This Is A Time In History Like No Other

retired_couple_rAfter WWII with the passing of the G.I. Bill a wide range of benefits were available for returning World War II veterans. These benefits included low-cost mortgages, low-interest loans to start a business, cash payments of tuition and living expenses to attend university, high school or vocational education, as well as one year of unemployment compensation.

These returning G.I.’s were welcomed home with open arms, with government incentive programs to help those returning and to spur the economy, which ultimately created the wealthiest nation with the highest standard of living on the planet.

By 1956, roughly 2.2 million veterans had used the G.I. Bill education benefits in order to attend colleges or universities, and an additional 5.6 million used these benefits for some kind of training program. A large number of those GI’s that took advantage of these government incentives to start small businesses, which ultimately became the backbone of the nation and created the fastest growing economy that ever, existed.

Small Business Challenges

Since those early days, there have been many challenges in the intervening 50 years, but not until the 2008 banking crisis, which crashed most of the global economies, had there been a significant let up in the US growth and prosperity. The wealth that had been created by so many of the baby boom generation of business owners has been seriously impacted and a large number of businesses simply went bankrupt.

Now, this baby boom generation, who built this phenomenal economic juggernaut, are picking up the pieces and contemplating retirement. Unfortunately, for the majority of them, their scorecard looks very different today than did back in the mid-fifties. Those left after the meltdown carnage, have to now rethink their strategies for transfer of ownership, which is far more complex today.

Graceful Transition

More than ever, among the Baby Boom generation of business owners, is the need for sound Exit Planning. Contrary to government statistics, the future prospects for selling a business and monetizing that sale is no longer as lucrative as it may have been 10 or 20 years ago. With increased punitive government regulations, both at the Federal and State level, as well as uncertain future tax increases triggered for example by the new healthcare legislation, it is now time for the business owner to review their options in order achieve a graceful and profitable retirement. The $64,000 question is…will they be able to sell their business in time to achieve that goal?

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