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Fewer than half of Canadian biz owners have an exit plan

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Sixty percent of Canadian business owners lose sleep thinking about their retirement. And less than 40 percent have a business succession plan, according to new research from BMO Wealth Institute.

The report, timed for release in advance of National Small Business Week, outlines six phases of a business life cycle — start-up, growth, established, expansion, maturity and succession — and includes both professional and personal considerations at each phase.

According to the report:

• Sixty percent of Canadian business owners spend sleepless nights worrying about whether they will be able to retire from their business.

• More than three-quarters (79 percent) of business owners in Canada have a business plan. And 75 percent have a personal financial plan.

• Only 39 percent have a business succession plan in place.

“Strong financial management is essential to ensure long-term business stability and, ultimately, the growth of personal wealth over a lifetime,” says Chris Buttigieg, senior manager, Wealth Planning Strategy, BMO Financial Group. “A business owner’s family situation will progress alongside the business as it moves through the various stages of the business life cycle. By matching up these two areas, Canadian business owners can develop a holistic wealth plan and enjoy greater peace of mind as they progress towards retirement.”

According to the report, almost half (46 percent) of Canadian post-secondary students are planning to start a business after graduation. And two-in-five Canadians are planning to start their own business after they reach age 65 to help fund their retirement.


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