Will you Flunk Retirement?

With many Canadian Business Owners nearing the age of retirement, the statistics show that many haven't thought through what will happen to their business.

In the June 1996 edition of Fortune Magazine, Lee Iacocca, past President of Chrysler Corporation, admitted that he had "flunked retirement". His quote, "You plan everything in life, and then the roof caves in on you because you haven't done enough thinking about who you are and what you should do with the rest of your life."

But the real question is-Should you Retire?

For their book, "Don't Retire, Rewire!", Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners interviewed hundreds of retired business owners and came up with "8 Reasons that you could Flunk Retirement". Take these into consideration as you do your own deliberations.

1. Retiring for the Wrong Reasons

Just because you have achieved a certain financial level to allow you to stop working, doesn't mean that you should. If you enjoy what you do, why give it up?

2. Failing to grasp the Emotional Ramifications

Ask yourself, "If I retired today, what would I miss?" While the first thing on your list might be the money, there are probably a lot of other things that drive you to work.

3. Not enough Soul Searching

It is important to take the time, pre-retirement, to think about Who you are and What you value most.

4. No Plan

While we in the Financial Services Industry harp on Financial Plans, remember that you and your spouse need to be making personal plans as well.

5. The mistaken notion that Rest, Leisure and Recreation are Enough

Boredom can be a real risk in retirement and often leads to depression. There are almost limitless alternatives for learning, doing and creating.

6. Failure to Stay Connected with Society

Staying connected can be very critical for business owners and often they decide to go back to work or start a new venture. Don't lose your contacts!

7. Expecting a spouse or partner to provide your entertainment and support

Does your spouse want to retire, just because you do? Your partner may have a very different notion of what retirement should look like. A major discussion point.

8. Failure to appreciate what's going to be left behind.

While you may have unreasonable customers, long hours and too much travel time, it may look good when you have nothing else to do. Remember the words of Joni Mitchell: "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till its gone?"