As many displaced Baby Boomers are reaching the end of unemployment benefits, what are they going to do? Some will find a job that is a fraction of what they had when corporate America turned its back on them. Others may decide it is time to “burn the boat” and go into a different direction to create income. They are searching for something that will give them personal growth, career fulfillment and financial success. Perhaps a Baby Boomer business, putting entrepreneur skills together.
Whether starting a career or searching for a new opportunity, Baby Boomers are facing the fact that they need to do something. Many are realizing that “self” is the only way to finish out the last 10 or 15 years of income producing activities.
According to the most recent Non-Employer Statistics published the U.S. Census Bureau, on average 2,356 people go into business for themselves every day. Their firms account for 78 percent of U.S. businesses and $951 billion in receipts.
“Among the fastest-growing industries are Web search portals (41.2 percent), Internet service providers (16.6 percent), nail salons (18 percent), electronic shopping and mail-order houses (12 percent), recreational vehicle dealers (12.1 percent) and landscaping services (11.1 percent).” The top five states in terms of growth in small businesses between 2004 and 2005 were the District of Columbia (9.6 percent), Nevada (7.7 percent), Florida (7.6 percent), Georgia (7.6 percent) and Utah (7.2 percent).
The following are areas that Baby Boomers are gravitating to make an income.
With years of experience under the belt, the displaced Baby Boomer adds value to small and midsized organizations as a consultant.
Consulting is a great career. You get to work in a variety of industries, at diverse companies, on different projects and in varied roles. If you thrive on new challenges, continuous learning and making a difference, you should consider a career in consulting.
WORK FROM HOME
For those Baby Boomers who want flexibility, work at home opportunities are attractive. If one has an entrepreneurial mindset, is motivated, creative and wants to work at his or her own pace, then finding the right home based business could work. Not everyone has the discipline to work from home. But, with a passion for the right product or service, a Boomer can excel and set a course of income until retirement.
Starting and maintaining a small business is tough. With rent, franchise fees and inventory, the business can eat into profits quickly.
Take a good look at that store on the corner. There is a 10 percent to 12 percent chance it will not be there next year, according to the Office of Advocacy for the Small Business Administration.
“If you’re new you have about a 50-50 chance of surviving five years,” said Brian Headd, an economist with the Office of Advocacy, which tracks small businesses and examines the impact of proposed regulations on them.
Still, such odds do not seem to damp the desire of entrepreneurs.
An estimated 671,800 small businesses with employees opened their doors in 2005, the most recent year with statistics available, even as another 544,800 were expected to close theirs that year.
Some Boomers are looking at how they can use their investments or get additional investments to keep them going for the next decade. However, investing is tricky. For example, real estate investing, with the low prices of foreclosed properties, may be enticing but beware as the recent mortgage issues surrounding improper foreclosures may draw the original owner back to the door steps of the house to reclaim it.
Also, with the uncertainty of the economy and the stock market’s ups and downs, playing with your money in equities could spell disaster if not careful. There are some Boomers who have turned to investing for income to get them through the next 10 years. Again, there is a lot of uncertainty, especially with tax laws up in the air for 2011, with the tax consequences associated with taxes on gains.
Any way you look at it, going back to a job equal to or greater than the one you had is not in the cards for many displaced Boomers. But how many of you really want to go back to the cubical or the office and have to deal with the politics and all the issues that come from working for something else?