How to Start Your Own Business When You’re Retired


Almost every working adult looks forward to retiring, but it is not always the fairytale life that they were dreaming about. Although millions of active adults are quite happy to never work again, others simply need to stay in the game for peace of mind or for lack of money. Working for someone else might not be the answer though, now could be the perfect time to start up your very own business. 

Where to Start?

As a retiree, you may have the luxury of starting over. A new career based on what you love to do, rather than what you have to do, could actually be lucrative. Begin by thinking about your interests and talents. A hobby like playing tennis could turn into teaching private tennis lessons. If you like to cook, consider opening up your own catering business. It’s a good idea to start out slowly with this by taking on one or two clients at first. This can slowly build up until you need to hire your own assistant.

Taking Over an Established Business

Franchises are an option for active adults who have money to invest. Choosing one isn’t easy since there are so many options. Again, start with what interests you. It could be a restaurant, pet store, hair salon, realtor, or something else. Start by researching company histories to see which ones have the best track records. Then speak with other franchise owners for feedback and advice.

Buying a business from the owner of a successful company can give you a nice head start since its clients may already be in place. This could also have the benefit of immediate monies coming your way. Like with franchises, there is a learning curve. In addition to discovering how the new business works, you’ll need to become familiar with the employees and customers. Many retirees buy bed and breakfasts or rentals, which can be great investments.

Buyers & Sellers

Becoming a buyer or seller can be very exciting if you know what you’re doing. If you love to shop for bargains, finding items at discount stores or online and then reselling them for a profit can keep you fully engaged while earning a profit. These offer the advantages of making your own schedule, plus possibilities to earn large bonuses if you are willing to work hard to earn them.

Getting Paid for What You Do Best

Operating a home-based business is the option with the lowest overhead. This is very appealing for retired professionals that can work from small, home-based offices or travel to customers’ locations. Retired teachers can tutor, accountants can prepare taxes, lawyers can downsize, carpenters can switch to private home repairs, and the list goes on. Many of these people get their work from referrals, so doing a great job every time is essential.

Setting Up for Success

Settling on a business idea and specific goals should be part of your new business plan. This strategy should be your “bible,” to be followed and updated when needed. Make sure that your idea fits your needs, skills, and personality. Then, make sure that you can afford to run the business; initial costs can include a large investment, insurance, equipment, and more. Do your research to estimate the total capital needed before starting your venture. 

Details, like setting up a checking account and debit card, estimating tax payments, getting building permits, and registering your business, are also necessary aspects of starting a business. If you’re unclear about any of this, there are many online resources that provide step-by-step information.

Once you’re up and running keep at it, but take the time to monitor progress and constantly re-evaluate your business. It will be an ongoing effort and you will need to devote 100 percent of your energy and focus, especially when things are running well. Before you know it, you could be ready to retire for the second time.

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