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Baby Boomers Becoming Biz Owners

PHOTO: Encore Entrepreneur mentoring event on Saturday, April 26, at the Radisson Hotel in Whittier. From left to right: Ryan Beckley of Financial Partners Credit Union, Patrick Rodriguez of SBA and Patricia Perez, Executive Council Member for AARP CA. Photo credit: Charee Gillins
PHOTO: Encore Entrepreneur mentoring event on Saturday, April 26, at the Radisson Hotel in Whittier. From left to right: Ryan Beckley of Financial Partners Credit Union, Patrick Rodriguez of SBA and Patricia Perez, Executive Council Member for AARP CA. Photo credit: Charee Gillins
May 1, 2014

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – More and more Baby Boomers are ditching their 9-to-5 jobs and becoming their own boss.

To help make that happen, AARP and the Small Business Administration are matching so-called encore entrepreneurs with mentors who provide counseling and training.

Charee Gillins, associate state director of communications with AARP California, says starting a small business is a great way for many older Californians to generate income after retirement or to turn a passion into a paycheck.

"They bring a lifetime of experience and knowledge gained from their careers,” she adds. “They have savings that they can tap into.

“So, it's a great career option if you're looking to boost your income or create jobs, but what's key is getting connected to the right support and training and mentoring. "

A recent AARP survey found 15 percent of workers between the ages of 45 and 74 are self-employed. Plus, another 13 percent are planning to start a business once they retire.

Gillins says small business owners who get long-term counseling may see bigger sales, hire more workers and their businesses have more longevity.

Gillins says older business owners are a growing trend with an estimated 7.4 million self-employed Americans over age 50.

She says nearly 200 people attended an Encore Entrepreneur mentoring event this past weekend in Whittier.

"They learned about everything from starting and managing your own business, to getting capital, to using technology that you can use to process transactions,” she explains. “They also heard about the importance of social media because without it you're invisible.”

Gillins says Californians looking to start their own business can find more information and resources online at AARP.org/startabusiness.



Lori Abbott, Public News Service - CA