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Book Review: The Canadian Small Business Owner's Guide to Financial Independence

Small Business Retirement Planning Guide Is Worth the Price

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Retirement Planning Guide Authors

Barry & Mark McNulty

My first reaction on seeing Barry and Mark McNulty's book, The Canadian Small Business Owner's Guide to Financial Independence, was "At last!"

Well actually, it was the subtitle of Barry and Mark McNulty's book that grabbed my attention and got me to open it and start reading: "A comprehensive retirement and succession planning guide for professionals and small business owners". Could it be? I thought. A book that actually provides small business retirement planning advice that someone like me could or would actually follow?

Sensible Retirement Planning

500,000 Canadian small business owners are planning to retire over the next five years and another 750,000 are expecting to retire by 2020, according to a study released by the CIBC.

I'm one of those people. But truthfully, retirement planning has all the appeal of getting my eyes tested; I know I have to do it eventually, but it's not something I look forward to. The idea of someone just throwing me a dinner and giving me a gold watch when the time comes is incredibly appealing.

But as Barry and Mark McNulty point out, that's not going to happen. As a self-employed person, if I want to have the kind of retirement I expect to have, I need to prepare for it myself.

The Canadian Small Business Owner's Guide to Financial Independence is full of sensible, practical advice that professional and small business people can start implementing right now to get the kind of retirement they want underway. How can you save on tax when you sell your business? How much life insurance do you need? How much annual income are you actually going to need to live the way you want to when you retire? This retirement planning guide provides specific answers.

The book provides a roadmap for "successfully" retiring based on assessing your financial situation today and determining your goals for retirement. Barry and Mark McNulty show you exactly how to analyze your financial position and use it to select the wealth creation and/or wealth management strategies to get to where you want to be.

Retirement Planning for All Small Business Owners

After examining where you are and where you want to go, you are going to be in one of three retirement planning positions:

  • Wealth management
  • Wealth creation with enough discretionary cash flow to build the wealth you need
  • Wealth creation with an identified resource gap.

Which of the three positions you are in really doesn’t matter; a successful transition is possible for anyone with the right kind of retirement planning and preparation.

There are a lot of things I really like about this book. The retirement planning system Barry and Mark McNulty present is clear and organized, nicely illustrated by case studies sprinkled throughout the text. And this is a book that really targets its audience well. For instance, the authors share my view of retirement and recognize that our business and personal lives are inseparable; any sensible retirement planning has to take into account non-financial implications as well.

"After all, there is only so much golf, travelling or sitting in the sun (retirees) can do before life becomes a dull routine. The most successful retirees don’t retire from something. In fact, they retire to something (p. 73)!"

Retiring successfully includes figuring out what the “to something” is.

The Canadian Small Business Owner's Guide to Financial Independence does what it claims it will do; lets professionals and small business owners take control of their own retirement planning and create the transition they want on their own terms. If you’re a professional or small business owner, it should be on your bookshelf. Like the ad says, "Everyone retires".

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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