Retirement is a word that for most first-time entrepreneurs seems very far away. But strikes panic in those people that are older than 55. However, no matter how you look retirement, it is now changing as the definition of work is evolving.
On this week’s Small Business Radio Show, we talk to Chris Farrell, a senior economics editor to NPR’s Marketplace. Farrell discusses what retirement looks like for small business owners. And how this picture is rapidly shifting. He explains that about 10,000 baby boomers will celebrate their 65th birthday every single day from today until 2030. In just over a decade, more than 21 percent of the U.S. population (about 73 million people) will be past the traditional retirement age. Additionally, by 2035 there will be more people 65 and older than 18 or younger. Because people are living much longer, it has become very difficult to save enough to live on for 25 more years without additional income.
Chris believes it is time to shift the conversation about aging away from Social Security, retirement, physical decline, and an economic crisis. He wants to focus on boosting the odds of healthy, active, and purposeful aging through working longer- including launching an entrepreneurial venture. He explains that active older minds who are involved in a community are happier.
Farrell says many baby boomers soon to retire are calling it “unretirement”. Or a “sabbatical”. They are breaking down the silos between traditional work and a permanent retirement. People start to think about what they want to do next. This still involves earning some money. He explores what experienced workers can accomplish as entrepreneurs. And how so many have launched rewarding small businesses. These include starting a side hustle or going into business with their children.
The stunning statistic Chris shares is that now for the first time, 25% of all business are started by people are 55 to 64 years old. These older entrepreneurs are turning their passion into a business out of their home or a shared workspace. What is different for these people is that many of these new entrepreneurs start to focus on a business with a purpose rather than just earning more money.
In addition, Chris believes that older entrepreneurs should take the importance of lifelong learning seriously. Unlike post college degrees, earning a certification in a specialty rarely requires a large investment of time and money, but can open the door to new business opportunities.
Listen to the entire interview on the Small Business Radio Show.