Retirement is for Wimps
The provocative headline, I must confess, is not my own. It comes from a piece written recently in The Times which reports that the fastest growth in entrepreneurship and self-employment is within the group aged 65 and over, an increase of 140 per cent between 2006 and last year.
So, where has the appetite for 'Olderpreneurs' come from? Well there are many factors; a lack of a decent pension pot, a desire to have a purpose and put valuable skills and experience to good use and the fact that we are living longer. Plus today's older generations are fitter and healthier than their parents and therefore more able to carry on working. Personally, I am encouraged by the positive aspects that mean older people are staying in the working world, particularly the areas of social engagement and inclusion. However, I need to balance my positive perspective with a reality check, which is that the average Briton will not clear their debts, including mortgages until they are 69.
The truth of the matter is that many older people are continuing to work because of the positive benefits it brings them but this is also being driven by economic factors. I believe if the balance of both is equal it can only be a good thing. Interestingly, the industry that showed the steepest increase in older business owners is the Health Care industry - now I can confess to you that this certainly isn't a business for wimps!