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Old 03-10-2013, 10:11 PM   #21
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Wow, this has been quite a read. I had to get off the iPhone, put on my glasses, and hit the laptop.

If I had wine here at home, I'd have had a glass or two just to calm me down, on your behalf!

It seems to me you need at least 3 professionals in your court: A lawyer to get that partnership whipped into shape so that it doesn't kill you before you can retire, and so that you can enjoy life more on the way; a financial advisor (or certified financial planner?) to help you further refine the financial framework you've just laid out for yourself (and which I have no doubt you can handle when you've finally unloaded some of this other stuff you're carrying around); and a realtor to sell that rental that you say is such a source of stress.

I would try to do a bit of pruning of the obvious stuff and keep at it until I get things where I want them. Let the pros do some of the heavy lifting so you can concentrate on doing your job.

And your DH sounds like a swell guy. He doesn't sound like he is a source of your stress! I am a bit worried that he doesn't have health insurance, but 2014 will take care of that.

Or so I have read.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:12 PM   #22
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We do have a formal partnership agreement and file as a c-corp with articles of incorporation. Our salaries differ but our shares are equal. As far as I know there are no articles that provide for succession. I will dig those out and see what I can do--thank you for the VERY concise advice on who to see and what to look for.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:14 PM   #23
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You should really have a formal partnership agreement even if things were going swimmingly. What would you do if one of the partners died? This should all be in writing the same as what happens when one partner wants out.

Also, is this really a partnership with personal liability for all the partners and not an LLC or corporation? I would talk to an attorney and get a formal partnership agreement in place (or form a limited liability entity), an organization chart and an operations manual for the business.

Also it sounds like you could use the help of a financial planner on a personal level. And your husband needs health insurance before he has some catastrophic illness or accident. Can you get small business health insurance for him through the business?

Sorry if some of these questions were answered in your post. It was pretty long. Good luck.

Added: Your last answer came up as I was typing mine. Is a partnership filing as a c-corp a limited liability entity?
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:15 PM   #24
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Alternatively, do you have some kind of non-compete agreement? If the core value proposition is that you personally do some work, then perhaps you can make a new company and do that work. If partners don't cooperate with any of your requests for help or time off, then what stops you from retreating to the same passive position they have taken, which probably lets this business wither away. Meanwhile you start operating as me-myself-and-i inc and provide the service you still do yourself. No partners splitting it with you. You can work as much or as little as you decide.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:18 PM   #25
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Welcome to the forum.
Your business sounds lime a sweet deal - for the other partners. Hopefully you are getting a much larger salary than them since you are a) putting in more hours than them and b) are the face of the company.

Being unable to get the financials from the accountant partner makes me nervous. In theory he/she has to do the full books on regular intervals for taxes... ask to see the tax forms.

I can relate to the large mortgage and prop 13 enticement to stay put. But... even with California size mortgages it's possible to reduce them to a manageable size. We've got our super sized home mortgage down to $75k and plan to pay it off next year.

But the perks you say you can't live without.... nail salons are cheap in San Diego and you can stretch the time between appts to save money... There are often good stylists at less expensive salons.... ask around who your friends use.

Shopping... have you ever gone shopping in your own closet. My sister was a clothes horse...and she acquired so much she'd forget what she had.... one day she figured out that she should go through the far reaches of her closet before hitting Nordstrom's or Macy's. (I benefit from her shopping via hand me downs.)
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:20 PM   #26
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The OP's wholw post is a bit confusing to me and the situation doesn't seem plausible. I smell a rat. Why would someone who is obviously smart enough to run a successful business for 15 years doesn't understand her recourse? If she is the back bone of the co, couldn't she call the shots? Why would she be worried about being replaced if she is integral to the success of the co? If she b
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:39 PM   #27
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I hope it's not annoying that I keep answering all of your questions like this---but it's the only way we can keep track. Ok here is one thing I left out--which explains, I hope why I cannot just retreat right at this very moment. Our company, which is a c-corp, (and how embarrassed now would i be if it is not, but it is, it is a c-corp), has a contract with a LARGER company, which we MUST fulfull for two more years. This company, I don't think would give a rats patootie if I took 8 weeks of vacation, I belive they would simply schedule around my schedule, but I cannot just walk. I must fulfill this contract for two more years or so. I do not want to start over, I honestly just want to ER at the end of this contract. Of course making my life a bit more managabl in the next two years is also on the table. I do have a financial planner, in fact i have another meeting with him in the next two weeks. I also have a real estate agent. We just do not want this property to linger in the market so we are waiting for the right time to pounce and right at this very second does not seem to be the right time. Values in the area are rebounding, but not to what we would like, which may never happen, I know. We are not suffering financially at all with that propery, I just need it off the table.

We have not looked into insurance yet for the DH as of COURSE the partners say no (they have theirs through their JOBS and none are married). All of our employees are insured, but none are married. This is one of our biggest worries, of course, but DH feels invincible....

Both of us have found going to the rx without insurance is quite managable as some doctors will adjust their rates, but catostrophic is a whole different ballgame.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:42 PM   #28
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My partners provide a lot of what is needed to keep the company running (combined they do the job of one and a half employees, i fear). But starting over would be starting over, and at this point, I just dont think I am up to it. But that you SO much, i do appreciate your respose.
Iniitially I was going to tell you to quit being a pushover and stand up for your rights. Instead how about this?..........So what happens to the company and the employees if something happens to you and you can't work? Are the partners all gonna let the entire company fail and go down the toilet or will they man up and make it work without you? There is only one person who can decide whether you are going to go in to work tomorrow and that is you. Come to think of it you look like you have the flu and you should stay away from work for the next two weeks. I am a nurse and I know what I am talking about.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:48 PM   #29
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Really. a rat? What in the world would cause someonen to write a post THAT long as an introduction?

I explained that we started this company as a lark when we were all in our 30s and never expected this to explode like this. So basically I admit to being VERY smart at what I do and the role that I play, but I am not so smart about business. I never have been, which is why I never want to do this again. Being a business owner is hard and it's never ending. I think if you ask most business owners they may say the same thing. Or, I admit, I may be doing it wrong. When you start a business with friends, you never, or I never thought or said "I am more important than you are". We were FRIENDS.

Rodi--I may have mis typed or you may have misread--i CAN easily give up the clothes (where would i wear them?) the mani/pedis and the candles and flowers. Oh I just want to tend to my garden. I love my garden. I just cannot give up the hair due to medical issue or botox. Although with less stress who knows--maybe less frown lines?
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:00 PM   #30
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It sounds like your 'partners' may see you more as an employee than an equal partner. There is no way that I'd let partners, who contribute less than me to a business, dictate how many weeks of holidays I could take. I can see them imposing 2 weeks max for a regular employee, but you are NOT a regular employee. You need to make that clear. At the very least, you should be taking 5 weeks of vacation a year as a partner of the business. If they want to set an example to the rest of the employees, then tell them to start working at the company with only 2 weeks of vacation.

In otherwords, I agree with other posters that suggest you do some due-dilligence to be able to negotiate with your partners from a position of strength. Good luck!
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:11 PM   #31
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jclarksnakes, I really do not know what would happen. I know one partner is the most qualified to take over my job, and although not ideal, it could run for a while with him in my place or the concept would change completly.

I know that every single one of us is replacable. As long as the company makes money the company would stay in business, at least for now, even if the quality is different.
I am trying to think of a good analogy to what I do

Let's say I am an author, a motivational speaker or a therapist or Dr who has a specialiy surgical technique that I have to lecture on or do surgery a special way and people pay for me, Dr Oz, or Dr Phil or who ever the Dr of the Day is. I have this job so I am the face or the hands or the voice of the company.

Is Dr Oz still in demand if one of his interns is seeing you? That's the sort of job that I have.

My friends and now partners (in theory) had the contacts in the hospitals or arenas, one had a background in advertising, one an accountant, one an agent and so on and so forth. That is how we all got together in the first place. So they all hold me up, but the weight on them is distributed amongst themselves is far less weight than what I carry when I do my job. Like a mosh pit of holding up a singer until they make it to the stage.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:15 PM   #32
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CDN the biggest laugh of ALL is that my partners do not TAKE vacation from the company. One goes to Florida all the time, but is able to telecompute his 2 hours of work while on vacation. Or so he says. There is no way to track a time card with any of them. I am screwed...and I let it happen.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:20 PM   #33
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:21 PM   #34
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So, ah. with 500,00 in the bank combined with a a mortgage payment of 1500.00, half of that paid by the rental property. enough to retire on?
or
a 2900 payment on a morgage with 800.00 of that paid by the rental, with 850,000 in the bank enough to retire on? or live on from age 56 to 62 and a half.
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:30 PM   #35
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I think that kind of planning requires complex calculations like you will find in Firecalc or the Fidelity Retirement Planner. First you need a detailed budget that includes health insurance costs and deductibles for both of you. You also need to know what your household SS benefits will be, and it will be less than what is shown on your statements if you retire early, so you have to run the numbers at the SS site.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:14 AM   #36
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Thanks! I guess I could have just broken it down to something that simple, out of frustration I just wanted to get it all out. I learned a few things too...in a very short amount of time. I will keep you posted and keep looking around to find out more about how you are all planning and doing what you're doing.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:56 AM   #37
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Quote:
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The OP's wholw post is a bit confusing to me and the situation doesn't seem plausible. I smell a rat. Why would someone who is obviously smart enough to run a successful business for 15 years doesn't understand her recourse? If she is the back bone of the co, couldn't she call the shots? Why would she be worried about being replaced if she is integral to the success of the co? If she b
You seem to have cut yourself off. Anything you would like to add?
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:12 AM   #38
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jclarksnakes, I really do not know what would happen. I know one partner is the most qualified to take over my job, and although not ideal, it could run for a while with him in my place or the concept would change completly.

I know that every single one of us is replacable. As long as the company makes money the company would stay in business, at least for now, even if the quality is different.
I am trying to think of a good analogy to what I do

Let's say I am an author, a motivational speaker or a therapist or Dr who has a specialiy surgical technique that I have to lecture on or do surgery a special way and people pay for me, Dr Oz, or Dr Phil or who ever the Dr of the Day is. I have this job so I am the face or the hands or the voice of the company.

Is Dr Oz still in demand if one of his interns is seeing you? That's the sort of job that I have.

My friends and now partners (in theory) had the contacts in the hospitals or arenas, one had a background in advertising, one an accountant, one an agent and so on and so forth. That is how we all got together in the first place. So they all hold me up, but the weight on them is distributed amongst themselves is far less weight than what I carry when I do my job. Like a mosh pit of holding up a singer until they make it to the stage.
Okay that was a very convoluted way for you to tell us you are somebody special. What you are not telling us is why you feel you have to be a pushover and let your partners bully you. If you are as important to the business as you say you are then you have enormous leverage and should be able to use it to make your partners do their share and give you a break. Methinks you actually enjoy the situation you are in.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:32 AM   #39
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What is it that makes you think that? The thank you's for the informative posts? Or the stressful spilling of my guts to complete strangers?

I tried to be informative upfront, to explain why I can't just walk away and how I got here. Which is nothing to be proud of and i was looking for help from people who have been lucky and smart enough to do the right thing thing and have been able to RE.
I don't think I am important, I am just tring to be explain why I can't walk away right now. If I knew the names of important scientists or diplomats or artist or ?I would have used those, so I tried to use people who's names might be recognizable as comon ground.
Did you delete the post where you said I might be too nice or too weak? I got a notice but can't find the post. As much as that got my attention, and was ready to respond, I think it was a better choice of words than your assuption that I enjoy this situation.

If you mean that I am enjoying the feed back I am getting, you are correct. It is not everyday that I am able to talk about RE when so many people are looking at the prospect of working until the day they die.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:40 AM   #40
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These statements from 2 posts seem contradictory:

Quote:
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I can't find any info online and have not consulted a lawyer as I have no paperwork to show one. If there is paperwork associated with this, I am in the dark. (stupid youth) .
Quote:
We do have a formal partnership agreement and file as a c-corp with articles of incorporation. Our salaries differ but our shares are equal. As far as I know there are no articles that provide for succession. I will dig those out and see what I can do--thank you for the VERY concise advice on who to see and what to look for.
That is, it appears that you do have paperwork. You have articles and you have a partnership agreement. It is possible that you do not have all of the relevant documents.

That is, however, no reason not to consult an attorney. Attorneys are actually used to dealing with clients who don't have all the relevant documents.

To be clear, you need to consult with an attorney. My suggestion is to do so as soon as possible. Many of the questions that you ask are legal questions. An attorney who is licensed in your state can help you.

As to how to find an attorney, I will tell you how I would do it if I wasn't an attorney (since I am one I would ask other attorneys that I know for recommendations).

1. Ask people for recommendations. In general, prioritize asking people who might know someone who is a business or corporate attorney. So, ask other business owners. If you know any attorneys (I assume you don't or you would have done this already), you can ask for recommendations. Bear in mind, however, that an attorney who doesn't work with businesses may not actually know who to refer you to.

2. Collect as many names as you can collect. If you are lucky, may the same person will get recommended to you multiple times (that is more likely to happy if you live in a smaller town than in a big city).

3. If it as me, I would look up on Google every name I received. I would check with the State Bar association to see what information is available. Google is great to research attorneys. Sometimes you might find an article the person has written on a relevant subject or may find other relevant information.

4. If none of that worked and I couldn't get any recommendations and I just had to find someone with no feedback from others then I would probably do something like this. I would look up large law firms in my area, the larger the better and would find the areas of practice and look for business/corporate partners. Then I would do research them as I described in 3 above. As an attorney, I would do this through looking at Martindale Hubbell. Occasionally I've had to find an attorney in a place where I had no contacts and could find no contacts from anyone else I know and that is exactly what I did. I looked up the area in Martindale Hubbell and found the largest firms in the area and looked for someone with the expertise I wanted. By the way, I am not saying that the only competent attorneys work for large law firms. Many very competent attorneys work for smaller firms. However, if I was going in cold with no recommendations. I would start with a partner in a large law firm.

5. Once you have narrowed your list down to several, go and consult with them. Many attorneys will do an initial consultation without charging you, however, ask in advance. Don't just talk to one. If it was me, I would want to talk to at least 3 and maybe more.

On another note -- I think you are putting things at huge risk by not obtaining private health insurance for your husband. I would make doing that a priority. It will be easier next year, but I would make the attempt now.

CYA: I'm not your lawyer. You need to find your own lawyer in your own state.
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