What better time than the new year to try something you’ve always dreamt about — to take charge of your career trajectory and find a way to become your own boss. Instead of just a job, your 9-to-5 can become as fun and stimulating as any other part of your life. Maybe you should start your own business? Related: Everything You Need To Know To Succeed In Business These days when people enter their 40s or 50s and start planning for retirement, increasingly, this means the next stage of a career instead of a complete cessation of work. With a franchise you can actually combine your goals of doing something fun and stimulating, earn some extra money and create a balanced life for yourself. Contrary to most people’s preconceptions, the most active group of entrepreneurs in the country are folks in midlife, ages 45-64, not the young techies from Silicon Valley. According to a 2014 study, “Work in Retirement: Myths and Motivations” by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave. “Older workers…have consistently exceeded younger workers in entrepreneurial activity.” In fact, retirement is seen by many as a way to transition into a new line of work altogether. “The top reason ‘retire-preneurs’ started their own business was to work on their own terms (82%),” the study found. Of course, according to a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Wells Fargo in 2014, almost half of middle-class Americans in their 50s, don’t think they have saved enough for retirement. Whether you need to work or just want to stay active during your later years, a franchise is an attractive option because you can try something totally new, get a proven model for your investment and you will have a team of support behind you to help you succeed. And there are way more options than you may realize, far more than fast food. In fact, you may not realize that lots of local businesses operate as franchise operations, including a growing number of service operations, including business consulting. Check out the International Franchise Association website at www.franchise.org to learn about the thousands of options across some 75 industries. Another layer of assistance is also available with a franchise coach, who can help you narrow down your options based on their knowledge and experience with various franchises. Consult readily because their services are free. So start 2016 off right by researching ways you can enjoy your work and find balance in your life. For more about how to begin your research, read: Ready for a new adventure? Explore new career opportunities.