Otherwise, if they show up on our doorstep for retirement counseling, they are usually being forced to slow down by some kind of physical infirmity or other factor that makes it impossible to keep on doing what they've been doing.When is the best time to plan an exit strategy?I don't think you can start too soon. You need to look far forward: "When will I likely not be able to do everything I'm doing now, and who will take my place?"Can you give us an example of a small-business person who made a successful transition to retirement?A marketing executive, a member of a retailing family, decided to do a family genealogy. She went about it much the same way as she did her marketing job and replaced her career with a new pursuit that would take a lot of commitment and social engagement. The focus of this work was to satisfy the family's interest in its roots instead of the old focus on satisfying the customer.And the opposite -- a plan that fails?In one small food-processing company, the head of sales has envisioned sitting by the lake in a cabin he has built. He's about to flunk retirement because he's leaving a job in which he has contact with people 10 hours a day.
I've tried to dissuade him, but this is his dream, and he thinks this is what retirement is.