If you are thinking about starting a business after retirement, you aren’t alone, in fact, it’s a growing trend. The National Bureau of Economic Research estimates that about 25% of workers between 50-59, 46% of workers between 65-69, and 68% of workers between 75-79 are all self-employed. In fact, workers that fall into these age groups have higher self-employment rates than all workers under the age of 50 – only 20% are self-employed.
It can be a tough transition to shift from working a 40 hour work week to simply trying to find hobbies and activities to fill your day. Some businesses make a great alternative to working a traditional job while still providing the freedom that retirement offers.
Here are the top businesses that are well-suited for older Americans:
- Consultant/Public Speaker – This can be a no brainer for someone who has deep industry knowledge in a particular field. If you built a whole career around one specific niche, that knowledge can be of significant help to others in the form of a consultant or public speaker. Some people even offer consulting to individuals getting started on their entrepreneurial journey.
- Child Care – This is a great option if you love children and you can offer your services in your own home or your client’s home. If you have a teaching background or related field, adding tutoring to your list of services can be a great option for parents to take advantage of. think about your scheduling needs and the type of care services you’re equipped to provide with the skills you have.
- Writer/Editor – If you have excellent communication skills why not put them to use? There are tons of options when it comes to writing. If you have deep industry knowledge, writing white papers or technical papers could be a great option. These are generally done on a contract basis. As a result, you can set your own schedule with multiple clients. You could also start your own blog and eventually earn an income from sponsored posts or brand partnerships or write a book.
- Etsy Shop – If you have a knack for the creative side, selling handmade items on Etsy might be a great fit. You can sell everything from knit scarves, custom printed clothing, unique jewelry, wood carvings, and many more items you make with your hands.
- Pet Sitter – If you love animals, being outside and staying active, being a dog walker or pet sitter might be a fun business. You can choose regular dog walking clients or take on overnight jobs on a case by case basis.
- Property Management/Handyman – Whether you choose to invest in rental properties, manage properties for someone else, or just do some general handyman duties, these types of businesses are often attractive for some retirees due to the flexibility. If you choose to invest in your own properties, you can choose from single or multi-family homes to rent to long term tenants or invest in properties that would make good short-term rentals on sites like VRBO or Airbnb.
- Bookkeeper – If finance is in your blood, managing the books for a few businesses could be a great job for you. You can choose how many clients you take on and how big or small the accounts are. If you prefer working with individuals, tax prep may be another great option.
Many retirees who aren’t quite ready to enjoy all the freedom of retirement still aren’t sure if it’s worthwhile to continue working – especially in a new way. While every situation is different, here are some pros and cons to consider.
- Increased financial security – Continuing to work allows you to save more money and continue earning interest for a longer period of time.
- Stay active – Working keeps both your mind and body active and can improve mental and physical health. Some people simply enjoy working and spending time with co-workers. This can be especially beneficial for those who don’t have a ton of other activities or hobbies to look forward to.
- Try new things – A retirement job lets you explore different possibilities or focus on things you enjoy.
- Less time and flexibility – Part of the appeal of retirement is the freedom of a clear schedule. Working means you still have some commitments.
- Possible decreased Social Security benefits – If you return to the workforce after applying for Social Security, some of the benefits may decrease. It’s best to consult a financial advisor or tax professional to see how the additional income will affect your retirement earnings.
- Safety concerns –It’s important to understand your own limits – working jobs that have long commutes or are very taxing on your mind or body may not be the best option for you.
Good retirement jobs should be enjoyable and flexible. Starting a business can be a very attractive opportunity for retirees with years of experience. A good retirement business can let individuals turn an enjoyable hobby, like crafting accessories or caring for dogs, into an income and business opportunity. If you’re interested in starting a small business after you retire, think about the things you enjoy doing before you get started. Then consider how much time you’re willing to set aside. If you have questions about setting up a business checking/savings account or acquiring a business loan – give us a call. We’d love to learn more about your next adventure.
Margret K. Warner
Vice President, Commercial Lender
Director of Business Services