Own a business and headed for retirement? What's next: Weigh your options

Feb 10, 2012, 8:23 a.m.

If you have decided that it is finally time to enjoy the retirement you have so justly earned, the normal course of action is to simply inform the powers-that-be of your intentions and wrap up the work at the old workplace. When you yourself are the powers-that-be, however, that can really change everything. There is no doubt that owning a business makes everything different, from working with employees to payroll, and this extends into retirement plans as well.

What Are Your Options?

As the owner, you get to call the shots here so the most important question is really: What do you want your options to be? Do you want to keep the business going, perhaps for a family member to take over in your stead? If this is the case, you might want to be sure to leave plenty of time prior to your actual retirement date before you completely bow out of the business and make the retirement official. This will give you all the time you need to train your successor as thoroughly as possible. There can be a pretty big drawback to this solution, however, which might lead to more of a semi-retirement. Since the person or people you have left in charge will know how to reach you to get help whenever they get confused or need help, you might be spending a lot of your precious retirement time...doing more of the same old work.

Another option is selling your business and simply enjoying the fruits of your labor. Maybe this is the time for you to kick back and take that round-the-world cruise that you and your wife have always dreamed about but never had the time or money for. With the proceeds from the sale of your business, you will have the financial resources you need to live on for your retirement years, but you will still need to contact a financial adviser to make sure that you can stretch your money for as long as you will be needing it. Consider the fact that you might miss working, and that if you sell your business and let it go completely, that you may need to find some new hobbies and interests to fill your time. You might even want to start a new business from home, but on a smaller scale that does not require as much of your time.

Ultimately, your retirement options while owning a business are entirely up to you, but you need to start to consider these options at least a year or so before the actual retirement date. This will be the next big phase of your life, so make sure that your senior years are the best ones yet!

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