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At Your Age? Putting Your Affairs in Order

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At Your Age? Putting Your Affairs in Order

We small business owners are entrepreneurs; that means we are risk takers.

Statistically, the vast majority of us will fail; we all know this. Yet, we still dig our heels in and have a go. It’s more than the money or the hope of it that motivates us. We are the eternal optimists.

As we age, though, we do realise there is only a finite length of time left to get it right, or not, and ultimately ‘put our affairs in order’. We are not invincible. The older we get, the more the odds are stacked against us that the day will come when, for whatever reason, we either have to trust someone else to take over the responsibility of our finances or shut the door and give up on our journey and vision.

Why do most of us wait until it’s too late to have a say?

Why do we wait until we are in a position where we have to make choices under duress? Why don’t we start thinking about it now? Shouldn’t we take the time while we are able, to work out what we want and put plans in place to ensure our wishes are granted? Sometimes circumstances leave us with no choice but to wait.

Nevertheless, we should evaluate our situation and make a conscious decision to play Russian roulette with our lives, or not.

My husband Lyle and I are property investors. If we sold our properties now, we would barely have enough surplus funds to buy one home outright, let alone a new car, caravan and holiday. We’ve made the choice to wait and hope the market improves. It might not, and we may be worse off, or worse, our health may decline, and we might not be in a position to continue to fund our folly, in which case we may have to sell under duress and end up with even less. But if our gamble pays off and there is even a marginal improvement in the market, our choices will pay off.

We have back up plans that will allow us (or our kids if we aren’t here) some financial breathing space if it all goes pear-shaped, at least for a little while. The point is, we’ve given it thought and made the choice to hang in there, knowing the potential consequences.

What about you?

Have you given any thought to the impact your current financial position will have on your loved ones in the event of the unexpected? Or are you just taking each day as it comes?

What would you like to happen to your business or other assets if you can’t go to work tomorrow?

Could someone else easily step in and do what you are doing to keep it all running smoothly? Would you or your family be able to afford to pay a fair wage to that person?

Would it be a smooth transition? Who will train this person if you aren’t able to? Do you even want the status quo to continue? Or would you rather sell? What is the value of your business and assets? Are they worth selling?

Do you have a will? Do you have an enduring power of attorney? Who will be responsible for ensuring your wishes are fulfilled? Have you discussed what you want to happen with them?

Seriously, it doesn’t really matter too much what the answers to all these questions are.

What’s right for you may not be right for someone else. However, it is important that you have thought about it, and that you feel happy with your legacy.

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