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Making Bank

Ready to start your dream business, but not willing to dip into your retirement savings? Here's how to make the leap without risking future security.

This story appears in the May 2005 issue of Start Up.

If you're past the age of 50 and looking for a challenge either in your retirement years or after an unexpected layoff, a business of your own could be the dream job you've been seeking. It allows you to do something you love on the schedule that suits you best. But can you really afford such entrepreneurial freedom? With the right financial strategy, the answer can be a resounding yes.

Finances can make or break any business, but managing finances wisely is especially critical for baby boomers, who are notorious for not saving. To illustrate: The median net worth among boomers is just $107,000 (not counting home equity), according to AARP, and fewer than 44 percent of boomers have any investments at all.

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