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Even before the coronavirus pandemic struck and sank the world’s economy, retiring at the age of 65 was already becoming a hot topic among many professionals. Now that the pandemic has impaired many businesses, both small and large plans of many organizations are in shambles. One of the areas that have been significantly affected is retirement. Business owners that were planning to retire are now forced to rethink. This could mean that the retirement age is likely to fall further as employees try to pick up from where they left once the economy reopens and the pandemic eases.

Although the recovery is expected to happen sooner or later, it may take some time. This is if the 2007-2009 recession is an example to go by. The recovery time can even be longer considering the severity of COVID-19 compared to the recession witnessed in 2009. As such, many small business owners may be tempted to consider selling their businesses rather than waiting for things to get better.

A study by StreetWise Retirement Confidence Index in May indicated that 26% of those interviewed stated that they would postpone their retirement plans after the coronavirus. Their decision is due to the economic conditions that the virus has caused. As damaging as they may seem, the decision is not surprising, given the uncertainty and fear that the pandemic has caused in many industries in different countries. The uncertainties have had an impact on the financial strategies of organizations and have forced many businesses to change their priorities. Another study by Allianz Life Insurance Company found out that almost half of Americans interviewed went into early retirement for reasons beyond their control. One of the reasons that were cited in the research is job loss. This was cited by 34% of the respondents, while 25% cited health challenges as their primary reason for retiring early. As an entrepreneur or employee who is willing to persevere and try their best to achieve their dreams, all is not lost. Taking some steps can enhance value and build your business so that you can sell more and retire as you planned or even early.

Creativity is one of the ways that can help you remain open in the current era of uncertainty. As a business owner, try your best to find creative ways that can adapt to the changes in the business environment. One way you can do this is by adding other services that will replace the revenue that has been lost. For example, as a restaurant owner, you can supplement the revenue lot by ordering food and selling them. This will create a new stream of income and increase profits even when other sources of revenue are not doing well enough.

A good rapport with banks is also crucial to businesses. Regardless of the size of your organization, always ensure that you have a good relationship with financial institutions. Having a wrong sense of security will only deceive you, and you will not have anyone to turn to in case things become tough. With the right relationship, you will have someone to run to for loans when the revenue stream dries up, and you need additional funds to keep running. Always ask yourself, is my bank relationship stable? If the answer is yes, then you are in the right place.

Coming up with a transition plan is another approach that you must consider. Just because you are delaying your retirement plans does not mean that you should not establish a transition plan. Take time to build a working transition plan that will not leave your organization in chaos when the right time comes. Most business owners lack a proper transition plan. This leads to a lack of focus on what is needed for a business to operate successfully.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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