Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A New Breed of Entrepreneurs: Americans Over 50

In (1/18/05) and WSJ (3/18/04)

Interesting how it took USA Today ten months to catch up to the WSJ's article, "Over-50 Set Minds Its Own Business." In that article (link unavailable -- I am referring to a clip I saved), it claims that the over-50 set are switching the word retirement for entrepreneurship. What I mean by that is instead of retiring, people over 50 are hell-bent on starting their own businesses. Hurray! It goes on further to support that claim with research conducted for AARP, a Washington-based membership group of people age 50 and older, by Rand Corp., a think tank in Santa Monica, CA.

What's the upshot: People are "doing this (practicing and then engaging in entrepreneurship) as a transition to retirement, or they tend to be working longer than those who are in wage-and-salary jobs," said Lynn Karoly, a senior economist with Rand and co-author of the study.

Now USA Today indicates older workers are coming to entrepreneurship's rescue, chasing self-employment because of:

• Corporate layoffs. Boomers want the security of being their own bosses when corporations are slashing payrolls, tossing fiftysomethings into a dicey labor market.

• Shifting values. Older workers want more flexible schedules to spend time with aging parents or on hobbies while easing into retirement.

• Aging Americans. The number of Americans age 50 and up will soar by 31 million by 2020, to 118 million, the Census Bureau predicts.

• Innovative technology. Many start-ups by older entrepreneurs are one-person ventures in home offices with a dizzying array of technology that didn't exist or was too pricey 20 years ago.

• Business savvy. Many corporate workers, entering their 50s, leverage management skills and retirement benefits to invest in start-ups.

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