What’s your number? How to maintain your lifestyle in retirement

A guest blog by Cranwell James Financial Planning

Selling your business could mean you’re well on the way to your retirement, but have you thought about how your lifestyle might look and feel like once you retire?

How much money

A question regularly asked by our clients is ‘What would your ideal lifestyle look and feel like?’. To achieve your desired lifestyle it’s crucial to have clear goals as this brings clarity to financial decisions that you may be advised to make.

For example “why am I making a £30,000 year end pension contribution?” It’s not just to save tax or see numbers on an investment statement go up! Having a large amount of assets is not the goal in itself, it’s what you can do with those assets that matters.

For the majority people retiring, their main objective is to maintain their chosen lifestyle in retirement, they have worked hard to enjoy a lifestyle they love and do not want to lose it once they give up their business.

‘What’s your number?’ is a concept of understanding; the number could be described as the amount of money that you need to accumulate to then be able to live the life you want without fear of ever running out of money. It’s a concept developed by  Lee Eisenberg in his book ‘The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost? ’, using this concept you can set goals and prepare yourself for life after retirement. If you don’t know what you’re heading for, you’ll never know when you’ve got there!

Our experience shows that increasingly, what clients want, more than anything, is an answer to the big questions.

Questions like:

  • How much do I need to earn, save or sell my business for to give me what I want out of life?”

  • When, precisely, can I afford to stop doing the things that have become a drag…and start doing the things I really enjoy?”

  • What do I have to do to ensure I NEVER run out of money?”

  • Exactly what level of investment return do I need to achieve my objectives?

And possibly the biggest question of all…

How much is enough?”

Build a realistic model

An effective cash flow forecasting system allows you to explore these questions more deeply and create a plan (a model) of how your financial future will look. It allows you to consider how the events that life has a habit of throwing up, will affect your financial plans. Testing different scenarios will help you prioritise your needs and make better money management decisions.

Importantly, forecasting acts as an early warning system and helps you understand the “truth about money”.

As an example, the chart below illustrates the position of someone selling their business at age 63 for £300,000 and having an income requirement of £30,000 per annum, with only a small State Pension of £5,000 per annum from age 65. The figures assume modest investment growth of 3% and take into account the effect of inflation.

retirement graph 2

How long until it all runs out?

The chart illustrates that the cash will run out by age 76 and the client will then have to survive on State Pension alone.

Whilst this is grim reading for some people, it does at least identify the need to make decisions that could change this picture and with alternative planning, improve the position significantly.

Take advice

If you are considering selling your business and retiring, working with a professional financial planner at this crucial time will give you greater understanding of your situation and ways to potentially improve it.

If you would like to speak to us, please feel free to call James O’Reilly or Terry Larking of Cranwell James Financial planning on 0161 247 8651 www.cranwelljames.co.uk

Get a FREE valuation from the UK’s leading expert in small to medium business sales.
Tel: 01204 556 302
Email: movingon@hiltonsmythe.com

If you need any further information or want to talk to someone about selling your business simply fill in your details below:

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Disclaimer:  Hilton Smythe accepts no responsibility for information provided within this blog.  Please speak to a registered Independent Financial Advisor.

Telling your staff you’re selling up, our advice on TUPE

Just like your regular customers, your staff are probably one of your most valuable assets so it’s often a tough decision when it comes to telling them about the sale of your business, especially if you’re a hands on type of business owner.

It’s a common belief that telling staff you’re planning to sell up shop before a transaction is complete could endanger your sale. Ultimately, as the owner of your business, it’s your decision as to whether or not your staff are kept up to date. Some owners choose to consult staff before and some choose to keep a confidential sale throughout. There are both positive and negatives to both options.

It’s natural to worry about your staff leaving once they hear you’re selling however it’s important to remember that given job security can be assured, members of staff won’t have reason to leave your business.

Have you considered the true value of your staff?

Many prospective business owners will find the thought of taking over a brand new venture a daunting one. Including well informed, experienced and supportive staff with your business sale will help place a much higher value on your business than it would without them.

We recently heard from ex-business owner Ray Boycott who successfully sold his business along with staff to a new owner.

“Honesty was the best policy, it’s especially hard to keep secrets especially with viewings and if you want to market your business as effectively as possible.”

Retirement and your responsibilities to your employees: TUPE

If you have employees and are selling your business, you’ll need to abide by TUPE  (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) Regulations 1981). It may sound daunting but following the guidelines and principles set down under the regulations are fairly straightforward. TUPE is not only your responsibility as the business seller, but also the buyer’s too. It provides a level of protection for your employees and gives them peace of mind. That can buy you extra loyalty and support during your transition from business owner to retirement.

It doesn’t matter what size of business you are. As long as you have employees you need to consider the implications of TUPE at every stage. In order to help you understand the basics we’ve distilled the key areas for you to be aware of:

I’m selling my business, isn’t the buyer’s responsibility?

Yes it’s the responsibility of both sides. This includes where another company buys another (not by share transfer), where a sole trader or partnership transfers to another and where two companies merge and cease their original status.  More importantly for our readers is where goods and/or services are transferred e.g. a sale of a business.  From businesses carried out on site through to mobile services such as cleaning or catering businesses for example. All of the above means that the purchaser and the seller have a responsibility to the employee.

Here is an example from https://www.gov.uk/transfers-takeovers/overview


A courier collects and delivers for a business, but the packages are picked up or delivered by a number of different couriers on an ad hoc basis. The courier isn’t protected under TUPE.

A cleaner is employed by a company that decides to use an outside cleaning company instead. They’re likely to be protected under TUPE.

Informing your employees

You have to tell your employees (and trade union if appropriate) the following:

  • The transfer is happening – when and why is important. Not just from a legal point of view but also for good relations going forward
  • Tell them how it may affect them (if at all)
  • Let them know of any known re-organisation (the new owner will have to do the same)
  • Reassure them of the TUPE principles
  • Be conscious of agency workers and their rights

If you fail to do this you can be fined.

If you don’t have a trade union, employee representatives can be nominated and elected by their peers. Employee representatives have the same rights as a trade union representative. This can be rather scary but in actual fact could protect you in the long run.

Employers with less than 10 employees can inform and consult directly with employees if there arent any appropriate representatives and the transfer will take place on 31 July 2014 or later.

Find out what your business is worth for free!

Do you know the true value of your business? Even if you don’t think you’ll want to sell up for another year, an accurate value of your business will help you in planning for a successful exit strategy when the time is right.

At Hilton Smythe we have core values, one of which is to be upfront and honest in every aspect of what we do. For more information on how we do things differently, our new brochure can be viewed here.

Want to know what you business is worth with an appraisal from Hilton Smythe?

Call us today on 0800 464 0408

Some additional things you may need to consider when the time comes to sell your business and in preparation for your appraisal.

‘You can’t sell a secret’ so they say. Well, we agree actually, but if you are concerned about customers, staff or both finding out the business is for sale, speak to us about our confidential or discreet packages. Please note that a confidential sale typically takes three times as long to agree a sale than a standard one.

EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)
It’s not us; it’s the law! Every business premises that is over 50 sq m in size must provide a valid EPC in order to advertise the business for sale, whether that’s with us, another broker or yourself. If you don’t, we could both be liable to pay a fine of up to £5,000; we don’t want that and we’re pretty sure you could do without the fine too!

Transparent costs
We don’t like complicated or hidden costs; and we’re certain you don’t either. Pay a one off fee at the start of our relationship to cover your agreed marketing and EPC costs, an agreed fee at completion and that’s it. We will only charge you a fee to cover the marketing and then completion; unless you end the agreement early or stop us from selling the business for you.

Why not find our what your business is worth for free?
Contact our New Business Team to arrange an appraisal of your business on 0800 464 0408.

Core Values

Why choose Hilton Smythe? Our core values…

At Hilton Smythe, we care more. As an independent business our core values are followed every day. We have an open and transparent approach in everything we do.

When we began our business, we wanted to put right everything that we felt was wrong or unfair in the industry. We believed that people selling their business deserved more.

That’s why we invest in our people with training, regular learning and we established clear values for everyone to live and breathe every day.

Be the Rolls Royce of our industry

Be creative and innovative

Customer first

Take ownership and deliver

Up front and honest


Following our company values is something our staff share an interest in and they’re something that we pride ourselves in following.

Our aim is to excel in customer service and deliver to each of our clients’ industry leading, professional but personal service. We take the view that our clients’ should be able to speak, directly, with the person responsible for the sale of their property and/or  business; that is why, here at Hilton Smythe, you can contact your assigned Sales Negotiator via their direct contact number or email address.

We understand that the sale of our clients’ business will not result alone from internet or journal marketing; accordingly, Hilton Smythe have a team of Market Researchers who actively seek out potential purchasers for our clients businesses, which means our database of registered buyers continues to grow.

If you are considering the sale of your property or business, call Hilton Smythe today on 01204 556 300 for a discreet, no obligation discussion with one of our Marketing Executives.

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