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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

Boomer Retirement Will Fuel Wave of Business Ownership Transitions

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A third of boomers expect to transition the ownership of their businesses in the next five years, thanks to the approach of retirement.

That’s according to a SunTrust survey, which finds that 36% lack a specific plan for how to transition their business, and 21% admit they’re not financially ready to retire.

“Baby boomer business owners are approaching retirement at a moment when the economy is growing and a high number of private equity firms are seeking investments,” Jason Cagle, head of commercial banking for SunTrust, says in a statement.

Cagle adds, “This makes it a very attractive time for them to explore a sale of their business.”

But it’s not just their forthcoming retirement business owners worry about—it’s the future of their businesses even after they depart the premises for the last time. In fact, 40% said that excessive operational disruption would prevent them from accepting an offer to purchase their company.

Still, boomers are open to selling, with 42% of respondents saying they’ve considered a purchase by a private equity firm or a third-party investor, followed by passing the company down to the next generation of their family (38%) and employees buying ownership (18%) as the next phase of the ownership of their business.

But even if they do sell their businesses, that doesn’t mean they’re done with the working world; 40% don’t plan to fully retire, 26% would serve in an advisory capacity for their former company and 15% would pursue a philanthropic opportunity in their retirement years.

“This is a critical moment for baby boomer business owners as they face two significant financial decisions—legacy, for the company and themselves personally, and beginning their retirement,” David Neubert, managing director, SunTrust Business Transition Advisory Group, says in a statement.

Neubert adds, “Many of the business owners we advise want to remain engaged in their business or their community. Developing a thorough plan well in advance of a transition—ideally, three to five years in advance—can help ensure business owners have a plan for the next phase of their lives.”


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