Here is another preview from our upcoming book, “Value and Protect” – A Business Owner’s Guide to Business Value Protection Planning. What does it mean to be retired and how do business owners think about retirement? Put one hundred owners in a room and you will have a hundred different perspectives.

Peter Viliesis and I are committed to making all planning for business owners easier. Planning should taking less time and be more effective. All feedback is welcome as we work our way to the completion of the book.

Retirement for a business owner is a personal choice. There are no rules for how it should look. For the purposes of planning here is a good definition of “Retirement” for a Business Owner – The time when an owner ceases to actively work in the business they own or formerly owned. Let’s be clear, a business owner can continue to own a business and be retired or the business can transfer to another owner. There are many ways can choose to retire. Your idea of retirement will most likely change over time as your perspectives and priorities evolve.

You might ask, isn’t all of this covered in Succession Planning? Yes, all of the business value protection planning areas are interconnected. Some succession planning deals with retirement  however retirement planning is answering the questions about what is life going to look like personally and financially after you the owner stops working.

The earlier you think about and start to plan for retirement as a business owner the more prepared you will be. Start by asking yourself the questions in this worksheet. You need to ask these questions.

The worksheet is designed to be a first cut in the retirement planning process. I don’t know is a perfectly acceptable answer when you start planning. We do not use “Maybe” in the worksheet. We chose to use “I Don’t Know.” It is okay to not know and this is a far more definitive answer than simply replying “maybe.” Maybe is kicking the can down the road.

Using this tool makes planning for retirement easier. You can get through this in under five minutes and get a good perspective on how prepared you are for retirement. Your advisors will have a better understanding of where to start with you.

This is a good moment to pause and remember the whole premise of this book, Value and Protect your business. Knowing the value of your business puts you in a better place to make decisions. Taking a few minutes with this worksheet is now more productive because you are not guessing about what your business is worth.

Ultimately the money you need to live in retirement will come from outside your business, inside your business and the sale or ownership of the business.

This is an excellent visualization of retirement planning for business owners. It is easy to get lost in the jargon of investment products and plan names. Using the two charts shown in this retirement section will put you far ahead of most other owners when it comes to planning.

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