4 key steps to successfully transitioning from business ownership to retirement

Deciding that the time is right to move on and retire as a business owner is a significant moment.

After so many years spent building your business, you might well be looking forward to the time when you can finally put your feet up and relax after a lifetime of hard work.

Equally, you may also be slightly concerned or worried about it. After all, any big life change like this can simultaneously feel daunting as well as exciting.

Whichever way you’re feeling about this next phase of your life, careful planning is central to ensuring that the shift is smooth and successful. So, read these four key steps to help you make the transition from business ownership to retirement.

1. Choose when you want to retire

First and foremost, you need to choose when you want to retire.

You might currently envision simply retiring when you feel that the time is right. However, this is unlikely to be as straightforward as it sounds. That’s why it can be sensible to have an idea of when you want to retire ahead of actually doing so.

There are many factors that can influence when will be best for you to retire, including:

  • How much you enjoy your work
  • The current state of the business, how well it’s performing, and any projects you’re undertaking
  • What you want to do in retirement (more on this later)
  • Your health.

As a result, it can be helpful to create a rough plan of when you want to retire. You might choose an age at which you think you’ll be ready to finish, or you could choose a milestone in the business, such as a certain number of years at the helm or even a revenue target.

Of course, many of the elements that might influence your decision are changeable, and the goalposts may well move over time. This is entirely fine, and you can simply change your target to be sooner or later if you want to.

Even so, having an idea of when you’ll look to wrap up to begin with is an important first step, giving you a goal to aim for when making other planning decisions.

2. Plan for what you want to do with your time in later life

Owning a business is a colossal commitment, taking up an enormous amount of time as you pour blood, sweat, and tears into your enterprise. For many business owners, their company even becomes a central part of their identity as they spend so much time growing it.

As a result, deciding to retire or sell up and move on can leave a gap. While you no longer have the business to focus on, you might still have that same drive to achieve, and you’ll almost certainly have plenty of free time.

That’s why planning for how you’ll fill this time is so important. Otherwise, you might arrive at retirement and find yourself at a loose end.

Take some time to think about your goals for the future and what you want out of life. This will be entirely personal to you, whether you want to travel and absorb as much of the world as possible, or simply pick up a hobby or learn a new skill such as playing an instrument.

It could even be to start a new, smaller venture, using all the skills you’ve acquired throughout your career to build a business revolving around something you care about.

No matter what you want to do, planning how you’ll spend your time can give you purpose and routine, something that many business owners can miss once they finally move on.

3. Set aside time in your business to plan for retirement

Your schedule is no doubt packed as a business owner. Whether it’s meetings to discuss new products and services, or carrying out performance reviews, there will always be hefty demands on your time. As a result, planning for what comes next can easily fall away as a priority.

That’s why you need to set aside adequate time from your work to do this, treating retirement planning as a high priority, equally as valuable as any other business planning you undertake.

The last thing you want is to arrive at retirement without any clue of what you’re going to do next or how you’re going to achieve those goals. So, take the time to do this properly in among your other business responsibilities.

Remember, as we discussed earlier, you can always change your plans if you want to. Even if you develop a plan now, it will likely be easier to make small revisions to it when you find yourself at retirement, rather than starting from scratch in a rush.

That way, you can simply revisit your plan once every year to check your progress and make any edits you want.

4. Work with an expert

Perhaps the most valuable thing you can do is to work with a financial planner, giving you an expert in your corner to bring all these elements together.

A planner will start by helping you to work out your priorities and set goals for your future. From here, they can then make suggestions as to how to organise your wealth so you can achieve them.

They’ll also help you prioritise your retirement planning, ensuring that you give it adequate time and attention.

At Rosebridge, we work with business owners just like you to help them successfully plan for their futures, making sure that they’re able to successfully manage this significant shift.

So, if you need help managing your money to help you transition from business owner to happy retiree, get in touch with us today.

Email enquiries@rosebridgeltd.com or call 01204 300010 to speak to our team of experts.

Please note

This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.


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