The nature of work continues to change, and many people find it necessary to work for a living for extended periods. Older workers are increasingly interested in self-employment as a way to generate income and stay connected as they age while achieving some flexibility with scheduling and perhaps pursuing new interests. Self-employment may also be the only option for older workers who cannot find a job. Self-employment takes many forms including side gigs, freelancing, contracted services, or starting a small business or microbusiness. However, moving into self-employment at an older age can be difficult and risky. If it involves spending savings or pension distributions to launch a new project, it can be more so. Older workers need assistance as well as greater access to credit if their entry into self-employment is to succeed.




Barriers to self-employment

Federal and state policymakers should work to eliminate barriers to self-employment. These include lack of access to capital, technical assistance, and training.

The Small Business Administration and the departments of Labor and Commerce should coordinate programs designed to assist individuals in their efforts to become self-employed.