You made it!
You took all the steps, you checked all the boxes, and you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s.
So now what are you going to do after you’ve sold your business?
We feel this is the most important aspect to consider of this entire transaction from a financial as well as from a mental and spiritual sense.
Many former business owners will experience seller’s remorse in the initial months.
Some even fall in a slight depression. Others are elated and glad to move on with their lives. Those who have moved smoothly into this transition will tell you the best thing you can do is to have some plans in motion for this time.
Are you going to:
- Stay at home catching up on the honey-do list?
- Going to be involved in charity work?
- Going to get together for golf on a regular basis with your buddies or perhaps go traveling with your spouse around the country and around the world?
- Going to dream up new business ideas?
What is going to keep your ticker ticking and your brain excited and stimulated?
From clients we have spoken with, this is the key to unlocking energy and staying young at heart to live out a stimulating life.
Keeping these goals in mind, you now probably have more cash and investable assets than you could dream of. However, you want to make sure you can live off the proceeds for the rest of your life as well as to fulfill your charitable desires and dreams.
Have you ever wondered how rock stars or lottery winners or trust fund babies can lose it all, even though they have enough wealth to buy a small country? The answer lies in cash flow. Or better stated – the answer lies in the lack of cash flow.
What is cash flow? It is the amount of money you have after paying all your bills and purchases. If you spend more than you make, there are symptoms: you have no cash, a high level of financial stress, and lots of debt. You are in a negative cash flow position, more money is going out than coming in.
If you spend less than you make there are symptoms as well. You have savings, you are reducing debt, and you have a positive financial outlook. This is a positive cash flow state – more money is coming in than going out.
If you’re not happy with your cash flow, you can do something about it. Yes, it takes discipline and can involve some difficult choices, but in the long-term, getting a firm handle on cash flow is the best thing you can do for yourself and your family.
Poor Cash Flow - What To Do
Are you saving less than 10 percent of your net income?
Are you just keeping your head above water?
Are you a slave to your lifestyle, increasing your debt or just consuming your net pay every year?
How do fix this? Make a date with your significant other to address the situation. Get a babysitter for the kids, a bottle of wine and set aside the necessary time to truly look at where your extra spending is coming from. If you are divorced or single, sit down with a trusted advisor.
Are you eating out too often?
Do you live in a home that is more than you can afford?
Do you have expensive tastes in cars, clothes or travel?
You need to figure out what to change right now so you can live off the savings you have accumulated from your business.
We set regular reviews with clients to review over their cash flow and to help them stay on track with their financial goals.
Below you’ll find a few tips in regards to cash flow.
Reduce Debt Expenses
Of all the expenses, debt pay-down is the major key to improving cash flow for most families. Here are some ways to reduce debt expenses:
- Negotiate lower interest rates
- Sell investments to pay off debts
- Stop buying “stuff” until debt-free
- Minimize expenses, until debts are paid off
- Sell toys, stuff, etc. to pay off debt
Reduce Vacation Expenses
- Travel can be an expensive item for a family. Here are ways to keep costs down:
- Go on tax-deductible trips with your church to help others
- Shop for travel bargains online at sites such as lastminute.com
- Set a budget and limit travel expenses to targeted amount
- Use frequent flyer miles
Reduce Investment Real Estate Expenses
- If you cannot sell, lower your price, even sell at a loss if it still improves your overall cash flow
- Transfer costs by selling as a “rent-to-own”
- Rent property to contractor who can remodel in lieu of rent
- Refinance variable mortgages to a fixed rate to prevent rate increases
Now that you have your cash flow under control, how are you going to invest the money? This is a great time to meet with your financial advisor or to get a second opinion from another advisor.
Now that you are retired (at least for the moment), perhaps your most important concern is keeping up with the cost of living.
The price of stamps and cars and homes will surely appreciate over the next 15 to 20 years. Secondly, Uncle Sam is going to come knocking at your door with his hand out asking for money and without as much money coming from cash flow as you are probably used to, you need to make sure your investments are tax-efficient.
In light of these changes, we strongly suggest it is time to re-evaluate your portfolio- including collectibles, commodities, metals, rental real estate, money market, CDs, stocks, bonds, annuities and mutual funds.
Are you prepared with your current investments to protect against inflation as well as taxes?
Without a doubt, each of these investments has risks.
- What is your overall exposure to each of these asset classes?
- What would happen if your bank went bankrupt, your stock portfolio dropped, or your rental real estate property values dropped drastically?
- Would this change your retirement?
- Do you have too much of your portfolio weighted in one category or another?
- What should your exposure be going forward?
We also strongly encourage you to make sure you have a professional overseeing your assets and giving you a second opinion on your overall profile.
By taking the right steps, you can ensure now that you’ve sold your business that you and your family will be taken care of for the rest of your lives.
Did you enjoy our five part series on selling your business? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Contact me with your thoughts and questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Individual needs vary & require consideration of your unique objectives & financial situation. Please consult with your accountant or tax advisor for specific guidance.