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As America’s 77 million baby boomers approach retirement, many find that slowing down is the last thing they want to do. Indeed, they’re seeking outlets for their experience, energy, and drive that will be personally and financially rewarding, while also providing the flexibility and direction they might not have enjoyed during their previous careers.
Sound a lot like owning a small business? It should.
Of the nation’s 10.9 million self-employed workers, the largest category, 25%, is boomers aged 45 to 54. In 2006, the number of self-employed persons aged 65 and older totaled 781,000 – a 19% increase since the year 2000.
Entrepreneurial direction has many influences, such as interests, knowledge, location, financial resources, and personality. Some people relish the challenge of building a new business; working as many hours as they did before retiring. Others pursue an enterprise with limited hours, allowing them to make the most of that long-awaited leisure time.
Fortunately, there’s a growing range of resources designed to help boomers pursue second careers as entrepreneurs. For example, the self-employed section of AARP’s Web site, www.aarp.org, helps those approaching retirement weigh second career opportunities as consulting and franchise ownership. Mature Resources at www.matureresources.org, an online magazine, covers a wide range of issues related to aging and a section with articles related to over-50 entrepreneurs. Marketing consultant Andrea J. Stenberg has created www.thebabyboomerentrepreneur.com a blog providing small business marketing strategies and motivation aimed at aspiring 40-plus entrepreneurs. Another multifaceted information resource, All Business, at www.allbusiness.com, addresses real-world business questions and presents practical solutions on line. It provides articles and directories for aspiring small business owners, with a section dedicated to analyzing boomer marketing and demographic trends. Also, the Learning Center page of My New Venture at www.mynewventure.com/learningcenter has a section specifically for retirement-bound boomers.
For women eyeing a post-retirement career in small business, the TIP$, or Turning Ideas into Profits, Mid-Life Women’s Business Community offers free information, tools, support and networking opportunities. Their website is www.tipscommunity.com.
If you have questions about this or other business subjects Call SCORE 757-229-6511 or visit www.scorewilliamsburg.org. to arrange for a free and confidential appointment.
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