By the year 2039, the entirety of the Baby Boomer generation will have entered retirement. While many generations have utilized retirement has a respite, the boomers are not slowing down from work. A recent Gallup poll found that 49% of baby-boomers do not anticipate retiring by the age of 66, and one in ten of those people surveyed felt they would never be able to retire.
Why is this? To start, most baby-boomers do not feel that financial security is achievable to retire by 66. Many boomers, like the rest of Americans have saved too little or carry a large amount of debt. In addition, the 2009 recession pinched investments and pensions, leading to a decline in early retirement.
Financial insecurity may also be linked to the Boomer’s work ethic. Many Baby Boomers were raised in a time of hard-work and determination, where the American Dream was a guarantee cashed in by hard work. The harder one works, the greater his outcome. While this motto may have been more realistic decades ago, the ethic remains ingrained. Boomers continue to work hard.
After retiring from their career, many boomers wish to continue working; seeking their passions in a part-time job or charity involvement. Yet others are taking an even larger step: entering into the world of entrepreneurship. Retirees looking to start their own businesses have a world of new technologies and an ever growing market at their ready. While starting a business is easier than ever, there are a few things to consider before attempting the process, especially in retirement. If it is done correctly though, the rewards can be endless.
Create a plan. Without a plan, a business cannot begin. It is important to determine if this business is going to solve a need in society. Are people going to want to purchase the good or service? If so, how is it going to be provided? How are the necessary funds going to be made to start the business? Careful planning can reap better results and ensure more success within the business.
Evaluate the costs. Creating a business is not going to be easy. There are many steps which could lead to long work hours and a lot of funds. As the business begins, the owner must have the ability to wear different hats: flexibility, patience, drive, research, dedication. It is important to make sure you have all the necessary skills to complete any task that comes up. Another factor to consider is time. Someone may have been working their whole life and retirement is supposed to be the time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. Retirement is a financial luxury that many never achieve. Those looking to create a new business must be aware that the work could potentially double your pre-retirement hours.
Embrace technology. Times have changed since most boomers have entered the workforce. Social media and online commerce are increasingly critical elements of the market. Those looking to succeed must embrace digital technologies. Check out your local university or college for educational courses or workshops directed towards community members. Learning new skills like WordPress creation, social media marketing, or digital design can help prepare you during the startup.
Protect yourself. Consider an exit plan. If you are at the age of 65 when you start your business, you’ll and it does really well and is fully operational by the time you are 80 that may cause some problems for you. It is exciting that the business is running successfully but unless you want to continue to fully run a business well into your 80s, consider having an exit plan and/or a contingency plan. Another aspect to consider is protecting your assets. If the business does not work or is not as successful as anticipated, it is important to not lose your savings or investments as well.
Don’t quit. Retired entrepreneurs have the greatest amount of experience and insight. Who else has spent the last 40+ years discovering what makes a business successful? If you’re ready to employ the skills you’ve mastered and create your own business, hard work will be your main deterrent. Leverage your skills; invest wisely, and reach out for help. And keep in mind, your retirement should not be the end of your work but the continuation of your passions.