Golden Girl Finance
 
TD Wealth Management
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Entrepreneur

What most small business owners overlook when business planning

September 30th, 2014 by

TD survey finds almost two-thirds of entrepreneurs fail to plan for this event...

 
 

Small business owners know the importance of a solid business plan, but when it comes to a succession plan only a third of the one in 10 Canadians with a small business have a strategy in place for when they are no longer at the helm. As a recent TD survey found, many of those who do have a succession plan say they want to eventually pass their business on to their children, but only half have actually discussed this with them.

“With so many things to think about when starting and running a small business, it’s understandable that planning for the day you step away from it isn’t always top of mind,” said Dave Kelly, Senior Vice President, Private Investment Advice, TD Wealth. “But a succession plan can help you to maximize the value of your business when you do eventually hand over the reins, and the time to set up that plan is long before you actually retire.”

Factors to consider

Kelly notes that a succession plan is more than just identifying who will take over your business – whether you transfer it to a family member or sell it to a partner, your employees or a third-party. You also need to consider factors like the tax implications of transferring your business, who will manage day-to-day operations, and how to maintain stability and preserve family harmony when bringing in a successor. This could involve having an estate equalization strategy to help ensure that all family members are treated fairly, even if they don’t take over the business.

“As a small business owner, you should talk to your family about your succession plans to make sure everyone understands what you want and why, and to find out if your family actually wants to take over the business at some point,” he said. “You should also discuss your plans with professional advisors, including a business succession advisor and your financial advisor, so they can help you structure your business and your succession plans.”

Kelly suggests small business owners set up a succession plan as early as possible and review it regularly to make sure it remains up-to-date, particularly as your business grows and to take into account significant life events that could impact these plans, including marriage or divorce, and the birth or death of family members.

Tips for business succession planning

  1. List your goals and priorities

Some questions to ask yourself include: When do you want to hand over the reins to your business – at retirement age, or earlier so you can pursue other business or personal interests? How important is it that someone in your family takes over the business and consider whether they would even be interested, or would you prefer to sell it? Don’t forget to include your family in these discussions.

  1. Assemble a team of specialist advisors

Beyond the usual list of advisors – such as financial advisors, lawyers and accountants – consider adding a family facilitator to help you navigate the details of a family business succession plan and preserve family harmony.

  1. Review your succession plan "action items”

Draw up a list of things to do to make your plan work, such as whether you need to change your business structure (from a sole proprietorship or partnership to a corporation, for example), what additional training or experience your chosen successor needs, and whether you need an estate equalization plan to help ensure the interests of other family members who don’t enter the business are considered.

  1. Develop the most appropriate plan for you

Every family business is unique, so there is no one-size-fits-all succession plan. Take the time to develop the one that’s right for your business and your family, factoring in your personal and business goals, your family situation and the specific details of your business. And once it’s in place, review it regularly and update it whenever necessary so it always meets your (and your family’s) needs.

 

You can find more information, tools and resources on business succession planning here. 

Investing

Tuesday Tip: Looking for investing ideas in 2014?

January 14th, 2014 by

Each week, discover a tip to help you meet your savings and investing goals

 

 

With 2014 underway, now can be a great time to start thinking about your portfolio for the year ahead. You may be wondering what’s in store for 2014 - such as how stocks and bonds are performing, which geographies or sectors are forecasted to generate positive returns, and opportunities on how best to diversify your portfolio to meet your long-term financial goals.

Click here for a video with Bob Gorman, Chief Portfolio Strategist at TD Wealth, where he shares investment themes and stock ideas for 2014.

Personal Finance

3 people to engage in a financial discussion

January 10th, 2014 by

When is a good time to have the 'financial talk'?

 
 

It’s no secret that money can be a taboo topic - many couples avoid talking about it until the last minute, before marriage or moving in together, and parents often find it a complicated subject to discuss with their kids.

It’s important for couples and families to talk openly and honestly about money so that everyone is on the same financial page. From dividing household finances to sharing your spending and savings habits, these conversations can have a positive impact on everyone involved. For those who are looking to become fiscally fit this year, now is a good time to have the financial talk with your loved ones.

Below, are three people in your life to consider sitting down with and how to have the talk...

3 people in your life to engage in a financial discussion

  1. Talking to your significant other - Whether you’re a spender or saver, it’s important to communicate how you approach money early in your relationship to ensure there are no surprises later on. It’s a good idea to discuss things like cash flow and savings goals on a regular basis with your partner to develop a secure financial future together.
     
  2. Talking to your child - From starting a piggy bank to saving for a new bike, consider teaching your child about planning, budgeting and saving. It’s important to start the conversation early and continue to make money lessons relevant to your child’s age so they can understand where their money is going.
     
  3. Talking to a third party - Talking to a financial planner can help clarify what you want for your future and how to make it happen by creating a personalized plan to keep you on track to achieving your goals.  

Benefit everyone around you

It’s important to be open and honest upfront, and have regular financial conversations to help benefit the entire family, now and down the road. 

Personal Finance

Tuesday Tip: Saving for your retirement goals

January 7th, 2014 by

Each week, discover a tip to help you meet your savings and investing goals

 

 

A new year can be a good time to make resolutions and goals to achieve in the year ahead - and beyond. A comfortable retirement, for instance, is a goal that many Canadians share, no matter how far away their retirement is.

Click here for a tool that can help you determine the amount of funds to tuck away into your retirement nest egg in order to reach your savings and investing goals for the future. The sooner you start contributing to a Retirement Savings Plan, the larger your retirement savings should grow!

Personal Finance

Tuesday Tip: Create a budget for the holiday season

December 17th, 2013 by

Each week, discover a tip to help you meet your savings and investing goals

 

 

The holiday season can be expensive! From entertaining and holiday décor to gift giving and dining out, it’s important to create a budget well in advance of the hustle and bustle to help you stay on track with your financial goals.

Click here for four steps to consider that can help you start a budget from scratch for the holidays and beyond.