How fitting to be writing about renewal and reinventing oneself on a spring holiday weekend. It was only a matter of time before the trend would show itself and I think it’s happening. People are determining their Retirement with an intent filled with entrepreneurship, contribution, meaning and purpose.
The Globe and Mail published an article on Tuesday, March 30th based on a recently released StatsCan survey. The article said that there is an “entrepreneurial era” that is taking place across Canada today. Here are some stats:
- 78% who became self-employed in the past year were over the age of 45,
- 55% over the age of 55,
- Women account for 56% of the newly self-employed.
The article attributed this to several factors: the desire for flexible working hours, higher earning potential, the lack of career advancement opportunities for women, and the layoff of a spouse.
I think there’s another important factor that’s contributing to this ballooning of self-employment. People who are in their forties and fifties are making choices and decisions about their future selves and their Third Age and beyond. It’s a revolution about how we think of retirement. It’s taking shape and form and it’s all about Reinventing Yourself and re-formulating your retirement.
It is any wonder? Professionals who have 20 plus years of experience under their belt and the ability to discern the gaps in their industries, sectors and communities also have the personal leadership skills, network and credibility to create their own businesses. They see the light at the end of their day jobs, particularly if they are women with no opportunity for career advancement, and are choosing to take action now in the economic downturn to sustain and even recreate their professional selves, their life purpose and their passion. There are new terms for this - Retirement Entrepreneurs, Post-Retirement Entrepreneurs, Older Entrepreneurs and Boomer Entrepreneurs.
Conventional retirement, the type where we retire from paying work to leisure or non-paying work, is being delayed – perhaps permanently. We value work – and work provides us with a sense of being valued too. Although we still need to look at positive ways and perspectives of valuing leisure and other types of (unpaid) work that come with the retirement transition, there’s no denying that starting an entrepreneurial business during mid-life will help your mind, body and spirit age well. And it models successful aging to everyone else too.