Preparing for retirement is more than just finance. To be sure, money is important, or we’d never retire. But, having enough money and not having anything to do is just as bad. So, what do you want to do when you grow up? Here are some of my thoughts.
The initial step of retirement is how to get loose of this sticky wicket in the first place? For those who planned on a child taking over the business, but they haven’t stepped up to the responsibility to do so, well, give me a call. You may need to fire them. For those whose offspring or trusted employee is capable and willing to buy the business, make sure they’re capable of running it for you’ll be the one not to get paid if things turn bad. Hope you didn’t need the money.
And for those determined to talk yourself into selling it to the printer down the street, please know this is your least profitable option and that printing businesses really can be sold. And for any planning to give it to someone, don’t. Again, call me and we’ll talk about why.
However, for those of you who have a real buyer with real money, and you agree on the price and terms, there’s one other valid reason you may inadvertently screw up the sale.
That’s because you haven’t decided what you want to be when you grow up.
Huh? Yep. Owners who haven’t decided on their next career usually refuse to give up the one they have. That’s why they inadvertently screw up the sale. I know you don’t view retirement being your next career, but it is even if it’s doing a volunteer job or raising a garden. No, it’s not about laying on the couch eating bon-bons. Some have tried, but their spouses usually shoot them before long, so that’s not a good plan.
So, what should you do? Something that you want to do, but it’s best if you finally do something that you’re passionate about. If it’s running the print shop, then run the shop.
Understand that’s not the same as “retiring in place,” where you show up, play around, and watch someone else run the shop. That’s coasting and a recipe for disaster. Remember, you can only coast going downhill.
If you really want to retire, then the best way is to find out what you are passionate about. How do you do that? Victor Frankel, an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, Holocaust survivor, and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning,” says to find your passion, first understand what you value.
His 1930’s era book is out of print, but you can go to https://crouser.com/shop/cheap-advice/ and download a free copy of “Increase Your Meaningful and Personal Goals,” a workbook based on Frankel’s principles. In this, you will find exercises which, if completed in earnest, will enlighten you as to your passions.
“Don’t Retire, Rewire!” by Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners is another books of forced choices that I can recommend. Like Frankel, exercises here help you understand your “drivers” and helps to unearth your values. Available at Amazon.com and other booksellers.
And there are more books and exercises that will help. Google “understand my values,” for more.
Then, simply match your next career with your values.
And when you want to do whatever that is more than what you are doing now, you’ll be ready to retire into your next job.
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Tom Crouser is chairman of CPrint International. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions without cost or obligation.