Tips For Late-Career Entrepreneurs (For- or Non-Profit)

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If the idea of retirement sounds to you like a one-way ticket to boredom, you’d to well to read personal finance writer Kerry Hannon’s latest group of articles for Forbes. Hannon is one of 16 writers selected from both the mainstream and for the 2012 MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellowships, a program of New America Media and the Gerontological Society of America.

In her latest fellowship article, Hannon, author most recently of What’s Next? Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job (Chronicle Books, 2010), profiles Randal Charlton, 71, a $100,000 winner of a 2011 Purpose Prize for older social entrepreneurs, given annually by Civic Ventures and sponsored by The Atlantic Philanthropies and John Templeton Foundation.

Recent research by Civic Ventures, Hannon reports, shows that about 25 million people – one in four Americans ages 44-70 – are interested in starting businesses or nonprofit ventures in the next five to 10 years.

Charlton, who was a commercial entrepreneur during his career, earned his Purpose Prize by running Wayne State University’s business incubator TechTown from 2007-2011. He plans top use his prize to develop a new arm of TechTown called BOOM! The New Economy. A collaboration with a collaboration between AARP Michigan and several foundations, BOOM! aims to help adults 50-plus in southeast Michigan transition to new careers, entrepreneurship and volunteer service.

Hannon uses Charlton’s example to illustrate six “crucial lessons that can help someone who wants to start his or her own business.” For instance, she advises, “De-risk your personal life.” That is, “Stress in your personal financial life ruins your ability to make good business decisions. You can’t be nimble.” In that connection, Hannon urges, “Don’t bet your retirement money.” Check out the article to read her six points in full.

For her MetLife Fellowship, Hannon is working on an in-depth article on how older workers are coping with and overcoming the barriers of age discrimination in the workplace.

In addition, Hannon, who also write regularly for AARP, recently filed the following columns at Forbes:

“Eying a Late-Career Change? You've Got Company”

• “Want to Star Your Own Business; Get a Business Mentor”

“How to Prepare for Non-Profit Work”

“A Great Way for Boomers to Prepare for Nonprofit Work”