Some firms want aging advisors to consider their retirement an opportunity to sell their business, and give younger advisors the chance to take over a successful practice.

If you're considering setting up a cozy hammock under a shady palm tree, or spending more time with the grandkids, give yourself plenty of time to plan a proper exit strategy. Industry observers say it's better to plan and get that essential work done than to wait until there's a situation that forces an advisor to retire hastily.

"Too often it's a fire sale, because of an advisor getting sick or an advisor getting too old," recruiter Danny Sarch tells Senior Editor Andrew Welsch in this month's cover story.

Advisors have several options for selling their books, which can result in lucrative one-time payouts, or payments over time. Consider now-retired advisor Wade Sadler of Raymond James, who handed off his clients in under six months to a younger successor, Luis Garcia.

Sadler and Garcia, who are featured in the cover story, worked together on the transition of more than 150 families. First, they rebranded as a team and sent introduction letters to all clients. Later on, they followed up with an announcement about Sadler's retirement.

"It was a lot of late nights, a lot of work. If you think about taking your business and doubling your client base ... well, it's a lot of long days," Garcia tells Welsch. 

Sadler, for his part, made himself available to answer questions about the hand-off. He had to get into the details of portfolios, and explain client histories. He made phone calls and showed up for client meetings, too. "I probably worked harder those last six months than I did in the previous couple years," he says. Could such a move work for you? Read the story to learn the benefits — as well as the potholes to avoid. 

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