This past spring, Stilwell, Kan., remodelers Candi and Troy Hilton (Big50 2003) started planning for the future. Avid sailers and more comfortable in warmer climes, they decided that in 15 years they'd shut down their business and retire. By the end of the summer, they were living in Florida. Fourteen years early.

“We just decided that there's no time like the present to go down and get established,” Candi says.

That doesn't mean they were ready to retire, however. Through contacts they'd made in nearly eight years in the industry, they hooked up with Michael Spreckelmeier, a Fort Myers, Fla., remodeler who was looking to grow his business. The couple interviewed with Spreckelmeier and now work for Progressive Builders — Troy as a job super and Candi in the newly created position of “project coordinator.”

Of course, there were loose ends to tie up back in Kansas. They finished all the work they had contracted for and turned over their client list to a local remodeler, in exchange for his covering all their warranty work.

So far, it's worked out: Spreckelmeier added two industry vets to his team, and the Hiltons are spared the sleepless nights that plague so many business owners. “We've cut our stress levels in half,” Troy says.