Retirement Plans for Dental Hygienists


According to State of California (2009), hygienist is a profession and a career that is fast growing. State of California (2009) indicates that hygienist demand is expected to rise due to changes in roles where hygienists are taking the role that used to be played by dentists. EDD (2009) indicates that the employment prospect of hygienists is on the rise due to increase in demand for dental services and as a result of population explosion whose poor dental hygiene predisposes it to dental ill-health would stimulate great demand for dental hygienists. EDD (2009) argues that there are more opportunities that are likely to open in the future as a result of expansion of hygienist career and profession.

Like a project in its infancy stage of development, retirement plans for dental hygienists need to be streamlined and strategies designed to cater for hygienist’s retirement.

Literature Review

Planning for a healthy retirement is a product of investment behavior of a person (Hinz et al, 1997). Sunden and Surette (1998) argue that many employees fear to invest because of possible risks that could resurface and lead into a loss of investment or retirement benefit. Bajtelsmit and Van Derhei (1997) suggest that women employees have high tendency to invest in less risky investment. Failure to make an investment plan to help to secure the retirement life of an employee exposes the employees to risk of insecure retirement. Financial retirement security defines the health and life expectancy of the person subject to the type of lifestyle that they lead after retirement (Sunden & Surette, 1998).

Although the retirement benefits of an employee may be available like employee pension scheme or social security investments, they are not sufficient to service the lifestyle expenses of the retiree (Varga, 1990). Varga (1990) suggests that personal savings help to prepare a retiree better for retirement. Halls (1999) argues that the guarantee that government social security payments and company pensions can secure a healthy retirement is small. Halls (1999) indicates that following increased retirement from many employees, the risk of depleting the fund is very high.

Halls (1999) cites poor retirement planning both on personal life and financial life is a product of doing contract jobs that have no pension or taking part in part-time jobs that are no pension. Weiss (2005) argues poor financial planning is brought about by failure to have adequate information on need for financial planning for the retirement. Coleman (1998) indicates many employees fail to plan for their retirement due to career break to raise their children. Glass and Kilpatrick (1998) indicates that many female employees do not have retirement planning because they have an attitude that the role of financial and personal retirement planning should be conducted by men.

O’Connor (2003) indicates planning for retirement secures the live of the retiree and this is independent of the gender. O’Connor (2003) provides that retirement planning should be done early in the life of the retiree in order to position himself better for the retirement age. Kelly and Swisher (1998) argues that early retirement planning avoids the employee the stress and strain of late planning for retirement. Kelly and Swisher (1998) argue that late retirement planning is associated with psychological and social depressions that have negative effect on the personal life of the retiree.

Hansen (2007) argues that women have a greater possibility of retiring without adequate any prior preparedness for their retirement. According to Hansen (2007) women are likely to go into early retirement as opposed to men. According to US census Bureau Report, 90% of women are exposed to risks of sponsoring their retirement plans and this result into a lifestyle that is below the standards they lived before going into retirement. A change of lifestyle at old age subject to poor financial planning creates an opportunity for the aged woman to suffer from diseases that compromise their health.

Thesis Statement

Prospect candidates for dental hygiene profession and currently registered dental hygienists do not have investment planners or tax consultants that can advise them on hygienist’s retirement planning either because they do not understand policies for retirement for the dental hygienists or still consider it early to plan for their retirement. Other hygienists do not have any goals set for their retirement and how they are positioned for the retirement. The process of retirement is a function of two inter-related components that are personal retirement planning and financial retirement planning and many hygienists have none in place (Halls, 1999). Personal retirement planning should ensure the person is able to focus on any future factors that may affect their physical, psychological, emotional, biophychosocial and mental wellbeing which is a lacking component in many hygienists (Weiss, 2005). The person is supposed to analyze and assess factors that could sabotage or impair their satisfaction levels during their retirement life and have an alternative mechanism for averting personal and financial challenges that could negatively affect their life and lifestyles. Many retirees live a different lifestyle after retirement which is a product of poor retirement planning. The person should ensure they maximize opportunities in order to reap the best advantage of a healthy retirement. The person is supposed to ensure they have enough funds to cater for their choice of retirement lifestyle (O’Connor, 1998).

Theoretical Background

The process of retirement is a function of loss of income, loss of social networks and occupational identity (Kelly & Swisher, 1998). The process of retirement should be planned beforehand in order to prepare the retiree psychologically and mentally about the new life that they get into after retirement (Glass & Kilpatrick). Early retirement planning prepares the retiree for retirement and helps to provide continuity of life after active employment (O’Connor, 2003). O’Connor (2003) indicates that early retirement planning prepares the retiree to assess investment opportunities that can secure their retirement. It also equips the retiree with knowledge of opportunities that could secure their retirement like leaves of work absentia without pay, compensations that they are entitled to, information on disability benefits and insurance funded retirement and how each option could fit into their choices of lifestyles.

Significance of the study on dental hygienist retirement plans

The study will provide knowledge on financial challenges that the young professionals in dental hygiene are likely to face like exposure to credit at early age in their career, increased costs of living, increased inflation that affect their money buying power, increased life expectancy that calls for competent financial planning, and increased medical care at old age. The study will inform the dental hygienists on investments that are inflation-proof and how the dental hygienists could plan their lives in order to make an opportunity cost or best alternative trade off that could effectively manage their standards of living without compromising on their financial retirement plans.

The studies will lead into introduction of financial and retirement planning as a unit or module of study at the dental hygiene nursing schools in order to equip learners with adequate knowledge of investment, management of their retirement benefits, preparedness for retirement and planning for a comfortable lifestyle at the end of their career. The study will stimulate financial planning and retirement planning among dental hygienists by advising dental hygienists on financial planning and retirement investments that could benefit them and pitfalls that dental hygienists should avoid when making investment decisions or investment choices.

The studies on financial planning and retirement benefits for dental hygienists could lead into formation of dental hygiene body that would be responsible for addressing financial and retirement planning for dental hygiene, investment options for dental hygiene and be in charge of settling any retirement investment disputes. The dental hygiene umbrella will represent best interests of the dental hygienists and help bodies involved in dental hygiene research in terms of funding and taking part in the research through providing eligible research participants for the dental hygiene research studies.

The study will determine modalities of investment options that dental hygienists could derive value from and plans to incorporate dental hygienists into the investment schemes. The study will lead into financial planning for the dental hygienists, stimulate investment among the dental hygienists and help to secure the lives of dental hygienists after years of practice.

Proposed Method of Study

Proposed Setting

This will be a multi-setting randomized study. The participants will be drawn from public and private hospitals, Social security offices, tax consultants and investment planning agencies.

Recruiting Participants

The participants for the study will be recruited through randomized system where practicing hygienists, government social security officers, managers of private hospitals and owners of solely owned dental care facilities will be picked at random and a relevant questionnaire sent to them. The participants will be requested to participate in the study via the post or the e-mail.

Study Inclusion Criteria

The participants will satisfy the following inclusion criteria for them to take part in the study. They should sign an informed consent form to take part in the study. A personal identity confidentiality form will be sent to the expected participant providing information like their information will be treated confidentially and will only be used for the purpose of the study. The participant should be in dental health practice, owner of a private dental health care dispensing facility who has a current work force of 20 dental hygienists. Healthcare providers who might have enrolled for dental hygiene course and are currently students taking dental hygienist courses on part or full time basis. If the participant is not a member of the health care providers, the participant should be a practicing Tax consultant or investment planner.

Method of Colecting Data

The proposed data will be collected through surveys and structure questionnaire. Bizhelp (2009) argues that questionnaires can be posted or e-mailed to the respondent which has an advantage of saving not only time but also resources as opposed to face-to-face interviews that is time consuming, resource intensive and is likely to draw few participants due to corporate ethics of practice that may not require employees to take part in data collection during working hours (, 2009).

Method of Data Presentation

The data will be presented by using flow charts, bar charts, calibration graphs, histograms and frequency distribution tables. HKU (2009) indicates that tables and graphs are the best form of summarizing data and assists in rank-ordering of the responses.

Method of Data Analysis

The data will be analyzed by using least squares, fourier analysis, linear data plotter that adopts x-y analysis model, and SD calculator which will be used to calculate mean, standard deviation, co-efficient of variation and be plotted on histograms (Rudolf & Kruse, 2002; Collins II, 2003). Linear regression statistic will be used to determine gradient, y-intercept values and standard deviation along the regression line Sy/x and correlation coefficient; t-test statistic will be employed to determine mean difference between two data samples and degree of biasness determined (biasmeas and SDdiff)

Materials Needed for the Study

  1. Pens,
  2. Note pads
  3. Printing papers
  4. Transparencies (transparent papers for presentation)

Equipments Required for the Study

  1. Telephone
  2. Printer
  3. Computer with installed SPSS software
  4. Display devices

The Study Procedure

  1. Seeking approval of the study from ethical committee
  2. Recruitment of participants
  3. Sending letters to participants on confidentiality of their information
  4. Receiving request for participation from participants
  5. Getting information consent from the participant
  6. Sending questionnaires and surveys to the participants
  7. Analyzing the data received from the participants
  8. Tabulation of the data
  9. Analysis of the results
  10. Writing of the research report
  11. Submission of the research report

Premilinary Results and Discussion

The Study Work Plan

The Proposed Time Table of the Research

Seeking approval of the study from ethical committee Three weeks September 15th2009
Recruitment of participants Four weeks 18thOctober 2009
Sending letters to participants on confidentiality of their information Two weeks 4thNovember 2009
Receiving request for participation from participants Two weeks 20thNovember 2009
Getting information consent from the participant One week 30thNovember 2009
Sending questionnaires and surveys to the participants One week 9thDecember 2009
Analyzing the data received from the participants Two weeks 25thDecember 2009
Tabulation of the data One week 4thJanuary 2010
Analysis of the results One week 20thJanuary 2010
Writing of the research report Two weeks 8thFebruary 2010
Submission of the research report One week Between 9thFebruary 2010 and 19thFebruary 2010
Total time required Five months

Proposed Budget for the Study

Stationery USD 300.00
Mailing documents USD 1000.00
Internet use USD 600.00
Telephone USD 800.00
Printing services USD 200.00
Library services and registration USD 100.00
Wages for participants USD 5000.00
Total USD 12,000

Challenges That Could Affect Success of the Research

The time table of the proposed research could be affected by lack of enough funds to finance the research to completion. Many participants may not be willing to take part in the study due to personal reasons, lack of time or their need to comply with the terms of their employment which may prohibit release of information on what goes on, their terms of employment and retirement benefits that they expect. This is because some private health facilities provide their employees with a code of ethics that may sometimes bar them from releasing any information on the way the health facility performs its business. The participants may provide wrong and biased information that may affect the qualitative and quantitative analysis of the research which could lead into a future development of policies on the retirement plans for hygienists. There is also the challenge of office work ethics that may not require employees to participate in market data collection during working hours. This would result into low participants that are likely to increase the standard error.

Mechanisms of Solving the Challenges

The participants will be assured of their confidential information that they will give and that it will not be shared to a third party. This will motivate many participants to take part in the study. The participants will be informed that the information that they provide will be used for research purposes only in order to help in development of policies and strategies for managing retirement benefits or educating future hygienists on the way forward in their retirement planning. This will result into a large turn out and consequently decrease the statistical standard error.

Policy Implication of the Research

The research will result into policy development on retirement planning for hygienists. The research will provide hygienists with background information on different methods that they can use to improve security of their retirement by making appropriate investment that will ensure their life after retirement is comfortable. The research will create awareness to hygienists on different ways through which their financial retirement can be secured namely personal savings, employment pensions or social security retirement package. The research is envisioned to stimulate investment from the hygienists with aim of improving their capital base before and after retirement. The research will educate the hygienists on different retirement benefits that could help to secure their retirement life and ensure smooth transition to retirement. The research will stimulate hygienists to plan for their future and ensure they are able to plan how they will continue with normal life following loss of their workplace friends, loss of social networks and loss of income.

The research will add knowledge to hygienists on areas of investments that could guarantee a secure retirement like funded retirement. The research will provide information to employees on how they could manage their leaves of absence without pay that also affect their retirement benefits. The study will provide insights in what hygienists retirees could be entitled to in terms of disability benefits and compensations. The research is expected to result into a formation of a body that will address concerns of hygienists.

The research is envisioned to educate hygienists to plan early in their life for their retirement. This early planning would lead into retirees who are financially stable. This will help to reduce the government burden of investing in home care for persons who are aged financially. Retirement planning will help to cultivate positive attitude into the lives of the hygienists on the future. Being prepared for retirement will itself help to decrease stress related diseases and cardiovascular disorders that are commonly associated with retired people due to financial breakdown. It is expected that implementation of retirement planning across the whole domain of hygienists will help to increase life expectancy.


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