In the 2010 decade there is a huge generational shift starting to take place. In 2008 the first “Baby Boomer” (born 1946-1964) started collecting Social Security at age 62. At the same time, the United States government has delayed “full” Social Security retirement benefits to age 70 (or beyond, my last statement showed full benefits at age 70). At a recent talk I heard an economist state that 10,000 people a day become eligible for Medicare and this will continue for almost two decades.
That is a lot of people reaching what has traditionally been retirement age. While it has economists, budget analysts and the like scared because of the drain on our unfunded or underfunded Social Security system it should have business buyers jumping for joy. This generation has always been entrepreneurial. In fact, according to Intuit, as of 2009 people age 55-64 had the highest percentage of any 10-year age group starting businesses and the 45-54 age group was right behind them.
This age group has a lot of business owners and even if many of them choose not to opt for a traditional retirement aging issues will force many to sell their business. For years studies have predicted an unprecedented shift of wealth. In 2008 The Wall Street Journal, in an article titled, “Want to Sell a Business? You May Not Be Ready,” by Arden Dale, predicted that from 2008-2018 70% of medium sized businesses will change hands (they didn’t define medium sized). The article also stated that 90% of these businesses are “ill-prepared” for a sale. This is what business buyers like to hear as it often means there is the potential to improve the current operation and immediately increase profits.