“Joe the Plumber” Isn’t the Only Entrepreneurial Wannabe: Haven’t You Wondered Whether You Could Successfully Fund Your Retirement by Starting Your Own Small Business?
If you watched the third and final presidential debate earlier this week, you heard both candidates talking abut how their economic development and tax plans would benefit Joe Wurzelbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber,” a Toledo, Ohio man who’s considering buying the plumbing business where he currently works – for somewhere between $250,000 and $280,000.
Both candidates attempted to make the case that their plans for taxation and business development would benefit more Americans. Who won the debate – and the hearts and minds of Americans – will be determined in mere weeks now. But that isn’t the main point of this post: Helping you decide whether or not to buy or start your own small business is.
See, “Joe the Plumber” Is Not the Only Baby Boomer Considering the Entrepreneurial American Dream of Business Ownership. Likely You Are, Too!
For many Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, the concept of retirement has a very different meaning than it did a generation ago. Many of you are looking into starting your own business to support your retirement – or semi-retirement. Actually what some people are starting to refer to as “unretirement.” And why not?
After all, several recent studies indicate that roughly 63% of non-retired adults in the United States plan to work into the time periond that used to be called retirement. Why? Your reasons may be different, but here are some popular ones:
- Two-thirds of you say your key reason is that you enjoy your work and you want to stay mentally engaged
- About half of you have a concern over not having enough money to cover your basic living expenses once you are old enough to collect Social Security
- The current economy has left many of you with decimated home values, mountains of bills, and vanishing 401(K)’s
- Only 28% of you report confidence in your ability to pay for projected medical costs – especially since many of you won’t have health insurance after you retire -and you can easily expect to live another 20 to 30 years
On the Plus Side You Can’t Ignore the Very Real Benefits Of:
- Your years of valuable work experience
- Your maturity and judgement
- Your health and vitality
Actually, There Are as Many Reasons for Starting a Small Business as There are Americans Reaching Retirement Age
At the very least you have to consider:
- Corporate layoffs
- The need to supplement your current income
- Your desire for a more flexible lifestyle
- Your recognition that advancing technology has leveled the playing field for many small businesses
- The very real opportunity to realize your personal ambition to be the boss and reap the rewards
It All Adds Up: More and More Boomers Find Financial and Personal Fulfillment in Running Your Own Small Business.
“[Boomers] stand at the portal of advancing age more driven by their desire to stay engaged with achievements and family relationships than by the value of their portfolio,” says Carol Orsborn, an author and expert on marketing to Baby Boomers. Here are some other relevant facts:
- A study by Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive found that 45% of Americans approaching retirement never plan to completely stop working
- You can often deduct some of your health insurance premiums from taxes if you’re self employed and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) offer more savings.
- Americans over the age of 50 make up a disproportionate share of the self-employed workforce, about 40 percent compared to 25 percent of the overall workforce according to a 2002 AARP study
- Americans in their 40s and 50s expect to “retire” at age 61 but will continue to work until around age 70 according to Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive. During these 9 years, many of you believe the ideal work arrangement is to “cycle” between periods of work and leisure (42%). And only 17% of you hope to never work for pay again
- The top-10 most popular franchising industries according to a report in USA Today are: fast food, service, restaurants, building and construction, business services, retail, automotive, maintenance, food retail, and lodging
- A new franchised business opens up in the United States every 8 minutes, according to Price Waterhouse Coopers. Average initial investment is $250,000
- Only 37% of the Boomer generation indicated that earning money was an important reason to keep working according to Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive. 67% thought challenge and mental stimulation would motivate them to continue to work. The same study found that of Boomers who plan to continue work, nearly two-thirds want to pursue a different line of work.
- The number of franchised business in the US has grown to 850,000 from 760,000 in the past six years according to an International Franchise Association report. The number of “franchise concepts” has grown to 2,500 from 900 in 3 years
- 75 industries use franchising to distribute goods and services according to Price Waterhouse Coopers
Undoubtedly it’s facts like these that led the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to unveil a new section of their web site earlier this month, aimed directly at you, the country’s most rapidly expanding group of entrepreneurs.
The new Small Business oriented site is designed for you if you are a 50-plus entrepreneur seeking information on starting, growing and expanding a small business.
“The SBA is working hard to increase opportunities for small businesses of the Baby Boomer generation at every stage of their business development through better technology tools and effective services through the agency’s district offices and resource partners,” said SBA Acting Administrator Sandy Baruah in a statement. “We believe 50-plus entrepreneurs will drive significant new business growth in the coming years.”
The new site has been designed to help you evaluate the pros and cons of business ownership after age 50 and provides advice on how to treat different phases of business growth. It includes a series of free online course on topics like:
- Small Business Primer: Guide to Starting a Business
- How to Prepare a Business Plan
- How to Start a Business on a Shoestring Budget (Trump University)
- Franchising Basics
- Technology 101: A Small Business Guide
In addition you’ll find:
- A tool to you measure your business readiness
- Information on borrowing and credit
- Encouraging success stories from other Baby Boomer small business owners
There’s Also a Section Called “Bootstrapping Basics” That Offers Training Tools Such As “Traits of the Successful Entrepreneur”
Here, you learn that:
- Just as not every idea is well suited for a shoestring start-up, not every person is well suited to be a bootstrapping entrepreneur
- “When it comes to starting a business on a shoestring budget, two of these traits are especially important. An entrepreneur must be passionate about his start-up business. It can be long time before you really start reaping the rewards of your business, and it can be easy to let other endeavors distract you. Your passion is what will keep you focused on moving your idea forward
- “Too much caution can stand in the way of a successful start-up.”
- “A bootstrapping entrepreneur must also be something of a risk taker. You must be willing to experiment. If the first thing you try isn’t working, you have to be able redirect your efforts and try another approach.”
- “Successful entrepreneurs share some common traits that help them meet the particular challenges starting a business puts before them. They include:
The SBA’s Self-Paced Training for 50-Plus Entrepreneurs Is A Good Idea, But It Lacks Passion – and a Mechanism to Keep Your Focused and Moving Forward.
If you’re serious about building as business to support your retirement there is no time to waste. You need to get started now, and you need to get training from a reliable resource which will keep you focused and moving forward with passion.
In my opinion, you’ll be much farther along in your business development efforts one month from now if you work with Gina Gaudio-Grave’s program, The 30-day IM Challenge instead of using the SBA’s self-paced training.
What Have You Got to Lose? It’s Priced Right, and A Stronger Program
In the past I’ve recommended Gina Gaudio-Graves free 30-Day IM Challenge program and I stand behind that recommendation. Also free, it gives you all the knowledge you need to succeed with your own business, whether you decide to go home-based or not.
In Addition to the 750+ Pages of Training, Plus Recordings and Videos, the 30 Day IM Challenge Gives You Weekly Group Phone Calls and an In-depth Forum, Where You Can Ask Questions of Gina’s Apprentices, Who Are All Successful Graduates of the 30-Day IM Challenge.
So, if you’re considering starting a small business to supplement your retirement income, the only questions still left for you to answer are:
- Do you want to succeed?
- Do you have what it takes to own your own successful business?
- If not, are you willing to work hard to acquire it?
- Are you ready to launch yourself into prosperity despite the gloomy economy?
- Or would you rather stick your head in the sand and wait until things are “easier.”
If you opt for the last option, keep in mind that while you wait your chances for enjoying a comfortable retirement will be steadily shrinking…
“Joe the Plumber” is not waiting. Don’t you hold off either!