The USA Today is reporting that 5.6 million workers age 50 and older are now self-employed. This marks a 23% increase from the number of self-employed over 50 year olds in 1990.
The article cites numerous factors for this increase in entrepreneurship amongst the over 50 population. One of the major factors is corporate layoffs and fear of corporate layoffs. These entrepreneurs realize that it is difficult for an over 50 employee to find new employment so they decide to go into business for themselves to eliminate the risks associated with layoffs. Older workers also tend to start up their own business to create flexibility in their schedules to allow time for more personal time. Increase advances in health care also allow more Americans over 50 to enter the world of self-employment since the average life expectancy and the average healthy and fully functioning life expectancy for the average American has greatly increased over the past 50 years.