“44% of AAEP members are 50+ years old. 60 vets retire per year and only 20 enter the workforce. We lose 50% of new equine vets in the first five years of practice. There is a disconnect. We’re going to run out of practitioners,” said Kelly Zeytoonian, DVM, MBA, the owner of Starwood Equine Veterinary Service and Starwood Veterinary Consulting in California.
“So how do we bring associates along so that when I’m ready to back off I can turn the business over to someone else?” posed Zeytoonian.
In The Business of Practice podcast episode 23, Zeytoonian talks about the issues of equine veterinary practice and how practitioners should be preparing for retirement earlier in their careers. That starts earlier than most people think, she said.
Zeytoonian also recommends professional financial guidance from an early age. “Find an individual who understands the industry and our compensation packages,” advised Zeytoonian. She said you want that advisor to be paid based on how well you are doing, not on trades and activity.
This financial advisor needs to be someone you fell “emotionally safe” with while talking about money.
Zeytoonian’s advice: Try to save 20% of your annual salary in savings and retirement. Make a plan. Find time to enjoy practice life, and factor in time for yourself and your family.