Small-Business Owners Concerned About Their Retirement

Recent research shows a majority of small-business owners are concerned about retirement, yet one-third of women and one-quarter of men surveyed have not estimated how much they will need when they retire. 

The survey, conducted by The American College, raises questions about the quality of retirement preparation being done by the majority of small-business owners. While 66% of the women respondents and 70% of the men respondents said they had developed an estimate of their retirement needs, only half of these individuals have done so with the assistance of a financial professional.

A quarter of the survey participants used online calculators, and the remainder arrived at an estimate by performing simple calculations themselves using pencil and paper.

Regardless of whether small-business owners have calculated their retirement goals, most do not have a formal plan to achieve their financial objectives.  Among the small-business owners surveyed, 77% of the women and 74% of the men have no written plan for retirement.

Other study results show:

•  The primary concerns expressed by roughly four in 10 small-business owners are increases in the cost of living (40% female, 40% male), higher healthcare costs (42% female, 38% male) and maintaining their current quality of life (37% female, 35% male);

•  Just 37% of the women and 38% of men think their retirement planning needs are complex; and 

•  While just over half of small-business owners reported being concerned about maximizing the value of their business to help fund retirement, only one in 10 women (10%) and one in five men (20%) had a written plan to transition their business upon retirement.


The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Ipsos on behalf of the State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services at The American College, between July 13 and July 22, 2011, among 1,255 small-business owners (835 women and 420 men).

A full survey report is available at