I recently got the following email, which raises an interesting issue, especially with more people holding off their retirement these days: “After many broken promises in the extremely ephemeral business of networking technology and systems software, I am working to start a life insurance practice at age 68. Thankfully, I have sound health and a ready willingness to learn. Any advice you can cast my way is heartily appreciated. And, please don’t forget to acknowledge the growing number of us who are working very hard to get in—and get profitable.”
I have to admit that I haven’t run into many situations like this before, but it’s coincidental that I got this email when I did. Just the other day I was talking to my father-in-law about his business. He, like the advisor above, was frustrated with his prior career when he retired at age 65, and started his current business. He is now 78 and has a very successful small business, which produces a very nice living for him. The business he created had little to do with his past working experience, so he essentially started over.
After a long conversation about all the challenges he faced (my father-in-law likes to talk!) I asked: “Looking back, what is the one major thing you did that made the business successful despite your age?” He answered: “I partnered with Jon [a younger gentleman] who also wanted to learn the business.” This struck me as excellent advice for anyone who looking to start an advisory firm or any other small business as a second or third career.