Many people look forward to retirement throughout their career, only to find that they’re still interested in being a member of the workforce. As AARP puts it, “A ’3G’ retirement — golf, gossip, and grandchildren — isn’t for everyone.” Whether you’re retiring early or waiting until the standard retirement age, you can join the ranks of over-50 entrepreneurs who have figured out how to start a business in retirement and succeed.
What Can I Do?
Dennis Sargent, coauthor with his wife Martha of Retire — and Start Your Own Business, told AARP that starting a business based in your old career area can be beneficial: “A high percentage of retirement businesses take advantage of the knowledge and contacts retirees already have.”
Some people venture down a new path, though, and that requires research. If you’re willing to put in the time and work hard with the right mindset, you’re more likely to get the most out of your new occupation. At the very least, being an entrepreneur forces you to maintain social contacts, helping you exercise your brain as you age.
4 Businesses with Minimal Startup Costs
You can start a business based on a topic area that you know well and has the potential to generate revenue, or you can cash in on a growth industry. Certain occupational areas are well-suited to the senior demographic, as outlined by Inc. and the Houston Chronicle:
1. Consulting. Sometimes companies hire retirees back as consultants. Inc. says, “After spending a career working in a certain industry, you’ve likely garnered expert status.” Often, retirees go to the startup market in their industry of choice.
2. Pet care. If you’ve listened to Dave Ramsey anytime over the past 10 years, you know that he’s bullish on pet-related small businesses because it’s a growth industry. The Houston Chronicle agrees, noting that the spending in the industry grows around five percent per year.
3. Online businesses. Running a business online can mean a number of different things. You could buy and sell goods on e-commerce sites such as eBay, or find a niche and sell your own products from your own site. You can also find opportunities in blogging regularly for a client, especially if you can draw on knowledge from your old career.
4. Speaking. Are you an expert in your field? Sign on with a speaker’s bureau or find opportunities to speak at seminars.
Where to Get Help
There is a multitude of free sources on how to start a business. Start with SCORE, a nonprofit organization focused on entrepreneurial education. SCORE can match you with a volunteer expert to help you get started on the right foot by offering valuable business counseling. SCORE is a national organization, so if you move after retirement, they can help you in your new hometown. From their site, you can find links to a plethora of resources.
Getting involved in a new business opportunity can help seniors stay healthy, smart, and fit. If you’re looking for something new after you retire from your first occupation, know that you have the chance to start another rich career later in life.
Starting your own business? Active, independent seniors can benefit from Lifeline’s GoSafe medical alert system — it gives you 24/7 access to help, whether you’re at home or on-the-go.