The Independent Advisor's
Succession Plan

How to Continue Building Your Business Before You Retire


Many financial advisors assume that as they approach their retirement years, their business will naturally start to see a decrease in numbers. This isn’t actually “natural” but it could be the by-product of simply not wanting to put in the effort to continue growing the business or deciding it’s not worth it. Although, a gradual decline in your client list is one approach to retirement: gradually “lose” more of your clients or simply stop taking on new ones as you get into the final years of your career. For most advisors (and their clients), it’s not the best approach. Continuing to build your client base and grow your business even as you reach retirement can offer more financial benefits for one very big reason: you can sell your business.

Selling your business can help you bring in more money for your retirement years. Keeping your business strong and profitable is better for the financial advisor who is taking over your business, it’s better for your clients, and it’s better for your retirement nest egg. So how do you ensure you continue to grow your client list even as you begin to retire?

How to Keep Your Business Growing

Focus on the brand, not the person.

Many independent financial advisors build a strong brand within their community over the years. That brand may or may not be tied to their own name, but it’s a trusted business within the community. Focus on that. Drive your marketing towards the brand of your business instead of tying it directly to you. If you partner with a business for the retirement transition, start marketing in conjunction with their name. That way potential clients see a name that they trust but aren’t taken aback when they aren’t working with only you. The important thing is to keep marketing your business and keep pulling in new clients. It will pay off in the long run.

Assure clients that it’s business as usual.

This goes for both new and current clients. They need to know that even if you are retiring, you have their best interests in mind. If potential clients ask about your retirement plans, be upfront with them. Tell them you plan on retiring in a set number of years, but this new advisor (or business) will be in place to manage their account both now and in the future.

Let new advisors start handling more of your to-do list.

The more that your clients interact with the new advisor, the less of an impact your retirement is going to have on them. While it might feel good to have them lamenting your retirement (and they will!), what you really want is for your clients to feel that their money is being managed properly. Transitioning them to their new advisor earlier rather than later is a step in the right direction.

Fight the instinct to “let up off the gas.”

One of the biggest hurdles you’ll need to overcome when it comes to building your business near the end of your career is your own instinct to stop putting in the effort. You probably spent years working hard to grow your business. You developed marketing campaigns, met with an endless list of potential clients and hustled to build a brand that’s well-respected within your community. Now that your working years are almost over, you’ll probably have the instinct to put an end to that hustle. Fight that feeling; or better yet, delegate the tasks to an up-and-coming advisor, marketing company, or another member of your team. That way you can wind down your list of to-dos without jeopardizing the future of your company.

Looking for More Advice on Your Retirement Years?

If you are approaching the end of your career in the next five years and want to know the best way to handle it for yourself and your clients, we can help. advisorRETIRE™ has worked with countless RIAs to plan a successful retirement that takes care of them and their clients while continuing to see their business grow. Get in touch with us today by giving us a call or contacting us through our website to get the process started for your business.

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