Why Baby Boomers Are Choosing To Start Businesses Over Going To Work Or Retirement
Until relatively recently the phrase ‘invest in your future” was largely the domain of parental figures for the younger generation. Today however it has become the rally cry for the incredible number of baby boomers worldwide moving into their 50s and beyond.

For a whole variety of reasons we Baby Boomers (anyone born 1946 -1964, which includes me!) are looking for ways to secure a fabulous future. We may be lucky enough to have had successful careers and to have kept hold of considerable savings. If so, many of us want to channel our energies into something rewarding, be that a new challenge and income-generating, or altruistic and giving back to society.

For countless others there’s a need and want to overcome the depletion of resources we may be suffering due a wide variety of changes and challenges including loss of value in investments, redundancy, early retirement, adult kids living at home, divorce, second or third marriages, young kids in later life, and eldercare. For some they may even find themselves trying to run and fund a four generational household. Things certainly aren’t what they used to be.

So what many of us have in common is the decision to keep working, earning, and fulfilling our full potential. If we are among the ranks of the employed that may not be quite so easy. Only yesterday I received an email from a man just turned 60 who told me that he was considering setting up his own business because he’d been informed he was “too old to perform at work”. 

My own professional body, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, of which I am a Fellow, states in a 2015 report: “Many industries have a poor record on retaining older workers, seeing a large drop-off in the number of workers between the ages of 45–49 and 60–64. In particular, finance, public administration and ICT all see a drop of greater than 60% between the number of workers they employ in their late forties and in their late sixties. Such falls suggest that these sectors are not doing enough to support longer working lives”. So it seems that age discrimination is rife.

Official data recently showed 1.14 million people aged 65 and over who were in employment in the UK last year, up 3 per cent on 2014 and more than double the figure from 2004. It’s highly likely though that many of these people are stuck in a rut, in jobs they don’t love, often passed by when it comes to the exciting new projects and promotions. Of course the B & Q stereotypical older worker also strikes fear into many of us who are very much of the opinion that we are not ready to be ‘put out to pasture just yet’!

To me it seems unsurprising therefore that if we research the growth trends in entrepreneurship and the number of new businesses springing up everywhere we discover that a staggering 42.9% of overall self-employment in the UK is attributed to the over 50s. In fact, since 2009 the number of self-employed people aged over 50 has risen by 500,000 and even more amazing is that for those aged over 65, more than half of the increase in employment has been the result of self-employment.

When I reflect however on the characteristics that our generation are known for it’s not really surprising that so many of us are taking that entrepreneurial leap of faith after years and years of employment. After all, we are renowned for our self-sufficiency, optimism, aspirations, determination, willingness to challenge and innovate, take risks and our drive for self-development aren’t we?

It was these characteristics among others that drove my ambition and enabled me to take that entrepreneurial leap of faith 26 years ago when I was only 30. I can seriously say that whilst of course there have been trials and tribulations, I have never, ever looked back. By channelling the skills, knowledge and expertise I had then, I set up an expert business. It enabled me to achieve my passion for helping others and transforming their lives. It meant that I earned more than I could ever have done as an employee. I was able to balance home and work most of the time, to develop a great relationship with my 3 kids, to be there for them and to enjoy being a Mum. It’s taken me to some amazing parts of the world and has given me a breadth and depth of experiences I would never have had otherwise. It’s ensured I have a sustainable income and lifestyle for the foreseeable future.

It's for all these reasons and more that I have decided to share my story, my experience and expertise with other Baby Boomers. I’m choosing to help those who also have the vision to see how setting up their own business in later life not only realises a perhaps long held dream but also opens up endless opportunities for their financial, personal, and altruistic needs too.

You too can channel your passion, expertise and life experience to set up your very own business.

Take a moment to check out our resources to see how you could reshape your future.
Ali xx
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