The fact that we’re living longer is welcome news, but many boomers might be wondering if they’ll have enough income to enjoy an extended retirement. You can help them open the door to some surprising opportunities.

What if more retirees could work on their own terms, generate a consistent source of income and achieve a sense of personal fulfilment? “Boomerpreneurs” are doing just that, by creating small businesses that capitalize on their skills and interests.

Working longer can be one option for clients who may have an undersized retirement portfolio, but the thought of staying in the office or their current career might be turning your clients off. You can help them think outside the box and adopt a “new” retirement plan—one that turns them into an entrepreneur, capitalizing on their talents and hobbies as revenue sources.

A recent Statistics Canada survey tells us that one in four adults aged 65 to 69 is employed. That’s up five per cent since 2008.1 And according to the survey, 41 per cent of boomers who continue to work on a part-time basis are probably doing so to combine income from pensions and employment.

If many of your clients have previous skills, experiences and connections that stem from personal interests, they can put their hobbies to work by channelling their expertise directly into a new business plan.

Help your clients consider unique options such as:

  • teaching others to cook or play an instrument,
  • lecturing at a local college,
  • selling a product or craft, presenting how-to seminars, and
  • appraising or fixing collectibles or memorabilia.

If clients are intrigued by the idea of starting a new business venture, encourage them to do some initial research, evaluate whether a market exists for the service, devise a detailed business plan and be prepared for some start-up costs.

Already the “Boomerpreneur” phenomenon is beginning to gain traction. An analysis by Industry Canada reveals that 40 per cent of workers over 65 are self-employed, and over the past ten years that number has jumped by 17 per cent. If the trend continues more Boomers will be looking for guidance from a trusted advisor to realize their self-employment dreams.

You can help clients identify income gaps between the level of profits required to sustain the business and what’s needed to supplement retirement earnings. Depending on the type of business and the product or service it provides, government funding and grants can help kick start the venture. The Canada Business Network Grants and Financing site is a good place to start. A plus is that if clients are receiving retirement benefits from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and they keep working, they could be eligible to receive a Post-Retirement Benefit from the CPP for every additional year of work they perform.

Whether clients want or need to find additional income sources in retirement, sometimes the simplest or most accessible answer is overlooked. If hobbies are things your clients choose to do and are typically good at, it might be time to consider becoming a “Boomerpreneur.”

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1 Aneta Bonikowska and Grant Schellenberg. “Employment Transitions Among Older Workers Leaving Long-term Jobs: Evidence from Administrative Data.” Statistics Canada. Ottawa: Social Analysis Division. (January 2014)