Many business owners want to run their businesses for the rest of their lives. This is praiseworthy. It reflects the fortitude that we hard workers hope to maintain in our older years. In what some interpret as an anti-retirement poem, Dylan Thomas wrote:
- Do not go gentle into that good night,
- Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
- Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
However laudable this goal is, it generates a problem: If the owner dies or suddenly becomes ill, their family might be forced to sell their business. Without its owner at the helm, the business might deteriorate quickly, resulting in the family being forced to sell at a depressed price.