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Retirement Planning For Small Business Owners

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 8 Feb 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Retirement Planning For Small Business

Whether you employ staff or not, if you are self-employed, two of the most important issues you’ll need to plan for when it comes to planning for your retirement is making adequate financial provisions and you’ll also need to think about your ‘exit strategy’.

Considering Your Pension Requirements

Although you’ll qualify for the basic state pension, providing you’ve been making contributions over a sufficient period, you’ll need to consider taking out a private pension, like a stakeholder or personal pension, if you wish to ensure that you have a sufficient income when you retire. The amount you’ll need to put into a private pension will depend on how much income you think you’ll need when you retire and this will obviously differ from person to person. The basic considerations you’ll need to look at are:

  • The age you plan to retire
  • The amount of state pension you’ll receive
  • Your basic living expenses when you retire
  • The type of lifestyle you want to have
  • Whether you’re likely to have any dependent children or not
  • Other financial assets you might also have – e.g. property, investments, savings etc.

Your pension provider is a good person to speak to regarding these matters. They will be able to help you plan for the future and will be able to make forecasts about how much you might need to increase your pension contributions, based upon the considerations outlined above.

Consider Your Exit Strategy

The other important issue that you’re going to have to deal with is what you plan on doing with the business when you retire. If you also have employees, it’s important that firm plans are in place in order to avoid any disruption or upheaval once you have left the business. By going into business in the first place, you’ll, no doubt, have had a clear vision of what you intend to get out of it and ultimately, you’ll be wanting to shape the business and steer it on a course by which you can leave it when you retire when, hopefully, it is still doing well and the market is buoyant. It may well be that you intend handing over the reins to a family member or you might wish to groom other potential successors who will be ready to take over when you decide to retire and so this needs careful planning.

How An Exit Strategy Can Impact Upon A Business

Leaving a business which you have built up can be subject to a number of consequences as a result of you leaving. The timing and the way you retire can affect the value both yourself and any other shareholders might receive from the business. If you’re selling the business on, you’ll need to decide how you want to receive payment for it. Sometimes, for example, you will simply receive a one-off cash lump sum for the sale. However, you may prefer staged payments or, perhaps, defer payments for a while if you don’t wish to take advantage of the sale immediately. You might also be considering maintaining some kind of involvement in the business in a greatly reduced capacity and the way you exit can sometimes affect your tax liabilities.

Whatever you decide to do, you should seek professional advice about how best to exit the business when you retire as doing it correctly and appropriately will ensure both yours and the business’ future success unless you’re planning to wind it up when you retire.

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