Fifty is the New Thirty and Other Truisms

Fifty is the new thirty. OK, so I’m not the first person to use that phrase.

Boomers going into un-retirement. OK, so I’m not first for that phrase either.

Still, both phrases have validity.

Much has been written about the maturing American (and British and European) populations. But the reality is that people look, act and often feel younger today than we might have at the same age a half century ago.

And it’s a definite trend that Baby Boomers are continuing to work longer, even after “retiring.” An interesting twist to this trend is that the numbers of Baby Boomers starting businesses is on the rise, as well, according to figures from the United States Department of Labor:

Growth in self-employment among those ages 55-64 is on the rise, with roughly 1.8 million choosing that path, a growth of 29 percent since 2000. Those over 65 are following close behind with a similar growth of 18 percent.

Read the article about this phenomenon of Baby Boomers starting businesses by Monica Wright in Good Age. Monica had contacted me and I was happy to give her some background for the article.


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

3 Reactions
  1. This is very true. As a business broker, I am seeing more and more people coming to me to start a 2nd career. This is after they have worked long enough at their 1st to retire, but they are not yet ready to stop working altogether.

    This gives them a wonderful opportunity to follow a dream that they have, and puts them in a position to leverage their management experience.

  2. As a Boomer (late 50s) myself, I have several peers who’ve started their own businesses. The one thing I’ve heard from each of them is the word “fear.” They talk about how their careers were peppered with fear. Fear of making mistakes. Fear of not getting a promotion. Fear of being laid off. Even fear of becoming irrelevant. Paraphrasing here, one person summed it up this way: “Hey, I made it through the good, the bad and the ugly of my career when someone else was in control. If I survived all that, I’m willing to take a chance on starting my own business — with me in control.”

  3. I think what is happening is great. People are starting to truly “live” and experience life on their own terms after years of simply working to survive. Retirement, for some, is not all it’s cracked up to be and many are finding themselves free to pursue passions and use the education they’ve gathered to drive themselves to new horizons.

    Ironically, recently I was told by a friend that 60 is the new 40. Many, many people are finding themselves, not only with new careers at that time in thier lives, but also with new spouses or companions.