Rethinking the Concept of Retirement

As the single largest group of retirement-age workers in the nation’s history, Baby Boomers are reinventing retirement as the continuation of work in a different direction for the pursuit of new challenges, rather than the stoppage of work for the pursuit of leisure. And it’s not just about shifting to jobs in new careers. Many of these “never-grow-old” retirees are leveraging their decades of experience, vast professional networks, and accumulated financial resources to start up their own businesses.
The numbers of these so-called “encore entrepreneurs” are on the rise. The 2018 self-employment report, put together by FreshBooks and Research Now, found 49 percent of self-employed people are Boomers.
If you’re thinking, “Sounds good to me,” and you’ve been an employee for most of your career, you’ll need to adjust your attitudes about what constitutes “work” before you can become your own boss.
  • Wearing multiple hats. You’ll be the boss, but also the salesperson, bookkeeper, production worker, and janitor.
  • Working long hours. The concept of a 40-hour week goes out the window for most business owners. Sometimes, the commitment is closer to 24/7.
  • Receiving inconsistent pay. Profits come only from a successful venture and it might take a while to get the money spigot flowing consistently.
  • Adjusting family time. With increased hours spent on the business comes decreased time for friends and family. Everyone, not just you, needs to understand the potential personal sacrifices.

Game Plan

  • Think long and hard about what you want to get out of retirement. Do you envision getting bored living a life of entertainment and leisure? Have you always dreamed of making money doing something you love? Are you willing to perhaps work even harder than you did before you retired, but doing it out of passion rather than simply to make a living?
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