Turning Savings into a Start-Up

More retirees are using nest eggs to fund a new career. Here's how to take the risk safely

Ray Ng for TIME

Richard and Michele Steckel, who started The Milestone Project, which intends to prompt 100,000 people to reflect, converse and take action to reduce prejudice, intolerance and hatred.

Money experts warn that it's a bad idea. But a steady flow of people past the age of 50 are funding new businesses and nonprofits with their retirement savings anyway--and having enough success (or fun) to brag about it. About a third of self-employed people over 50 didn't strike out on their own until after the big five-oh. These people say they'd rather be in business than in Boca, and they view their pensions and home equity as a lifeline to remaining productive and engaged after retiring.

Like many other late-in-life entrepreneurs, Richard Steckel, 65, waited a long time for a...

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