Saving for retirement as a business owner

Here are some suggestions to help you plan well to enjoy the retirement you deserve.

Entrepreneurs can’t rely on a company pension plan to fund their golden years, so they must take extra steps to create their own retirement savings. Here are some suggestions to help you plan well to enjoy the retirement you deserve.

Develop a savings strategy

You can’t hit the target unless you can see it. So start your retirement planning process by answering these basic questions:

  • When do you want to retire?
  • How much money do you believe you’ll need to retire?
  • What are your retirement plans?

Once you have a rough idea of your retirement objectives, it’s time to consult with some experts to help develop a strategy. Work closely with your financial advisor, banker, lawyer and accountant.

A good plan should be revisited every few years to make sure it’s kept up to date. Meanwhile, your financial advisor will be the one actively monitoring your investments in order to provide frequent reports.

Build a diversified portfolio

As part of your retirement plan, your financial advisor, banker or accountant may recommend that you invest in a variety of financial products to build wealth. Popular options include:

  • RRSPs – often a Retirement Savings Plan is the primary vehicle small business owners’ use for tax-deferred investment growth.
  • TFSAs – another appealing option for small business owners, Tax-Free Savings Accounts allow you to contribute up to $10,000 annually and withdraw at any time penalty-free.
  • IPPs - Individual Pension Plans are an option if you pay yourself a regular salary that generates T-4 employment income. By forcing your business to make regular tax-deductible contributions, you can meet aggressive savings targets quickly.

Speak with a Scotiabank Small Business Advisor to learn more about the retirement investment options that are best for you.

Create an exit plan for your business

Developing an exit plan for your business well in advance will give you time to talk over the details with your financial advisor and make better, more advantageous decisions.

Deciding, for instance, who should lead your company is a major consideration because it may take several years to groom someone for the role. It will similarly take time to train your management team should you decide to sell your business to employees. You’ll want to get the timing right in order to meet your retirement deadline.

There’s a risk to relying exclusively on the proceeds from the sale of your business to fund your retirement nest egg. Although many business owners hope to sell their company for a large sum when it's time to retire, sometimes businesses take years to sell, sell for less than what they're worth, or don’t sell at all. By contributing to a personalized retirement plan early you'll accumulate wealth over time – and enjoy a comfortable retirement when the time comes.

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