The day will come when you will retire from business. It might be due to health issues or from old age. After working directly with hundreds and hundreds of clients I've met very few who have considered their own retirement. It makes me crazy.
I'm a firm believer in paying it forward to your own old age. You WILL retire from business at some point, whether you intend to or not.
I see business owners invest in their business, invest in their home, invest in travel, invest in their kids but fail to invest in themselves. This is foolhardy and means you live in denial about your own mortality.
If you fail to pay it forward to yourself for retirement, you have 5 choices later in life. My friends and teachers Merri and Gary Scott first outlined these 5 choices in a workshop I attended a few years ago.
- You can keep working until you die.
- You can move to a less expensive area in the U.S.
- You can move offshore to a country that is less expensive to live in.
- You can accept living in poverty.
- You can die.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that your children and grandchildren will be willing or even able to provide for you (if they do, more than likely #4 will be your fate). Don't make the mistake of thinking that the government will bail you out – it saves the big bailout money for banks, automobile manufacturers, and other large industrial concerns. The poor and elderly get squeezed more and more every year.
I don't want to hear that you can't afford it. You can. Planning to retire from business or against a time that you are ill and cannot work should be a key part of your business and financial planning.
You may need to control your operating costs better. You may need to increase your prices 10% and earmark that money for retirement. Whatever you need to do, to it.
I don't recommend a particular financial planner, but I believe every serious business owner needs someone. And I believe you should be rigorous in selecting one, evaluate their performance semi-annually, and hold them to a high standard. Make sure they are invested in what they want you to invest in. Make sure they don't get paid unless you get paid from your investments. If you won't hire someone to help you, get some books and financial newsletters and set aside time to educate yourself.
Don't put this off. Start today. Figure out a way you can spend $10 less today and put that away. Do the same thing tomorrow. Take 10% off the top and tithe to your old age. Let your business be successful and work for you now and later. You'll feel prepared, confident, and secure. Do it, please.