(Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, CFP®, or CPA®, physician, etc., thus do not offer legal, financial, accounting, or medical advice. You should not interpret anything in this blog to be legal, financial, medical, or tax/accounting advice since there is no such advice here. If you want or need such advice, please contact the proper professional(s), not me.
ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE INEVITABLE (Part I of a Three-Part Series)?
According to some studies, the average age of a real estate appraiser in the United States is currently approximately 60-years old. While that is not old from a purely chronological standpoint, it is old from a professional standpoint, since that means there are many appraisers out there who have been in the appraisal saddle for 30- to 40-years. That means they are about to retire (or, maybe, slow down a little bit). Therefore, to both the well-seasoned appraiser, as well as to those who are just getting their seasoning now, a number of questions are in order. They are yours to answer.
#1: How is your company set up?
Your appraisal business may be one of the biggest investments you have. Therefore, whether you’ve been an appraiser for 5 years or 40 years, is your business set up so that it’s easy to transfer? There are sole proprietorships, S-corporations, partnerships, limited liability corporations, limited liability partnerships, professional associations, and so many more. The point here is if you were to sell the business (or worse, become incapacitated and not be able to take a hands-on approach to management any more), will your business (or your share in it) be easy to transfer (should that become necessary)? This is where tax and accounting counsel are imperative.
#2: What is your state of health?
While 60-ish is not old anymore, it is an age at which it is not uncommon to spend more time in doctor’s offices than in the past. One of the reasons for this is the stress level the appraisal business puts on its practitioners. This is a stressful business and, if the appraiser does not ameliorate it properly, stress can exact a terrible toll, not only on the appraiser, but on the appraiser’s family, too. Therefore, it is reasonable to ask an appraiser, “Have you taken care of yourself physically and mentally over your business career? If not, what are you going to do about those now that you are in the late-afternoon/evening of your life?” This is where medical (and maybe even legal advice) is a must.
Next week, we will address having a succession plan and your insurance situation.
For more information on this subject, please download and listen to The Appraiser Coach Podcast Episode: 163 – Preparing Your Appraisal Business for the Future