The best time to start thinking about your retirement is before the boss does. ~Author Unknown
The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. ~Arnold Toynbee
The New York Times reported this month that baby boomers are turning to entrepreneurship in record numbers. The SBA reports more than 5 million Americans age 55 or older now run their own businesses or are otherwise self-employed. The number of self-employed people ages 55-64 has soared 52 percent between 2000 and 2007.
This career change movement may be of necessity, partly powered by layoffs, buyouts, and a relentless recession. The AARP reports that unemployed people age 55 and older have been out of work for 36 weeks on average.
Whatever your reason, if you’re thinking about taking the plunge, here are a few things for you to consider:
- Weigh all your options. Be sure to do your due diligence when embarking on a new venture. Look at all the legal, financial, social and relational ramifications. Consult sites like Nolo.com, Success.com and Entrepreneur.com for information. And of course, this goes without saying: Never, never, never, NEVER conduct business without a contract.
- Consider the power of partnership. Check out the book, “The Power of Two,” by AUTHOR?. Find others who have interest in your new career. Find a partner that not only shares your vision, work ethics and integrity, but complements your weaknesses. Select a legal structure that protects the both of you.
- Your “overnight success” may take 5-10 years. Don’t be dazzled by the articles that imply all you need are some business cards and a vision. In this economy, all sure bets are off. It could take five, ten, even 15 years to get your business off the ground.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Some people use part of their buyout package; others dip into their 401K accounts. Just don’t plow your entire nest egg into your new venture.
Thoughts: Have YOU started your own boomer business? How did you go about it? How successful have you been?