Successful small-business owners tend to be hard-working, tenacious, smart and highly focused. They have to be. According to a study by Dun & Bradstreet, businesses with fewer than 20 employees have only a 9 percent chance of surviving a decade.Yet even those that are successful fail miserably when it comes to planning for their financial future. In fact, it’s their proclivity to hone in so intensely on their business — certainly an attribute of being successful — that often gets in the way of their personal financial planning.

Take the case of a client of ours, husband-and-wife owners of an extremely profitable seasonal business. When we first started working with them, they had built a very profitable company that earned millions in revenues. They spent 24/7 on the business, always keeping their eyes on the ball. Yet they had not saved any money outside of the business, their benefits package was modest, and they had little invested in their kids’ college or their own retirement funds.

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