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The MHC Blog

Powerful Business Insights for Succesful Leaders

Why we need to have an exit strategy

At some point I am sure you, like me, see a lovely healthy and financially comfortable retirement in your future.  Mine sees me living close to a beach with no concerns at all apart from a daily quick look outside the door to make sure the sun is shining and today is indeed a beach day (I don’t trust weather apps!).

My parent’s generation and the generations before were very confident that they had this future planned out financially.  They tended to stay with the same Company from leaving school till retirement, diligently saved into their Company pension scheme and retired somewhere between the ages of 55 and 65 with a good income to see them living comfortably. 

Statistically this was all possible.  In the 1950’s it was reported that for every person over the age of 65, there were 7.2 people between the ages of 20 and 64 that helped pay for older generations retirement plans with their own pension contributions.  

However, it is predicted in 2050 that this number will have decreased to 1.8, the combination of increased life expectancy, a fixed retirement age and a decrease in fertility rates are having a detrimental impact to our Company pensions schemes.

It is reported that 2 thirds of “Millennials” are not saving at all as the future is so far away, they do not see the need to have a pension scheme, opting to “live life to the full” today and worry about the future later. 

The world is changing so quickly, there is no longer a job for life, people are having to chop and change a lot to keep themselves engaged and employed, we no longer can keep moving our pension schemes from Company to Company, and in the case of anyone living outside their home countries, this makes everything a lot more complicated.

Then we hear in the news the dreadful cases of plundered Company pension schemes, Companies that go bust taking the depleted pension schemes with them, leaving their dedicated and loyal staff without a job and no pension scheme at all (recent examples BHS and Woolworths) having to rely and survive on state pensions.

Generation X and Y are now having to back pedal a lot knowing clearly that their pension is no longer the reliance that they were for their grandparents and parents, we can no longer rely on the younger generation to keep the pensions contributions topped up.

Whether running your own business, working as a Company employee or a Millennial living life to the full, you need to plan for your future, it’s not feasible to rely on a state pension. 

But what can we do immediately to help deal with this that allows us to have a comfortable retired future?

  1. Know where you personally are heading.

    If you are a business owner, you need to decide how you plan to exit the business - sell it, leave it to family members or become an executive board member.  Whatever the final decision is, it requires a different approach to the Company business planning and exit strategy.

    The Company long-term business plan should have this exit strategy in mind and all short and mid term business strategy decision need to have this end goal in mind keep it on track.

    If you are an employee, you need to consider what your retirement looks like and plan to ensure that financially you are working towards achieving this. 
    Ultimately you need to make a plan and implement it as soon as possible.  Yes, retirement may be decades away, however, the earlier you can take action, the better. 


  1. Innovate and pivot.

    Much in the same way that the educational system is having to innovate their curriculums now to get children ready for jobs that currently do not exist, Company’s and employees need to educate and increase the skill sets for roles that currently do not exist. The world and how we do business is changing at break neck speed, employees need to be ready to keep up with.

    Its business owners responsibilities to keep their business on track and innovating in line with the ever changing world, for example its predicted that AI will take away close to 50% of the jobs in the next few decades, we need to innovate to keep up.

    We should keep a close eye on what’s happening within our industries, where the next innovation and change will be and start training and developing early to deal with these changes ahead of time.


  1. Transparency

    Companies need to be open and transparent with their teams, and employees need to take notice and be involved in how they impact their Company. The example Companies that closed with depleted pensions schemes for their employees kept the miss management of their pension to themselves.  They were not open in an understandable way with their employees.

    Companies have an obligation to be open with the finances of their business, this engages the employee’s commitment to the financial health of the Company, allowing them to feel involved and committed to its success.


In the UAE, we have the added complication of replying on gratuity as a replacement to a Company pensions scheme and only being able to stay in the country whilst being sponsored with a working visa.  For us its even more important to plan for the future as it is likely to have us moving to a new country and settling somewhere else. 

We are keen to investigate further how you see the challenges of your future and would ask that you take 5 minutes to compete a short online survey.

Once you have completed the survey, you will be able to download the World Economic Forum report on the crisis the world is facing.

Click Here to Take the 5 minute Survey

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Claire Donnelly

Written by Claire Donnelly

A Business Growth and HR Strategist helping medium size companies to Scale Up using proven systems. Claire is an MCIPD qualified Human Resource professional, with 25+ years’ experience working within various industries and 10 + years’ experience of HR practices throughout the Middle East. As a HR Generalist she has held a number of senior and Board level HR positions. She is experienced in working at both strategic and tactical levels.

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