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Inflation, Economy Impacting Retirement Plans, Sparking Increase in Boomer Franchisees

As inflation and rising living costs negatively impact seniors’ retirement plans, many are putting off retirement or going back to work. They’re finding opportunities in franchising.

Inflation and the rising cost of living have put a strain on many seniors living on fixed incomes and boomers approaching retirement. According to a recent survey, roughly 50% of Gen X-ers say they are not financially prepared to look after their aging boomer parents if they had to right now. 

Many boomers aren’t allowing it to come to that. A recent report from AARP, citing data from Indeed, found that 1.7 million Americans who retired a year earlier have returned to the workforce, which accounts for just over 3% of all retirees. At the same time, many are putting off retirement to continue earning and protect the wealth they’ve built, hoping they can still one day live the retirement they dreamed of.

Many boomers and retirees — whether forced to because of the current economy or because they simply want to continue working — are finding new opportunities in franchising.

Terry and Suzanne Wilk — both either approaching or in their 70s — signed a franchise agreement last November with Seniors Helping Seniors, a franchise that employs senior caregivers to provide in-home care for other seniors, after Suzanne struggled to care for her mother, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

“When I mentioned this experience to our franchise consultant,” said Suzanne, “she suggested that we consider a franchise in the senior care industry. She suggested several, and after conducting some initial due diligence, we decided to pursue Seniors Helping Seniors.”

“After watching my wife struggle to care for her mother without any reprieve, and since then, listening more carefully to others describing similar circumstances, I realized that a need for such care is all around us,” added Terry. “Also, as we investigated Seniors Helping Seniors, we learned that 10,000 people turn 65 every day in the United States. Not only was the need great today, but there will be an incredibly growing demand for high-quality senior services in the future.”

There are a variety of reasons that some entrepreneurs pursue franchising later in life. For the Wilks, it was a combination of opportunity and impact. For Kurt and Jen FehrenbachHounds Town USA franchisees from New Orleans, La., it was a culmination of events that made them realize it was time for them to pursue something they’d always wanted.

I’ve worked in the electrical technology industry for years,” said Kurt, 61. “I went from being a technician to a software engineer, and then I became the director of security at a security company. When COVID hit, they downsized. That’s when Jen and I made the decision to finally open our own business and work together.”

“When we got married, I think we always knew the game plan was to go into business together,” added Jen, 48. “Choosing a franchise made sense to us because we knew we would have the support of people who knew a proven process to success.”

While financial struggles, life events, personal history and sheer opportunity often lead boomers, retirees and older entrepreneurs to franchise ownership, sometimes it’s simply the desire to continue their work making a positive impact.

Tina Herrera, 58, a Sylvan Learning* franchisee in Las Vegas, Nev., is a prime example.

“I love the interaction and great energy of working with young people,” said Hererra. “Becoming a franchise owner made sense because, having been employed with Sylvan Learning for 10 years, I had a very good idea of what the ‘next step’ of transitioning from center director to franchise ownership would look like.”

“What excites me about this company,” she continued, “is knowing that, as a franchise owner, I have a part to play in helping change students' lives and filling the need for parents seeking solutions for their children's academic needs… When families find Sylvan, they often find the solution and the help needed to take their children to the next level of success.”

Sylvan is the leading provider of personalized education for K–12 students, and Sylvan, Seniors Helping Seniors and Hounds Town USA are just some of the many franchise opportunities boomers are taking advantage of to either supplement their retirement incomes, protect their wealth and solidify their financial futures.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.