Do Small Business Owners Need Retirement Advisers Too?

Amassing sufficient retirement income and the impact of taxes on retirement savings are small business owners’ top concerns.

Small business owners will likely be hearing a lot from retirement plan advisers about starting plans for their workers, thanks to incentives from the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022, along with an increasing number of state mandates. But research from the Lincoln Financial Group, released to coincide with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week, noted that small business owners also need to consider their own retirement plans.

Small business owners are facing significant financial stressors that include retirement planning. Among those surveyed in the recent study, 65% are concerned about having enough income in retirement, and 56% expressed concern about the impact of taxes on their retirement savings and investments. The answer, according to Lincoln’s experts, is to seek professional help.

“Small business owners may also want to consider meeting with a financial professional to create a holistic financial plan, one that takes their goals into account and is designed to help them achieve positive outcomes,” said David Berkowitz, president of Lincoln Financial Network, in a statement.

Berkowitz suggested small business owners should look to protect themselves against unexpected risks by considering life insurance, which can help with succession plans and estate tax, and annuities, which offer a solution for retirement incomes that need to last for 30 years or more. They might also consider long-term care and disability insurance products that can mitigate risks such as critical illness, disability or premature death.

Principal reported that, despite the concerns, businesses both small and large do expect continued growth. Among all business owners, 76% anticipate their financials will improve within the next year, with 86% of large businesses and 69% of small businesses expressing optimism, according to the latest Principal Financial Well-Being Index.

Businesses of all sizes have taken action on reducing risk, according to the Principal report. Among respondents, 32% examined their current bank’s financial stability, 28% collected outstanding debt and 21% distributed account balances below the FDIC-insured amount.

According to the report, another top financial stressor for small business owners is inflation, with 68% of respondents expressing concern. Among other major concerns, 54% of small business owners had concerns about paying for long-term care services, and 53% worried about having enough money to cover large purchases or expenses, such as buying a car or having a wedding.

In general, small business owners experienced higher levels of stress compared to those who did not own a business. One in five business owners reported the severity of their stress as significant, while one in 10 non-business owner counterparts did so. When it comes to the largest source of stress, 22% of business owners identified theirs as finances, compared with 12% of non-business owners who said the same.

“Small business ownership comes with a great deal of responsibility—not only for the business and its employees, but also for the owner and their family,” Berkowitz said in the statement. “Our research shows that many people who own their own business may not be prepared with the right financial products and solutions to help them feel confident about their financial future.”