The idea of starting a business in retirement may be novel to some, but is gaining more popularity, and the average age of business owners starting a new business has been increasing because of retired people getting into the game.
The main reason to look at starting a business in retirement may be the extra income it can bring, but there are other important factors as well for starting a new business such as keeping up with your contacts, keeping up to date with computers and new technology, and having a meaningful and valuable activity to do during retirement. Many of my clients feel the exhilaration of being on permanent vacation during the first year or so of their retirement, but can become restless later on.
Types of Businesses to Start
A good business to start is one that uses the expertise you have already have from work, interests or hobbies. This could include many areas such as contract and consulting work, photography or videography, creative writing, affiliate marketing, landscaping, maintenance and repair, bookkeeping, or whatever you are good at and think there is a market for. Many of these business do not require a large investment in equipment, or you may already have the equipment you need from your work or hobbies.
How to Manage your Time
The greatest benefit of retirement for many people is time freedom. Once you have won this freedom for yourself it is not something you are likely to give up. It is therefore important to not let your new business overtake your free time, unless if it your choice. Of course there will be times when your business will demand more of your time, like during the start-up. You can help protect your time freedom by taking shorter term contracts, or configuring your work so you only do it during certain months of the year.
How to Finance your new Business
Most of the businesses that have been mentioned do not have very high start up costs, but all business require a certain amount of money to operate, including marketing costs. You do not want to dip into your retirement funds to operate the new business. It is likely that you would not be able to replace these funds, and the sad fact is the majority of new businesses fail over a five year period. Finance the business out of current income or money not earmarked for your retirement.
Marketing can be important to promoting your new business and surprisingly can be done fairly cheaply while still being effective. If you know your way around the internet you can promote your business on a website or blog and get traffic and referrals. Also don’t forget to make use of your existing contacts. A lot of marketing services can be had cheaply on the net as well. One good place to look is fivver.com. All the services there have a base price of $5 and include services like virtual assistants, logo design, business card design, website promotion and video creation. Some of the people offering services there are also retired people running their own businesses.
Running a business during retirement can be a rewarding experience both financially and socially as long as you keep the above factors in mind. It is my plan to always have my hand in one or more businesses as long as I have the capacity to run them as that is my idea of a fun and rewarding retirement.