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Buying a business a common semi-retirement choice

Senior Businessman

As baby boomers approach or pass retirement age many are buying businesses instead of retiring quietly.

A survey by BusinessesForSale.com has revealed that more than one in four (27%) people using the world's largest marketplace of business opportunities are aged 55 and over.

One survey respondent in this age group said he was "looking for a business to run part-time to help fund my retirement." Another said he wanted "something to occupy my time during semi-retirement."

Jeremy Mandell, Head of Marketing at Dynamis, which runs the website behind the survey, FranchiseSales.co.uk, says: "Far from retiring quietly, many baby boomers still want to work, but want a change of direction.

"However, many just want somewhere to invest their savings as they wind down to retirement. 

Many of the post-war generation now in their late 50s and 60s see buying a business with a proven track record as a safer investment than shares or pension funds. An established business can be a reliable income generator that a manager can run day to day on their behalf."

Buying a business is also a safer investment than starting an enterprise yourself given four in five start-ups fail to reach their fifth birthday.

Says Mandell: "You could argue that a young entrepreneur, with most of his working life ahead of him, will have plenty of time to mould his own business from scratch - and time to make mistakes, time to fail. An older entrepreneur in the twilight of their career will have less patience for the start-up phase and will not want what is likely to be their final career move to fail."

Baby boomers are also cash- and asset-rich; the wealth gap between the young and older generations is as wide as it's ever been. The average budget of prospective buyers below 45 years of age is 55% of that of those aged over 45, £144,000 against £260,000.

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