Open Road Or Open A Business
American entrepreneurs started businesses at a rate of approximately 565,000 a month in 2010, the last year the data was available. According to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, the 55 to 64 age group has seen the greatest increase in number of Americans to launch a business since 2007. That trend coincides with a 2007 Merrill Lynch study showing of the nation's 78 million baby boomers, 76 million plan to keep working in retirement, more than half plan to change careers and many are foregoing the traveling retiree lifestyle in favor of building a new business.
Becoming a business owner later in life has its advantages: Your working years have given you skills and experience you may be able to market on your own. You also have the benefit of observing gaps in your industry that a small business could fill. And unlike younger entrepreneurs, you have greater financial resources at your disposal - which is why starting a business in your retirement years holds greater risk than it does for those in their 20s and 30s. You have less time to financially recover should your business fail.
If your retirement dreams include becoming your own boss, start early and be prepared for plenty of planning. You will need a thorough business plan and a retirement plan that allows you to fulfill your dream without betting the farm. Both plans need to take into account best and worst case scenarios. Your business could succeed wildly, creating unforeseen tax, estate planning and succession issues. Or the business could struggle, creating a whole different set of problems. Your plans should set some automatic action points - points at which you would sell the business at its peak value and points at which you may need to pull the plug.
Our office can provide insight on a variety of challenges facing new business owners, especially those starting their enterprise later in life. Your professional team should also include an attorney, a business accountant and an insurance professional. You may also want to consider finding a mentor with business ownership experience, preferably in your field, through programs such as SCORE and the Small Business Development Centers. For more on these and other services for entrepreneurs, visit the Small Business Administration website at www.sba.gov.
Pave your path to business ownership with thorough, comprehensive planning. Call our office today to get started.
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