Small business owners answer questions about retirement

Who gets the money: the business or your retirement plan?

One of the greatest challenges for any growing small business is the fact that, kind of like a teenager, your business will always have its hand out for more money.  Indeed, there will NEVER be a time when you won’t have real, bona fide, justified upgrades, maintenance and/or market opportunities to spend your money on.

If you actually have the retained earnings to consider putting back in the business, congratulations; that means you’re doing something right.  But at some point you’re going to have to decide how to split that pot of money between investing in the business and investing in a non-business-related retirement plan.

We wanted to know how you were handling this decision and asked our NEWSLETTER subscribers and website visitors what they were doing about personal retirement. Here’s what our respondents told us:

44% said: I have a retirement plan I’m contributing to every year.
24% said: At this stage, every extra dollar is reinvested in my small business.
4% said: The recession is preventing me from contributing to a retirement plan.
28% said: I’m just trying to survive - retirement seems like a luxury right now.

It’s very pleasing to see the way this poll turned out. The largest single response was in favor of funding a retirement plan and about a third (combining the last two) were not funding retirement due to the economic conditions.   And, frankly, I was surprised to see that only about a fourth said they were giving all their money to the business.

There is no silver bullet answer to this issue for small business owners, but just be careful to not let your “teenager” become too greedy.

To participate in next week’s poll question, visit and vote.

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