By Chris Heisten, CRPC®, CFP®, CSRIC®
Business owners face unique challenges, especially as it relates to their finances. They have more retirement plan options that could set them up for financial success in the future, but they also could pay higher taxes than a non-business owner. They are also prone to reinvest in their own business, which could be great for growth but often makes it difficult to transition to a new endeavor or retire completely.
As small business owners ourselves, we enjoy taking on these challenges and helping our clients succeed in their business life and in moving on to something else when they’re ready.
In this post, I’d like to share how we helped a client of ours transition from owning her own business to exiting so she could enjoy an early retirement.
We met Susan (not her real name) four years ago, when she was knee-deep in her work as a doctor, hoping she could plan for an early retirement. While she enjoyed her work, it was quite draining and she was looking to spend more time on fun hobbies like traveling and even creating her own documentaries. She was also recently divorced, and because her ex-husband had always handled the finances, navigating her wealth was new territory.
Susan wanted to retire within five years, but she also wanted to have a firm understanding of how that was even possible. Before we started working together, she was actually a client of another firm that wasn’t making her an active partner in putting her retirement plan in place. Instead, they were more focused on pushing certain products on her without fully explaining why they were necessary or how they fit into her overall retirement plan.
She also wanted help with the myriad of issues surrounding her recent divorce, and how to manage these issues for herself and her kids.
When Susan realized her former advisors weren’t equipped to handle her needs and guide her to this new stage of life, she met with and eventually hired us to help her moving forward.
One drastic difference is instead of pushing products, we got to know her and her retirement goals quite intimately. Our aim was to know when she wanted to retire, what an ideal retirement meant to her, and what was important to her in life and with her finances.
Only after spending the ample time devoted to these issues did Susan feel comfortable and confident in listening to us gameplan her retirement. With the necessary trust in place, we were able to build potential solutions to her problems, ensuring that every step of the way she had confidence in the plan and what our recommendations were to achieve her goals.
After mapping out her retirement plan, and then taking action to implement it over the last four years, we are excited to say that Susan is on track to retire next year, at the age of 55. While Susan will be able to retire from her fulfilling but stressful job, and transition to a different way of spending her time, our work on her retirement plan will enter into a new phase.
Instead of preparing Susan to retire, we will now focus on her ability to maintain a comfortable lifestyle from her hard-earned investments, ensure we are maximizing every tax-planning opportunity, and review her estate plan so it meets her wishes during her life and at her passing.
With the open and honest communication about what was important to Susan, as well as our holistic, no-sales-pressure approach to financial planning, we were able to get Susan to her retirement goal in time for her to enjoy her next chapter at a young age.
Want Help Exiting Your Business and Starting Retirement?
If you’re a business owner who’s experienced business success but excited about a new stage of life (with less work and more play), we’d love to see if we can help. At Heisten Financial, we are committed to creating personalized solutions for business owners ready to retire. To get started, you can schedule a complimentary assessment today!
Chris Heisten is President and Founder of Heisten Financial LLC, a fee-only boutique financial planning firm with the focus of giving clients back their time so they can spend it doing what’s most important to them. Acting as a true fiduciary for his clients, Chris aims to solve their financial pain points and move them toward financial freedom. In the financial industry since 2007, Chris partners with business owners and oil workers on their journey through life, striving to instill calmness and a sense of direction as he simplifies the complex. He loves nothing more than seeing clients experience relief when they achieve what they thought was impossible.
Chris graduated from the University of Maine, where he played hockey on a scholarship, and retired from professional hockey in 2007. In the community, he remains engaged serving as a youth hockey coach. Chris holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠, and Chartered SRI Counselor™ designations. Outside of the office, he enjoys trying new food, reading, traveling, playing golf and hockey, fat tire biking, and donating to local charities. His passions include being a husband and dad, lake life with the family, watching his son and daughter play sports, and spending time with his wife. To learn more about Chris, connect with him on LinkedIn.