Boomers holding on to business-owner reinsOctober 6, 2017 1:28 pm Leave your thoughts
Baby boomers – generally defined as those born between 1946 and 1964 – are reaching their golden years, so one would assume that they'll be retiring soon, if they haven't already. This hasn't been the case, however, particularly among small-business owners, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Based on the most recent data available from the Census Bureau, roughly 38 percent of incorporated firms are owned by individuals 55 or older, according to the Journal. That's up from 29 percent compared to eight years prior.
Although retirement is a lifestyle an increasing number of Americans are spurning, wanting to remain busy by working in some capacity, small-business owners seem to be leading the charge. Earlier this year, Gallup found that more than half – 53 percent – of small-business owners had no intention of retiring from their company, looking to stay in charge rather than selling or bequeathing their operation to family members. That's up from 51 percent in 2010, when a similar survey was performed.
Of course, everyone has their reasons for continuing to work. Judy Habib, co-founder of a Boston-based marketing firm, told the Journal that she believes it's a function of people living longer, due to greater awareness of how people can maintain or improve their well-being.
"The world has changed and lifespans have changed," Habib explained. "Baby boomers are so not dead yet," she adds. "Do we really think we will fade off into the sunset? No."
The same goes for changing worker attitudes, as more older Americans have no problem with reporting to a supervisor who is younger than them. Indeed, in a recent survey conducted by OfficeTeam, more than 80 percent of respondents said they wouldn't have an issue with a supervisor being below their age. In fact, baby boomers were the most comfortable with this reality, with 93 percent saying they'd be fine with a manager who was younger.
"Many baby boomers are financially supporting their aging parents."
Some need to work due to finances
Another potential reason for why boomer business owners are hanging to their "entrepreneur" identity boils down to necessity. As noted by Forbes, some boomers are are caring for their parents, and as such, need additional income to support their parents' health issues. Alternatively, having a professional life can help bring a greater sense of balance from personal day-to-day dealings.
It isn't just baby boomers attesting to their desire to hold on to their business owners titles. The numbers back it up. In 2015, sales of small firms fell 3 percent from 2014, according to the Journal, the estimates deriving from BizBuySell.com.
"The baby boomer rush in sales isn't near the extent people were projecting four or five years ago," business broker Ronald Johnson explained to the WSJ. "A lot of business owners are in good health. They enjoy the challenge."
Jeff Williams, who serves as a professional coach for a firm that specializes in helping baby boomers business owners succeed, told BlogTalkRadio that many of today's retirees grew up with a strong work ethic and they're not ready to give that up.
"We're not prepared to completely stop working," Williams conceded. "We want to continue to work, continue to contribute, but we also want to do work differently."
Williams elaborated, pointing out baby boomers don't necessarily want to work to stay busy, but rather in a capacity or discipline that they've always wanted, having not been able to do so when they were younger.
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