Women in the United States between the ages of 47 and 65 are reaching retirement age and are facing an unstable world of retirement in regard to dwindling income sources (Gualco, 2012). In addition, corporations are downsizing their employees, and the population of Baby Boomer women is the biggest group of people affected by this forced early exit from the work environment (Brown, 2006).Close to 47% of these women choose entrepreneurship as their next career option (Scales,2011,p.39).In this paper, we investigate quantitatively, the problems that Baby Boomer women are likely to face when transitioning to entrepreneurship and the strategies that they need to employ in order to counteract the effects of the problems.The study involves a qualitative study of women between the ages of 47 and 65 who have either been removed from a company either voluntarily or involuntarily and are starting a business venture of their own choice. The importance of this study is to provide organizations with a clearer view of the retirement issues that Baby Boomer women are facing as they transition to their next and probably final careers. Other than these, the paper seeks to specifically explore how the retired Baby Boomers would finance the rest of their life as well as whether they can single-handedly entrepreneurial activities, the individuals who will help them in their businesses as well as the moves that they would take to counter the demands of business growth and expansion. This is inline with the following observations;
1. How will the retired Baby Boomer finance the remainder of his/her life?
Under the normal circumstances, the Baby Boomers are expected at retirement to relinquish their steady stream of income and then enter into a phase where they mostly rely on the assets that they had accumulated in financing the rest of their lives. However there are those who never accumulated any assets and have to rely on their pensions or resort to entrepreneurship as a way of financing the rest of their lives. This paper seeks to demystify the realities and myths associated with Baby Boomer financing.
2. Can this business be organized by one person? Who will help the business owner do the work? What happens when the business grows?
This question is informed by the observation that at retirement age, most Baby Boomers are not very organized or committed in the same manner that they were when they wore still young and active in employment. This paper therefore seeks to find out how they organize their entrepreneurial activities, who helps them in their work as well as what happens when their businesses expand.
Background of the Problem
Baby Boomers are faced with several challenges in their efforts to venture into entrepreneurship. From a recent survey done on American women, most of them between ages 47 to 65 are starting businesses at a faster rate than any other age group. This trend is due to their opinion on retirement. The study also indicated that 63% of non-retired adults were more interested in working until their retirement because they felt more satisfied in their work environment. A majority of Baby Boomers have the desire to have an active and full lives and that's why they are chose to work more years as opposed to retiring early (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010). The main problem therefore, arises when their working/service years are over. Most of them find themselves with the challenge of starting a business due to various reasons.
Part of the challenges that they face arises from their knowledge in the customary duties they used over the years. Routines can bring difficulties especially when they have to change from what they are specialized in to what they hardly know anything about.
They are also faced with limited experience in business management (Scales,2011). The working style of these women is significantly different from what is expected of an entrepreneur. Baby Boomer women are used to a working style where they receive their tasks from their supervisors, they follow the established procedures, and they have clear objectives and activities they must perform. Baby Boomer also used to work in stable environments (Wolfe, 2011).
The environment that entrepreneurs work in is quite unstable and characterized by a series of modifications determined by several environmental factors. In addition to this, Baby Boomer women who start their own business must perform several tasks. They must work on the management of the relationship with customers, they also must find and relate with suppliers, they must manage business processes, and often nearly every other element in the business process (Scales,2011). Due to their low experiences in starting and running the business, they eventually find these tasks difficult while trying to keep their businesses afloat.
According to Nielsen (2009) close to 25% of Baby Boomers have little or no savings or investment. Their household income is also expected to reduce over the next ten years. This means that individuals in this category have to rely on their little pension money. This makes their limits their wish or acts to engage in entrepreneurial activities.
The retirement phase of the Baby Boom generation is almost at its peak and since a lot of the economic and social developments in the United States can be attributed directly to the efforts of Baby Boomers, their retirement is likely to affect the nation's economic development. The most of the effects will be felt on the stocks' performance as well as other assets within the market (Warren, 2008).
Research indicated that more than half of the Baby Boomers on retirement are likely to receive their income from private pensions, which is slightly more than an average income received by non-boomers but this income is likely to fall as the retirees' age because of lack of protection against inflation in private pension plans (Macunovich,2000,p.7). Many Baby Boomers have underestimated their longevity in saving for their retirement hence this may have a great impact in their investment plans to start a business (Wheil, 2005).
Retirement of the Baby Boomers is unlikely to lead to a market (financial markets) meltdown since most of them will not be in a financial situation, which will not force them to sell any of their property. This is because most of them have fewer assets to sell and the wealthy minority is likely to sell a small amount. Most of them are likely to prefer to spend their pension money slowly as opposed to investing it, hence they will not see the need to sell any asset (Wheil, 2005).
The postwar period and its necessities caused the involvement of members of this generation on economic reforms, social developments on a national level, and improvements in various fields with great impact on an international scale (Stallcop, 2009). The characteristics of Baby Boomers combined with the necessities of the period that followed the war have led to the development of most business and financial sectors in the United States (Longino, 2005)
Baby Boomers and their retirement will most likely affects multiple fields at various levels-- On a public scale, the pension funds and the health care funds. It is also expected that the GDP could reduce as a result of the retirement of a large number of Baby Boomers. In addition to this, the retirement process also affects the private sector (Moore & Tomic, 2007). In this regard, the effects are in accordance with the different retirement strategies of Baby Boomers, in that with their retirement packages and a lot of time in their hands, most of them are able to travel for fun. This translates that travel agencies can increase their profits by addressing this audience. Other Baby Boomers plan to start their own businesses, which is likely to increase competition in different business fields (Cuizon, 2009).
Statement of Purpose
The purpose of this study is to identify succinctly the specific problems that affect the Baby Boomer women in their effort of establishing a business. It uses qualitative approaches to acquire relevant data to be used in the study. The research's design consists of collecting information on the demographics of women in the Baby Boomer generation. This is in order to determine whether this population segment is justified in relation to their economic status. The data will be collected from face-to-face interviews with members of this category. In addition to this, research is based on focus group interviews that are intended to identify and discuss the perceptions of the studied category.
A self-perception survey using quantitative methods of female Baby Boomer skillset vs. those noted in a different study that are needed to start a business is to be employed. More specifically the variables being used will be quantified and evaluated in a similar way that Snoke (2011) did in his study on baby Boomers financial security.
The variables of this research are represented by women in the Baby Boomer generation, and the different types of retirement. The sample population group is represented by females in the Baby Boomer generation…