Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Retirement as a Small Business Owner


Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Retirement as a Small Business Owner

Small business owners know what it’s like to take care of everyone else — constantly ensuring customers are delighted, employees are satisfied, and their families are nourished. But often that leaves little time for other considerations, like planning for retirement. The thought can be overwhelming on top of all the other things that fall into the lap of a small business owner. And being self-employed means there is no company matching retirement contributions or making investment decisions.

2020 has brought many unanticipated — and perhaps unwelcome — changes to our world. Even taking the first step toward retirement planning can help you take back control and feel better about your future. You have planned the future of your business and dreamt about how it will grow and evolve; make sure you are doing the same thing for your own financial future.

Our tips for retirement planning for small business owners will get you started!

5 Tips to Prepare for Retirement

1. Plan and research thoroughly
Do your research to understand your investment options first. There are several self-employed retirement savings plans, each with various restrictions, benefits, and penalties. While you will certainly rely on experts, understanding your options and having some ideas of what suits your individual situation will put you in a good place when you speak with experts. Remember what works for one business owner does not always work for the next.

There are more online tools available now than ever before and you can try different calculators and programs to help you with your projections. Some are more complicated and expensive than others, but you can find many free versions that allow you to play with the numbers and see how changes you make could affect your future.

2. Rely on other professionals
You are a savvy small business owner and you know you cannot do it all yourself. You cannot be the expert on running your business smoothly and planning for retirement at the same time. Rely on experts you trust to help you with the highly specialized parts, like financial investments and insurance.

There are lots of ways you might decide to engage professionals. A quick Google search can help you identify resources in your area, such as small business groups or specialized networking groups. Depending on your situation, you may find you need to work with someone specifically meant to handle complex needs, such as healthcare for your family after retirement.

3. Use your network
Press on your network of strong business connections to guide you to professionals that will help you. It is likely you already have some colleagues or acquaintances in your network who specialize in financial planning for small business owners; all you need to do is ask.

Do you already belong to a community or small business owner’s networking group, either online or in-person? Maybe you have a strong LinkedIn presence you can look to or have friends with strong connections. These are all good sources to help you find financial planners to help with your retirement. Your existing network of small business owner colleagues have lots of wisdom to share!

4. Be disciplined in your retirement planning approach
As your own boss, you already know how to plan your business and focus on growing your business. Be sure you are as disciplined in planning for your financial security at retirement. It can be tempting to put this off but the earlier you start, the better off you will be when it is time to retire. Time is your friend in this instance!

If you have recently started your business it can be tempting to pour your resources and profits back into the business, but make sure you pay yourself, too. Think carefully about the future and how your investment can grow as your business does.

5. Set a regular time to review your retirement plan
As a small business owner you can be extremely busy, so do yourself a favor and set time regularly in your calendar to review your financial plan. Check on your investments and savings and make sure your bottom line is trending up. If needed, make adjustments during this scheduled time. The frequency is up to you: annually, semi-annually, or quarterly; you get to decide. While you likely already have regular meetings with your financial planner, these additional check-ins let you take stock of your situation at different times during the year.

Planning for Retirement in Today’s World
We have all experienced many challenges in 2020, from COVID-19 and its related health and safety concerns to the general economic downturn and political unease. With all this uncertainty, it remains clearer now than ever before that small business owners have a lot to manage every day. Retirement planning is a vital part of your business plan, and should not be neglected. Now is a great time to try some of our tips and give your retirement plan a boost.

The National Association for the Self-Employed is here to help. With resources and expert support for small business owners available 24/7, we can help you navigate the unknowns of retirement planning, even in these challenging times. 2020 may have thrown lots of curveballs but N.A.S.E. is still here to offer you advice and support.

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