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Entrepreneur magazine
Retirement: What's That?

Though you may never stop working, here are 5 tips to ensure financial stability.
By Nancy Mann Jackson   |   October 20, 2009

When your employed friends talk about retirement, do you have a hard time relating? When you think about growing older, do you picture yourself happily still working? As an entrepreneur, you're not alone.

After spending years building businesses they're passionate about, many entrepreneurs say they'll never stop working. "I may be running a car wash and not a financial software company [after reaching retirement age], but I'll be doing something," says Mark Hoffman, president of LifeYield and a serial entrepreneur. "Most of us see retirement as working less hard and having less stress. But because it's difficult to hedge inflation, I always plan to have something that brings in cash."

In addition to the financial rational for continuing to work, some entrepreneurs believe their quality of life and health would be diminished if they stopped doing the work they love. "Life is growth," says Francois Gadenne, a serial entrepreneur and executive director of the Retirement Income Industry Association, who says he plans to always stay productive. "When growth stops, life withers away."

But even if you plan to never completely stop working, a backup plan can be important. "Most entrepreneurs don't plan on retiring but when they reach a certain time in their lives, they want options," says Robert Cadena, Jr., of Retirement Solutions in San Antonio, Texas. "I tell all my business owner [clients] not to put all their eggs in one basket, i.e., their business."

Nancy Mann Jackson is a freelance writer who writes frequently about small business issues. Reach her at www.nancyjackson.com.