The wealth of many boomers is tied up in businesses they own. And that can be a problem when it comes time to retire. The Wall Street Journal published a very good article on this topic, and my WealthCounsel colleague, Lizette Sundvick, added the below commentary.
If you’re a small business owner, then you probably speak of your business and your life in the same breath. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you are in good company.
All told, your business is one of the biggest challenges and accomplishments in your life. That said, it’s rare that the business is the only fulfilling thing in your life. In addition, do you really want to continue working in and on your business until the day you die, with no retirement or with old-age eventually getting in the way?
With your life and your business so intertwined, it makes it all the more necessary to plan properly.
The Wall Street Journal took up this matter in a recent article titled Preparing to Leave. I recommend this article to your reading list because it both warns of mistakes and offers solutions.
To whet your appetite, here are the “mistakes” identified:
- Creating a business that’s too dependent on the owner.
- Ignoring the tax benefits of planning ahead.
- Incorrectly valuing the business.
- Rushing to accept a rich number.
- Hiring your brother-in-law to do the deal.
- Underestimating the emotional impact of selling a business.
Like those old movie matinees, I am going to leave you pondering the solutions to these “cliffhangers.”
In the end, only you know when to hold’em and ergo when to fold’em when it comes to the continuation of your business. However, don’t delay. You, your loved ones and others dependent on the business will be glad you didn’t.
Any one of these issues is well worth meeting and talking about, so I invite you to call me to set up a meeting. Let’s make sure you’re prepared to “Exit Gracefully”.
Reference: The Wall Street Journal (April 29, 2012) “Preparing to Leave”