Retired Baby Boomers Becoming Part Time Entrepreneurs

Many older baby boomers have been choosing an earlier retirement as a means to pursue hobbies and other interests as part-time small businesses. Carl Boast, for example, a former neuroscientist in the pharmaceutical industry, quit his job at age 55 to pursue his interest in nature photography, according to the New York Times. That interest eventually morphed into a small business; he began to market his photographs at craft shows sponsored by Wyeth, his former employer. While Boast’s nature photography business has not been particularly profitable, as with most other baby boomers taking part in this growing trend, profit tends not to be the primary motivation.

“Carl Boast, owner of Peaceable Kingdom Photos in Moneta, Va., was making a hefty salary in New Jersey as a neuroscientist in the pharmaceutical industry when he decided he ‘wasn’t a fan of working for a living’ and began plotting his departure,” according to the New York Times. And this doesn’t appear to be just an isolated trend. “Ty Freyvogel, a small-business consultant and investor in Pittsburgh, predicts that the ranks of early retirement dabblers will swell as they discover they have too much time and not quite enough money. ‘If they do the proper research and can get started without putting a significant amount of capital behind them initially, these types of small start-ups can get going with little risk,’ he said.”

These baby boomer micro-businesses are particularly interesting as profitability tends not to be the top priority for most participants, allowing people to be more creative in pursuing personal hobbies and quirky business ideas. As an increasing number of baby boomers begin to take on these types of low risk endeavors, this growing pool of entrepreneurial partial retirees may provide unforeseen opportunities to investors.

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3 comments:

July 8, 2008 at 7:37 PM Haralee said...

I fall into this BB category. I started a company after decades in a high power career. It is a passion not just a business or a job. I love it! I would like it to be profitable, but it is more important to be everything I want it to be.

July 10, 2008 at 1:55 PM roxsen said...

Many boomers are also becoming part-time farmers by taking up SPIN-Farming in their backyards, front lawns and neighborhood lots. SPIN is a franchise-ready vegetable farming system that makes it possible to earn $50,000+ from a half-acre. SPIN's growing techniques are not, in themselves, breakthrough. What is novel is the way a SPIN farm business is run. SPIN provides everything you'd expect from a good franchise: a business plan, marketing advice, and a detailed day-to-day workflow. In standardizing the system and creating a reproducible process it really isn't any different from McDonalds. By offering a non-technical, easy-to-understand and inexpensive-to-implement farming system, it allows many more people to farm, wherever they live, as long as there are nearby markets to support them, and it removes the two big barriers to entry – sizeable acreage and significant start-up capital. You can see entrepreneurial SPIN farmers in action at www.spinfarming.com

February 3, 2010 at 8:28 PM Famous entrepreneurs said...

Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Concentration is one of the accredited online degree programs at DeVry University designed for those who want to acqure the skills and methods needed to launch a new enterprise, take over an existing business or be a dynamic manager who can make a dramatic difference to the future of a small business. By specializing in a particular area of study and gaining the competency to apply technology to business strategy, you'll be in demand by businesses and organizations around the world.

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