small business

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Earlier this month, the U.S. Small Business Administration hosted their annual National Small Business Week to recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions. As I reflect back on it though, I see National Small Business Week as a perfect time to also talk about securing the financial future of those millions of hard-working Americans who power the engine of our economy - our small businesses. Today, a secure retirement is out of reach for millions of men and women who work for themselves or for small businesses. While Social Security is a critical piece of the puzzle, it is not enough to depend on. Many future retirees won’t be able to handle the rising costs of basic needs and health care. But as a small business owner, your primary responsibility is to focus on your business, making sure it’s running properly. You want to help your employees save for retirement, but you don't have the time or money to set up a plan for yourself, much less your employees. You want to hire and keep the best people and remain competitive with larger companies and the benefits they can offer their employees... but how? Thankfully several states are making a big difference for small business, and making retirement security for workers a priority, by creating Work & Save programs. To date, 10 states have already passed various Work & Save laws to help over 17 million Americans gain access to workplace savings options: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington. Work & Save provides an easy, low-cost retirement savings option to help small businesses give their employees a way to save and take control of their future.  It allows you as a business owner to access a simple, plug-and-play retirement option for your employees with little effort and no cost or risk on your part. Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. With Work & Save, your hard-working employees can save for retirement right out of their regular paycheck, so they can take control of their future. They will set-up their own account, always remain in control of their account, and retain it if they change jobs. AARP will continue to push for Work & Save programs all across the country so millions more can access these innovative programs - recognizing that every week is small business week in America! To learn more about Work & Save programs, please visit: aarp.org/myfuture. Would you like to volunteer with AARP? Visit  aarp.org/getinvolved . To stay up to date on our work in your state, and nationwide, sign up for our e-alerts AARP Advocates e-newsletter, follow me on Twitter @roamthedomes, or visit your state Web page.
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Small businesses have and will continue to play a vital role in helping communities thrive. In the past small businesses have typically been our local bakery, florist, dry cleaners, barber shop, candy store, and the pizza and sandwich shop. Present day, small businesses now include online artisan and jewelry boutiques, clothing stores, food trucks, pop-up shops, nail salons, and pet walkers, to name a few.
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Have you thought about turning your passion and something that serves others into an opportunity that could pay the bills? Perhaps you sold lemonade, homemade desserts or candy when you were a kid. At that time, you were probably nurturing your entrepreneurial spirit. Many small-business owners will agree that when you’re passionate about what you do, it does not feel like work; you’re just doing what you were placed on this earth to do.
Money jar with U.S. currency.  Savings, donations concepts.
Let states help people save for retirement.
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If you’re like me, you like to kick off the new year by reflecting on the goals you set last year and begin to set new ones for the coming year. For a lot of people, their No. 1 New Year’s goal is to get new job or launch a new business.
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There’s good news for both observers of small-business trends and those interested in aging issues. Tracking entrepreneurship just got easier, and new data show that entrepreneurs age 55-plus are job creators.
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Are you seeking a career change or a new job? If so, plan to attend  AARP’s Virtual Career Fair, Sept. 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. The fair will feature employers from across the country.
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Today's sobering statistic: Almost 20 percent of people ages 55 to 64 have no retirement savings. And even among those who have saved, millions are facing a retirement "deficit" - meaning they will outlive their retirement savings by $57,000 on average per household.
HEALTHCARE
By Phil Galewitz and Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News
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