Entrepreneurs never say die

The headline reads “Small Business Owners Fear Being Unable to Retire.” But according to a survey done last year by the financial services industry, the opposite may be true.

Nearly two-thirds of small business owners fear outliving the money they need to retire, according to a poll from the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute. Yet many of the 1,433 small business owners surveyed expect to live well into their retirement years, with one in three saying they plan to retire after age 70. Nearly one in seven plan to work part-time in retirement while 10 percent expect to work full-time.

“In many cases, small business owners keep working because they love what they are doing and don’t see the point of retiring,” said Patricia G. Greene, a professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College. “It’s hard for many of them to think what life would be like without (running) the business.”

Sarasota, Florida entrepreneur Martha Nikla agrees. The jewelry designer and owner of Beauty & the Beads has watched too many retirees fade with their careers.

“My mother and many of her friends, wealthy Sarasota retirees, regretted giving up their entrepreneurial businesses and longed to be ‘in the mix.’ According to them, working provided a reason to get up in the morning, a structure to the day, a sense of accomplishment, a way to remain current with technology and societal sensibilities, and was life extending. Playing bridge and eating rubber chicken lunches at the club proved to be a very hollow experience for many of these elderly ladies . . . so much energy and experience untapped. Their advice: never retire, never give up your business.”