The commonly used term of ‘baby boomers’ is used to define those who were born during the ‘baby boom’ period in the 1950s, in which schools had to expand to support the sudden swarm of children. ‘Baby boomers’ are now aged between 55 and 64, and a growing number of them are turning to entrepreneurship instead of the traditional retirement route.
The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity is the indicator currently in charge of new business creation in the U.S., and provides the only national measure of business creation by certain demographic groups. The April 2013 index indicates that a new trend has arisen for Americans aged between 55 and 64, and reports that the number of firms created by baby boomers has grown more than any other age demographic since 1996. The number rose from 14.3% in 1996 to a whopping 23.4% in 2012. The question is – why is this happening?
Well, there are a vast number of reasons. Firstly, in this day and age, people tend to live much longer than they used to. This means that perhaps they are in better health when they retire and are physically and mentally able to carry on challenging themselves in their working lives. Maybe they are ready for the end of their old job and all set for a new career path, as opposed to typical life after retirement. Not only this, but another contributing factor could be the economic crisis that has rocked the United States’ financial system in previous years. The crisis itself may have resulted in diminished savings for baby boomers, and turning to entrepreneurship might be the only way they can earn a living after retiring. Alternatively, the flexibility of running a business and the extra income are definite appeals of becoming an entrepreneur.
Statistics from the March 2012 Boomer Report by MBO Partners provides vital information on the reasons why baby boomers have decided to try their hands at becoming an entrepreneur post-retirement. Amazingly, 30% of today’s workforce is comprised of those aged between 55 and 64, which shows a huge shift compared to previous years. 79% of these chose to become entrepreneurs for the flexibility, whereas 60% did so in order to be their own boss. 77% wanted to ‘do what they love’, and 56% simply wanted to make an impact while they still can.
Many online resources have been specifically created to cater for the needs of the ever-growing community of baby boomer entrepreneurs. The U.S. Small Business Association or SBA as it is also known provides a useful web guide that helps people to know if they have what it takes to start up and run a small business. There are also resources to set baby boomers on the right track, get them in the right mind set and give them lots of information on planning, mentoring and financial assistance.
Personally, I love the fact that baby boomers are getting involved and trying their hands at becoming the best they can be after retiring from their regular jobs. They served their time, most of which staying with the same companies for the majority of their lives, and now that they’ve retired, they simply want to live their dreams and make a difference. Perhaps many leading entrepreneurs should watch out for entrepreneurial revolution, baby boomer style.
About the Author:
Hey there, I’m Blair Thomas, one of the Co-founders of emerchantbroker.com, the #1 High Risk Credit Card processing company in the US. I have 10+ years of experience in the electronic payments industry, managing several successful agent offices and registered ISO’s. I work hard during the day and spend my nights and weekends developing my music career as a singer songwriter signed to Old Scratch Records.