In May 2007 Madison WI was ranked one by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine as one of the “Best Cities for Empty Nesters”. As a sign of the changing times, there is now a list of “Best Places for an Entrepreneur to Retire” and, you guessed it, Madison made the list at #8.
According to a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation, the world's largest foundation devoted to entrepreneurship, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity during the past decade was among people aged 55 to 64. Those aged 20 to 34, on the other hand, were the least likely to start their own businesses. Dane Stangler, a senior analyst at the Kauffman Foundation and author of a recent study published by U.S. News & World Report, thinks that the number of baby boomers starting businesses during their retirement years is going to increase dramatically in the near future. Why? Because people are being laid off and may not have other options. According to an Urban Institute and AARP Public Policy Institute analysis, about 21% of all workers who change careers after age 51 are self-employed. And, according to some experts, people aged 50 and older may be particularly well suited to entrepreneurship. Why? Because of their overall experience, financial security, and drive to build wealth. Older people are often tired of the idea of working for other people. Moreover, and perhaps more importantly, they have ideas.
After coming up with an idea, however, entrepreneurial baby boomers need to choose a place to set up shop. To find a few places that would appeal to late-life small-business owners, U.S. News searched for places with strong job growth, a low unemployment rate, low business tax rates (as well as business incentives for specific industries), reasonable home prices, an affordable cost of living, proximity to healthcare, enjoyable recreational opportunities, and access to information, particularly colleges and university with technology-focused departments. Ten places were identified in the report as being the best places for an entrepreneurial baby boomer to retire:
1 .Arlington, VA
2. Columbia, Md.
3. Fargo, ND
4. Fayetteville, AK
5. Fort Collins, CO
6. Knoxville, TN
7. Lincoln, NB
8. Madison, WI
9. Round Rock, TX
10. West Des Moines, Iowa
For a complete list of all the awards won by Madison WI since 1994, please visit our Madison awards page.
Source: Ten Great Places for Entrepreneurs to Retire, U.S. News & World Report, Emily Brandon (06/29/2009)