Preparing Your Teeth for Retirement
by Marzena Makuta
Good Dental Hygiene is $$ in Your Pocket
A Tightwad Visits the Dental Office
Cut Down Your Dentist's Bill
As you prepare for retirement, you are no doubt thinking about finances, where will you live, and what you will do when you have more time. But there is one more area that you need to think about: your mouth. If you have dental insurance through your work, it will no longer be there when you retire. So, now is the time to prepare.
First, talk to your dentist well in advance. Ideally, you should mention your plans a few years before. If you tell them you are retiring in a month, that might not be enough time to do all the treatments you need. In addition, most insurance policies have a yearly maximum. If you have large old fillings that are breaking down, start getting them replaced or crowned about five years before your retirement day. This should give your dentist a reasonable amount of time to do all the work necessary and to use your insurance coverage wisely.
Here is the recommended schedule:
- 3 to 5 years before retirement: Talk to your dentist about your upcoming retirement. Mention your time frame. Ask for a thorough checkup. Based on the results of your checkup, ask the dentist for a treatment plan that will accommodate your schedule and allow you to maximize your insurance. Then follow your dentist's recommendation.
- 1 year before retirement: Verify with your dentist that you are on track. Make any necessary adjustments.
- 1 month before retirement: Schedule a checkup appointment to allow the time to take care of any last minute needs and get your teeth cleaned one last time with your insurance benefits.
By following this schedule you can take full advantage of your insurance coverage while you have it. You already paid for your dental insurance, now use it.
Debt is preventing me from saving as much for retirement as I should be! Tell us: Yes, debt is hindering my ability to save for retirement! or No, debt is not a problem but I'd love to discover more ways to save as I head into retirement!
Marzena Makuta is a co-author of the book Open Wider: Your Wallet, not Your Mouth.
Take the Next Step:
- Is retirement on the horizon? If so, then it's time to start preparing. And that includes your dental care. The first thing that you need to do is tell your dentist your plans for retirement and together come up with a treatment plan.
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