We have been conditioned for centuries in believing that retirement is the time to hang our boots and lead a quiet life preferably playing with the grandchildren and maintaining the garden.
But the world has changed; our believes must also change.
For a start, we are living much longer than before. Where previously people used to live a maximum five to ten years after retirement, nowadays we easily reach the late eighties and even late nineties before it is time to say goodbye to this world. Which means having thirty-plus years in our hands to do something with.
Seems like humans are the only animals who retire in their old age.
Try selling the concept of retirement to a humpback in her sixties (in whale years of course) to give up 5000 kms journey back to Antarctica each year and stay in the warm pacific waters just because she is too old. She will wack her barnacle-encrusted tail at you and will tell you to get out of her way.
Becoming an entrepreneur in your sixties might seem like a crazy idea but it is the best time to succeed than in your thirties and forties.
Here are five reasons why.
Life Experiences: You have two to three decades of life experiences to draw from in addition to enthusiasm. Insights drawn from life’s trials and lessons learned from mistakes made have equipped you with wisdom that will help you succeed in any endeavor you wish to pursue. And you have better habits cultivated over decades than any young entrepreneurs which more than compensate for the youthful energy.
Financial Stability: You face less financial risk than in your younger years Children have grown up and are not financially dependent on you. You perhaps outrightly own your house or have equity in it. And you might have some savings and some superannuation accumulated over the years. All this means that you are in a much better position to set yourself up as an entrepreneur.
Confidence: Being in your fifties and sixties means that you have been through a lot of life including some tough times and you have come on the other side somewhat unscathed. Those experiences have given you confidence that you won’t be knocked about by the obstacles easily. You are better equipped to find your way either through or around difficulties as they present themselves.
Attitude: Fifties and sixties is a great age. It is during these years you develop ‘I-don’t-care-what-people-think’ attitude which enhances your productivity and increases your chances to succeed many folds. You also develop the quality of ‘stickiness,’ something our younger counterparts will take decades to develop. That puts you on the front foot already.
Your Network: You have an amazing network of people around you. They have different skills and expertise you can draw on and guess what, they are in the same age group as you are which means like you they now have fewer responsibilities and more time to give you a hand should you need one. And they are always willing to give you free advice.
We are the first generation in history, for whom the retirement years present the opportunity to live the life we wanted to live.
We have nothing to lose.
We know our values and we have figured out our own unique philosophies. They provide the solid ground on which to build our enterprises.
As a middle-aged entrepreneur, we don’t just want to make money; we want to make a difference. Never before in our lives, were we in a position to do so.
It will be such a waste not to do use this opportunity to leave a mark.