There is a phenomenon going on around the world. One is that 19,000 people a day are turning 65…that’s retirement age or close to it depending on where you live.
Boomers around the globe are struggling with the same problem of how to regain their financial independence and self-esteem after losing jobs, businesses or seeing their investments decimated after the 2008 financial crisis.
It’s the Economics
Almost half (47.2%) of older Boomers aged 56 to 62 are at risk of outliving their savings, says the EBRI Retirement Rating. As Reuters reported this week, 31.4% of Americans 65 to 69 were still working in 2010, versus just 21% in 1990. Many are still in harness in their 70s: 18% of those aged 70 to 74 were still working in 2010, up from 11% in 1990.
Some view working till you die as the ultimate horror, but there are worse things than working past the arbitrary retirement age of 65. When Otto von Bismarck first set the pension age in 1880 at 65 in Germany, few lived that long, or if they did, they would draw a pension for only a few short years. Back then, it was perfectly normal to keep working until you dropped. If you couldn’t, then the first line of defense was the family. Most saw many children as an asset rather than a liability since it would increase the odds of one of them supporting them in old age, should they live that long.
Also, of note, in a recent article in the Denver Post, they talk to the Kauffman Foundation about this Boomers in business phenomenon…to quote;
“The annual entrepreneurial activity report published in April by the Kansas City, Mo.-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation found the share of new entrepreneurs ages 55 to 64 grew from 14.3 percent in 1996 to 23.4 percent last year. Entrepreneurship among 45- to 54-year-olds saw a slight bump, while activity among younger age groups fell.”
The foundation doesn’t track start-ups by those 65 and older, but Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that group has a higher rate of self-employment than any other age group.
Part of the growth is the result of the overall aging of America. But experts say older people are flocking to self-employment because of a frustrating job market and the growing ease and falling cost of starting a business.”
According to a recent report in the Globe and Mail, self-employment is becoming the only career option to Canadians…
“Self-employment has climbed 3.6 per cent in the past year, outstripping an increase of 1.5 per cent among private-sector workers and a drop of 0.4 per cent in the public sector. The number of self-employed people grew by 95,600 between August and the same month last year – accounting for almost 40 per cent of new jobs created in that time.”
CIBC economist Benjamin Tal states (in this Globe and Mail Report) “I think that many of them are forced self-employed,” said Benjamin Tal, deputy chief economist at CIBC World Markets Inc., adding that this is the fastest year-over-year pace of growth in self-employment since the last recession.”
Self-employment can offer workers more flexibility and creativity – but many such jobs also come without retirement or health benefits and with lower financial returns, especially as people start out.
The article also adds…A more detailed breakdown on self-employment growth shows much of the increase is in Alberta and Ontario, and among people over the age of 45, Statistics Canada data show. And the majority are women, who account for three quarters or 70,800 of the newly self employed.
Following our Bliss
Reluctantly or not, they’re being forced into becoming entrepreneurs, starting their own businesses or becoming consultants. They’re reinventing themselves, turning avocations into vocations, following their “bliss”, becoming entrepreneurs, business owners, consultants and creative artists.
The good news is they’re doing so at a time of extraordinary opportunity and technological innovation. Anyone with a computer and web access can leverage social networking tools like LinkedIn and Facebook, conduct webinars, publish e-books and benefit from a wide array of non-traditional marketing possibilities.
The Boomer market just got a boost too in the federal budget handed down a year and a half ago (March 29th), the Canadian government will be raising the retirement age to 67 up from 65 to help ease the pressure on pension payouts to those reaching retirement age.
Many Boomers find themselves in a situation where they find it hard to get a new job, yet they’re too young to quit working because they don’t have enough retirement savings and/or they need to make a living now just to make ends meet.
The key driving force to making the boomer market attractive (and that has them considering entrepreneurship) is that there is a perfect storm brewing. It’s been addressed in an economic report that came out in the U.S. (again similar numbers are evident in the Canadian Marketplace).
According to this 2010 report, The EBRI Retirement Readiness Rating TM: Retirement Income Preparation and Future Prospects, by Jack VanDerhei and Craig Copeland of EBRI.org: 47.2% of older Boomers (56-62) are at risk of outliving their retirement savings. And 43.7% of younger Boomers (46-55) are at risk of not having enough money for basic monthly expenses when they retire.
These sobering statistics have millions of Boomers currently wondering, “What can I do to generate income, full-time or part-time, that is flexible, interesting, fun, possible to start on a tight budget, and that I can continue to do well into my golden years?”
Self-employment seems to be an alternative—with the help of a business coach which offers, mentorship, learning, networking, marketing services, access to our team, access to our radio show, our newsletter and our Action Calls, tele-class sessions The Boomer Business Coach aims to be the premier go to company for small business owners and to be a beacon for those seeking to develop their venture and live their best possible lives.
If you consider all these facts you can easily see why Boomers are the perfect focus for and niche market to be in: