Ralph Crawford


September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

Some weeks ago we took a bus tour with a group of seniors — a break in routine that we always enjoy. Bus tours have, particularly for older folk, certain advantages. Someone else does all the driving, they tell you when to get on and off the bus, all your hotel accommodations and most of your meals are included, as are the sightseeing ventures and entertainment. This particular tour took us into Seattle Washington where we stayed at a fairly new, very fashionable, 375 room resort casino. The rooms were certainly above your average hotel fare and the all-you-can-eat buffet was certainly exceptional.

But what really fascinated us was the casino. Not being anything but occasional amateur gamblers we were overwhelmed with the almost 2,000 slot machines and gaming tables – all on one floor –that were available 24 hours a day. I can’t verify how busy the slots were in the small hours of the morning but because we had to pass through the casino to access the buffet I know they were well attended day and night. And as any of you who have been to casinos can attest, the makeup of those playing the slots come in all varieties of life – age, gender, race and probably rich and poor.

Although I didn’t particularly stop and stare it seemed to me that some of the gamblers were glued to their seats by the hour.

Our own gambling experience over the years is limited and brief except for the occasional visit to a casino a couple times a year and buying the odd lottery ticket. Knowing nothing about slot machine pay-outs, percentages, etc., and being somewhat money conscious, we allowed ourselves $40.00 a day for gambling. As you have already guessed, we didn’t gamble long before the $40.00 was gone and came home winless. On the other hand, some of our friends did win with payouts in the low hundreds.

As noted above, for us the inexperienced, the whole business of gambling is fascinating. I really can’t get my mind around those who willingly spend a great deal of hard earned money with no guarantee of a return. And when I turn my mind to our Professional Advisory I’m more convinced than ever that within its pages there is no gamble whatsoever and the potential for a valuable return is outstanding. When David Lind deals with Irrational Exuberance or The New Normal his outline of what is happening in the changing of the practice sales market isn’t about gambling, it’s sage advice on how to succeed. Likewise, in T is for Type of Income, David Chong Yen and Louise Wong suggest that understanding – not gambling — the types of your income will help maximize the amount of dollars that reaches your pocket.

And certainly there’s no gambling involved when Ron Weintraub outlines the benefits of Successful Dental Strategies for a Rapidly Changing Demographic. Attention to the needs of the senior demographic offers benefits for them as well as to dental practices. In his article Real Retirement Concerns, Mark McNulty advises dentists that there are real considerations that can make and break retirement. Taking these realities seriously no doubt takes the gamble out of when and how to retire. Ian Toms in his Tenant Representation tells us that over the past 20 years there has been remarkable changes for tenants to manage locations. He suggests you don’t gamble with the process: “It boils down to one key issue. Is the person who will be completing the negotiation on your behalf be the right fit”?

Finally, as we recall the tremendous contributions of Barry Spiegel over 36 volumes of The Professional Advisory and are sadly aware of his passing last July, we know that as we read the reprint of his last article Do As I Do or Do As I Say, there was no gamble in planning his retirement. His life was based and lived on the surest things of value and doing what was right.