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Finding Identity After Retiring as a Veterinarian

Finding Identity After Retiring as a Veterinarian

Retirement – welcome to a new, exciting chapter! Once you hang up your stethoscope and take off your lab coat, you’ll be stepping away from a major part of your identity.

Veterinarians dedicate their entire working lives to help animals. Therefore, it’s not surprising that many veterinarians have some difficulty making this transition and may feel a sense of loss. This is a normal reaction; here are some ways to to make the transition to retired veterinarian a little easier.


When Should I Retire?

The standard age for retirement in the U.S. is around 65, but according to the American Medical Association, a majority of medical workers retire at a later age. 

A lot of factors play into the decision to retire. An alarming number of veterinarians suffer from burnout, which is one of the key reasons for earlier retirement. There are also considerable differences in the work environments of different types of vets, for example, those who only work with small companion animals vs. livestock vets who are on-call for emergencies. Low-stress environments naturally don’t take such a mental and physical toll on veterinary professionals who are not faced with challenging surgeries. These individuals are more likely to work longer due to their relatively undemanding everyday procedures. 

Another good rule of thumb is to stop working when it stops being fun and/or fulfilling. Also, you need to make sure you have enough money for retirement. Selling your vet practice can help you with that – and we’ll go over those steps further below.


How to Prepare for Retirement

If you’re worried the next steps toward retirement, here are a couple of activities you can pick up to ease the transition

  • Volunteer for your favorite animal shelter or non-profit organization
  • Take a part-time job as a vet in a local practice
  • Consider lecturing, either at a local college or veterinary school
  • Become a guest speaker at conferences
  • Mentor other young veterinarians or students interested in becoming a vet.

Work provides a sense of accomplishment, so understandably, having something to look forward to is especially important for retired veterinarians. Picking up occasional work, such as speaking at a veterinary conference or volunteering, is a good way to stay active without overworking yourself.


Retirement Planning for Veterinary Professionals

Before you can enjoy the many advantages of retirement, you’ll have to decide the future of your veterinary practice. Selling it can seem like an insurmountable task, but with a laid-out plan and with a team of professionals by your side, it’s much easier to manage.

Some of the key questions you’ll need to ask yourself:

>> 1. Who is my ideal buyer?

Think about how you envision the future of your practice and who would be your ideal buyer. If you have an associate who’s willing to take over, great! With a little bit of mentoring, they would be the perfect fit since they already know the intricacies of your practice. Things can get a little more complicated if you don’t have an immediate candidate. However, with guidance from a professional team such as PS Broker, you can find the perfect buyer.

>> 2. How should I approach the selling process?

If you have no previous experience with selling real estate, there are vet practice brokers who can make this process less stressful and easier for you. There is a better chance of finding your ideal buyer through professional’s channels, and they can also negotiate for you.

>> 3. When should I sell?

This depends entirely on you and the market. If you’re in a rush to sell, you want to have seasoned professionals by your side to reach a fair price. They can advise you on whether there is a chance to reach a higher price with certain upgrades, or whether you should wait before hitting the market. 

>> 4. What is the value of your practice?

Again, this is something on which you want to hear a professional’s opinion. PS Broker’s Certified Valuation Analyst specializes in evaluating vet practices and we provide in-depth summaries and financial spreadsheets.

Selling a veterinary practice is not an easy job, but having a full picture before you start negotiating with potential buyers will make things run smoothly. 


Are you thinking about retiring soon?

Get in touch with our professional team of brokers, consultants, and tax/exchange specialists working with veterinarians all across the country. Our distinctive boutique approach puts our clients first – clear and timely communication is of essential importance.

We fully understand how emotional this time is for our clients and therefore we are working together to find the perfect buyer for their legacy.

Contact us today and let’s discuss how we can help you in this transitional period.


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