At some point, you will say, “What kind of life do I want to live?” In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times (Thursday, August 14, 2014), a retired “workaholic” entrepreneur said “’You cannot not have a plan when you retire.’”
He turned to retirement; though he didn’t plan it that way, he traded his many hours of daily work for golf, playing each and every day for 365 days. He said “One obsession prepared me for (another).”
The writer then continues, “All this makes me wonder: What do pro golfers do when they retire?”
Life After Law: What Will You Do With the Next 6,000 Days? seeks to address this issue. One such option, before traveling into the “sunset,” is selling your law practice and monetizing the years of your efforts … capitalizing on the goodwill you’ve developed. See our LawBiz® Registry for more help in this effort.
The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2013, published some interesting statistics;
To meet basic retirement needs, one needs to save 8 to 11 times salary by the age of 67; if your annual income is $100,000, you should have saved a minimum of $800,000 by the time of retirement.
There are a number of “disconnects” in the statistics. For example,
• 69% of the people surveyed said they expect to work for pay after retirement; yet, only 25% do.
• Only 46% of retirees will be able to afford their essential needs in retirement; yet 78% of those surveyed expect to be happy in retirement.
• Of workers 55+ years of age, 54% said they thought they’d need $250,000, exclusive of house and pension, for retirement. Only 24%, however, said they had that. Sadly, about 1/3 of this group had less than $10,000 saved.
• Only 38% believe they will be able to afford “extras” (like travel) in retirement; yet 72% believe their dream retirement includes taking really nice vacations.
• 62% say they’ve done everything they need to do to prepare for retirement; yet 68% say they expect to work after they retire.
• Before retiring, when asked, only 29% said they were very confident of attaining paid employment once retired, 45% were somewhat confident. But, after retiring, only 7% said they were very confident and 21% said they were somewhat confident of finding paid employment.
Retirement age has increased since the 1990s, 57 years of age in 1993. Now, we’re at least 66 years of age. The later retirement age continues to build the nest egg … and one’s emotional health seems to be better with the later retirement age.
On retiring at the age of 65 today, the average life expectancy is another 19 years, meaning one may live 1/4 of one’s life in retirement. Hence, the title of my latest book, Life After Law: What Will You Do With the Next 6,000 Days? Planning for the “second season” is not something to be taken lightly.
I had never thought of digital assets being inherited! Wow, what an oversight. Clearly, digital property is an asset and can be passed on to the next generation. Have you thought about the goodwill represented by your Twitter account, your blog, you website and all the other digital assets you create? If not, you should because but for an affirmative act on your part, the rights to that property may be lost.
Most lawyers will pooh-pooh the idea that their electronic/digital property is worth anything … they said this about the value of their law practice also. Many lawyers are beginning to adjust their thinking, recognizing that law practice goodwill has value … and together, this property could be worth tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars. Why should this value evaporate? Take care and plan not only your estate but also the estate of your law practice, including digital assets!
To paraphrase Charlie Wilson, Texas Congressman, from the movie, Charlie Wilson’s War, "…we changed the world, but we had no end game…" in Afghanistan. Chaos and catastrophe resulted. This reminds me of so many lawyers who have no "end game." They do not see the end of their law practice until, one day, they awake and decide they want to do something else, or they’re not feeling so good and their doctor tells them they have a "problem." They have not planned for this time; they have not taken their destiny into their own hands. It’s like going to the office without a plan for the day and reacting only when the phone rings.
I think that is what motivated me to write my new book, "Life After Law: What Will You Do With the Next 6000 Days?" I’ve seen this in so many of my clients; I’ve seen this in my own family. Perhaps I’m guilty of the same sin. But, you needn’t be. Create your own future. Know when you want to retire and what you want to do in your "retirement," your second season, the "next 6000 days" of your life.
Life After Law, What Will You Do For the Next 6000 Days? My soon- to-be-released book is a guide to why aging baby boomer lawyers should be planning for their next career. The ABA has concluded that 400,000 lawyers will retire in the next 10 years. That is equivalent to the entire membership of the ABA, the largest volunteer organization in the world!
According to a different report, without reference to law, 10,000 people retire daily!
Look for a dramatic change in our culture as we seek to learn how to live longer, productive lives in different careers. Of course, the economy will also change as older folks become the dominant consumers in this country.
I have been getting more calls from lawyers wanting to retire, wanting to sell their law practices. As a result, I started writing a new book. I just finished Life After Law: What Will You Do With the Rest of Your Life? It is being edited now and will be available for sale in October.
As a result, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the definition of Goodwill, the primary asset a lawyer has to sell. And though it is not consistent with the accounting profession’s definition, I have come upon a new definition that I believe is more meaningful to the average lawyer, whether buying or selling:
Goodwill can be defined as legacy … it’s your legacy that you’re passing along to others … It’s your reputation, your phone number, your system and way of doing business, all the intangible elements that made you successful and provides you, the selling lawyer, with what to sell … The better is your reputation, the more value your law practice will have.