ANN ARBOR, Mich., April 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The times have changed and so have the needs of retirees. According to the Kauffman Foundation's just-released Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, near retirees (aged 55-64) represent a rising share of new entrepreneurs in America. According to the survey, this age group represented 22.9% of new entrepreneurs in 2010 compared to 14.5% of new entrepreneurs in 1996. "In our consulting practice we have observed a growing interest in small business ownership from near retirees and retirees," says David Goldbaum, a retired economist and the founder of Franchise Economics™ Inc., a company that assists those seeking economically viable franchise businesses. "The economy has spurred some of the growing interest but longer-term trends are also at play," Goldbaum continues.
1. Retirees live longer than ever. Today's average 55-year-old American will live another 30 years according to CDC statistics. The active and health conscious will live significantly longer. Thirty years is more than enough to build and enjoy a small business.
2. Retirees will stay healthier longer than ever. Advanced medical care and trends in healthy consumption and attitudes have made us a highly productive and capable group of Americans. Retirees are ideally suited to operate a business that suits their background, skills and is targeted at their financial goals.
3. Small business ownership is a great way to stay physically active and mentally stimulated. For individuals that enjoy mental stimulation, community involvement and an active lifestyle, managing a small business can be just the right approach. A business matched to the individual's temperament, lifestyle goals and interests can contribute to physical and mental health.
4. Many may need the income. This recession has forced so many near retirees into unemployment or early retirement while the decline in home values has significantly reduced nest eggs. The percentage of employees "not at all confident" about having sufficient income for a comfortable retirement grew from 22% in 2010 to 27% through March 2011. This is the lowest level recorded in the 21 years of the Employee Benefits Research Institute's just-published Retirement Confidence Survey. A small business may be just the right approach for income shortfalls provided there is enough available for the initial investment including working capital.
5. Franchise businesses make it easier to get started. You do not have to start from scratch and can reduce the risks involved in any business startup by taking a franchise approach to business ownership. With so many successful corporations turning to franchising their businesses, there are franchise opportunities in almost every industry and market.
6. Communities really benefit. Near retirees and retirees that bring decades of business experience to a community contribute to the economic welfare of the entire community by providing services and often employment opportunities for others. It is a great way to contribute.
We are in a recovery that has shown slow but consistent improvement since June 2009 – almost two years. This recovery also appears remarkably stable even in the light of the unprecedented and entirely unexpected disaster in Japan, the world's 3rd largest economy. A small business venture in an industry well positioned to leverage economic recovery may be a viable option for today's retirees.
David Goldbaum is a retired economist, business consultant and the founder of Franchise Economics™ Inc., (www.Franchise-Economics.com), an Ann Arbor, Michigan, based business research and franchise consulting firm.
The company works with the career and investment minded to identify and evaluate high quality franchise business opportunities. David can be reached at 800-269-1173.
SOURCE Franchise Economics, Inc.