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I have just been listening to Leonard Cohen's wonderful new album "Popular Problems". A remarkable piece of work in any circumstances, it is all the more so having been conceived by a man who celebrated his 80th birthday this year, and is in the form of his life.
Leonard Cohen is a uniquely gifted artist, but his late flowering of energy and creativity is far from unique. It can be seen everywhere. For example, according to research from trend-forecasting specialists Future Laboratory, a surge of entrepreneurial spirit has struck Britons aged 60 and over. At the moment, there are 1.7m business leaders of pensionable age. By the end of the decade, these "Boomerpreneurs", as Future Laboratory calls them, will top 2m. A life consisting of Saga cruises, golf, bridge and Antiques Roadshow is emphatically not for them.
According to the Office of National Statistics, one in five working people over 50 is now self-employed. They are good at it; 70% of their start-ups are still going after five years, compared to 28% for their younger counterparts. Wisdom, experience, and patience count for a lot it seems.
There are a number of reasons for this trend, both positive and negative. On the plus side, this generation does not see itself as old. Many of its members are active, energetic, have most of their teeth, all their faculties and no intention of fading away quietly. But the recession has also played a big part, particularly in the way it has created unemployment and slashed the
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