Updated: Nov 6, 2022
According to a May 11, 2022, article published by CNBC, an Edward Jones and Age Wave study which polled 11,000 adults in January and February of this year, reported that 70% of Americans want to live until they are 100 years of age. This is, despite the fact, that many people fear not having sufficient financial resources to care for themselves in the event of failing health or merely living to advanced years.
These latter years represent something different to the present Baby Boomer generation.
The former notion of retirement is changing as people enter a new chapter in their life.
I’ve often referred to these later years, The Elderhood years as “The Third Act”, extending from Childhood, which includes adolescence as the first act of life, and the Adulthood or mature years as the second act. These years represent a change from what it meant to previous generations which was a time to relax and enjoy the fruits of years of labor.
Though life expectancy dropped in 2020 by approximately 1.7 years to age 77, which is likely primarily related to COVID, in the coming years it’s expected to rise again with life expectancy again increasing by five or ten years.
But, as we are living longer, it’s no secret that our health and well-being have not necessarily kept pace: While there are many studies through the years that attest to this fact, this article states that adults spend 12 or more years experiencing physical, medical, or cognitive challenges and at least 88% of adults over the age of 65 are dealing with some serious medical condition. In addition, there are reports that those considered disadvantaged members of our society experience poor health for longer periods of time than those at the upper economic strata.
As discouraging as all of this appears, I contend it is only discouraging if you read the words and let them pass by without taking any action. I suggest if you MIND reading all of this, MAKE it MATTER!!! Crisis management in any arena is not the idea time for decision making. Therefore, the place to begin is within, and the best time to begin is NOW!!! NOW is irrespective of Age! It a time to embrace Mindful Longevity and Develop your Personalized Longevity Plan.
What can we do so we are not merely living longer but, living better? This includes making choices that enhance healthful longevity: Live and Plan by Choice: Not By Crisis.
There are 4 areas that are traditionally addressed as important for planning for the elderhood years. Two of these include finances and family. This article will address one of those areas: we purpose. A subsequent post will address health.
Finding Your Purpose as an Entrepreneur
According to the PRNewswire in June 2021, even though adults age 55 and above made up 21% of the U.S. population, in 2019 they owned a disproportionately high number of small businesses: 50.9%.
The Kauffman Foundation research found that more than 25% of new entrepreneurs were between 55-64, representing an increase from 15% in 1996. Furthermore, it found that older entrepreneurs remain in business longer than those who are younger. At five years in business, 70 percent of business ventures created by older adults are still in business as compared to 28% of those started by those who are younger adults.
In a USA Article in Money, Mary Padilla , in joint collaboration with ‘The 19th”, writes about Mary Rawles, a former teacher living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She launched her own business at age 73, providing online workout classes and weight-loss support. Rawles said,
“I used to think of aging as a period of decline,” “For me, so far, the 70s are the most exciting decade I’ve lived. I have more time because I’m not raising kids and I’m retired, so I have a little bit of economic security. Because of that, it’s a time where I can really grow.”
Angel Cornelius who started the beauty line Maison 276 in her home after a successful career in real estate said, “We older women are really tough, extremely competent and definitely innovative because there’s so much we want to see in the word that doesn’t exist. She continued, “I consider my age a strength, because I understand the maturing process, what women need, how we want to be spoken to and how we want to be viewed,”.
Lisa Marrone, the co-founder of Revel, an online community for women who are 50 years and above, said she founded the company in 2019 because “that demographic is often viewed as “less than” and made to feel invisible.”
Many adults in their elderhood years are choosing this time to pursue hobbies, passions, and interests for which they did not have time during their earlier years.
Over the past several years, the number of women-owned businesses climbed to nearly 13 million, representing 42% of all businesses in the U.S. According to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Business Report, which bases its findings on U.S. census data, they also grew at double the rate of all U.S. businesses.
A 2020 published report based on research conducted from across the pond corroborated the numbers from the U.S. The researchers found that entrepreneurial activity increased among older people. When older adults were questioned about the reasons they wanted to start a business in their later years, two times more women than said they wanted to realize “a long-held ambition.”
A Los Angeles Daily News article in February 2020 found that media reinforces long held ageist beliefs about tech-savvy entrepreneurs who are often characterized as being in their early 20s. However, the statistics do not support this way of thinking. The Kauffman Index of Startup Activity reports that the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. is among adults ages 55 to 64. Furthermore, this has been the trend for the past 15 years according to Elizabeth Isele, CEO of the Global Institute for Experienced Entrepreneurship.
Merrill Lynch found that people who did not find retirement appealing were three times more likely to become entrepreneurs and small business owners than younger people.
AARP has conducted research to determine the important reasons both men and women become entrepreneurs. For men, among the highest priority was to become their own boss, while for women, among highly ranked reasons was pursuing life-long passion.
Beyond any study, it makes sense that an experienced, older adult can apply their life work, experience and wisdom and have done so in every area imaginable.
Therefore, when thinking about the senior demographic, this should dispel some ageist attitudes, their ability, and their purpose. Senior Entrepreneurship is the term that has been coined as Senior Entrepreneurs are making an important economic contribution as to our society.
Read my chapter in the book Think Big, released Tuesday May 17, 2022, which became an Amazon Best Seller in 22 categories!!! http://LessonsFromThinkBig.com
To find out more about Mindful Longevity Plans and Developing your own Personalized Plan
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Read more about the screenplay for a film representing the importance older adults represent in our country, in our communities, and in our lives, and how you can donate to bring this importance topic to the screen