Small Business Brief


How to Prepare For Retirement When You’re a Small Business Owner

When you launched your own business, had you already started considering retirement? Sure, it probably came up, but launching a business is so time-consuming and fraught with challenges. Anything that’s not an immediate concern can wait for later. Besides, most entrepreneurs would be satisfied with running their business that long, let alone retiring off of it.

The unfortunate reality is that the longer you put off retirement planning, the more difficult it becomes. That doesn’t mean it’s too late; just that now’s the time to start. 

Keep reading to what a small business owner can do to prepare for retirement.

Craft Your Plan

Retiring right relies on setting a plan. You need to set a destination before you can reach it. Crafting a retirement plan lets you map out what you want your retirement to look like. You can then determine the actions required to achieve that.

What does retirement look like for you? You’ve likely sacrificed much for your business to succeed. If you want to reward yourself with travel and leisure, be realistic about what you’ll need to live that way.

Determine, too, what you want to happen to your business. Whether you pass it on or sell it can have a major impact on your retirement income. You may need to prioritize your comfort against the continuation of your business.

Figuring out what your challenges will be is easier when you still have time to influence circumstances. There may be actions you can take to better fulfill your retirement needs.

Prepare Your Business

There are two options for a business after the owner retires. Either someone succeeds the previous owner, taking over operations, or the business is sold. Both options require planning.

Plan for Succession

If you want your business to continue without you, you’ll need to find someone to take over. As one of the most fundamental changes a business can make, it needs to be done delicately.

Get a reliable owner and lay out your plans. Discuss with family, friends, and appropriate employees what you’d like to see happen. Mixing business with family and friends is always risky. Giving yourself time for proper communication can make things easier.

Knowing that your business will continue without you is greatly satisfying. It’s a permanent mark of your success. The trade-off, of course, is that you don’t get the windfall that a sale would offer.

Sell Your Business

Selling your business may be necessary to afford any retirement at all. Whatever your needs, if you do choose to sell, your path to retirement will be very different.

Most small businesses are sole proprietorships. The sad truth is, that’s not a very attractive business to buyers. What you should do, then, is find ways to grow your business.

Having a staff, including people to manage day-to-day operations makes your business far more attractive. That means you need to think less about the typical managerial needs and focus more on executive decisions.

The challenge is far greater, but the potential rewards as much so.

The Small Business Owner Retirement Plan

Running a business doesn’t leave the small business owner much time to think about much else. But, like taxes, retirement is inevitable. Putting in a plan early will ease much of the uncertainty that comes with retirement.

Getting the retirement you want can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Follow the above plan to start making decisions that will deliver you the retirement you want.

For more ideas on running your small business, visit our blog. There are a number of articles to help you run your business better.