When it’s Time to Retire

RetireYou’ve worked hard for many years and its nearly time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Retirement! Some people talk about it all the time and others insist that they will never leave work, but too few people talk about what their plans actually are. I don’t mean saving money – I’m fairly certain you’ve done that. I’m also not talking about the trips you’re planning or the pastimes you hope to catch up on. I’m talking about what you’re leaving behind at work.

Some people talk about it all the time
and others insist that they will never leave work

Where do your clients go? Have you given any thought to who will be taking on your clients? Are you handing them all to a junior partner or another colleague? Not so fast – unless you are incredibly specialized, your client list isn’t “one size fits all.” It may be wise to divide your client list into different groups and consider which of your peers is best suited to handle the needs of each. Have a few different people in mind. Your clients will appreciate this extra care and attention.

Have you given any thought to who
will be taking on your clients?

What happens to your business? Maybe you are a small operation. Maybe you have a small staff. Regardless, you have some sort of entity that you are moving on from. Is your business something that you can sell? Will that decision serve your clients? Perhaps you share your firm with other colleagues who might may wish to “buy you out.” Family businesses have their own unique considerations; are your relatives ready to take on what you’re leaving behind? Whatever your situation, think carefully about how your business survives this transition – assuming that it continues after your retirement, at all.

Family businesses have their own unique
considerations; are your relatives ready to
take on what you’re leaving behind?

Are you really looking to stop working entirely? Or do you just want to scale things back? There’s no harm in simply reducing the hours that you work. Yes, you might want to either transfer some of your clients, or find someone to relieve you of some of your responsibilities. But you might also want to keep a hand in the game in order to maintain your income or just remain active. Whatever your reason, making that extra time can be done in whatever way suits your needs.

Retirement takes many forms. Like a sculptor looks at a block of marble or a mound of clay and produces a work of art, so must you look at your professional life and decide how to transform it into your retirement. It bears careful consideration and planning so that you may fully enjoy the result.

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