The specialist in retirement planning and succession of lawyers and firms from Best Lawyers Toronto identifies five factors that make discussions about retirement difficult.
1 – Loss of identity
The idea of leaving your profession or the firm you have built can lead to a feeling of loss of professional identity. The question that often appears is “who am I if I am no longer a lawyer?” ” Breaking with the ingrained habits of daily activities such as presentations as a lawyer can be a challenge.
To help find a personal identity, A retirement planning specialist Ms. Shell suggests making a list of all of those things that you are: be it a spouse, parent or grandparent, parishioner, community member or mentor. Then make a list of all of the things you can be, such as a volunteer, teacher, mentor, athlete, gardener, author, photographer, in short, the possibilities are endless.
2- Reluctance to leave the office
It may seem unthinkable not to return to the office in the morning or to leave a team with which we have worked for a long time or even to leave clients who need you. You may be concerned about the impact your departure may have on the colleagues you leave behind.
Camille Stell suggests that you start by having discussions on the subject with the people who are important to you. It is possible that other members of your team are just waiting for a sign from you to retire in turn. Your clients could end up in other competent hands of your practice. Or maybe partners would like to create a succession plan that would work for you today as well as for them in the future. The only way to find out what people around you think about the future is to ask them.
3- Fear of transition
There are all kinds of fears that can arise, ranging from fear of change, fear of letting go, fear of what you will do during retirement, or fear of not feeling useful. Stopping to think about these fears can help reduce this feeling.
It is enough to give yourself the right to live your fears and to address them individually. It is by facing your fears that you can change the scenario. “What will I do during my retirement” can turn into “there are so many things that I could not do because of my professional obligations, it would be good to get back to painting, yoga or to dance Salsa, ”says Stell.
It is easier to do nothing than to do something. Just as it is easier to continue doing the same thing, in your case, it is a question of continuing to go to work, of directing your practice or of managing your clientele.
Instead of doing this, Ms. Stell suggests taking small steps when it comes to planning for retirement. You can organize your summer so that you have more time off. You could plan a longer vacation for the end of the year or start doing four-day weeks as soon as the time is right. Or, develop a list of things to do that will gradually lead you to retirement.
5- The failure of the succession plan
Planning your estate is as beneficial for you as it is for your clients and your law firm. If you think you are short of qualified successors, tell yourself that you will never know the potential of succession if you do not start planning for it. Worried about the reaction of your clients or members of your office? You might be surprised to learn that all of these people admire your courage in tackling this difficult subject. Planning your estate does not mean that you have to stop working immediately; on the contrary, having a plan will allow you to have better control over what happens next.
You can choose your path by making proactive decisions rather than just reacting to the circumstances that will come your way sooner or later and being aware of the obstacles is the first step.
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