The Independent Advisor's
Succession Plan

Succession Planning FAQ


Succession planning is a rather large undertaking, and getting started can be overwhelming. You might not know where or how to start, and that could stop you from getting started in the first place. Breaking down some of the most-asked questions about succession planning can get the ball rolling, so here at advisorRETIRE™, we’ve put together some of the questions we’re asked often.

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When Do I Start Forming My Succession Plan?

Right now. It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your career when you start your succession plan. Whether you’re fairly fresh out of the gate, in the middle of your career, or nearing retirement age, knowing your plan for succession is crucial. You might have family members poised to take over, an existing employee you want to groom to take over or want to hire new talent altogether. No matter the plan, establishing goals as early on as possible and working toward them, and reevaluating them on a regular basis, will ensure you’re able to retire when you want to retire. Read this article for more: What to Consider Before Creating Your Succession Plan.

Why Do I Need Succession Planning?

You’ve spent years creating your business. You’ve invested countless hours, money, training, and energy building your company to what it is (or what it will eventually become). If you have employees or people who rely on the income from your business, you’ll likely be stunned to hear that 99 percent of independent financial services and advisory practices will fold once the founder retires. Your clients will be left without an advisor they can trust, and will have to start over building relationships. Bringing in a successor, somebody you can train to run your business after your retirement, is the best way to ensure your legacy not only lives on, but that your employees, those who rely on the income from your business, and your clients are taken care of. Read this article for more: Why You Should Have a Succession Plan.

What Do I Do Once My Plan Is In Place?

Keep working toward your goals, keep working with your clients as usual, and keep building your client roster. While you might assume that your business will see a decline toward retirement, this doesn’t have to be the case if you put in the same effort toward retirement as you did in the prime of your career. People have come to trust you over the years, but as you near retirement, you need to shift the focus to your brand more than you as an individual. Make your successor or buyer a presence, and assure your clients’ everything will be business as usual. Slowly step back once your successor(s) is in place, but not before then. Read this article for more: How to Continue Building Your Business Before You Retire.

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How Do I Transition My Clients Before Retirement?

Unless something major has happened and you have to leave suddenly, don’t rush your transition. Allow your clients an adjustment period, which ideally will take at least a few years. During this time, your successor will learn to handle your clients, get to know them, and handle accounts under your advisory. Be sure to communicate your transition to your clients during this period to assure them they’re still in excellent hands, and invite them to visit your new advisor face to face. Keep your focus on the clients to ensure they remain happy as you transition to retirement. Read this article for more: Tips for Transitioning Your Clients Before Your Retirement.

What are the Downfalls of Selling My Company?

This isn’t just a question of what you want to do because sometimes bigger forces are at play. Laws on the federal, state and local levels can dictate your ability to sell your financial advisory firm. Further, the SEC requires the filing of documents, which could impact your ability to sell. When you’re confident that you are legally able to sell your company, you can then work on the sale process, which isn’t for the faint of heart. It requires a significant amount of time and expertise to sell a company, which can create turmoil within your company and with your clients. It’s an emotional process as well, as you watch something you’ve built from scratch being turned over to somebody else. Read this article for more: Why Selling Your Own Firm Isn’t as Easy as You Think.

How Do I Know I’m Ready For Retirement?

Knowing if you’re ready to retire in the first place is one of the biggest steps in succession planning. You’re making one of the biggest decisions of your life, and as you know, a lot is at stake. One of the biggest considerations you have to make is regarding your employees, and whether they will feel secure in the company after you leave. Your clients need to feel confident that their finances will be handled with excellence after you leave, and your company needs to be able to run without you. If all of these are in order, next ask yourself if you feel confident with your company’s ability to continue when you leave. When you can answer confidently that these areas will be covered in your absence, you are in a good place. Read this article for more: Ready for Retirement? Our Financial Advisor Retirement Quiz Will Tell You.

When it’s time to start succession planning, advisorRETIRE™ is your partner throughout the entire process. Sign up with us today.

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