Wylie & Bisset says desire for work/life balance is a driver for ‘olderpreneurs’


Chartered Accountants Wylie & Bisset say that a growing desire amongst busy high-flying executives for a greater work/life balance is leading to a rise in numbers of ‘olderpreneurs’; the term given to people in their 50s opting to take control and pursue roles that they have always wanted to do.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the over-50s make up 43% of those who start their own businesses but account for less than a third of employees on workplace payrolls. And the number of self-employed people aged 65 and over more than doubled between 2012 and 2017.

Such figures come as no surprise to Catherine Livingstone, director at Wylie & Bisset, who points out that 50-somethings often have a wealth of experience and the financial clout to start their own companies or re-train themselves in new specialisms.

“We’re currently working with several businesses whose founders have had a very successful career and decided to bring their working life within their own control in a business model that enables them to pick and choose projects rather than being in employed positions with various onerous commitments and obligations attached to demanding directorships and managerial roles,” she said.

“A recent example is a former senior executive of an international company whose position required regular transatlantic commutes. We helped him establish his consultancy, part of the impetus for which was to achieve a better work/life balance to enable him to spend more time with his family. He has since commented he has achieved the best of both worlds by taking on those projects he finds rewarding while regaining control over his workload.”

Her advice to prospective ‘olderpreneurs’ is to consider the business structure best suited to their needs and to take accounting and tax advice to ensure they operate in the most tax-efficient manner.
“In our experience, ‘olderpreneurs’ establishing their own businesses do so because they want to focus on those aspects of business that they enjoy, rather than getting bogged down with other obligations that can go hand-in-hand with senior directorships and managerial positions,” she said.

“Ensuring that they have quality accountancy advice and support at hand as and when needed frees them up to spend time on those aspects of business that they enjoy, secure in the knowledge that they are fully compliant with all the everchanging accountancy and tax rules and regulations.”