More middle-aged and older adults are staying in the workforce longer, and when corporate jobs dry up, a growing number are starting their own business with an eye to the needs of seniors who make up an increasingly larger proportion of the population. Drawing from their own experience and expertise, more older adults are taking the entrepreneurial leap later in life and many of these new enterprises are geared to the older client.
According to a recent New York Times report, in 2019 about 25 percent of new entrepreneurs were between the ages of 55 and 64, up from just 15 percent 20 years earlier. People over 50 are also spending more than their younger counterparts on goods and services, a trend that is expected to grow 45 percent by 2050 whereas spending by consumers under the age of 50 is only anticipated to rise by 13 percent.
Older adults are in a unique position to offer their services and products to an aging or “longevity” market because as peers, they are more likely to be trusted and their guidance in health or financial management heeded. The built-in credibility older entrepreneurs enjoy while working with elderly clients or their families is a welcome alternative to traditional workplaces that may foster ageist stereotypes.
With so many seniors wishing to age in place, families are often stretched thin when it comes to providing support in order for older adults to remain at home. Meal preparation, handyman services, financial management, home fall prevention, and organization are just a few of the many areas that seniors living independently may need help with. A retiree may have the ideal skills and the time to serve an aging population. Or with some training and certification, midlife and older entrepreneurs can learn how to counsel seniors in nutrition, fitness, or overall wellness.
Although a great many workers are still conducting business remotely from home, older employees who are willing to work for less in exchange for greater flexibility have long been working as independent contractors. Staying engaged with meaningful work while balancing the desire for flexibility to visit adult children and grandchildren or pursue hobbies makes remote work from home a win/win for seniors.
What talents could you put to work in retirement and beyond? As old age lengthens and seniors worry about running out of money or becoming bored, the second-act career offers not only financial security but also an opportunity to give back to the community and pursue lifelong dreams.
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