Small-business owners are having difficulty creating financial plans for their later years. In a February study by the American College, a private institution near Philadelphia, a third of the owners surveyed say they have no pension or retirement savings, and that they’re unsure how they’ll support themselves once they leave the workplace.

Many small-business owners are focusing solely on the day-to-day finances of their business and neglecting the important task of saving for retirement, said Mary-Quist Newins, director of the State Farm Center for Women and Financial Services at American College, on

That’s not to say that the business owners surveyed aren’t worried about what will happen once they reach retirement age. Nearly three-fourths of them say they have taken an active role in preparing for their later years. The trouble is that these people have yet to actually lay the necessary financial groundwork for their retirement.

Why are these findings significant? Because, the study notes, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms, and they employ roughly 50 percent of all private-sector employees in the U.S.

If you’re a small-business owner who needs to start saving for retirement, Quist-Newins suggests taking a three-step approach that looks very similar to one the Straight Talk blog offered last fall. First, Quist-Newins suggests, come to terms with the realities of retirement. Then take the time to envision your retirement lifestyle, and finally, ask a financial planner for assistance in creating that larger blueprint. While preparing for retirement might sound daunting, it’s never too late to start.

What steps have you taken to start saving for retirement? Are you a small-business owner concerned about preparing financially for the later years of your life?