More Older Americans Turn to Running Small Businesses

The types of people who become entrepreneurs are wide-ranging, and don’t really seem to fit within any particular demographic distinction. However, one area in which entrepreneurship is growing considerably is among older workers who may have already retired from their lengthy careers.

There are a number of ways in which baby boomers are starting their own companies these days, and these can range from consulting for companies in the industries in which they spent the last few decades to striking out into other areas about which they might be a little bit more passionate, according to a report from the New York Times. For instance, some are moving from traditional office job-type employment to more fun work that touches on their interests; Christine Henck, a 62-year-old former commercial property management professional and stay-at-home mom, told the newspaper that she is now making a living as a massage therapist for senior citizens.

“It’s no secret that retirement is a very diverse process for older Americans, with some combination of phased retirement and bridge jobs being the norm among older career workers,” Kevin Cahill, an economist with the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College, told the newspaper. “About 60 percent of the career workers take on a part-time job after exiting their main career. And many older Americans not only change occupations, but in large numbers they also transition from wage-and-salary employment into self-employment.”

Older Americans also favor patronizing small businesses
Along similar lines, many small businesses across the country are now finding significant success by focusing on these older Americans who might want to still live an independent life but don’t always have the capability to do so on their own terms, the report said. Thus, companies that can provide in-home services for these people might be able to carve out a nice foothold in their areas, as data suggests nearly nine out of 10 people 65 years old or more want to stay in their homes as long as they possibly can, and four in five think they will never live anywhere else.

Owners who want to branch out so their enterprises can better serve this demographic might want to concentrate on cutting expenses so they have a little more flexibility. By finding more affordable small business insurance, such as policies for general liability insurance, they might be able to free up thousands of dollars that can then be devoted to expanding other aspects of the company.