Bulloch: The impact of retirement

By Allan Bulloch | February 22, 2010 | Last updated on February 22, 2010
3 min read

In some succession planning discussions I’ve had with advisors, I’ve heard the comment “Maybe I should sell my practice and just retire!”

To that I always respond, “So, you really want to stop working?”

“Well, no, not really! I’d just like to have more time to enjoy my life while remaining in the business,” is the standard reply from the advisor.

According to a recent Canadian Association of Retired People (CARP) study of the next retirement generation – the boomers – 80% of them expect to work at least part-time during some of their retirement years. Taking that into consideration, if you are someone pondering retirement, there are some important questions you need to ask yourself before you make that decision.

One of the more crucial things you need to think about is: Are you truly ready to retire if your spouse is still working? Waiting for your spouse to return from work and not having them there to enjoy things with you, might not be your idea of a pleasurable retirement. Also, have you considered the potential changes to your family dynamics? For example, I recently asked a spouse if she was looking forward to her husband’s retirement. “Not at all, I have my routine and enjoy our time away from each other too, so I’m concerned his retirement will disrupt all that,” she replied.

Something else to consider is if you will miss working with your associates? There will surely be a few you’re looking forward to getting far away from as possible but you’ve spent a lot of time with some outstanding people and suddenly those associations are going to change.

“They used to value my opinion on many things when I was there but now they don’t even tell me what’s going on anymore,” one colleague told me recently as we were discussing taking pride in one’s work and contributions.

Have you considered the things that your practice provides you that you will now have to supply for yourself? Such perks as the tax deductible automobile expense, the lunches, private memberships? Can you still or do you want to maintain those in your new lifestyle? You should assess the impact of not only losing your business associates but if you have to give up your lifestyle associates as well. How will that impact your life?

Speaking of impacting on retirement, recently a retired gentlemen told me that he started delivering pizza, not because he needed the income, but because he had to get out of the house and missed the human interaction work offered. This might not be what you wanted your retirement to be but then again, I hear greeters are always needed at Walmart.

Retiring is serious life change. There are many things you need to take into consideration before deciding to find a successor while also keeping in mind what the psychological impact will be of such an adjustment. It is only when we have done so that we can formulate and move forward with our own succession plan.

  • Allan Bulloch is the president of IPG Insurance Inc. Allan’s career began in 1973. In 2002, he joined Independent Planning Group as president of IPG Insurance, the MGA division of Independent Planning Group. Allan is very active in industry causes having served as president of both Advocis Ottawa and MAIFA (Life Managers Association).

    Allan Bulloch