The fantasy of retirement with all its promises of relaxation and happiness may not be what people want after all. More and more I’m hearing of retirees who are not ready to retire or that are bored of relaxing and reading books.
So, the next best options are to pester the kids and grand kids, find a hobby or perhaps start a business. It’s the latter that has been gaining momentum and is set to redefine the idyllic lifestyle of the 65+ who are not ready to stop completely.
The reality is that we’re in the midst of an ageing population that has only just begun. Bernard Salt from KPMG and the Australian highlights that “the population began ageing in 2011 and will continue until 2046”. In fact, every day for the foreseeable future will mark a new record for the number of people aged 70+ in the world.
There’s a whopping number of people reaching the cusp of retirement and what they choose to do with their lives will have a dramatic impact on the workforce, the economy and society in general.
The benefits of a self-employed retirement revolution will be felt across health, welfare, quality of life, workforce participation and the economy. The health benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle and clean living are undeniable and running a small part-time business could be just the incentive. Similarly, people are reaching retirement with a big expectation of what they want to do and where they want to go. Unfortunately, the nest egg may not be big enough to meet the financial demands of retirement.
Where employment opportunities for the elderly are shrinking, there has never been more demand for outsourced professionals. Salt in the Australian describes it as “I suspect many are extending their working life by setting up shop as a contractor, a consultant, a mentor, a coach, a director and continue on at a leisurely pace with selected clients working when and as you like. In fact, I think there’s a boom in boomer entrepreneurs otherwise known as boomerpreneurs.”
Some people will tell you that running a small business is not going to be easy and will only put undue pressure on the elderly at a time when they are not up to it. However, if the goal of setting up your business is not world domination but more of a hobby, that stress and pressure disappears.
For me, that’s an exciting prospect in an entrepreneurial sense. You see the best game of golf I have ever played was in an Ambrose competition and I was paired with a near scratch golfer. Since there was no pressure on me, I played the best and most consistent round of my life. I believe this mentality transfers to all areas of life, when we are in a comfort zone doing something we enjoy and without fear, we can produce our best results. If people hitting retirement age are able to turn their attention to a pursuit of something they enjoy and are passionate about without the fear of failure who knows what we will see, perhaps the next Zuckerberg will be 65+.
At the end of the day self-employed retirement is on the rise and those who are inexperienced in business will need additional support. It is my hope that government and small business can identify the wide ranging benefits of self-employed retirement and do their best to support this entrepreneurial spirit.