Latest Wells Fargo/Gallup survey: 9 of 10 small business owners do not plan to stop working completely; those who will say they’re financially unprepared
Eighty seven percent of small business owners surveyed said they do not plan on a traditional retirement (stopping work completely) although almost half of these (47 percent) say they may cut back on work. This reflects a nine percent increase in the number of small business owners who are not planning a traditional retirement, since the question was last surveyed in Q3 2005. Forty percent (up five percent from Q3 2005) say they will not fully retire or cut back, and will only stop working when they are forced to do so for health reasons. The majority of those who do plan to cut back on work or stop working completely say they will do so at an older age than first planned (60 percent) with two-thirds saying this is due to financial reasons.
“I’ve always believed you should retire to something, not from something—and there’s nothing I’d rather do than continue working in my business,” said Carol Kuc, owner of Complete Conference Coordinators in suburban Chicago. “I’ve already passed typical retirement age, and rather than slowing down, I continue to seek out new business opportunities.”
The Index found that the majority of small business owners (62 percent) believe their businesses will continue when they stop working with almost half of these (45 percent) believing their businesses will be continued by a family member. Regardless of who they believe will run their businesses when they retire, small business owners plan to keep busy: 69 percent say in retirement, they will travel more than they have in the past, and 84 percent say they will spend more time pursuing personal hobbies and interests. Nearly one in five (17 percent) say they are considering moving to another state or country.
“Many small business owners are choosing to work later in life, but an increasing number of business owners who wish to retire are finding it difficult,” said Rebecca Macieira-Kaufmann, executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo’s small business segment. “More than one-third of small business owners are concerned that if they retire, they would not be able to maintain the standard of living they enjoy. It is important that small business owners plan ahead for their retirement years, even if they don’t foresee stopping work completely.”
About the Small Business Index
Since Q3 2003, the quarterly Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index has surveyed small business owners on their current and future perceptions of their business environment relating to their business financial situation. The Index consists of two dimensions: 1) Owners’ rating of the current situation of their businesses and, 2) Owners’ rating of how they expect their businesses to perform over the next 12 months. An Index score of zero reflects that an equal number of small business owners are optimistic and pessimistic about their companies’ situation. Results are based on telephone interviews with 600 small business owners nationwide conducted October 4-14, 2007. The margin of sampling error is + 4 percentage points.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $575 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance through almost 6,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. is the only bank in the U.S., and one of only two banks worldwide, to have the highest credit rating from both Moody’s Investors Service, “Aaa,” and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, “AAA.”
Providing financial products and services to more than one and a half million businesses with annual sales up to $20 million in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, Wells Fargo is America’s #1 small business lender in total dollar volume according to the most recent Community Reinvestment Act (CRA data, 2006).
The #1 ranked bank lender of Small Business Administration (SBA) loans in total dollar volume, Wells Fargo is an SBA Preferred Lender in 50 states, and originated 4,306 loans for over $613 million in 2007. Its diverse business services programs provide outreach and education to women, African American, Latino, and Asian business owners about financial services. Since 1995, Wells Fargo has loaned close to $35 billion to women and diverse business owners. For more information, please visit www.wellsfargo.com/biz.
Note to Editors: Survey results available upon request.