• Boomer Entrepreneurs

  • by McKenna Meyer

Baby boomers have a lifetime of experiences that make this generation an unbelievable and largely-untapped source for a new wave of entrepreneurs.

It’s not all about the money

The number one reason that older Americans are working into their retirement years is to stay mentally active. In fact, financial reasons often do not make the top three reasons why seniors choose to continue working. Seniors often prioritize staying mentally active, maintaining social connections with colleagues, and developing a sense of identity, self-worth, and purpose as more important benefits of work that outweigh a paycheck.

 

Here are Next Avenue’s 4 Phases of Retirement Work:

Pre-Retirement – this is the approximately 5 year period when adults contemplate ways that they could put their skills and interests towards a new career path although they have still not yet left their full-time position

Career Intermission – this typically coincides with the first few years of retirement when seniors leave their career

Reengagement – this period of retirement occurs mainly for retirees in their 60s and 70s who go back to work in a new career, position, or field mostly as a part-time employee

Leisure – these are truly the retirement years once seniors have stopped working without an intention of returning to the job

 

Sharpen your skills

One downside to taking a “career intermission” is that taking a temporary break from the labor market may hurt your skill set and make it more difficult to re-enter the work force. However, the benefits of a career “intermission” are that it gives you time to research what you want to do next. This is why many adults go on to own their own businesses, become consultants, and entrepreneurs in their 50s and 60s.

In order to remain competitive, it’s a good idea to keep your skills sharp. Take classes, work part-time in a related field, and continue to build your business network. You never know, oftentimes business connections end up being social connections as well!

Before immediately leaving your current occupation, it never hurts to approach your present employer to see if there are opportunities for work in a different area of the company or even an option for you to work, but with a more flexible schedule.

 

Here are three tips to keep in mind before starting a second-career as an entrepreneur:

  1. Writing a business plan is crucial. Business start-up classes are offered by federal, state, and local governments often free of charge to entrepreneurs. You should also check out your local network of professional resources through business development centers and colleges in your state. Establishing a plan, even if it changes, will provide the vital structure and direction you need as an entrepreneur.
  2. Network. Learn from other retirees and older entrepreneurs to better understand the industry you are interested in. Starting a business post-50 offers the benefit of having a lifetime of networks that you can tap for investment and advice.
  3. Have a financial cushion. Becoming an entrepreneur as a second or third-career offers many benefits but it’s important to keep in mind that with age, there is less time to make-up for a business that doesn’t deliver. You want to ensure that you can comfortably begin a new business without having this interfere with your lifestyle and impose unnecessary stress in your senior years.

 

A reverse mortgage is an excellent tool that could help senior entrepreneurs find a retirement career that they love. Working in retirement could also help you access many tax-exemptions through business travel. Whether you decide to pursue another career in retirement or not, a reverse mortgage can help you live your best retirement.