Although it’s probably difficult to think about, one day you’ll have to leave the small business you built in order to retire.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps that will help you transition into retirement without it feeling like a shock to you or your business.

Here are just a few ways small business owners like you can plan for retirement:

Choose the Right Retirement Plan Early on

Ask any retired small business owner and they’ll all tell you the same: choose the right retirement plan and do so early on in the process.

Most retirement plans work off of contributions and if you start contributing late in the game, you’ll have less money to retire with.

When it comes to your retirement options as a small business owner, you have three categories to choose from: Solo 401(k)’s, Simple IRAs, and Simplified Employee Pension Individual Retirement Accounts (SEP IRA). All three retirement plans are tax-deferred, however the contribution limits and fees differ slightly.

It’s important to consider a number of factors when choosing the right retirement plan, including your timeline and savings goals.

If you’re retiring sooner rather than later, a Solo 401(k) might be the best option as it allows for larger contributions than the other two plans.

Don’t Retire Cold Turkey

If you’re passing your small business on to the next in line, then you might want to think about retiring in stages instead of all at once.

The article “Planning for Retirement: Transition in Stages” mentions the importance of a phased approach to retirement.

By backing off from your position a little at a time, you’ll help others at your small business slowly transition into their new roles. This allows you to oversee the transition and answer any questions along the way.

Likewise, retiring in phases will be less of a shock to you, which is equally important.

Create a Retirement Budget

One of the best ways to plan for retirement is to create a budget that fits your retired lifestyle.

Sure, you won’t know the exact expenses involved with retiring, but you can come up with pretty accurate estimates in terms of living expenses.

Mortgage costs, food, and medical expenses aside, you’ll also want to include leisure and travel expenses in your retirement budget.

Once you have a general budget to work with, you’ll have a better idea of much you need to save for retirement.

Consider Hiring a Financial Advisor

If choosing the right retirement plan, budgeting for your retirement, and stepping away from your small business all seem too daunting, you may want to hire a financial advisor.

With the help of a financial advisor, you can navigate the expenses associated with the retirement process with ease.

Take Your Time

Lastly, as a small business owner, no one can make you retire except you. In other words, take your time on the road to retirement.

If you’re not ready to walk away from your business, add another year or so to your retirement goal. Remember – retiring feeling prepared is always better than feeling rushed.

If you’re thinking about retiring from your small business, then consider some of the pointers above.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator of content. He writes on a variety of topics including retirement planning and budgeting.