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Starting Over: The Rise of the Older Entrepreneur -

The Biggest Employment Trend in the Past 100 Years

There were almost 22 million self-employed folks between the ages of 55 and 64 at the end of 2009 (the last year for which such statistics are available), a 5 percent increase from the previous year. More interesting, among those 65 and older, 939,000 were self-employed, a 29 percent increase from the year before. This shift to self-employment among older workers, says Kevin E. Cahill, a research economist with Boston College’s Sloan Center on Aging and Work, “has become a very important part of the retirement process.”

“Loving your work is key. Find something you love, and don’t let fear stop you from achieving a dream, no matter what your age.”

Cahill gives two reasons for the trend: “Those who are self-employed stay in the workforce longer,” he explains, “and later in life, more people switch into self-employment than into salaried jobs.” Cahill says that older Americans tend to have more access to wealth to fund new ventures, and they have a lifetime of experience to apply to a new business.

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