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Home Based Businesses are not just for mommies anymore…time to tap into a growing trend. Mommies move over…the seniors are here!

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Many people hold the misconception that a home based business is only for women taking care of small children. WRONG!
As a result of the corporate and private employment world’s covert adherence to age discrimination when hiring those over 50, the home based business opportunity market has seen a meteoric rise in popularity. Many active and energetic seniors do not want to, or can't, retire. The fact that mainstream job opportunities are almost non-existent for this segment of the population, forces more and more seniors to seek business opportunities for potential additional income sources.
There are many reasons for this trend. As the stock market remains volatile, unemployment rates continue to increase, medical and prescription costs go haywire, many senior citizens / retirees, are heading back into the workforce, refusing to retire because of financial reasons as well as to offset boredom. Seniors are also living longer*, staying healthier longer and fearful of outliving their money.
*(U.S. Life Expectancy Grows to 77.2 Years March 15, 2003 - Life expectancy hit a new high of 77.2 years in 2001, up from 77 in 2000, and increased for men and women as well as whites and blacks, a new report released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
The government census of 2002** states that the Median 2002 income of households with householders 65 and over, is $23,152 -- statistically unchanged, in real terms, from the previous year. ** (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/001371.html) This statistic leads us to the question…how can they possibly live comfortably on that?
Statistics show that 4.5 million people age 65 and over who are still employed; i.e., a ratio of more than 1-in-8 people in this age group***. (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/aging_population/001122.html)
Another telling statistic as of March 25, 2004 – The percent of seniors who go online has jumped by 47% between 2000 and 2004. In a February 2004 survey, 22% of Americans age 65 or older reported having access to the Internet, up from 15% in 2000. That translates to about 8 million Americans age 65 or older who use the Internet. By contrast, 58% of Americans age 50-64, 75% of 30-49 year-olds, and 77% of 18-29 year-olds currently go online.
Interesting, despite the fact that the popular opinion is that men are more computer literate, mathematical and scientifically oriented, older women have led the charge and the gender ratio among “wired seniors” is now 50/50.
Computer literacy is, in part, responsible for the great numbers of seniors seeking and running home based businesses.
March 22, 2004 - On the heels of AARP research saying older workers are turning to self-employment, a new study says one out of three older workers would continue working longer if their employer offered a phased retirement program…shorter work weeks, flexible hours or the opportunity to try something new -- that would encourage older workers to delay full retirement, according to Watson Wyatt Worldwide. A majority of these workers (58 percent) said they are working in retirement primarily for the income.
"What was once a three-legged stool of individual retirement income is quickly becoming a four-legged stool, with income from wages constituting the fourth leg," noted Mulvey****. "But it is important to note that extra income is not always the key motivator for phasers - many work because they enjoy it." **** (Janemarie Mulvey, assistant director of Watson Wyatt's Research & Information Center and one of the study's authors.)
Unfortunately, there has been a pervasive societal prejudice towards those working from home; many believe that working from home is not a “real” job. Not only are home based businesses for everyone, many are earning more than they would if they had a “real” job. Go for it!

In conclusion, to witness this trend is to realize that those offering opportunities, services and products need to target the senior market. Those planning media, marketing and advertising need to focus on this powerful and ever growing segment of the population.

About the Author

Francine York is the publisher of Modern Opportunity newspaper & website (http://www.modernopportunity.com). Both offer vital business info & are a source of business opportunities, products & services for new entrepreneurs and those wanting to start a business. Ms. York hosts a business opportunity EXPO where exhibitors offer a wide variety of money making opportunities, services & products. For further info, email: fran@modernopportunity.com or call (631) 673-3208.

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