40 percent of small business owners don't save for retirement

Forty percent of small business owners have no retirement savings or pension plan in place.

According to a recent study, conducted by The American College, three-fourths of those owners have no written plan as to how they intend to fund their retirement.

Small business owners know the value of a solid business plan, but many don’t dedicate the same amount of effort to coming up with their own retirement plan.

"Business value can fluctuate significantly over the years, so it's important to have personal retirement savings outside of your business," says Dave Maraman, Florida president, M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. "Additionally, should the unexpected arise, such as a major health issue or needing to sell the business sooner than expected, having a retirement nest egg is important."

Tina DiVito, head of the BMO Retirement Institute tells business owners what they need to do to save for retirement. The first tip is to take care of yourself. Invest in yourself, not just your business. Her second suggestion is to invest in an IRA and SEP, which is a great way to accumulate wealth outside of the business. Investments in these plans grow faster due to tax-deferred compound growth, and IRAs and SEPs with conservative holdings are effective during times of instability, offsetting the volatility of business returns.

DiVito also recommends surrounding yourself with a team of experts, including a financial professional who specializes in small business, an accountant, a tax specialist and a lawyer, and exploring other investment options to help build retirement savings.

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