The Business Edge Blog

March 15, 2011

Is Retirement Your Goal?

Work, work, work…..Retire – Then What?

If you are a business owner, chances are you could work 20 or more hours a day.  Your business pays the bills and (hopefully) provides you with the lifestyle that you’ve become accustomed to.  Being a business owner is who you are.  Your identity is tied to your work. 

When people ask you what you do, most of us respond with what our work is.  Have you considered what your response will be once you retire?  As I work with my clients and we define goals, many articulate retirement as one of their major life goals.  I’ve noticed that when I pose the question of “What does retirement look like” the most common response is “I don’t have to work”.  The response comes with a smile and a dreamy look in their eyes.  It truly is something that people look forward to achieving.  Most would rather have retirement come sooner than later.  Some of my clients measure their retirement timeframe with dates or retirement ages or investment account values in mind.  Retire at 60, retire in 2012, retire when I can sell my business for $xxx or when I have $xxx in net worth.   

This all sounds great so, as a business coach, what am I concerned about?  I like my clients to have goals.  I know they are working hard to achieve this retirement one.  I’m normally very pleased when a) my clients can articulate a goal, b) it is measurable by time or value, and c) they are actually working toward it.  I should be elated!  Actually I am, for the work they are doing.

My concern comes for what I see as a potential cliff at retirement.  Some of my clients don’t have hobbies – they work too much.  Some of my clients don’t take vacations – they don’t have systems in place that keep the business working while they are away.  Some of my clients don’t have quality family time – they are exhausted when they finally stop working for the day or the week.  Retirement looks great because they won’t have to work.  But, retirement – then what????

I’m walking the talk on this one.  I could work 20 hours a day.  When I started investing I developed a financial investment plan and my astute financial planner told me I should name it.  I did.  My plan has been “55 and Out” since I started investing.  I just realized that the magic “55” is within sight.  So, the question for me is……Retirement – Then What?

I will be sharing some of my journey with you as I find my way.  As my business tagline says, I’m the Headlights and Guardrails for Your Business, and in this case it just may be defining what Retirement looks like since it will affect your current business, or the new business of retirement……..  Stay tuned. 

Can you articulate what retirement means for you or what your dreams for retirement are?  Have you found the secret to being happy in retirement?  What concerns do you have about retirement?   Share your thoughts below.



  1. So many people can’t wait to sit around and do nothing when they retire but your article asks a very important question – after retirement from a 9:00 to 5:00 job your life changes – what do you want it to be filled with, a new hobby, more reading, volunteer work, babysitting the grand kids…. there are so many ways to start a “retirement” life that doesn’t mean you have to be there at 7:00 am every day! Great blog Holly! I’m excited to follow your journey!

    Comment by Janet — March 15, 2011 @ 8:32 am | Reply

  2. The greatest fear of most retirees is outliving their money. This “longevity risk” indicates if you invest too fast you realize your worst fear but if you use your money too slowly you deprive your self and your loved ones of an optimum retirement. Just knowing the risks you face in retirement can assist prepare for these new challenges.

    Comment by Social Security Help — March 22, 2011 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

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