For most of us though, a life of zero activity and thought would drive us absolutely nuts! Sure, a few days of relaxation is great, but after that, it’s time to tackle something, learn and grow from it, and then conquer the heck out of it!
Acting on our passions and setting future goals can really do great things for a person – for their mind, body, and soul. If you find yourself nodding to this statement, then the next question is, “Have you considered starting a business after retirement?”
Business ideas for the over 50s don’t have to be blockbusters. It doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t need to be impressive. It just needs to fulfill that void that’s probably been inside of you for many years – yes, even while you were working that supposedly fabulous full-time job.
Starting a business after retirement is probably right for you if you’ve always longed to….
- Be your own boss
- Do what you love full-time
- Help others directly
- Learn something totally new
- Build a massive business from absolutely nothing
Starting a Business After Retirement Could Allow You to Retire Early
Here is the kicker… Starting a business after retirement could potentially allow you to retire early. (Or make your money last longer if you are already retired.)
Think about it. Earning a little extra money can mean doing something you love and strengthening your short and long term finances.
Use a comprehensive retirement planning calculator to see if starting a business after retirement impacts your retirement age or your financial security in retirement.
The NewRetirement tool lets you set different levels of income for different periods so you can easily see the impact of starting a business after retirement.
If you finally want to tackle your dreams and love the idea of setting up a retirement of purpose (instead of, you know, being a slug like some of your friends), then I suggest you seriously consider these 12 small business ideas for the over 50s:
1) What Do You Love? How Can You Turn it into a Business
Everyone has some kind of interest in life and no matter what it is, you can probably figure out a way to make money.
- Build model trains? Could you host kid birthday parties or workshops?
- Play tennis? What about offering lessons? Start a tournament?
- Watch TV? How about starting a blog reviewing favorite shows?
- Love baseball? Have you considered organizing tours to games or ballparks?
- Reading and cooking? Maybe you could cater a pop up restaurant in your home based on a different book each month
How to Get Started: Start small by offering services to friends for a small fee. See where it takes you!
2) Financial Advisor
Have you ever met a “financial advisor” that was 22 years old and was supposedly going to teach you – a 50 year old that has actually lived life and experienced the swings in the market – how to retire comfortably? What a joke.
You know who can properly sell themselves as a financial advisor?
You – the well-seasoned veteran of life and money.
If you’ve done well for yourself financially, if you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree, and if you love to help people, then this small business idea for the over 50s is probably a slam-dunk for you.
How to Get Started: How to Become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
3) Business Ideas for the Over 50s: Consulting
There are some benefits to being older — with age comes wisdom. One of the best business ideas for the over 50s is consulting!
Are you an expert in your field? Could other companies benefit from your wisdom?
But don’t limit yourself to these five if you think your expertise is still valuable. There are plenty of consulting opportunities for more unique fields. Areas like home office design, organization, and even color consulting!
How to Get Started: 10 Steps to Become a Self-Employed Consultant
4) Starting a Business After Retirement: Marketing, Bookkeeping & Administration
If you come from a business background with skills in administration, marketing, accounting or finance and know how to organize a business, properly categorize expenses and make payments, you could probably handle this work in your sleep – and have a blast doing it for exciting new startup companies.
Better yet, many of these activities can be done almost anytime anywhere. This kind of flexibility makes it a best business idea for the over 50s. And, according to Robert Half, the most in-demand consultant areas are: finance/accounting, business systems, tax, risk mitigation and optimization.
And there is a huge need for administration, marketing and bookkeeping services. This is the day and age of small business – mainly, online business but many entrepreneurs don’t necessarily have experience with running a business.
This is where you come in. How to Get Started:
- 9 Steps to Starting a Bookkeeping Business
- Becoming a marketing consultant
- Earning a living as a freelance administrative assistant
5) Landlord/Bed and Breakfast Owner
If you find yourself talking to a millionaire in the near-future, chances are that they own (and rent out) some property. Real estate is an excellent investment, plain and simple. It always has been and it probably always will be.
Don’t consider yourself hard-nosed enough to deal with those inevitable tenants from hell? Then maybe a B&B is more up your alley. Buy a home in a touristy area, serve a decent breakfast, and enjoy interacting with couples from all around the world!
Bed and breakfasts obviously aren’t as passive as rentals, but if you like interacting with and serving others, then this might just be the fun business idea you’ve been looking for.
How to Get Started: How to Start a Bed and Breakfast
6) Buy a Business
Building a business from nothing is no easy task. I’m sure you’ve heard the well-known statistic that 4 out of 5 businesses fail within the first five years. If you’re not willing to struggle for years while getting your business off the ground, then perhaps you’d do better just buying one that already has some clientele!
Of course, “buying a business” is about as broad a statement as one can make, but while you’re reading through this list and thinking about what you might like to do for your encore career, consider what might already be available for the taking.
And, if you have the financial means to do it, it might actually be the more profitable move when you consider the potential for immediate earnings!
How to Get Started: Small Business for Sale? How to Buy a Small Business
7) Become a Franchisee
Of all the small business ideas to start after 50, this one regularly captures the most attention. It’s attainable, understandable, and someone out there is willing to walk you through the process (because of course, it’s in their best interest to do so as the franchisor).
No, McDonald’s is not the only wicked-awesome franchise out there (in fact, strike if off your list if you don’t already own one – they’re not looking for newbie franchisees). There are dozens of other franchises with fantastic track records (and they’re not all restaurants either)!
Here’s a quick list of the top franchises out there currently:
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- The UPS Store
- RE/MAX LLC
- Sonic Drive-in Restaurants
- Great Clips
Is the thought of a franchise starting to peak your interest? Check out the link below!
How to Get Started: What You Need to Know Before Starting a Franchise Business
8) Become an Angel Investor
You’ve worked hard at your career and you’ve done well for yourself. Congratulations!
Money isn’t an issue for you, and in fact, you’ve got more of it than you know what to do with. None of the above or below options really appeal to you, but you love the idea of helping someone take their passion main-stream, and they’ll even pay you handsome royalties as it succeeds!
Sound like fun to you? I can’t see why it wouldn’t!
How to Get Started: 8 Steps to Becoming an Angel Investor
9) Buy and Sell
Have you always had a knack for finding products for well-below market price?
- Maybe you find them on the clearance rack,
- perhaps you nab them off the web, or
- it might be that you just love perusing garage/estate sales and find your deals under layers of junk!
Whatever the case may be, if you’re used to buying low, then it’s probably time to try your hand at buying and selling for a profit.
The concept is really simple (in fact, we basically already covered it in the generic intro…) – find ways to buy super cheap products, and then sell them through a medium where you can earn more (typically Amazon, Facebook, Craigslist or eBay).
Are you doubting that this small business idea can actually earn some money? Check out the link below. This option is for real.
How to Get Started: 28-Year-Old Makes Millions Buying From Walmart and Selling on Amazon
10) House Painting, Home Repairs and Gardening
There’s just something serene and fulfilling about painting the interiors of houses. Maybe it’s the calming strokes of the brush, or perhaps it’s the sense of accomplishment and pride that you get once the job’s done. Whatever it is, it’s oddly fun to do…AND you can make some pretty good money at it too!
Maybe you like the idea of working with your hands…but you’d really rather be outside soaking up the sun — consider landscaping and gardening.
Entry into this market is pretty much as easy as it gets. All you need is a mower and a means to get it from place to place. Call up some neighbors, leave a few flyers on people’s front doors with your steal-of-a-deal introductory price, and wait for a few gigs to come in.
Do a good job and you’ll not only keep those lawns, but you’ll probably start getting referrals as your clients talk to their friends about your great work (offer referral discounts and they’ll be even MORE likely to spread the word).
I’ve known plenty of people that took up handy man type careers. They loved talking about the work they did (and for who – sometimes local celebrities) and it allowed them to pseudo-retire without ever touching their retirement nest-egg.
How to Get Started:
- House Painting 101: How to Get Started as a Part-Time Painter
- Self Employment Tips for Handymen
- 5 Success Tips for Your Lawn Care Business
11) Life Coach/Mentor
If, in the beginning paragraphs of this article, your eyes lit up at the thought of impacting someone’s life and making a true difference in this world, then this is likely the small business option for you.
Today’s world is an interesting one – especially for those that are early in their careers.
Young adults are often:
- Outspoken “leaders”, but know little about the topics at hand
- Confident and happy, but shy, withdrawn, and insecure on the inside
- Willing to do what it takes to succeed, but really have no idea what their definition of success even is
In other words, young adults look awesome, sound awesome, but really have no clue about life in general.
They need your help.
You’ve been there done that. You’ve climbed the ladder, done the networking, got the atta-boys, and seen the dollars. But most importantly, you now know what it all means.
Become a life coach to help others succeed – not just in the corporate world, but in all areas of life. And you know what? They’ll be happy to pay you for their life well-lived.
How to Get Started: Learn How to Start a Home-Based Coaching Business
12) Direct Sales/Network Marketing
Direct sales and network marketing – you probably can’t believe that this one made the list, huh? For many of you, this type of business is an absolute joke, but you’ve got to realize that some people earn a fantastic living here. It IS possible.
You’ve heard of some of the top companies:
- Mary Kay
- Pampered Chef
…and there are obviously many more.
If you like the idea of selling a product that you love AND teaching someone else how to sell it too, then you’ve actually got a chance to succeed with the network marketing model.
Most don’t earn more than a hundred bucks a month, but some find a way to earn hundreds of thousands each month. If you think you can excel and become the latter, the venture would obviously be well worth the effort.
How to Get Started: How to Choose a Great Network Marketing Opportunity
Go In With a Plan and Get Started!
You want to know why most small business startups fail? The overly-excited new owners put minimal thought into their business idea.
Here’s how it typically goes. They take a look at the list above, say to themselves, “I like….#10”, and then proceed to buy a mower, weed trimmer, and maybe even some flashy shirts, and then find that it’s too difficult to drum up new business and quit almost immediately.
You, however, you’re different. You’ve already succeeded in this life. You know that success doesn’t come by accident. Instead, it comes with careful planning, determination, and continued learning. This venture is no different.
- First, be honest with yourself and choose the business that works best for your skill-set, your personality, and your interests.
- Second, consider the financial obligations. Are there huge upfront costs? What is the likely income in the first few years? What are the recurring expenses? Do you need to buy insurance? Do your research here long before you even spend your first dollar.
- Third, when you get started, go hard and don’t stop for at least 6 months. No matter what your business venture is, it’s going to require consistent effort and focus.
- Constantly plan, do, check, adjust. If something’s working, expand on it. If it’s not, either toss it or alter it dramatically so it turns the corner.
You’re about to enter one of the most exciting periods of your life. Do you feel those tingles on the back of your neck? Is that internal smirk making its way onto your face as a full-blown smile for all to see?
You’re ready, and you’re going to kill it this year. Best of luck to you and congratulations on your future successes.