Ready for Your Encore Career?


After devoting decades of their lives to their employers, most retirees are ready for a life of leisure. They can finally switch their briefcase for a beach bag and their computer for golf clubs. There’s no one to answer to and no schedule they must stick to.  Then why are so many older adults opening their own businesses – even when they have the means to spend their golden years in relaxation mode?

According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, adults between the ages of 55 and 64 represent almost 23 percent of entrepreneurs today.  Because our sense of accomplishment has been tied to work success, many seniors want to remain professionally active, especially when they have the time and financial security to turn their passion into profit.  

The unexpected benefits of building a business in retirement

Waiting to take the entrepreneurial leap can pay off big for retirees. Not only can they take bigger risks since they have fewer family responsibilities, but they can secure funding more easily because of their years of experience.  As a result, start-ups launched by older entrepreneurs have higher survival rates even in the most competitive industries and provide a more solid foundation for innovation.

However, the most significant benefits aren’t financial, but physical and mental.  Harvard Medical School found that working into retirement “may benefit your brain, health, and longevity.”  Entrepreneurship provides seniors a sense of mission and purpose that reduces depression and anxiety.  It requires creativity and critical thinking skills, which fight off cognitive decline. And, it offers retirees continued socialization to avoid isolation – one of the greatest risks to our overall health.  Best of all, older entrepreneurs are just happier.  Seventy-six percent of boomer business owners rate their happiness an 8 or higher on a scale of 1 to 10 according to a survey by Guidant Financial.

Franchising – the fast track to success in retirement

Rather than build their start-up from the ground up, many retirees are living their entrepreneurial dreams by embracing the benefits of franchising.  With more than 3,000 franchising opportunities available across a variety of industries, from retail and restaurants to home improvement, healthcare and business services, retirees can find a business that aligns with their interests and experience.

What makes franchising so attractive to retirees are a low cost of entry, built-in brand recognition and a proven business model.  Franchisers provide training and operational support, manage marketing and advertising, and offer greater buying power.  Entrepreneurs can focus on what they enjoy, such as being their own boss, building customer relationships, and maintaining a desirable work-life balance with a solid infrastructure behind them.

Because investors understand the power, wisdom and experience of older entrepreneurs, they’ve made financial capital more accessible to retirees.  The Small Business Administration can help connect you to a network of approved lenders.  Many franchisers offer financial incentives to entrepreneurs who meet specific requirements, such as lower fees for veterans or multi-unit discounts, to help expand market reach.

If you’re considering launching a new business, you may want to start with a franchise consultant.  Your consultant will identify your strengths, interests, and risk level, and identify those franchisers that fit all three.  And because consultants are paid by franchisers, there’s no cost to prospective business owners.

As you enter this exciting new time in your life, work no longer requires an all-or-nothing mentality – you can still enjoy the advantages of retirement while keeping one foot in the business world.  Franchising allows you to build a business of your own and turn your years of experience into a fulfilling second career.


From Country Living Spring Magazine: Business & Finance


DICK MUELLER is a Franchise Advisor with 30 years’ experience helping future franchise owners identify and invest in the right franchise business before they buy the wrong business.  His franchise selection process includes evaluation of business experience and transferable skills, type of business ownership, level of investment and review of all documents in the transaction.  The Franchise Advisor Fee is paid by the Franchisor.  To get started go to or call 636-530-6925.