The adage that "cash is king" certainly holds true in this global financial crisis that we are in today. The terms "the only certainty is uncertainty" and "the only consistency is inconsistency" only makes things all the harder to sort out and try to plan for your financial future.

This is especially true for dentists and even more so for those that own a dental practice. Do you try to ignore what is going on around you? Do you try to develop a plan to safeguard your future in case of a global financial meltdown? Where do you find help? Who do you trust? Does your accountant know the answers, or does he/she seem just as confused as everyone else? Do you seek answers from your financial advisor who may have led you down the path to record losses in your stock portfolio? It's tough to look for answers, especially in this time of unprecedented financial turmoil.

You may decide that you will have to think this through on your own and gather as much information as possible before making decisions for your future. You may have to rely on your common sense to sort through your options. Remember, a decision to do nothing is every bit as much of a decision as it is to do something that might make your future seem more financially secure than the road you find yourself on right now.

What does the future hold for dentistry? Will the current administration try to impose universal healthcare on us all? How will it affect dentistry? Will there be socialized medicine and dentistry? Will medicine and dentistry be nationalized? If any of these alternatives are possible, how will this affect the value of your practice? How much equity do you have in your dental practice? And how, if any, does your practice's value come into play for your retirement plans? Again, the only certainty is uncertainty, and these are uncertain times.

Cash is king, and the time to invest in the stock market is when stock prices are at an all-time low, not when they are at all-time highs. Converting assets into cash and having it available for investment when the time is right could help you make up for those significant portfolio losses you recently incurred in the stock market. And that $3,000 per year of capital losses that can be taken against your earned income can be a killer, especially when you may have $300,000 or more of stock portfolio losses (which could take 100 years to write off). Would you like to realize some capital gains this year that would allow you to write off all of your capital losses now instead of waiting 100 years?

Would you feel more secure if you could get all of your equity out of your practice now and not wait to see what happens later? Would you like to protect your practice value now and not take the chance of losing it if the federal government decides to socialize or nationalize dentistry in the future? If you combined your practice's present value and your other savings, would it be enough for you to retire in a relatively secure manner? Or would selling your practice and retain the right to continue earning income from it for another 5 or 10 years be a good alternative for you?

What if you could get 100% of your equity from your practice and continue as the owner for the next 10 or 15 years? That's right, get paid 100% of your practice equity and continue as an owner and enjoy sharing in its profits for years to come. Get the advantage of having 80% of your practice equity value paid to you at the current long-term capital gain tax rate of 20%. Use that practice equity for investment or put it in savings for your retirement. Either way, it can provide you with a lot of security for the future.

Do you like the idea of securing 100% of your current practice value and equity against the future onslaught of government intervention? Do you like the idea of creating capital gains that can be used to offset most (if not all) of your capital losses from your stock portfolio? Do you like the idea of being in a cash position for future investment opportunities and continuing as the owner of the practice you sold for another 10 or 15 years? Do you like the idea of continuing to share in the profits from your practice? It's time for you to think of yourself and for yourself.

AFTCO has developed the Equity Conversion Program to provide you with those benefits and much, much more. You get to secure your practice value and equity. You can get into a cash position in this time of uncertainty, share the workload of the practice (both clinical and management), and secure your practice value in case of death and disability. You can also continue to practice for as long as you'd like and continue to grow more equity in the practice that you've sold, in addition to many valuable tax benefits. It's time to call AFTCO!

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