Taxbriefs Commentary Library

Over 50 and starting up

Editorial Team, 16 Feb 2017


The job market can be a tricky place for people in their 50s as companies focus on their bottom line and hire cheaper (read younger) employees above the more expensive - and more experienced 50-somethings.

However, companies are missing a trick. 50-somethings are in their prime and they're fighting back - by starting their own businesses. The growth in self-employment since 2000 has been fuelled by those over 50 who have been finding it increasingly difficult to secure full time work. According to ONS data, there were 4.6 million self-employed people in the UK at the end of 2015, and the over-50s account for 43% of those starting their own businesses. But how many of the employed workforce are over 50? Less than a third.

Pensions freedoms enabling people to access their retirement funds from 55 and increasing transfer valuations on final-salary schemes have made it possible for people to fund a business venture - perhaps doing something they're truly passionate about. Another route to funding a start-up is through a redundancy pay-out, or inheritance. Here's a positive statistic: businesses set up by the over-50s are more likely to still be trading five years later than those created by younger people.

A combination of experience, talent, enthusiasm, and financial firepower is a heady mix - so keep an eye on the "olderpreneurs" - they could be your next client!


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