Advice Independent Living

I’m a Baby Boomer Interested in Starting a Business After I Retire

Senior man and woman

Dear Benchmark,

I’ve always had a dream of having a small coffee house and café near the lake where we spend weekends in the summer. With retirement in sight, I’m seriously considering making my dream come true.

However, because of my age, I’m meeting resistance. Everyone from my adult children to my parents is discouraging me. But I know I’ve read about retirees starting new careers and businesses well into their 70s.

Since you’ve worked with older adults for so long, I thought you might have some insight into how my generation of retirees is different from others.


Using Retirement Years to Create a Second Act in Life

Dear Louise,

Baby boomers have definitely redefined retirement! In Benchmark Senior Living communities, we see evidence of that every day. From going back to college to learn a new skill to starting a business, today’s retirement looks a lot different than it used to.

For reasons that vary from a need to supplement finances to the desire to turn a hobby into a business, a growing number of adults are working during retirement years. Like you, many of them had a dream to start something of their own.

In a 2014 survey commissioned by CareerBuilder, 438 full-time workers age 60 or older were interviewed along with 2,192 human resources professionals. The survey revealed that 54% of private employers had hired older adults during the year, and those employers expected that number to grow.

For retirees such as yourself, experts say age doesn’t have to be a barrier to making a change.

Older adults are starting businesses at twice the rate of younger ones. People between 55 and 64 now comprise the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs.

Life experience is one reason seniors often make successful entrepreneurs. And older adults typically have more time, connections and resources to dedicate to their second act. There are a variety of resources available to budding senior entrepreneurs, including:

AARP Work & Retirement Resource Center: Here you will find resources for seniors who want to change careers or start a new business.

Life Reimagined: This platform will help you explore options for making changes in your life. One track is devoted to work, including starting a new business during retirement.

RetiredBrains: This site offers guidance on a variety of topics, including funding a new business start-up, franchise opportunities and managing finances.

One final suggestion is to contact your local branch of the Small Business Administration. where you may find a counselor to help you explore the feasibility of making your dream of starting a business a reality during retirement!

Independent Living