Retirement Is For Reinventing
Right and wrong are concepts that are instilled in us at a very early age, it seems. So, even when approaching retirement age, questions about doing “it” the right way seem commonplace. The prospect of trading gainful employment for golf is difficult for many seniors, particularly the current crop of Baby Boomers who are accustomed to being healthy, active, competent and in control.
Those who now are nearing traditional retirement age fought an unpopular war, made money, raised children, worked at productive careers, and accumulated savings for retirement only to have that nest egg threatened by an economy and a housing market spiraling out of control. But, Baby Boomers are resourceful, if nothing else, and increasingly large numbers of Boomers are giving their incredulous sons and daughters a run for their money. As it turns out, that resourcefulness may just be an economic boost for the entire country.
A New Crop of ‘Senior-Preneurs’
From former presidents to former schoolteachers, newly non-working seniors who even hesitate to use the term “retired” are seeking part-time employment, launching ventures they can pursue from home, or assisting their children to make small businesses succeed. Others have expanded a hobby or life-long interest into a full-time enterprise; even larger numbers, nurses and teachers in particular, still substitute to keep their skills fresh and their minds and bodies active.
The message is resoundingly clear. The New Entrepreneur reported in a 2009 article that a Kauffman Foundation study found the majority of business startups over the previous decade were by individuals aged 50 to 64, somewhat dispelling the image of the college dropout tech genius as the country’s business idol. The findings also point to the future of “retiring” Baby Boomers as “roll-up-your-sleeves and get to work” types rather than following previous stereotypes.