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BMO Wealth Management Report: The Majority of Canadian Private Business Owners Are Not Financially Prepared For Retirement

- Seventy-two per cent surveyed have saved less than $100,000 for their retirement

- More than one third of business owners said they would sell to buyer(s) outside of the family

- BMO offers tips on how private business owners can create a retirement plan

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 20, 2016) - BMO Wealth Management today issued a report examining how Canadian private business owners are planning to fund their retirement. The report - "As a business owner, do you have a retirement contingency plan?" - found that the majority are not financially prepared for the retirement they envisioned; however, they are considering various factors like increasing savings or selling the business to help reach their goals.

The BMO Wealth Management report found that more than two thirds (72 per cent) have saved less than $100,000 and only ten per cent indicated that they had saved more than $500,000. Business owners are facing a shortfall in their retirement planning and become heavily dependent on their business assets to help fund their retirement. The report indicates that withdrawing at a rate of $50,000 a year can cause a $500,000 pool of retirement savings to disappear in about 12 years, whereas the amount needed for a sustainable retirement between the ages of 65 and 90 is approximately $1,100,000.

"Retirement dates can vary for business owners depending on their personal and business circumstances. By revealing the shortfalls in a business owner's retirement fund based on how much they're saving each year, a financial plan will help them prepare for every circumstance," said Chris Buttigieg, Senior Manager, Wealth Planning Strategy, BMO Wealth Management.

Turning A Business Into A Retirement Asset

The report examined exit options that private business owners planned to employ to fund shortfalls in their retirement saving. More than one third of those surveyed said that they would sell to buyer(s) outside of the family (36 per cent).

Other exit options that business owners are considering include:

  • The owner does not know what exit option to consider (33 percent)
  • Transferring the business at no cost to family member(s) (15 per cent)
  • Closing or winding down the business (12 per cent)
  • Selling the business to family member(s) (four per cent)

Mr. Buttigieg added, "Preparing to leave a business can be tough, especially because owners have invested so much of their time, effort and money into it. A financial professional can help identify the best solution to ensure their business is left in the right hands, and is appropriately valuated to possibly fund retirement."

BMO offers tips on how private business owners can create a retirement plan

Develop a Business Succession Plan: A business succession plan helps to develop an overall process and a schedule for the business owner's planned withdrawal. This type of plan includes both technical concerns and interpersonal issues that involve family members.

Diversify Your Retirement Savings: Funds such as RRSPs, TFSAs and other investment products provide diversified retirement savings personally and outside of the business. This is an effective way to be prepared for the risks and challenges in converting business assets into funds for retirement.

Create a Personal Financial Plan: A personal financial plan can help to figure out the right amount of savings needed from the business in order to attain the desired retirement goal.

To view a copy of the full report, please visit:

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About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of $692 billion as of July 31, 2016, and over 45,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

For further information:
Media Contacts:
Mark Beazley, Toronto
(416) 867-3996

Valerie Doucet, Montreal
(514) 877-8224

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