Varno + Company

Who is Joe?

I am a born-and-bred Minnesotan and I live next door to the house in which I grew up. My wife Valerie and I have been married for over 31 years; I love her more now than ever. Our three daughters, Rachel, Kelly and Megan are all married to wonderful men and I am blessed with three grandchildren.

Growing up, I cut lawns, shoveled driveways, delivered newspapers and helped with chores at home. This taught me the value of hard work, perseverance and the satisfaction of a job well done.

I completed both my undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota. In 1985 I began my dental practice. At the outset, I purchased disability Insurance policies so in the unimaginable event that I became sick or hurt and could no longer practice dentistry, my family and I would be ok.

During my 19 years of practice, I followed a path of high integrity. My philosophy: put my clients’ interests ahead of my own. I believe in doing the right thing.

I also learned how to run a business, read a P&L and understand a balance sheet.

In 2004, I developed debilitating Carpel Tunnel Syndrome. I had to sell my dental practice and walk away from the education and purpose I had worked so hard to build.

I filed my disability claims with my medical records and physician’s statement that I could no longer practice dentistry. Two of the three DI companies denied my claim.

This event affected me so strongly that it blossomed into my new career. I became passionate about helping my fellow health care practitioners. Together, we wade through 30-40 pages of disability policy and I alert them to the pitfalls of a poorly-written contract. I have found there are a lot of poor contracts out there.

When I sold my practice, “Uncle Sam” was there with his hand out. The government wanted 28% of the sales proceeds. My exact thoughts: “What the heck did they ever do to help me build it, maintain it, and WHY do they think they should get a big piece of it?”

Right then, I found my new life’s purpose. I stand up for people’s rights, work with their tax advisor and help educate them so they can keep more of what is legally theirs. I put a stake in the ground for them and say, “Not on my watch!”