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FALL 2020
holistic planning
article is the
third and final instal- ment in a series following Natalia and Wilson through consecutive life stages. In the previous article, Natalia considered an offer to work in Argentina for a year after Wilson lost
his job.
business succession
plans hit Covid-19
Experts help this couple prepare for a sale and rethink retirement options
by Suzanne Yar Khan The situation
Wilson’s not ready to step away entirely, but he liked the idea of gradually handing over the reins and then spending a few more years in an advisory role. He has almost $400,000 split between a TFSA and RRSP, but most of his money is tied up in the business.
Natalia and Wilson are wondering if their plans must be put on hold.
* These are hypothetical clients. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental.
  Wilson Eto* spent his year in Argentina sipping Malbec and virtually networking with former colleagues and young people at Toronto tech incubators. Upon the family’s return, he launched Small Batch Consulting Ltd., a firm that advises startup consumer brands like the one where he got his start. Natalia returned to her role as a senior administrator at the college. Both are now 60.
Small Batch Consulting grew steadily over the following decade. The firm gen- erated almost $10 million in revenue last year and had just hired its 20th employee when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Busi- ness ground to a halt; the firm was forced to temporarily lay off half its employees despite accessing the federal government’s wage subsidy, which expires in December.
The businesses Small Batch Consulting advises are in even worse shape. While demand for expertise about web-based consumer brands is soaring, the companies that would pay for those services can no longer afford to.
After 25 years at the college
(earning $125,000 per year, with a pension that pays 80% of her salary) Natalia was eagerly eyeing retirement; she was even ready to leave her job early, though her pension would be reduced by 5% each year before age 65. The mort- gage on their $1-million home is paid off and the kids are settling into careers: Lionel is a nurse in Vancouver, expecting his first child; Barbara is working in television in Los
Angeles. Natalia
wants time to visit
them and for other
travel — including
another teaching
round in Argentina.
She has about
$350,000 in an
      Wilson was in early discussions with a senior man- ager interested in buying out Small Batch Consulting.
Bruce Ball
Vice-president of taxation, Chartered Professional Accountants Canada, Toronto
Sloan Levett
Partner and leader, family office services group, Fuller Landau, Toronto
Farzin Remtulla
Associate, ZLC Financial, Vancouver
Answers have been edited for length and clarity

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