Call them silver entrepreneurs or senior entrepreneurs or third-age entrepreneurs. They are people who do not want — or are not financially able — to idle away their retirement years and, instead, opt to start a business.
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The numbers of retired people rejecting the unfettered leisure that has been the American model since the 1940’s in favor of starting up a small business are not exact. Federal government data suggests there are now at least three million entrepreneurs who are 55 and over — up one-third from the number counted in 2000.
”It’s like this sea swell that has been under the radar,” said Linda Wiener, the aging issues expert for Monster.com, the jobs search Web site. ”There are people who don’t want to work an hourly job, and are wondering what are they going to do for the next 30 years?”
A majority of 800 workers surveyed last year for the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University indicated in their responses that traditional retirement was obsolete. Two-thirds expect to work after 55, and about 15 percent wanted to start their own business after they retired, the survey found.
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