Now that you’ve retired from your job, are you ready to seize the challenge of starting a new business? Many retirees who’ve been employees all of their lives get excited at the thought of running the show, and building a business that reflects their interests and values. If you’re looking for business ideas to launch during your retirement, here are five to get you started.
Consulting and coaching
Retirees considering starting businesses should start by thinking about two areas: skills from their previous jobs and life lessons. These experiences make retirees well-positioned to share their knowledge.
“Since they have a lot of life and career experience, a consulting and coaching business suits them well as a new endeavor,” said Dolly Garlo, business coach and president of Thrive!! Inc. By capitalizing on existing knowledge, retirees can spend their time learning the ropes of running a new business.
“Retirees should focus on jobs and business opportunities that leverage the individual’s years of work and life experience, such as consulting, teaching or tutoring,” said Jamie Hopkins, Esq., assistant professor of taxation in the Retirement Income Program at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and associate director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income.
Instead of sharing knowledge through a face-to-face business, retirees may prefer to teach or coach through a freelance writing business. “Writing and blogging can be a way for the retiree to stay engaged in an online or other community, generate some income and leverage their knowledge,” said Hopkins.
As you brainstorm new business ideas, Garlo suggests asking a few key questions. “How much time do you want to spend working? What kind of flexibility do you require? Do you want to work from a fixed location or be able to work virtually? What subject matter in particular excites you?”
Garlo says it’s also important to consider your potential business customers, and if they can afford to pay you. “This will determine whether what you provide becomes a hobby or charitable endeavor, or is an actual business,” she said. [New Business Idea? How to Test Before Launching]
Start a mastermind group
Have you left a successful career after establishing a large network of valuable and experienced business contacts? If so, the main ingredients of your new business idea may be as close as your address book.
“[Retirees] have learned lessons that many business owners won’t learn for another 10 to 20 years,” said Tobe Brockner, author of “Mastermind Group Blueprint: How to Start, Run and Profit from Mastermind Groups” (Aloha Group Publishing, 2013). “This is why starting a mastermind group is a natural fit for retirees.”
Members of mastermind groups meet regularly to collaborate and solve the problems or issues of their members, tapping into the collected experience, skills and knowledge of the group.
“Many [retirees] already have a network that they can tap into to find excellent mastermind group members, and by being the group organizer and facilitator, they can make a nice supplemental income,” said Brockner.
Depending on the size of the area in which they live, Brockner said enterprising retirees can start and facilitate multiple mastermind groups, and charge a premium for the value of being a member.
“Mastermind group facilitators can generate between $1,500 to $3,000 per month per group for just a few hours [of] work,” he said.
Providing services has long been a popular idea for younger, active retirees who want to start their own businesses; however, familiar choices like handyman services, tutoring or pet sitting aren’t the only games in town.
“There are many options for service-based businesses, but one area particularly well-suited for retirees is to provide eldercare services,” said Nancy Collamer, career coach and author of “Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement” (Ten Speed Press, 2013).
“Many elderly living on their own need someone to help out with the tasks of daily living: housekeeping, shopping, errands and cooking,” said Collamer. “They also hire people to help out with special projects such as relocating, medical claims assistance and bill paying.”
Read more: 5 Smart Business Ideas for Retirees