Who should take over a financial advisory firm when the owner decides to retire?

Many older advisors are pondering that question today. Two, who recently were interviewed by Financial Advisor magazine, shared their solutions.

Keith Livengood, 61, a financial advisor with more than 28 years of experience at Janney Montgomery Scott in Raleigh, N.C., started thinking about the question a few years ago because he would like to be in a position to retire when he is 70 or so.

Likewise, Steven Podnos, 60, founder of Wealth Care LLC in Washington, D.C., and Merritt Island, Fla., wants to retire eventually.

They are among the 33 percent of advisors who will retire in the next decade, according to the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards Inc.

“Advisors should not wait until there is a crisis to think about a succession plan,” says Joe Maugeri, CFP Board director of corporate relations. Instead, they should start thinking about what happens to their firm and their clients now and may want to bring in younger successor.

“Time can be your friend (as you) bring in a younger person and mentor him or her,” he adds. “In that way, clients can make the transition. If clients are not comfortably transitioned within the firm when a principle retires, they may self-select someone outside the firm.”

Livengood has brought on Lauren Turnburke, 28, to mentor, with the plan that she will eventually take over the practice.

“I want control over the process and I want to make sure my clients, who trust me with their financial future, are comfortable with who is taking over,” he says.

Turnburke started in retail in banking but is now obtaining the licenses she needs and says she feels secure in making a long-term commitment to the firm.