Elements®
Comprehensive Financial Planning

Elements® is a periodic table with 12 key indicators of financial health. This proprietary methodology is driven by industry-leading technology and gives our advisors a full view of your financial profile so they can make calculated decisions to optimize your growth.

Each block in the Elements® table gives a numerical answer to an important question about your financial stability. Included with every calculation is a benchmark statistic to show how your performance compares to a large sample of other dentists.

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Explore the Elements®

To learn how the Elements® function, click on one of the four main questions answered by the table or select an individual block for further explanation.

Elements® Related Resources

Explore educational content related to each Element in our periodic table of financial indicators

Financial Planning & Investing for Early Career Dentists Course

Supplement your clinical training with the financial education you need to make smart financial decisions.

Monthly Financial Elements® – Taxes (Tr)

Join Ryan Isaac, for a discussion about Taxes (Tr), one of the key Elements® of an optimized financial plan.

Tax Savings Strategies for the New Tax Code – Episode 202

Does the new tax law mean you need a new tax strategy? On this episode of the Dentist Money™ Show,...

Is the “Tax Tail” Wagging Your Investment Dog? – Episode 196

You can’t avoid them, but you can lower, reduce, and defer taxes. Here’s how. Taxes annoy dentists. They bother most...

Reducing Year End Taxes Could Be as Easy as 1-7-9 – Episode 154

As high earners, every dentist should have a tax reduction game plan. What’s yours? Reese’s guest on this Dentist Money™...

What Dentists Want to Know — Listener Q&A #4 – Episode 126

Is there a “right way” to pay your family members through your business? When is it the right time to...

What is Elements® Comprehensive Financial Planning?

Learn about the Elements® periodic table of financial indicators and see how twelve simple calculations can be used to help...

Video 4: Are You Using Your Income Wisely?

Learn how the money you put toward saving, spending, debt, and taxes can be tracked to optimize your growth

What Dentists Want to Know — Audience Q&A #1 – Episode 110

The listeners asked, and we responded. But it was mostly by email, and the people who asked the questions were...

How to Compare Your Tax Rate to Other Dentists – Episode 107

Are you sick of surprise tax bills? How do you know if you’re paying a fair amount for your level...

Avoiding Surprise Visits from Uncle Sam

Have you ever been blindsided by a hefty tax bill at the end of the year? All the moving parts...

Fixing Your 401(k) the Matt Bradley Way – Episode 54

If your office has a qualified retirement plan like a 401(k), chances are you’re paying fees you didn’t know existed...

Er [Equity Rate]

Helps us determine whether the client will experience too much volatility risk for their personal level of spending and age.

EQUITY INVESTMENTS


TOTAL INVESTMENTS

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Six Keys to Powerful Investment Portfolios – Episode 55

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Pr [Profitability Rate]

Measures how much money the practice owner keeps as a percentage of collections. This serves as an important indicator of business efficiency.

TOTAL PRACTICE-
RELATED INCOME


TOTAL COLLECTIONS

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Dentist Money: The Profitability Killer – Episode 8

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Ir [Insurance Rate]

Measures how much insurance a person has compared to how much they need based on annual spending and net worth. Coverage is evaluated for the following types of insurance: life, general disability, business overhead disability, buy-sell, key person, personal liability, and business liability.

INSURANCE
COVERAGE HELD


INSURANCE
COVERAGE REQUIRED

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How to Bullet Proof Yourself Against Litigation – Episode 18

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Sr [Savings Rate]

Indicates how much of a person’s income is being put away for future expenses, emergencies, and retirement.

ANNUAL SAVINGS


TOTAL
PERSONAL INCOME

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The Hidden Costs that Delay a Dentist’s Retirement – Episode 61

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Br [Burn Rate]

Helps us understand a client’s spending patterns and retirement preparedness.

ANNUAL PERSONAL
SPENDING


TOTAL PERSONAL
INCOME

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This is Why Dentists Spend Too Much Money – Episode 95

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Dr [Debt Rate]

Indicates whether a person is servicing too much or too little debt for their individual circumstances.

ANNUAL DEBT
PAYMENTS


TOTAL PERSONAL
INCOME

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How Fast Should You Pay Off Your Loans? – Episode 102

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Tr [Tax Rate]

Indicates whether tax liability could be reduced with better tax planning.

ANNUAL TOTAL TAXES


TOTAL PERSONAL
INCOME

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Dentist Money: Do You Have a Tax Strategy? – Episode 10

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Lt [Liquid Term]

Estimates the number of years a person could live on his/her cash or cash-like assets outside of a retirement plan. Lt also indicates the amount of after-tax money an individual can access if needed.

TOTAL LIQUID ASSETS


ANNUAL PERSONAL
SPENDING

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How Much Money Should You Keep in Your Bank Account? – Episode 17

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Qt [Qualified Term]

Estimates the number of years a dentist could live on the assets he/she has within qualified retirement plans (401k, IRA, etc.).

RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS


ANNUAL PERSONAL
SPENDING

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Everything You Need to Know About Retirement Plans – Episode 53

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Pt [Practice Term]

Estimates the number of years a person could live on his/her current practice equity. It also indicates how much of a person’s wealth is concentrated in the practice.

TOTAL PRACTICE EQUITY


ANNUAL PERSONAL
SPENDING

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How to Stop Your Practice from Bossing You Around – Episode 92

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Rt [Real Estate Term]

Estimates the number of years a person could live on his/her current real estate equity. It also indicates how much of a person’s wealth is concentrated in real estate.

TOTAL REAL
ESTATE EQUITY


ANNUAL PERSONAL
SPENDING

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The Truth About Real Estate Ownership – Episode 60

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Tt [Total Term]

Estimates the number of years a person could live on his or her current assets if they did not grow. This includes cash, investments, practice value, and real estate equity.

NET WORTH


ANNUAL PERSONAL
SPENDING

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How Successful Dentists Track Financial Progress – Episode 64

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How much wealth do I need to make work optional?

Tt (Total Term) is the crown jewel of the Elements® table because it indicates how long you could live on your current wealth if it did not grow. In other words, it provides a conservative estimate of how many years you could survive if you stopped working today. Tt is calculated by dividing net worth by annual personal spending. It is also a summation of the four blocks to its left which represent each asset type: Rt (Real Estate Term), Pt (Practice Term), Qt (Qualified Term), Lt (Liquid Term).

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There's Only One Number You Need to Predict Your Retirement

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Do I have the right mix of assets?

The four blocks to the left of Tt (Total Term) estimate how long you could live on your liquid assets, qualified retirement plans, practice equity, and real estate equity respectively. These represent the four asset types in a dentist’s portfolio, and when added together, they create your Tt. These four blocks also provide a clear view of your asset distribution to help you and your advisor understand if there’s an opportunity for better diversification.

Podcast #82
The Numbers Dentists Need to Know to Retire Better

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Am I using my income wisely?

The second row of the Elements® table calculates the percentage of your total income that goes toward savings (Savings Rate), spending (Burn Rate), Debt (Debt Rate), and Taxes (Tax Rate). These are the only four places your income can go and it’s important to keep them optimized to accelerate growth.

Podcast #95
This is Why Dentists Spend Too Much Money

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Am I taking the right amount of risk?

The top row of Elements® contains Er (Equity Rate), Pr (Profitability Rate), and Ir (Insurance Rate). These ratios indicate risk levels within your investment portfolio, business, and insurance profile respectively. The amount of risk you should take in each area will depend on a number of factors including your tolerance for risk, career phase, liquidity, and financial goals.

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How Much Insurance Does a Dentist Need? – Episode #100

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