Tags: Older | workers | own | businesses

AARP Survey: Many Older Workers Start Their Own Businesses, Thrive

By Dan Weil   |   Friday, 09 Aug 2013 07:49 AM

You're never too old to be a successful entrepreneur.

A recent survey by AARP shows that 10 percent of workers aged 45 to 74 plan on creating their own business, and 15 percent already have done so, CNBC reports.

Self-employed workers in their 40s or 50s on average spend almost 20 years in that capacity, according to the study.

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A variety of factors cause older workers to start their own businesses, ranging from job losses to not being ready to completely stop working in their retirement years, the report says.

So what kind of businesses do elder workers set up for themselves?

"What we see is that most of the individuals that start businesses later in life represent professional services, whether it be lawyers or accountants, data processing," says Jane Setzfand, vice president for financial security at AARP, according to CNBC.

Apparently the businesses formed by older workers are performing well. Almost three-quarters of older self-employed workers surveyed by AARP said their businesses were profitable in 2011.

"Once you have the life experience, you probably have a shorter pathway to being successful," Setzfand notes, according to CNBC.

Meanwhile, workers aged 65 or older are more productive and reliable than their younger cohorts are, according to a study from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin published in the journal Psychological Science.

"Analyses indicate that the older adults' higher consistency is due to learned strategies to solve the task, a constantly high motivation level, as well as a balanced daily routine and stable mood," said Dr. Florian Schmiedek of the Institute.

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