NATDA Magazine May/Jun 2015 - Page 32

not necessarily have to be monetary; they can be anything from setting up a nonprofit or foundation, to learning a language, taking up golf or hunting, beginning to knit or sew, or traveling. If you have a partner, he/she should make a separate list. After both are complete, create a third line-up of goals you would like to reach together. When that’s done, share your individual ideas and see where they are similar. The exercise is designed to get you thinking about dreams that you have put off because of time constraints or other factors. It’s one thing to talk about what you would like to do in retirement and another to write it down and hold yourself accountable. And there is always satisfaction in knowing that you have accomplished what you set out to do. Creating lists helps you build a framework for how you want to spend your time and ensures that your values align accordingly. The lists also provide guidance as you identify your desired spending needs in retirement. Clearly, traveling to Africa or Europe, or studying pottery in China will take more resources than learning a language or golf. Knowing your projected spending ahead of time allows you to prepare for the retirement you want and to make the necessary changes before it is too late. Of course, you’re not going to be able to hit all of the curve balls that life throws at you, so it’s best to keep your vision flexible. At some point your health or other factors may come into play, diverting you from your original course. Be willing to make adjustments, and seek advice to help make sure you’re on the right track.   What to do about the business By the time you leave full-time employment, you will have spent 40-plus years establishing a working legacy. Developing a vision for the post-career years won’t take nearly as long, but it’s going to take more than a few hours or even a few days. We’re talking about the rest of your life, so thoughtfully weighing options is vital to drawing the right conclusions. When you begin the process, give yourself (and your partner) time to think about your future. This is especially true if you are a business owner. In Dancing in the End Zone: The Business Owner’s Exit Planning Playbook, author Patrick Ungashick estimates that about 9 million of America’s 15 million business owners were born in or before 1964. That means millions will soon be in a position to transfer business ownership. Unfortunately, Peter Christman, founder of the Exit Planning Institute, estimates that about 75 percent of business owners don’t have an exit plan. Business owners will have additional questions to consider regarding the transition of a business such as: • Sell it to family members, or a third party • Gift outright to family members • Create a plan that combines a sale and gift If you are contemplating a transition to family members, you should consider utilizing a trust. It is important that you consider the permanency and income tax implications of different types of trusts for yourself and the beneficiaries. Understanding the cash flow from each of these options is critical, in addition to making a decision on how you will or will not stay involved in the business.You could remain the majority owner, but turn day-today operations over to a management team. Maybe you will work part time or as a consultant. These types of arrangements are a compromise between involvement and income, but may be the best route for you to achieve your goals. Looking forward with confidence Whether your idea of retirement includes working, volunteering, traveling, or some other activity, it will require a shift in the balance in your current life. Articulating your own unique vision is the first step forward. Once you have established a road map and understand the kind of lifestyle you want to retire to, you can build a financial plan that aligns with your retirement dreams. Cheryl Starman-Coombs, CPA, CFP®, Senior Wealth Advisor, CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC cheryl.coombs@cliftonlarsonallen.comor 612-376-4520