Jules Lichtenstein

In today’s day and age, with the young entrepreneurs of Spotify and Instagram, many assume starting a business is for the younger generation. Some believe their new ideas and social media savvy-nature provide the perfect combination for entrepreneurship.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, baby boomers are more likely than millennials to own and operate a business. In 2014, 14% of 55- to 59-year-olds were self-employed compared to about 4% of those aged 25 to 29, a trend gap which has persisted for at least the last quarter century. In fact, the boomers between the ages of 50 and 68 are likely to be America’s major entrepreneurial engine.

For example, rates of self-employment increase with age, and the self-employed are far more likely to be middle aged or older; over 62% are at least 45 years old. Some of these workers have been self-employed for much or all of their working lives while others have transitioned to self-employment later in their careers, often as a way of moving into retirement.

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