Tuesday, January 14, 2014

7 Business Ideas to Explore Post Retirement

retirement
retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)
Retire from your day job and start a business? Twenty years ago the idea of starting a business in retirement might have seemed a little odd, after all isn't the entire purpose of retiring to stop working altogether? There are a number of reasons why seniors will be working longer and some of them are financial (which we will delve into). Other reasons are to retain a more active lifestyle in retirement.

Can you see yourself running a business you love in your retirement? We are going to discuss the motivational factors and some of the pros and cons’s to running your own business after retirement and weigh some of the different options available for senior entrepreneurs. 

Redefining Our Understanding of Retirement


When you reach the age of sixty-five (65) and your federally provided old age pension begins, you should retire. At least that is what we have told generations of laborers in North America and the age of retirement looms for all workers (or has in the past) like a promised land. When you retire you will not have to do the forty-hour-a-week grind and deal with bad bosses or annoying co-workers. You can instead, accept the golden handshake and head off to do what other retirees do; golf, garden or visit grandchildren. That has been our understanding and profile of retirement.

The idea of delaying our retirement was a punitive concept for decades with some social misconceptions about seniors who were unable to retire. The assumption has always been that anyone working over the age of sixty-five years cannot afford to retire. It is a financial option that may not be possible for many people who may need to find alternatives. The sociological assumption is that no one would deliberately choose to work after the age of sixty-five; we now know that is wrong.

When the average age of retirement was set people were living into their seventies on average. Retirement was to allow for a restful slowing down and recreational time with family and friends before some of the physical decline of old age began. Between advances in medicine and pharmaceuticals, as well as increased nutrition and information on self-care many people are living well into their eighties now and even nineties. The average life expectancy of someone retiring in the 1950’s was seventy-one (71) years or roughly a ten year retirement. Now, retiring can mean twenty or more years of active living which has changed the rules somewhat with both fiscal and social influences delaying and even suspending the age of retirement indefinitely. We will take a closer look at some of those reasons. 

Switching Gears: The Benefits of Non-Retirement and Small Business Ownership


If you have decided that early retirement is not feasible, evaluating some of the benefits of non-retirement can help you plan a healthy and even lucrative transition into the next phase of your pre-retirement career. If you have been engaged in manual labor or a physically demanding job, you may opt to change your work duties to something that is both lighter in labor and more enjoyable for your retirement income.

Purchasing an established business franchise or even launching a new start-up business is very much part of the trend for the Baby Boomers. Why head into retirement strapped for cash and bored when you can transition into your own private business instead? We’ve put together seven new business ideas for retirees to explore.

1. The Consultant

Have you always dreamed of working in a more creative capacity and sharing your knowledge? Depending on your expertise, you may find yourself in a position to consult on a freelance basis. If you have spent your career in a specific industry or niche market you possess a wealth of information that is of value to employers.

Consultants are engaged on a per-contract-basis to coordinate and sometimes manage projects requiring an experienced expert. The best part? You can work as a consultant from anywhere in the world which means if you plan to travel, you can take your work with you. It is both a lucrative and convenient choice for retirement.

2. Landscaping Business

We know what you are thinking. You do not want to cut your own lawn, but a landscaping business can take a number of different business structures that are both rewarding and a well paying option for retirement. Lawn care companies are available by franchise and you can receive a franchise territory and a turn-key operation. Whether you wish to invest in additional staff or equipment for a full service landscape company (grass cutting and snow removal) or whether you wish to stick to seeding and lawn care treatments, it can be a great option for retirees that like being outdoors and meeting new people.

3. Pet Sitting Business

Do you love animals? If you have owned pets your whole life you understand how frustrating and expensive it can be to find a pet sitter when you need one for a vacation. Why not take the skills you already posses in pet care and create a business opportunity? All you will need is a website and some investment in social media and advertising to get the word out and start taking bookings. It is a fun way to run a small business and to get some exercise too.

4. Bed and Breakfast

If you like the idea of commuting from your bedroom to your living room or kitchen every day, consider investing in an established bed and breakfast. Downsizing the principal home and moving out of the city to a more affordable area is something most retirees will do anyhow. When you do, why not push out into the country or lakeside areas and invest in a home and business in one? Welcome international visitors and income, while realizing excellent tax deductions for expenses and if you live in a city or town with a college or university, welcome international students instead.

5. Become a Writer!

Are you the type of person who has always been very good at writing? If so there are a number of opportunities online for professional content providers (writers) to create text and copy for advertisements, websites, social media and more. The only overhead to this kind of business is your own time and creativity. Capitalize on it and become the professional commercial writer you always wanted to be.

6. Own a Motel

Similar to purchasing an established bed and breakfast, buying a motel in a popular area can be a rewarding business to run. Motels can be quite small or large in scale with other augmented income opportunities such as laundry, vending machines and convenience store revenues. Moving out of the city to a location with less competition will ensure a lower purchase price and many motels come equipped with a home on site or living area.

7. Professional Photographer

If you have always loved photography and are willing to make the investment, becoming a professional event photographer can be a lucrative part time income that is fun and creative. Most wedding photographers are hired at a rate of $1,500 per day or more. While the nature of the wedding photography demand is seasonal, other opportunities for corporate photography or special events may exist year round. A portrait studio and administrative office can be easily established within the home creating opportunities for tax deduction.

Remember that your retirement is a time of changing gears and creating the lifestyle you want with activities that you enjoy. Retirement is a transition not the end of your professional life. With some creative planning you can operate or own a business into the new chapter of your career where you work for yourself, and love what you do.


Author Bio:


Joshua Geary is a financial writer and experienced blogger for the real estate IRA for Sunwest Trust, Inc. When he’s not writing about IRA investment options and the self-directed IRA rules and regulations that go along with them, Joshua enjoys reading and swimming in his leisure time.

1 comment:

  1. You might also want to consider taking the Franchising route as historically it has been a a proven way to reduce some of your risks when starting a new business. However, buyers should still do their due diligence before moving forward as all franchises are not created equal and there is no way to eliminate risk completely when starting any business. If you find a particular franchise concept you feel might be a good fit for you I would advise contacting existing franchisees and ask them to share their experiences with you and if they would do it all over again. If you are seeking to start researching top rated franchise for sale in the USA and beyond visit: http://www.topfranchisesusa.com

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