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Caution is best for boomer businesses


Boomers are leaving their jobs to start their own small businesses in record numbers. Equipped with decades of work experience, considerable personal assets and the patience that comes with maturity, boomers make excellent entrepreneurs.

If you’re drawn to the idea of running your own business, pay attention to these important issues:

– Get your family onboard. Boomers typically start their businesses after taking early retirement from their jobs. However, considering the sacrifices your family members may have made to get you to retirement age, they might not be so thrilled at the prospect of you launching another career. Openly discuss your interest in starting a small business and make it a family decision.

– Watch for strings attached to severance pay. By starting a business, you could risk losing your severance or violate your Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. Both are intended to supply you with an income while you look for employment. Be sure to speak with a legal professional about such conditions attached to severance pay before you agree to any terms with your soon-to-be-former employer. Likewise, contact Human Resources and Social Development Canada to find out what you can and can’t do when receiving government payments

– Know how much work you want. A new business may start off small and part time, but it can easily get away from you and become full time. Decide now how much time you want to work each week, set reasonable hours and be sure to put other life priorities — like family time, vacations and community obligations — first.