of the team, right? And having that team and making sure that they are understood as a valuable part of that practice and stuff. I know you guys focus on that team retention and stuff like that. Give us just a little bit of your thoughts on that because I think that that out of all the financial planners I've talked to and stuff, I've never seen anybody actually bring up the team or concentrate on the team as as being a part of that financial, maybe that financial piece but as part of that, you know, the financial is going through their career. Explain that a little bit to us.
Steven Huskey 19:38
That was another value driver and differentiator for our practice is most financial advisors that come in are asking you about your retirement plan. Let me take a look at your fidelity bond. Do you have enough participants in your plan? You know, what are the fees look like? What investment choices do you have? And 401k is all well and good. But no one's going to stay at your practice because you have a four One, okay, that just makes you an eligible employer, right you give that benefit. So you can attract new people into your practice, in order for you to keep those key folks intact, so that you can continue on that growth mode and that path that you're on, you need to ensure the folks who are critical to the success of your practice, stay on throughout the growth. So it's really an emotional conversation that you're going to have with these folks, you need to go to them. And first off, never use language like I would like you. No one likes to feel handcuffed to anything. So what you need to strive to communicate to this key person in your business, whoever is you have signed is recognized for the work that you're doing for us, I recognize the amount of effort you put in and the way that patients feel when you work with them, you're doing an excellent job, I would like to provide you with the reward or incentive package above and beyond what I'm already offering some of these rank and file, because I find you so critical to the success of this practice. And eventually I would like to get out of this practice. And you're an integral part of that practice. So there's some there's some really, I don't like to use the word discriminatory, but it is a discriminatory by the IRS guidelines type of plan you can put in place for them, that makes these key employee people more vital to the success that you're going to have in the next few years. So some stuff that we do we like, number one, to have a compensation, why do you get out of bed every morning and come to work? Is it for your family? You know, do you are you trying to? Are you striving to pay down your mortgage in the next 10 years? Are you trying to send your kids to college? Is there a big vacation that you deserve to take with your spouse 20 to 25th, you know, anniversary, wire, the things that are in your mind is something that's important, important to you. So when you have that, you know, really philosophical conversation with them, they'll they'll tell you, you know, they're going to say like, oh, this, I do this, because I really enjoy dentistry or I want to help people. But those are cliche answers, you want to get to the nitty gritty, like, what is it that's really important to them. Secondly, you can't give them a cash bonus upfront, you can give them quarterly stuff, because once they get that bonus, they can immediately leave and go somewhere else. They're waiting around to get that offer letter in their hand. So you have to find something that's feasible for you as a practice, owner, and exciting enough for the key employee to stay on. And you have to defer it out for a specific amount of time. Let's say your exit strategy is supposed to start in seven years. Well, in order for this to be acceptable from a buyer's perspective, you might want to keep them on for 10. So can you defer a huge payout for this employee for 10 years? And then can you keep them on an additional two to three years after that 10 year period, by paying out that big bonus and a structured type of settlement? We're not talking about annuities here, we're not talking about anything. You know, among that sort, like you hear on JG Wentworth, it's nothing like that. It's more, it's mostly like, we have this fund available for you. It's either a sinking fund, or it's an insurance policy, or it's you know, it's it's a, you know, two tickets to anywhere you want to go, whatever you want, but we'll pay you out. Because we feel like you're very valuable. So that's just some of the stuff that we do. And it does set us apart from the retirement and the benefits advisors that are out there.
Chris Webb 23:06
Absolutely, I love that creativity. Okay, so we've kind of we kind of hit it a little bit, but just one of the things that that I see when I look at your guys's website, and I see some of the marketing is that you guys really focus on being like the quarterback for the owner for the business. And then for for like the employees. So just kind of walk us through work real quick, what does that look like? And how do you set yourself up to be that coach?
Steven Huskey 23:35
Thanks for the question. I will say first and foremost, we're not coming into the relationship, to crowd anybody else out who you may already trust. If you have a financial advisor, awesome. If you have a CPA, fantastic, agent, wonderful. We're not here to replace any of those people. We're here to create cohesion between everybody. So there's a micro economic relationship, which most of us are in in terms of our trusted professionals on our team. And then there's the macro advisor type of experience that we want to provide. So I always use the term of going to the symphony, I just had a friend tell me what to the symphony this weekend in Charleston, which was great. And it brought this up to me is if you ever get up to the symphony early and you're sitting down trying to find your seats, you got your popcorn, whatever it is, and you're listening to all the musicians in the pit. They're probably tuning their instruments, they're probably practicing those pieces that they're really not familiar with yet trying to make sure perfect, but they're all doing it at the same time. It's, it's often it doesn't sound good at all right? But once the doctor gets up on stage and they all start falling along with their movements, they make a beautiful piece of music together. So we kind of consider ourselves a quarterback Yes, but the conductor really, for these relationships. We want to create a financial mission statement with the with the dental practice owner, communicate that language to all their trusted professionals. And then literally or figuratively, in the same room, share what their goals are, share how we can help each other you know, share how we can make the call clients experience much more carefree because we're all handling it on the back end. So we want to give them more time back in their day to spend with their families, because we know how hard they work. And so that's kind of the quarterback relationship we have with our folks.
Chris Webb 25:11
Yeah, I love like on your website, sorry, I know you were gonna jump in there, Phil. But I just love on your on your website you guys have in there. Like, it takes a village to run a practice, right. And so these doctors for however many years they've been practicing, have been trained to wear all the hats. And so when they bring in trusted professionals, I love that idea of like, Hey, we're all going to come together. And now we're going to create the symphonic, you know the symphonic piece here together to get you to the end where you want to be. So you can wrap it up, take your bow and right off into the sunset. And then you know, we get to carry you there. Yeah, so I just love that concept. Thank you.
Phil Cole 25:55
Yeah, I think it's I think it's important. And I think that in any business, that's probably the hardest thing, right is when you're the business owner itself to give up the to give up the reins, and to, you know, kind of somewhat put that trust in someone else. A lot of times, but man, I tell you when you get that cohesion, and you know that you got those trusted advisors, and I think that's the one thing for us that we've always preaches, you know, making sure that they're dental specific, because when they understand that business, the dental business is it's it's different in you talk to anybody, any of the team members, I know that when we do our startups, when you talk to the general contractors, if if they've never done dental and they see a dental plan, they're like, Whoa, this is complicated. And it's like, yeah, because it's it's like no other construction, right. So it is really, really important for that. So well. We could talk about this for a long time. But I want to thank you, Steve, for giving us your input and your understanding of what you guys do at Bluewater dental advisors. It is it's definitely a pleasure and joy and I hope anybody that's listening reaches out. Steve, what's the best way for them to get a hold of you so that they can have that conversation?
Steven Huskey 27:15
I appreciate it. You know, it can be scary for non dentists to go to the dentist you know and it can also be scary for people to kind of just jump right in bed with a financial advisor. So go out and do some research on us please like go go to blue water, dental advisors.com Check out our blogs, check out our white papers. We've got educational videos on there, we got to see video you can watch and get an hour of credit. We've got a nine video series about four to three to four minutes each different concepts that we educate on. So I started there first go to our website, Bluewater dental advisors.com And you can also reach out at info at Bluewater dental advisors.com And we'd be happy to just have a 15 minute conversation with you to see if our philosophies align and if it makes sense for us to talk any further.
Phil Cole 27:58
Awesome. Well thanks once again Steve. If you enjoyed our show, please rate review us on Apple Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts I'm Phil cold thanks for listening and have a great day.
Blue Water Dental Advisors 28:22
This Podcast is for informational purposes only it's not extremely tax legal or investment advice. Although the information has been gathered from sources for reliable please note the individual situations can vary. Therefore the information should be relied upon only when coordinated with individual professional advice. Guest speakers and their firms are not affiliated with or endorsed by past guardian or Bluewater dental advisors LLC, and opinions stated or their own. Guardian is subsidiaries agents and employees and provide tax legal or accounting advice consult your tax or accounting professional regarding your individual situation. All investments in investment strategies containers can they lose value. Michael Husky is a registered representative and financial advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC pass oSj 6115 Park South Drive Suite 200 Charlotte, North Carolina 28210 7045528507 securities products and advisory services offered through pass Member FINRA SIPC, financial representative of the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, New York pass a wholly owned subsidiary of guardian Bluewater dental advisors, LLC is not an affiliate or subsidiary of pass already. Blue Water Dental advisors LLC is not registered in any state or with the US Securities and Exchange Commission as a registered investment advisor. 202-315-5279 expires 525