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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-put-myself-through-vet-school-31-years-ago-and-24482721.aspx

Subject:  Re: t.Retirement won't happen for me Date:  8/18/2006  9:47 AM
Author:  vtjon Number:  53220 of 75335

I put myself through vet school 31 years ago and today own my own clinic. I'll be paying back the bank for 20 more years.

I feel for you, and agree that small business owners do get the shaft for a variety of reasons.

You mention that you will be paying down notes for twenty more years. Do you have any equity in the practice? Is that something that can be sold when you actually retire? What about taking on a partner in the practice--selling off your share over time?

I really do feel for you, but I think you may need to reevalutate your situation. Could you go work at an animal hospital instead? Are you able to meet your obligations while still putting some funds away for the future? As hard as it may be, leaving your practice may be the only thing that will allow you to retire one day. Especially given that you're business won't be in the clear until you are 76 years old and have some serious financial responsibilities.

I know how hard it can be to leave something that you've built from the ground up. Especially given that you seem to take good care of your employees and I'd imagine your patients as well. I used to work for a small business owner who just went through this. She built a business for 35 years and wanted to pass it on to her children. Unfortunately, she came to realize that it didn't make sense to hold onto it. Fortunately she had some equity in her business, and a lifetime of skills to take with her to her next career.

Unfortunately, Congress won't get around to helping you. There's much more political steam in debating flag burning vs. tax credits for small businesses. You're going to have to evaluate your finances and find a solution for yourself. As I'm sure you know as a single mom, relying on someone else often just leads you to disappointment.

-VTJon
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