The adage that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks doesn’t seem to apply to mature UK entrepreneurs.
According to charity Age UK, the number of self-employed workers over 65 has doubled in the last five years.
And in March 2018, The Telegraph reported that one in six new British businesses are set up by over 50s, and firms started by older entrepreneurs have a 70 per cent chance of lasting the first five years, compared to 28 per cent for younger bosses.
If you’re leaving a salaried job because it’s feeling stale or are approaching redundancy or planned retirement, you might need some advice on becoming your own boss.
So without further ado, here are a few ideas on how to upskill and secure finance as a midlife entrepreneur.
Before 2015, British retirees could only access 25 per cent of their pensions as a tax-free lump sum and had to use what was left to purchase an annuity — a financial instrument that pays a guaranteed income each year.
But in the Spring budget that year, then-Chancellor George Osbourne announced new Pension Freedoms which meant that anyone aged 55 and over could access the entire amount in one go, paying no tax whatsoever on the first 25 per cent, with the remainder taxed at income tax rate as if it were a salary.
If you meet the criteria above, some of the cash from your pension could be used to fast-track your startup plans, but it’s wise to talk to an independent financial advisor before making this move.
Read this advice on pension freedoms from Which? to make an informed choice.
If you’re a mature person lacking the savings to launch your own business, another way to raise funds is releasing some of the cash tied up in the value of your home.
This process is called equity release and allows over-55s to release a significant slice of cash without having to sell their home.
The most common approach is a lifetime mortgage — this is effectively a loan that in many cases equates to 60 per cent of the value of your property. There are no repayments made while you’re alive, instead, the interest rolls up and is repaid when your home is sold once you pass away.
Finally, if you haven’t worked for yourself before, studying part-time online for a qualification like an enterprise-focused MBA can equip you with the latest leadership, marketing and financial skills required to start and sustain a business.
And studying remotely means you don’t need to commit to a campus course to graduate with a vocational higher education qualification.
Browse the course choices at Anglia Ruskin Distance Learning to decide whether a flexible degree that lets you study when it suits can help progress your startup plans.
The tips above should help you raise some cash and ready yourself for an exciting new career phase.
Have you started a business in your 50s? Share your thoughts in the comments section.