More Boomers Are Becoming Their Own Bosses

Do you have a plan to recession-proof your life? A growing number of workers age 50-plus do, and it involves turning interests, hobbies or skills into a small business.

iStock_000019397756Small

Many older workers are using decades of experience and business connections to become their own bosses. These "encore entrepreneurs" bring to the effort a lifetime of knowledge. And their numbers are on the rise. in fact, from 1996 to 2012, Americans ages 55 to 64 had a higher rate of entrepreneurial activity than those ages 20 to 34.

In a new book The Economy of You, Kimberly Palmer writes about turning interests into a back-up plan to recession-proof your life. "In a world of zero job security and ever-increasing financial pressure, how can we guarantee success for ourselves and our families? The answer became increasingly obvious: We must actively create multiple ways of earning money through entrepreneurial pursuits."

The author shares inspiring stories of people who turned avocations into vocations. A retired teacher in her mid-60s turned her long-time hobby into a business, and now designs scarves and ties. A former police officer developed a website for retired law enforcement colleagues to advertise their services for everything from legal expertise to handyman work. And an inventor used his down-time to develop a successful new baby product.

AARP has been connecting experienced workers to job resources and entrepreneurial opportunities and education for quite some time.

Most recently, we've been collaborating with the U.S. Small Business Administration to bring counseling and educational resources to the 50-plus population through in-person workshops, online training and one-to-one mentoring.

During Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month this April, AARP and SBA will host programs nationwide to help those who are considering starting or expanding a small business. We'll cover things like writing a business plan, securing financing, marketing new ventures and more.  To learn more, visit the project's Start a Business page.

You can also view a series of free on-demand one-hour webinars on small business ownership here. And AARP is pleased to sponsor Black Enterprise Small Business University; learn more on our AARP Black Community page.

Cheers to encore entrepreneurs!

Photo: kupicoo/iStockphoto

Search AARP Blogs

Related Posts
December 11, 2018 10:07 AM
In an election year filled with partisanship and political fights, it’s no surprise that many Americans feel that their voices aren’t being heard or that the issues that affect their lives aren’t being addressed. But, many outstanding elected officials work hard every day to make a positive difference for their constituents.  That’s why AARP recognizes state legislators, governors, and other elected officials – from both sides of the aisle – who have stepped up and worked together to write, support, and advance common-sense policies that help older Americans remain in their homes and communities and retire with confidence. AARP is proud to announce our fifth annual bipartisan class of Capitol Caregivers, who fought this year to increase support for family caregivers and their loved ones, along with our fourth annual bipartisan class of Super Savers, who championed policies that enhance retirement security.
December 05, 2018 01:06 PM
Caroline is a mother of two children and a preschool teacher who unexpectedly became a family caregiver for her father after he suffered a major stroke. Her father, Tom, now deceased, lost the use of his right side and his ability to speak. Multiple surgeries and rehabilitation treatments later, he was able to live at home with the help of nurses. But it was up to Caroline to provide daily care, such as overseeing appointments and handling certain nursing responsibilities, like managing his medications. “I became the person my father could rely on more than anyone in the world,” Caroline said. “I became his safe place and his best friend.” In communities across the country, family caregivers like Caroline are caring for older parents, spouses and other loved ones, helping them to remain at home – where they want to be. Their tasks are done out of love and commitment, but are not easy. That’s why AARP is fighting for family caregivers and their loved ones in every state. In 2018, AARP advanced new policies to provide more help at home, flexibility at work, training, relief and more, which will benefit over 30 million family caregivers. Here are a couple highlights:
November 27, 2018 08:55 AM
A few months ago, I wrote a blog about the vital role that transportation options play in what we at AARP call “livable communities” – great places to live for people of all ages. Being able to get around is critical to earn a living, raise a family, contribute and stay connected to your community and enjoy life. And, having alternatives to getting behind the wheel of your own car is particularly important for older adults who want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.