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How can I tactfully tell my 80-year-old boss that it might be time for him to retire?

The owner of the company is starting to forget things and isn't well-suited to run things any more. I don't want to cause any friction.
Based on the situation you are describing I'm assuming that your boss owns the company and that this is a privately held company with only a minimal number of employees. If I am correct, you are clearly in a difficult position with limited options.

Depending on your relationship with your boss, you may be able to ask him how you can step up to the plate and be more helpful. However, he may not take your offer graciously. Do you think he would take that question as an affront?

It is critical for every business to have a succession plan in place. An 80-year-old business owner who does not have a succession plan in place is unrealistic.

However, it may not serve you well to be the voice of reality--the one who asks the boss what his plans are for ensuring that the company will move through a future transition.

Is there someone else better suited to do this touchy task?

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