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Baby Boomers Offered Help to Stay Active in Business and Community After Retirement

John Smith/WAER News

  Baby Boomers in Syracuse don’t have to stop working when they retire, in the traditional sense… it could actually just be the beginning of new career.  A new initiative in Syracuse hopes to get boomers putting their skills and experience to work to benefit the economy and local communities.

Public Speaker and Author Gary Lim’s entrepreneurial background includes a resume of launching business start-ups or getting companies back on track.  Now he’s writing inspirational books for those considering mid-career changes.  Lim points out that boomers have anywhere from 25 to 40 years of transferrable experience to go into business.  He says there’s a particular sector they might be perfect for.

Credit John Smith/WAER News
Speaker and Business Consultant Gary Lim

  “I think in the services area there’s that opportunity to be able to look and see what kind of services a group of people in a target market are looking for.  You can fulfil that need with the experience you bring to bear.” 

Lim says a cut and dry recipe to create a business doesn’t exist.  He brought his knowledge and experience to FOCUS Greater Syracuse’s panel discussion of “Too Young to Retire: A program for Enterprising Boomers.”  Chuckie Holstein explains the group doesn’t want boomers to pack-up their belongings.

"The one way to keep them in Central New York is to encourage them to start a new business once they leave their current jobs.  And we’re very successful today there were over 85 people here.  I don’t’ think all of them were looking for a new business, but I would say a high percentage were.  We provided them with the resources they might need.” 

One of those sources is the Small Business Center at Onondaga Community College.  Melissa Zomro launched her own business for the horse industry in her mid 20’s and then sold it.  Now she’s helping others get their business dreams going.

“Our center has over 600 clients currently.  We have 8 advisers.  We offer free and confidential services.  We offer classes for a low, nominal fee.  We do a lot of networking; we do a lot of events like this.”

FOCUS Greater Syracuse is in the final stages of securing funding for a year-long study on how Central New York can 'age friendly', with a focus on baby boomers nearing retirement.