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Boomers set up shop

IT appears older baby boomers are once again not doing what is expected of them.

A significant number of them appear to be ‘retiring’ from life as an employee and going into business for themselves.

And they seem to be doing so to capitalise on the need for more financial planning, health and travel services for an increasing older population.

“Many older baby boomers are choosing to become new business owners and to join the world of self-employment for the first time,” Curtin Business School senior lecturer Michael Schaper said.

“Often these grey entrepreneurs have substantial business knowledge and experience and a solid financial base to fund their ventures.

“They can also have good planning, managerial and communication skills - as well as extensive networks – which can all be put to good use.

“Australia’s older entrepreneurs are not just calling it quits and heading off for a quiet retirement.

“They are becoming the foundations of a whole new business sector.”

Dr Schaper said social and economic policy change was needed to recognise the larger and generally wealthier retiree age sector.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show one third of small-medium sized business owners or operators in Australia are aged over 50, and the trend is for this proportion to increase.

Half a million small-medium business owners or operators are now aged over 50, compared with 341,000 six years ago.

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