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The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work, and Living by Mark Miller

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Chapter 14. Fifty-Plus Entrepreneurs Launching a Lifestyle Business

Meet the new boss: you.

Many baby boomers intend to keep working past traditional retirement age. Surveys show that about 58 million boomers plan to stay in the workforce well into their sixties. Employers won't accommodate all of them, considering the state of the economy and attitudes toward older workers. And many will want to leave the corporate world anyway because of burnout or an impulse to run their own show.

All those factors will drive a major trend toward boomer entrepreneurship in the years ahead. For some, that will mean launching full-scale businesses with partners, investors and employees, office space, and all of the accompanying headaches. But far more will start what Mary Furlong calls "lifestyle businesses."

Furlong is one of the country's leading trend watchers on marketing, baby boomers, and the senior market. Her first venture in this market was SeniorNet, a not-for-profit organization she started in 1986 dedicated to helping people 50 and older master computers and—later—the Internet. She followed that up in 1996 with ThirdAge, one of the first online communities for older Americans. She has taught entrepreneur-ship at Santa Clara University in the Silicon Valley and runs a consulting firm focused on the boomer and senior markets.

Furlong believes boomers will create a wave of start-ups in the coming years—but says many will be small ventures that allow their owners to mix work, play, and other ...

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