How Business Owners Can Mentally Prepare for Retirement
Preparing for retirement and leaving your small business can require a range of activities, from devising an exit strategy and undertaking succession planning to anticipating avenues of retirement income. But perhaps just as importantly, a business owner should also be prepared mentally for the great changes that can come with retirement.
When you're ready to begin thinking about your life beyond the business you run today, you may want to:
Get a "reality check" on your physical well-being. In the often-overwhelming crush of running a business, it's easy to neglect taking care of one's own health. But as you grow older and approach retirement, it's more important than ever to attend to your physical well-being.
There's no more excuse for putting off your annual checkup and other preventive exams, and to draw up an exercise plan that you can commit to. Whether it's golf, tennis, or swimming, or even just a healthy walk in the neighborhood, exercise will help you prepare for the mental transition to your new life.
Craft a mission statement for the next stage of life. What would you like to do most when you retire? Future goals may include travel, spending more time with grandchildren, pursuing a new hobby, etc. Put together a list of what you'd like to achieve; perhaps include activities you couldn't get to when you were so busy with your business.
Prepare to experience some grief. Life's going to change dramatically upon retirement. You may miss the pace of daily life in the workplace, as well as the fellowship of colleagues and employees. Be ready to experience a sense of loss, while recognizing it's all part of the process of moving on.
Maintain relationships that are important to you. Business owners often feel a sense of isolation after retirement, due to a sharply reduced degree of contact with people who have been important in their lives. That's why it's important to maintain contact with friends and esteemed professional colleagues, or work to forge new relationships based on common interests and activities.
The key is giving this some thought before the day you retire from your small business. Start keeping notes, save materials that cross your desk, and seize a few moments during the day to consider what lies ahead. This way, you won't be caught mentally off-guard when the inevitable retirement day arrives.
Preparing for retirement isn't something to dread. It's cause for celebration and a new stage in the life of a successful entrepreneur or business owner.