Categorized | Business


Planning for Retirement

By Tom Irmen

One thing all of us self-employed individuals share in common is our busy, and occasionally hectic, lifestyles. This balancing act of family and business however, though challenging, is the true mark of every successful entrepreneur.

Busy lives, which are often the end result of our success, require us to prioritize a multitude of decisions – some important, some not so. Some require our immediate attention, and others can be postponed.

One important decision all too often postponed or ignored altogether is planning for retirement. If you’re in your 20s or 30s, it’s understandable. But it’s never too early to begin planning. In fact, the earlier you start, the greater the resources you will accumulate to secure a successful retirement. Also, the earlier you start planning, the greater flexibility you will have should you need to recover from an unexpected financial setback.

Sadly, there are a growing number of self-employed persons at or near middle age that have put off retirement planning for far too long. Relying on social security or the equity in your home or business is no assurance of a safe and secure retirement. In fact, the uncertainties existing in today’s real estate and financial marketplaces that have become the new normal during the past decade should serve as a warning to all of us contemplating retirement, whether in 30 years or in the not too distant future.

So how should you proceed in planning for retirement? First, make it a priority. Second, unless you possess the needed skills to plan for issues such as investing, long-term care, wills, and much more, you’re likely going to need to rely on the advice of a professional.

But here’s where your plan for retirement can become challenging, because not all financial experts are “experts.” Many “experts” are merely commissioned salespeople who lack the education, experience, or even the desire to conduct the comprehensive analysis of your unique circumstances required before creating your personalized retirement plan.

It’s not always easy to select the real experts from those masquerading as one. Take your time, ask for references, and make certain that you’re comfortable with how your financial planner is remunerated. Choose wisely, and find an “expert” that is truly as committed to your goals as you are. Choose as if your future depended on it, because it does.

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