New Dentist: Your First Paycheck Arrives, Now What?

By: Dr. Cory Ball

Dental school is a busy time for most aspiring clinicians.

Between studying for courses, practicing in preclinic, then managing the patient pool in the final years, most students have a tough time finding additional hours in a day to have a part-time job to make money.

And those students who do have jobs, the amount of money made is minor in comparison to the loans and other costs associated with dental school.

The average dental student is in their mid-twenties. Most of them have not had a lot of financial education. That includes investing, making a budget, and overall knowing how to handle any level of income.

Dentistry is a Lucrative Profession

With that said, dentistry is a lucrative profession.

In Michigan where I am practicing, the median income for dentists in 2021 was roughly $165,000.

Most students are moving on from eating Ramen, paying the rent with student loans, and hoping for gas gift cards from family for their birthdays.

Graduation puts students into the workforce and their income is commonly in the six figures ballpark.

If I think back to the biology classes taken in undergrad, to those mandatory humanities credits, and to some of the elective courses I took to fill my schedule, not one of those prepared me for how to deal with such an income.

I was very fortunate to be introduced to a financial advisor very early in my career.

Meet with a Financial Advisor about How to Handle Your New Income

What did I do? After establishing myself in the practice for the first couple of months, I met with the financial advising team to hear what they could offer me.

There are multiple types of financial planning and advising companies and each can have an approach that suits you.

For me, I was sold when this company presented its values, what it could offer me, how it could help achieve my short and long-term financial goals, and helped me set a budget to be successful.

How a Financial Advisor Helped Me

Some dental students may have more of a financial background and may not need a financial support team. I, however, would strongly recommend it.

I have been working with them for several years now and have been able to:

  • make a sizable dent in my student loans
  • purchase my first home for my wife and me
  • prepare to buy into my practice
  • get ready for our first baby without the financial stress

Before buying that fancy new car with your first paycheck, consider discussing with a financial advisor and get a plan together for how to smartly invest your newly earned income!

Up Next: How To Pay Off Your Dental School Student Loans

Dr. Cory Ball

Dr. Cory Ball

Originally from Rockford, MI, Dr. Cory Ball went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for his undergraduate studies. There he studied Biology and German. Straight after undergrad, he continued his studies at the University of Michigan dental school. At the conclusion of his dental school education, Dr. Ball was awarded the comprehensive care award for being one of the top clinicians in his class as well as the Academy of Operative Dentistry and American Academy of Oral & Maxillofacial Radiology awards. Dr. Ball has always had a passion for mentoring, volunteering, and helping others in his community. Throughout dental school, he held various positions for the philanthropic fraternity, Alpha Omega. The volunteer events Dr. Ball has participated with include Mission of Mercy, Taft clinic, Give Kids a Smile, Sports Mouthguard clinics and recently is on the board for a local refugee committee to help underserved individuals in his West Michigan communities. Dr. Ball has a passion for all areas of dentistry, but his favorite procedures include root canals, crowns, bridges and has a special passion for sleep dentistry and assisting patients who may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. When not behind the drill, Dr. Ball enjoys spending time with his family in Grand Rapids, MI, and with his wife, Cara. On weekends and evenings, you would find Dr. Ball hanging out watching new shows on Netflix, playing new board games, or watching sports. Dr. Ball is a big Chicago sports fan and, of course, Michigan. Go Blue!