The old defined benefit pensions that were the norm 50 years ago gradually shifted to defined contribution plans that put the employees money at risk in the markets and makes them responsible for managing the account to ensure it’s adequate to support them into retirement.
In the 70′s when RRSP and 401K type plans were introduced, the average worker suddenly became an investor – regardless of their level of education. Thanks to that massive demographic known as the Baby Boomers, the markets have seen some pretty steady growth as a result of them all making regular contributions to their retirement accounts.
Today though, on the heels of the housing bubble bursting and the sub-prime crisis people are being extra cautious. Those who lost large portions of their retirement funds a few years ago, are either back to work or delaying their retirements.
For us younger generations, we’re looking for alternatives to paper money that may or may not ever provide a return.
In the early 1900′s – nearly everyone was self employed
There is certainly a growth in the number of people choosing to become self-employed. In many cases it’s not as much a choice as it is out of necessity. The jobs just aren’t there like they were 6 or 7 years ago, so people are seeking alternatives.
Home based businesses and other entrepreneurial pursuits are more and more common. People are drawn to being self-employed because they see the value in having more control of their time, efforts and passions.
At the start of the 20th century approximately 90% of working people were self-employed. They were the farmers, the shop keepers, the blacksmiths, the bakers, the barbers etc. Big business didn’t really exist and people were resourceful and entrepreneurial.
As the number of large businesses grew, and large cities got more established people flocked to the “security” of working for someone else. They didn’t have the stress and overhead of being self-employed. They could show up for work, put in their time, go home at the end of the day and collect a paycheck.
While the vast majority of people today are still in the employee quadrant, I expect we’ll see an even greater explosion of self-employed people in the coming years. With the US facing their Fiscal Cliff in the new year, the runaway printing of paper money by the Fed and all the other economic turmoil around the globe I expect the worst is yet to come.
With that said, it’s also a time of great opportunity. Those that recognize what’s coming can prepare, and get out in front to lead this new wave of individuals looking for guidance in becoming self-employed. One avenue I fully expect to see many people flock to, is making money online. The advent of the internet has made the world a global economy that anyone can reach. With a little time, effort and expert guidance you can tap into that massive potential audience and start making money sharing your expertise.