“For non-business owners, the question of how to retire is really quite simple, especially if they can rely on a Pension Plan or an RRSP. When they reach retirement age, they simply leave their job and start collecting their pension. For you, as the owner of a business, it’s just not that simple. As a business owner who may be contemplating retirement, you have many more issues to consider than does an employee who is contemplating retirement. Your business is the lasting evidence of your initiative and leadership over the years and the value inherent in your business must be realized. If you are like most business owners, your business is your largest asset – and that is both a blessing and a curse! On the one hand, you own an asset of substantial value. On the other hand, you own an asset of incredible complexity. This type of asset can not simply be “converted to cash” such as you would a house. It’s up to you to take the initiative, to arrange your affairs in such a way to allow you to retire. If you are in your mid fifties or older, or if you intend to retire within the next five years, now is the time to start planning your retirement. For an owner wishing to retire from business there are really only a few options available. In fact, you can count the options on one hand:

sell the business to a third party;
sell the business to employees;
sell the business to children;
take the business public;
shut the business down and walk away with nothing.”

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