As a business owner, you have a lot of pressure. Not only are you in charge of figuring out the best retirement plan for you and your family, but you may feel responsible for providing options for your employees as well. The problem is, there’s a lot on your plate and creating a retirement savings plan never seems to make it to the top of your to-do list. If that sounds like you, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent 2017 Manta survey revealed over one-third of small businesses polled did not have retirement savings or succession plans in place for their business. (1)
If your business is lacking a retirement plan, do your future self a favor and start working on it today. Here are some tips to get you going.
1. Evaluate Your Current Situation
Write out where your business is now and where you’re headed. Do you currently (or plan to) have employees? How many? Should you offer them a retirement plan? Despite being an additional business expense, this may be necessary if you want to attract top talent to your company. The answers to these questions will help determine which retirement accounts you should use.
2. Educate Yourself
Once you determine where you are in your business, you can start exploring the different retirement plan solutions available to you. If you have employees and want to offer them retirement accounts, two of the most popular options are a SIMPLE IRA or a SEP IRA. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages. If you don’t have employees or do not plan to offer them retirement accounts, you can contribute to an IRA or Solo 401(k). These are by no means the only options available, and a financial advisor will be able to help you choose the best plan for you.
3. Look Ahead To The Future
Do you have an exit plan? This is an essential step that should be addressed in the beginning stages of your business. Unfortunately, it’s one that is often overlooked. Your business will likely become one of your largest assets. So if you want to be able to take advantage of those assets in retirement, you need to have a succession plan. This means taking steps toward making your business operational without you. If your business relies on you to function successfully, you’re going to have a tough time selling when you want to retire.
Also, it’s important not to depend entirely on your business assets to fund your retirement. This is because you want to be as flexible as possible. As you know, the market has its ups and downs, and you want to make sure you’re able to sell when it’s on the “up.” Flexibility allows you to do this. It would be a shame if you depended on your business assets to survive in retirement and were forced to sell at a low price during poor market conditions.
4. Create Your Road Map
Once you have a clear idea of where you are now, where you’d like to be, and how you might be able to get there, it’s time to create a specific road map. This is where you take your vague ideas and turn them into specific goals with actionable steps. If this sounds a bit intimidating to you, know that you don’t have to do it alone. Allowing a financial advisor to guide you along this path is one of the smartest business decisions you’ll ever make.
5. The Long-Term Picture
Once you have a road map in place, it will feel like a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. But the work doesn’t stop there. Now you must put that plan into action, monitor your progress, and continue making adjustments as needed. To make sure this doesn’t slip through the cracks, it’s a good idea to schedule regular retirement planning “check-ins” on your calendar. Use these times to evaluate your progress and make any necessary changes.
You Shouldn’t Do It Alone
As a business owner, retirement planning is never a “set it and forget it” deal. You must be continually adjusting as your business grows and your goals change. Because of this, it’s essential to build a relationship with a financial advisor who can help you design a strategy to help you achieve your goals. If you’re interested in creating an actionable retirement plan for your small business, call us today at (515) 226-0115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terry Garland is the founder and CEO of Golden Capital Management with more than 25 years of industry experience. He works with individuals, small-to-medium-sized businesses, and medical professionals, including physicians and dentists, allowing them access to a wide variety of specialized services and investment vehicles to fit their specific needs. He graduated from Drake University and attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is a certified wealth strategist and a registered principal. With offices in Des Moines, Iowa, and Carlsbad, California, he serves clients across the country. Learn more by connecting with Terry onLinkedIn.