By 2030, baby boomers will be 65 or older, and make up 20 percent of the US population.  While that sounds like an awful lot of retirees, many of these boomers won’t be “retired” in the traditional sense.  Merrill Lynch Franchisingrecently released a retirement study which concludes that in the near future, retirees will more frequently keep working.  Increasing life expectancy, elimination of pensions, economic uncertainty and re-visioning of later life are all listed as factors leading to this decision.  Compare this to the fact that 22 percent of boomers have less than $100,000 in retirement savings, and half of those have less than $50,000.  Not surprisingly, 62 percent of younger boomers expect employment to be a source of income after retiring.

In response to this challenge, boomers are starting their own businesses in record numbers; according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, 23 percent of new entrepreneurs in 2013 were between 55 and 64 years old.  When older workers are downsized, it can take nearly twice as long for them to find a new job, so it makes sense that many boomers would want to start their own companies.  Other boomers use retirement as a chance for them to pursue a passion, work on their own terms and keep making money.

Plenty of baby boomers have also looked to franchising as an opportunity to start a business without having to build it from scratch.  Buying a franchise has no shortage of advantages, such as built-in name recognition, proven business models and a wealth of support from the franchisor.  Franchising can also create a community, where you get support from other owners who have experienced the same things you have and give you advice.  Even if franchises need an initial investment, people worried about not having enough savings can still find a franchise that doesn’t require large upfront payments or a high net worth.  Low-cost franchise options include commercial and residential cleaning services, printing and promotional products, tax preparation and an array of children and senior services.  Small Business Administration loans could also offer a source of financing, and buying an existing franchise from a current owner can give an entrepreneur more certainty.

Franchising can help baby boomers match their interests, entrepreneurial spirit and their specific financial situation to a business they can build on.  If you’d like to learn more, you can click here!