Older Americans shun retirement to establish startups- report

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Jan 08, 2014 03:48 AM EST

An increasing number of older Americans are saying no to retirement to start companies of their own, Bloomberg reported. The report said older Americans are establishing their own startups for various reasons, including finding that job opportunities have become limited after they turn 55, realizing that they don't have sufficient savings for a comfortable retirement or wanting to just work for themselves.

According to the research of Kauffman Foundation, people aged 55 to 64 started 23.4% of companies in 2012. This was an increase from the 14.3% of new entrepreneurs in 1996.

Physical Therapist Gary Kinsey started North Florida Medical Solutions Inc, a company that manufactures medical devices, when he was 65 years old. He said "It is a huge risk. I have sunk everything I have into it the last two years. I have put myself out on the line."

Kauffman Foundation Vice President of Research and Policy Dane Stangler said many people are not yet prepared to retire. People now are living healthier, longer lives and they are seeking a way to earn main income or supplementary income, Stangler added.

Although Facebook was begun by Mark Zuckerberg when he was still a Harvard college student, 59-year old Jeff Mariola, who founded Chicago-based Digital BrandWorks in October, believes that managers with experience may be ready to manage startups. Mariola's company now has 18 employees and looks forward to employing 150 people in four years.

Mariola told Bloomberg that he is using the experience he gained as Ambius President where he ran a unit with over 1,200 employees. A division of Rentokil Initial, a facilities manager, Ambius is a provider of plants and art to offices. Mariola said, "Having experience is critical. Banks are generally conservative and want to be sure management teams understand cash flow and balance sheets, the things that underpin a business."

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