Succession Development and the Independent Business Owner

As a third generation independent business owner, I have lived through, and seen how sad it is when business owners retire with little to show for their lifetime of efforts. The statistics are not great either, approximately ****94% of Australians retire with little or no self-derived income and require Government assistance to survive.In my opinion we have been sold a bit of a lemon with regards to superannuation with most Australians thinking that simply paying into a super fund will guarantee a great retirement income and lifestyle. The facts are that for Australian women our superannuation falls grossly short of what is needed and whilst the average Australian male has approximately double that of the women in Super, it is nowhere near enough to survive on. As we are living longer, we can spend almost a third of our lives in retirement. Just doing some simple maths will show if you have enough. But Australia we have been sold that by putting money into Superannuation that we will be all right in the end. Here is the wakeup call; Superannuation alone is nowhere near enough for most of us to survive on without Government assistance.For the independent business owner, unfortunately, they pay themselves last and many don’t even have superannuation or if they do, they have not contributed for years. The Government regulations on business owners is so arduous that it is becoming harder and harder to put away anything for themselves.Many independent business owners spend their days completely occupied with gaining market share, hiring and keeping employees, motivating staff, beating the competition, to give succession development any thought. Strange how such highly motivated, intelligent and energetic people can avoid such an important planning issue to their business.For the independent business owner it is a somewhat daunting and complex process to address their working life coming to an end, and most dread tackling it, they would rather work well beyond their years than face succession development or retiring. Many business owners have not accumulated much super instead they have put it back in their business. However on retirement they often do not sell the business for enough to live on in the retirement years. I’ve worked with many independent business owners who become frustrated and bitter with their environment towards the end of their career, making their business an even less viable option for someone to take over. For the majority of these hard working, self-sacrificing Aussies, there is no gold watch, goodbye party or big deposit into their bank account to say well done for your years of toil.However, most successful succession development has only three simple steps.

Keep the succession plan simple

Stay realistic about goals

Measure the steps of the plan for succession outcomes
Whilst most information on succession development has to do with the handing over of the business or the duties to someone else, an exceptional Financial Advisor will look at succession development with a slightly different focus, one that addresses your end income revenue stream and lessening your financial burden, thus reducing the stress on the independent business owner when it comes to the best financial opportunities to selling or handing over the business.Here is an example of the difference between doing nothing and engaging a professional financial advisor. Lucy W is single, an independent business owner, and 54 years old. Lucy has estimated that she needs approximately $50,000 per annum to live on. Lucy has around $60,000 in her superannuation fund.( *The average superannuation for women is $41,000) Upon retirement at age 67, Lucy will have not even two years of income from her superannuation, and then have to rely on the Government for a pension of approximately $20,000 P/A. (**More than half Australian women have incomes of less than $30,000P/A) After meeting with a financial advisor and working out a blueprint, Lucy could attain a retirement income of $60,000 per annum by investing in premium properties, strategically selected for optimum returns.Lucy’s plan involved purchasing four properties within two years and waiting for the compounding capital growth and rental return to occur which will reach above her estimated income goal in year six, when she can retire at age 60 independent of age pensions. *** (77% of Australian women rely on age pension in retirement)Most self-structured property portfolios have no plans other than obtaining rental properties, with no strategic process, thinking that the accumulation of properties would create sufficient wealth or income alone. A good financial advisor will incorporate acquisition, management and exit strategies to achieve specific wealth or income goals.Lucy had also recently paid to attend a get rich quick seminar that suggested it was easy to buy real estate, subdivide, build, and you would get rich fast. Lucy had not costed the entire project, did not know about the difficulties of building and different types of building contracts, and what happens when costs blow out and did not know how to take all the risk out of the transaction. The reality is far different, and to be successful requires a great deal of expertise and knowledge to achieve positive and predictable results.After posing a few strategic questions to Lucy she became aware that she did not have anywhere near the required knowledge, time or skill to perform such high risk real estate developments. Instead she chose to engage a professionals future certain plan, which has underwritten advice, and strategies that simply work.Do nothing Professional Strategy Succession StrategyAge 54 54Home value $500,000 $500,000Superannuation $60,000 $60,000Retirement Age 60 $20,000 p/a $60,000 p/aRetirement Age 67 $20,000 p/a $120,000 p/aWith an approach that allows the independent business owner to be free of the concerns about future income, I’ve seen from experience how their performance and enthusiasm improves and they end up having a much better result with their succession development, and actually look forward to it. So a professional financial advisor will do the following for you;

Keep your plan simple;

Stay very realistic about goals;

Measure the steps of the plan for succession outcomes
The example used for this article was a client of FLAG Property Investment Services.

The Good and the Bad About Online Education

The availability of online education has grown significantly over the past decade and to the point where it is now an option that almost all college and university students think about when comparing their education options. You can not only do online courses and online degrees, but you can fully go attend an online school and graduate with a degree without ever setting foot in a classroom.Even though it is now a viable option there are sound arguments about the pros and cons of online courses, online degrees, and online schools. The following will take a look at the pros and the cons of online education.The Pros of Online Education SchoolsWhen it comes to online schools, most of the pros revolve around the flexibility and convenience that online courses offer to students. Those who advocate for online education often cite these pros:• There is no commute• You can continue to work and pursue your career while going to school• Online school options continue to grow and there is no shortage of online education degrees to consider• Many of the major colleges and universities now offer programs online• Location is no longer a big of a factor when deciding which school to attend• More and more careers are internet based, so doing your degree online makes sense• Online education is ideal for many people that are more introverted and prefer an online learning environment• It is an ideal option for people with physical disabilities• People often are more comfortable engaging with others in an online environmentThe Cons of Online SchoolsWhen it comes to the cons associated with online schools, most of the cons are related to isolation and lack of interaction in the classroom. Those who argue against online education often cite these cons:• There is a lack of human interaction• You miss out on the college experience• There is something to be said about the debates and discussions that occur in a traditional classroom setting• Quality of education is often questioned• Some employers still see online degrees as less credible than traditional degrees• The onus to complete course work is solely on you – some people will have difficulty with this• Online courses open the door for procrastinationThere are good and there are bad things about online education. While it is convenient and the world is now more digital and online-based than ever, there is something to be said about the lack of interaction and quality of education that you can receive online.Overall, when considering your education options, you need to think about the academic situation that makes most sense for you and your current situation. An online school may make sense for you, or it may not. The choice is yours! Just make sure you fairly consider all of your options before making a final decision.

Love Your Money – Love Your Bank Account – Love Your Finances

Sounds crazy to you doesn’t it? Do you find yourself wondering if the guy that wrote that title is a little off in the head? Love your money, love your bank account, love your finances? Who ever heard anything so crazy?Check this out. Are most of the people in the world loving their money these days? Of course, they are not. They are anything but loving their money, right? Is it possible that’s why they don’t have money?Somebody along the line told you to get down when things don’t go right. You know who that somebody is? It’s your friend your mind, that’s who. Your mind tells you get down when things don’t go just exactly as you want them to. And, as things get worse, get more down.Think it through. How do you get up by getting down? How do you get more money? How do you improve your finances? How do you improve your bank account?Here’s your answer. You do it by getting up. To get up, go up.Check this out for yourself. Love is the same energy as positive, success, and abundance. Check it out. How does it feel? Feels right doesn’t it? It feels up, doesn’t it? Of course, it does.Love is goodness. Love is happiness. Love is abundance.The law of the universe is, positive attracts positive.Therefore love your money. Love your bank account. Love your finances.Love them whether you have a little or a lot. Love them in spite of your mind telling you it’s crazy. Love is positive energy. Positive is in the direction of up, right? Love and go up.Love your money, love your finances, love your bank account and they will go up. They will go up because you are up. When you go up, everything goes up. When you’re up, things are looking up.Your mind will try to talk you out of it. Your mind will tell you it’s all just a play on words. You have to decide. Are you going to listen to that mind of yours? How has it worked so far?I’ll tell you how it’s worked. It’s gotten you down. As you have gotten down your money, your bank account, your finances have gotten down, haven’t they?Give love a chance. Give love a chance and see what happens. It’s worth a try isn’t it? It really does make sense, doesn’t it?Whatever your bank balance, whatever your pocketbook, whatever your cash flow, love them and love them some more.The way up is up. Love your money and watch what happens.