Becoming an Entrepreneur After Retirement

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According to Inc., people over age 50 are starting businesses at a higher rate than younger entrepreneurs. If you’re retired or close to retirement and wondering how to start your own business — without sacrificing your future financial health — you’re not alone.

The Kauffman Index indicated that people aged 55 to 64 represented 26 percent of new entrepreneurs in 2016. While this group has more startup capital and a loan approval rate of 26 percent, they also have a lot more to lose if their businesses fail.

It takes the right idea at the right time in the right market to be successful. To increase your chances, you should follow these steps.

  1. Create a business plan. Identify the need and evaluate the market based on what you’re proposing.
  2. Evaluate your skills. Do you have the know-how, experience, and qualifications to address and fulfill that need?
  3. Consider the time commitment. If you’re seeking something with flexibility that you can control, chances are that you’ll need a substantial time investment initially, at least.
  4. Utilize the resources in your area. Good advice is priceless! If you live near a college or university, see whether there’s a small business center that offers free or low-cost consultancy services. Investigate the local chamber of commerce for other inexpensive (or free) resources.
  5. Use your professional connections. Consider joining LinkedIn. People with long careers know lots of other people. Networking is a huge tool for entrepreneurs.
  6. Embrace (and learn, if necessary), technology. Today’s businesses are run far more differently than businesses from the past. Up your social media presence, learn website management, and become online commerce savvy, or hire someone you trust to get you started until you can take it over yourself.
  7. Talk to an accountant when you’re analyzing the finances for your startup. If your business is cyber-based, you may not have a significant start-up cost. You’ll want to protect your retirement savings, so talking to a finance professional will help you plan properly and protect your savings.
  8. Protect your assets by structuring your business in such a way that if it doesn’t work, or you have an end date in mind, you have a workable exit strategy.
  9. Speaking of exit strategies, create a plan. Will you hand the business off to your children? Sell it? Close it down?

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Businesses! 

So, you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur. Great! But what are the options?

If you like working with animals, consider starting a company that offers dog walking or pet sitting. Last year, Americans spent over $47 billion on their pets. Since almost two-thirds of U.S. households have at least one pet, it’s an industry that’s here to stay.

Certify as a life coach. Life coaching or mentoring is a fairly lucrative business because it requires little capital to launch. If you’ve got areas in which you can specialize — sports, weight loss, organization, personal happiness, and more — find the niche in your area.

Capitalize on your hobby. If you knit, crochet, or sew, offer these services. Provide alteration and tailoring services or customized sewing. Check out Etsy.com to see what other handmade crafts people want. Many people appreciate custom-made sweaters, blankets, and more.

Good with tools or like to work with your hands? If you’ve got the expertise, start a repair business. Help people with small home projects they don’t have the time or knowledge to do themselves.

For a list of 2018’s 50 best after retirement business ideas, check out this article from Profitableventure.com.

Small business adventures 

Many experts agree that age is no longer a number when it comes to launching a new business after you’ve retired. More people are saying they don’t mind working longer, but they want to work on their own terms, something owning a small business facilitates. This article from Kiplinger.com includes a more detailed guide and advice to educate yourself, choose the right business, and safeguard your savings as you prepare to start your next adventure

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