Another important thing to remember about retirement: Don’t wait too late
Posted On April 9, 2023
We’ve discussed the importance of succession planning many times in this space with a lot of people who are well versed in the art. One of them added an important caveat recently: Don’t wait too late.
Scot Hunsaker sold his swimming pool company at 49 and now counsels other business owners thinking about their futures through the Ardent Group. He’s also delved into his passions, traveling with his wife up the Eastern seaboard and into Canada on their 66-foot boat, and then taking a trip to Australia and New Zealand.
It was on these travels that Hunsaker came to a realization that he shared with our listeners in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston” – don’t wait too late to retire. Do it while you’re healthy enough to do all those things you want to do.
“It’s important to make yourself a priority in this journey,” he said. “So often during our journey as business leaders, we’re taking care of others. We’re taking care of our employees, we’re taking care of our families, we’re taking care of our customers. I would encourage all of us to take a moment and take care of ourselves.”
Hunsaker told of meeting a woman who was sailing on a 38-foot trawler with her husband and was doing all the work because he had Alzheimer’s. The trip had been their dream, but now he wasn’t able to enjoy it as an active participant.
“If this is important to you,” he said, “make sure you save some time for yourself while you’re still healthy mobile, agile and have the ability to enjoy some of these things, not just experience some of these things.”
Hunsaker identified two reasons people tend to work longer than they may intend – not feeling like they have enough money to retire, and having a social network that is wrapped up in their business.
It’s important, he says, to make sure you have answers to both of those. Create a financial plan to ensure you can afford to retire, and to be ready for the phone to stop ringing – something that happened quicker than he anticipated when he stepped away.
While he acknowledges that his way of doing it – selling everything and living on a boat – is a bit unconventional, the benefits have been well worth it. “We had some tough times going through that process as a couple, but it was also freeing,” he said. “Once you got on the boat and you didn’t have all this stuff, and you realize you didn’t need all that stuff, it was quite liberating for us.”
Now, Hunsaker is looking toward another change: possibly selling his boat. What’s next? Hunsaker isn’t sure yet, but because he did what he counsels his clients to do – prepared for retirement and succession – he’s ready for his next adventure.