BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

August 01, 2011 09:00 ET

Boomers Turn to Boomerpreneurs: BMO

BMO offers financial advice to "Boomerpreneurs" launching new businesses

- More than half of boomers start their own businesses because they want to work for themselves, not because of need

- The number of self-employed Canadians aged 55 years and older doubled between 1990 and 2008

- The most commonly cited sources for funding a new business are withdrawals from personal savings or loans

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 1, 2011) - Canadian Boomers will be making the most of their down time, with millions expected to launch "semi-retirement" businesses as their careers wind down, according to a report from the BMO Retirement Institute.

The report found the following:

  • More than half (52 per cent) of Boomers surveyed are drawn to entrepreneurial activity because they like the idea of working for themselves.
  • Only 11 per cent cited job loss as the reason for launching a new company.
  • The most commonly cited source for funding for Boomers looking to start a business is a withdrawal from personal savings (42 per cent); taking out a loan follows at 21 per cent.

"For an increasing number of Canadians, retirement isn't about a definitive shift from work to leisure," said Tina Di Vito, Head, BMO Retirement Institute. "Rather, it's more of an extended transition that involves a combination of both."

This "Boomerpreneur" trend, where Canadians on the cusp of retirement are looking to realize their self-employment dreams, is expected to grow as Boomers start to retire in greater numbers over the next few years. However, those considering it should understand that entrepreneurship involves an enormous financial commitment that is best managed with the assistance of an experienced financial professional.

This year, the first of the Boomers became eligible for retirement (65 years old). As Canadians start to retire in greater numbers, the "Boomerpreneur" phenomenon could lead to Canada experiencing a surge of new businesses that, planned and managed prudently, should provide a positive economic boost in the long-term. Conversely, the lack of sufficient preparation could have an overall negative effect on the economy and the business owner.

BMO's Tina Di Vito offers the following advice to Boomerpreneurs-to-be:

  • Do your research – Take advantage of your resources to learn all you need to know to set up your company. This includes gaining industry insight, arranging a new phone number, deciding whether or not to incorporate the business and looking into the potential tax implications.
  • Consider the pros and cons – Think carefully about why you want to start your own business. Being your own boss can offer some flexibility. However, other sacrifices, such as longer hours and a possible decrease in cash flow, may be necessary to ensure your success.
  • Develop a plan – Stress-test your idea and research your marketplace, including what products and services you will be offering, their appropriate price point(s), who your potential customers are and what your sales targets will need to be to cover your costs. Keep your end goal in mind as you build your company and maintain a positive, yet realistic, outlook as you progress.
  • Seek outside advice – Speak to an accountant and a small business banker. Financial specialists can provide insight into setting up your company, market competition, personal and business capital and how it may change over time.

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