Boomers pining not for retirement, but to start new business: survey

OTTAWA – A new survey suggests baby boomers have one more career move in them before they retire — they want to run their own business first.

The TD Canada Trust survey released Tuesday found 54 per cent of boomers polled have or are considering starting a firm, whether it’s consulting, buying into a franchise or operating a specialty firm.

TD Canada Trust says the top reasons respondents gave include the benefits of being their own boss and the sense of personal accomplishment a new venture would bring.

Their top concerns include the challenge of obtaining credit and fears of taking on more debt, along with whether they would be successful.

The data is consistent with a recent report from CIBC that found a record number of Canadians had begun their own business over the past two years, with those over 50 responsible for about a third of the new enterprises.

“There are many benefits to being a small business owner, and this is clearly on the minds of boomers across the country,” Dan Demers, vice-president of TD Canada Trust, said in a release.

“While thorough planning, access to finances, hard work and passion are a must for all business owners, there are specific considerations boomers should think about before starting a small business at this stage in their life.”

Boomers looking to become business owners need to consider their personal finances, focus on obtaining financing, make a business plan, and plan for eventual retirement — namely, form a succession plan for the business they’re starting, added Demers.

Of the boomers polled, 15 per cent had started their own business while 39 per cent said they have considered doing so.

The online survey of 1,000 Canadians 18 years or older included 426 people considered to be part of the baby boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964.