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Published 05 September 2012 06:18, Updated 06 September 2012 04:17
Have you been forced to take a detour on the road to retirement? Let us know in the comments below. Photo: Sheridan Randall
In all the talk of two-speed economies and battered superannuation savings there’s one big question for Australia’s legion small business owners and entrepreneurs that may not yet have an acceptable answer.
Can entrepreneurs retire?
The Wall Street Journal has thrown a spotlight on the problem with a report into how, for many US small business owners, The Economy Stole My Retirement.
The opening paragraphs paint a stark picture of the dilemma many American entrepreneurs at or near retirement age face:
“Danny Sullivan dreams of gardening and spending time with his grandchildren, but that’s just a fantasy. Retirement is out of his reach, at least for the foreseeable future.
“The 62-year-old founder of a small catering company spends his days helping stock bars with beer and ice, wooing potential new clients and juggling the 20 to 30 different events his firm handles daily.
“‘I am so tired,’ he says. ‘I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to retire.’”
The article, based in part on a survey of 799 US small-business owners in August, also notes that 38 per cent of entrepreneurs have a planned retirement date that is later than they predicted 5 years ago.
Fifty-six per cent say most of their retirement nest egg is tied to their business, which is a major problem for small business owners trying to sell their companies in a weak US economy.
“You don’t work for almost 28 years at [building] a company and give it away,” small business owner Judy Lawton, who still works 12-hour days at 69, tells the WSJ.
We’re interested to hear from Australian small business owners and entrepreneurs about whether their retirement plans have been affected in recent years. Let us know your story in the comments below.