Boomers Delaying Retirement Turn to Startups in Large Numbers

Boomers Delaying Retirement Turn to Startups in Large Numbers

The struggling economy and job market has left some Boomers without a job but still in need of income. With lengthening life expectancies and high health care costs, retirement at 55 just isn’t an option for most people. Many Baby Boomers are turning to startups as a new way to make money and keep themselves occupied.

Older Adults and Startups

New research from the Kauffman Foundation found that the number of older adults starting companies has continued to increase over the past couple decades. In 1996, the number of adults between the ages of 55 and 64 started 14.3% of new companies.

That number has risen significantly since then, as technology continues to advance and older adults seek to spend their time out of an office job doing something just as, if not more, productive. In 2012, adults aged 55 to 64 started 23.4% of companies created that year.

Many Boomers have been laid off in recent years and finding a job as an older adult can be tough, especially amidst high unemployment rates when even young people are having trouble finding employment. Rather than give up and retire, though, these Boomers are putting their energy into an entirely new endeavor.

Finding a New Solution

“The 30-year corporate job with a gold watch isn’t there anymore,” said Dane Stangler, vice-president of research and policy at Kauffman. “A lot of people are not ready to retire. We are living healthier for longer, and they are looking for a main income or a supplementary income.”

According to research by, approximately one-quarter of Americans between the ages of 44 and 70 are interested in creating their own business. Among some 500 applicants for a Florida entrepreneurship program, the average age of applicants was 51.

Boomers are begin to recognize the immense value that they can bring to a new business. With years of experience in the work force, many former managers and other executives have the knowledge and wherewithal to start a fresh venture and be successful.

Planning for Retirement

Startups are a great way to keep adults active and challenged, on top of making money. Rather than retire and spend most of your time just sitting around the house, which so many retirees find themselves doing, starting a business is an opportunity to remain engaged and stay mentally fit into old age. Continuing to be mentally and physically active can help you avoid many of the chronic diseases and problems that affect so many elderly people.

Planning for retirement is crucial and ensuring you have enough saved is a big part of that. The Boomers getting involved with startups recognize the importance of allocating enough money to live on, but many forget about one cost in retirement that is often the most expensive. Health care costs and long term care in retirement can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars quickly, so it’s crucial to plan for health care costs, too. Read more about ensuring you are prepared for retirement or find out more about factoring long term care into your retirement plan.


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