“Never too late to start a business,” USA Today

That's the title  of Laura Petrecca's article in USA Today, but actually it's by no means just about "older" Americans: the stats indicate it's "just-plain American" (of all ages) who are starting new businesses, electing self-employment, and otherwise going off on their own as consultants, free-agents, and the like.  Here are some of the key numbers on self-employment from that article:

"Folks 55 to 64 represented the second-largest jump in entrepreneurial activity by age (just behind 35- to 44-year-olds) from 2008 to 2009, according to an Index of Entrepreneurial Activity released last week by entrepreneur-focused group Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

"Other studies, such as a recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, as well as data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), also show an uptick in older folks becoming their own bosses.

"The number of self-employed Americans rose to 8.9 million in December 2009, up from 8.7 million a year earlier, according to BLS data provided by outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. Self-employment among those 55 to 64 hit nearly 2 million, a 5% rise from the prior year. Self-employment for those 65 and older hit 939,000 — a 29% increase.

"The rise has been fueled by factors such as the tidal wave of Baby Boomers who don't want to stop working, economic necessity triggered by the recession, and the rise in longevity, says Dane Stangler, a research manager at Kauffman.

""Americans are not only living longer but also living healthier longer, suggesting that those entrepreneurial 60-year-olds could be 2020's entrepreneurial 70-year-olds," he says."

Sources of help for new self-employed and new business start-ups by those 50+

Also from the same article:

"Those seeking counseling can now choose from numerous online resources that target older entrepreneurs, such as the Small Business Administration's "50+" page (sba.gov/50plusentrepreneur) and the "Start Your Own Business" section of RetiredBrains.com, a site started by 75-year-old Arthur Koff when he was 68."

 Link to that article on self-employment and new business start-ups and older