Broker Check

Are You Making These Common Mistakes?

As you look forward towards your future retirement you find yourself concerned about reaching specific retirement goals. Often having experienced the roller coaster ride of the stock market. And more often receiving very little if any direction in addressing those goals. Often feeling you are simply throwing money at a moving target that seems to be getting you nowhere. Nor are you aware of what tools are available to you to pursue and accomplish your retirement aspirations.

The retirement landscape is not what it was, and for many, the ability to retire can seem elusive. Many Americans are worried about whether they can afford to retire and how to ensure that their savings last as long as needed.

A third of small business owners don’t have retirement strategies in place.(1) Not creating a Retirement Road Map is Mistake #1.

  • Define your ideal retirement. Clarify when you want to retire and what lifestyle you hope to enjoy.
  • Build strategies to address your retirement. Determine the actions you need to take to fill the gaps between your current assets and the income you will need to support your desired retirement.
  • Hold yourself accountable. Do not let the busy life of business ownership keep you from staying on track toward the retirement you desire.

Not having an Exit Strategy is Mistake #2. Only 30% of US businesses survive to the 2nd generation—and 12% to the 3rd generation.(2) 

  • Define your ideal exit strategy. Do you want to sell your business? Pass it to the next generation? Find an outside successor?
  • Determine the real value of your business. Hire a qualified professional to provide a clear valuation of your company as it is today. Depending on how far you are from retirement or exiting, you might need to revisit this valuation in the future.
  • Create a strategy—and stick to it.  Your exit strategy might require you to hire new people, adjust your services, or implement a number of other changes.

Mistake #3 is not having separate retirement savings.  In one survey of entrepreneurs, 75% had saved “$100,000 or less” in retirement accounts.(3)

  • Balance your personal and professional finances. When deciding how to invest your available assets or what salary to draw, make sure you focus on addressing both sides of your financial life.
  • Explore available retirement-savings tools. From SEP IRAs to 401(k)s and beyond, small business owners have access to a variety of vehicles for building retirement savings.
  • Review your budget, and create a disciplined savings approach. Identify ways you might be able to trim your current expenses or save on your tax liabilities. Also, establish a habit of regularly contributing to your personal retirement savings.

Not having enough Life Insurance Coverage is Mistake #4 for small business owners. Only 47% of small companies have any type of business life insurance.(4)

  • Analyze your current life insurance coverage.  Do you have the right tools? Do you have unrecognized gaps?
  • Address your family’s life insurance needs.  Calculate your total debts and expenses to find the amount your family would need if you were to pass away prematurely.
  • Uncover your business life insurance opportunities.  Work with us to determine how life insurance might be able to help support both your business needs and your retirement goals.

The combination of mixed emotions and financial worries may lead you to delay your retirement planning. However, we believe the most prudent course is to start thinking now about your retirement needs. By looking ahead today, you can develop informed perspectives and strategies about your retirement options and make adjustments where necessary.


  1. “One-Third of Small Business Owners Have No RetirementPlan—Do You?” allBusiness. [Accessed Mar. 21, 2019]
  2. “Succession Planning For Family Business: Who Will Lead When You Retire?” Forbes. [Accessed Mar. 21, 2019]
  3. “5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Start Preparing For Retirement.” Forbes. [Accessed Mar. 21, 2019]
  4. A Guide to Life Insurance for Small Business.” SunLife Financial. [Accessed Mar. 21, 2019]