Are you one of those people who dream of the day you can wake up every morning with absolutely nothing that you have to do? Do you look forward to sleeping in every day, lounging around/working on your tan poolside, and simply doing as little as you possibly can for the rest of your life?
Sound like Heaven or would this be your idea of Hell on Earth? If you’re like many people over 50, a life with nothing at all to do doesn’t sound all that pleasant. Right?
In addition, 72% of retirees worry that they’ll run out of money during their retirement, so the option of doing absolutely nothing really doesn't exist. Sound familiar?
If you’re one of them, once you’ve enjoyed a few vacations and re-evaluated exactly what retirement means to you, you may decide to start nurturing a business idea that you’ve been kicking around for a while. Or, perhaps you're considering turning a newfound hobby into your next venture.
Keeping Your Entrepreneurial Spirit Going Strong
If you’re an entrepreneur, it could be difficult (if not impossible) to simply shut off your entrepreneurial spirit like a light switch. You need to keep those creative juices flowing and feel alive via your ongoing accomplishments. You don’t need to make yourself crazy developing your new business idea either.
You just need something that you find enjoyable to help you to have a warm sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. And, you'll also discover that starting a new business when you’ve over 50 really doesn’t have to become a huge endeavor.
Is It Right For You?
The fact is that a life of no activity at all would probably drive you crazy. A few relaxing days may be great, but after they’re over, it’s definitely time to start tackling something new to conquer! Acting on your passions while setting future goals can really do amazing things for your body, mind, and soul.
Starting your own business after 50 is probably the right move for you if you’ve always wanted to embark on something that involves:
- Becoming your own boss,
- Building a profitable business from nothing,
- Doing something that you love full-time,
- Helping others directly,
- Learning something completely new.
Success After 50
Are you concerned about the success rate of people 50+ starting their own businesses? Did you know that entrepreneurs over 50 are twice as likely to succeed as younger entrepreneurs? In fact, finding a high level of financial success after the age of 50 is a lot more common than you think.
Why? Well, there are several reasons but the main one is that research shows that most of the world’s entrepreneurs are members of the 55 to 64 age group. It could be common sense, life experience, wisdom, or a combination of all of those qualities that make starting a business when you’re over 50 a good option.
It’s also an excellent way for you to spend your time doing something that you really enjoy while also earning some additional income for supplementing your retirement savings.
Not Retired Yet?
Most people may not actually be retired yet at 50 but that doesn't mean that you can't go ahead and start your own business for the future when you do. Many businesses can be started and run from your home and you can begin on a part-time basis. And, starting your business pre-retirement could actually end up allowing you to retire early!
That being said, the following 20 business ideas for retirees over 50 could help you realize your dream and create your retirement with purpose:
1. Starting a Blog or Podcast
If you have even a little bit of experience or authority in any niche market, you can start your own blog or podcast. Everybody’s doing it these days and most of them are young and inexperienced in most areas of life, love, and especially business. And, if you choose to blog, don't worry if you're not an accomplished writer. You can hire writers or use an AI writing program for your blog content.
Here's one example of where to find content for your blog or podcast:
Do you love watching TV and commenting about specific shows? How about starting a blog reviewing your favorite shows? Currently, people are constantly clicking on anything related to “ Yellowstone” and its many other Taylor Sheridan spinoffs like “1883”, “1923”, and “6666”, and hopefully a new rumored offering starring Matthew McConaughey (alright, alright, alright).
Soaps are always a major topic of online conversations. Whether your faves are on CBS, ABC, or whatever, there’s plenty to talk or blog about from “who’s sleeping with who” to “who killed who”.
Other Sources & Subjects
Of course, the tube doesn’t have to be your only source of inspiration. Life and previous experience are some of the best sources. You could choose any of the following for your blog, just pick one that you have some experience with:
- Being a good grandparent (you probably have plenty of experience here)
- Computers & IT
- Cooking (watch Guy Fieri, Bobby Flay & more for inspiration)
- Dieting & good health
- Home decor (get lots of ideas on HGTV shows)
- Movies & celebs
- Plants & flowers
- And so much more (depending on your personal experience).
2. Starting an Online Affiliate Marketing Business
This is an all-time favorite because it can be done from home in your PJs, part-time or full-time. All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection. You'd be surprised how many of your favorite brands (as well as plenty of others) have affiliate programs.
How to find them?
To find them, all you have to do is scroll to the bottom of the page on their website and you'll usually see a link you can click on for their affiliate program. Sometimes they call the link something else like “Partners”, so look carefully or you might miss it. Not all companies have some but many do.
The first thing that you need to become a marketer is a domain name. You can get one from sites like Go Daddy and they cost practically nothing. Try to choose a name that relates in some way to what you'll be offering and is easy for consumers to remember. Spend some time researching and learning how to build an attractive website. You can build one for nothing using WordPress.
Choose a Niche Market
At this point, you need to choose your niche market, like travel, parenting, pets, financial products, home decor, etc. Then read up on driving traffic to your site. They'll give you a special link that customers can click and you'll automatically get credit and receive commissions for sending them there.
Don't expect your them instantaneously, however, as most companies pay quarterly although some may pay monthly.
3. Starting a Bookkeeping Business
The success of any small business depends on keeping track of the finances, fixing problems, and understanding when to expand. This opens up another kind of small business opportunity for retirement. A new career in accounting or bookkeeping might be a good fit for you if you have the right skill set.
Increasing your marketability via specialization is a good place to start. Although there may be a lot of bookkeepers out there, you can level the playing field by specializing in certain areas, such as retail stores, ecommerce, auto dealers, medical or dental practices, etc.
Choosing Secure Software
Since you’ll be on your own now when it comes to liability, the software you use in your bookkeeping biz is very important. Using secure software is crucial, so don’t opt for anything that offers less than a two-step authentication process (QuickBooks is a good option) and you should also look for cloud-based solutions.
4. Becoming a Consultant
There are some benefits to being older and one is that “with age comes wisdom”. That’s why one of the top business ideas for anyone over 50 is consulting. Why is consulting so great for seniors?
Are You an Expert in Your Field?
Besides being worldly and wise, it could be because you’re an expert in your field. Or, it could be because other people and their companies could be benefiting from your considerable wisdom. And, there are lots of other consulting opportunities, especially in unique fields and niche markets.
Some of those areas include fields like home office design, color consulting, organization, and much more. So, what’s your specialty?
5. Becoming a Life Coach or Mentor
If you’re intrigued by the thought of being able to have a positive impact on somebody’s life and make a real difference in the world, then this would probably be a good small business for you.
The world of today is quite interesting, especially for young people who are just starting out in their careers. Young adults may look and sound great but often don’t have a clue when it comes to life in general.
They Need Your Help
That’s why they need your help since you’ve already been there and done that and now you know exactly what it all means. Becoming a mentor/life coach can help other people succeed and it’s not just in the business world, but also in every area of life. The best part is that most are willing to pay you for using your years of life lessons to help them achieve a life well-lived.
6. Starting an Administrative Assistant Business
In the same way that in-house employees earn a living, Administrative Freelance Assistants earn their living using their office skills. If you’ve worked in an administrative or administrative assistant capacity, then you’ve undoubtedly become quite skilled in multiple areas. So, you could choose to focus on one specific area, (like bookkeeping), or you could work on several.
Finding work as an administrative or administrative assistant freelancer is as simple as just using your skills. Consider what specific skills you possess and then make a list of them. Don’t forget to include whatever you enjoy the most as well as what you’re best at.
For example, do you enjoy working in customer service, or in any area that’s related to management or sales? Maybe your forte is scheduling, accounting, or some other area of administrative work.
When you do some job searches in each of those areas, you can widen your potential work base, giving you opportunities to pick and choose those particular jobs that you would like the best.
7. Starting a Freelancing Business
According to the Freelancers Union, it's estimated that approximately 34% of the workforce in the U.S. is currently freelancing to some degree. And, working on the Internet as a freelancer provides a greater degree of flexibility in employment and allows you to pick and choose the type of work that you’d like to do.
Freelancing jobs can range from customer service to sales, writing blogs and other content, and even translating if you’re fluent in another language. The possibilities in the field of freelancing are virtually endless.
8. Becoming a Financial Advisor
Here’s a question for you. Have you ever met a 22-year-old financial advisor who could teach you (a 50+-year-old) how to comfortably retire? After all, you’ve lived life and experienced financial ups and downs. Do you have any idea who could sell themselves as financial advisors?
The fact is that it's people like you who are well-seasoned veterans of everything that life has to offer. So, if you’re somebody who loves to help people and has done fairly well for yourself financially, then this is an over-50 small business idea that could very well be a slam-dunk.
9. Starting a Home Repair Business
We’ve known quite a few people who have started handyman-type small businesses in their 50s. In spite of the well-known handyman label, they’re not all men either. Many women these days excel at home repairs of all kinds.
It could be because they’ve had to fix things around the house due to a divorce, the loss of a spouse, or maybe even because they’ve just always been single.
Are You Handy?
Whatever the underlying reason, being “handy” in this area is a blessing that shouldn’t go to waste. Just organize those tools to make them mobile and start advertising online or in person. Remember that word-of-mouth could bring in a lot of business your way since there are always folks out there who aren’t as talented as you are in this particular field.
10. Starting a Home Cleaning Business
There are plenty of people everywhere who can’t stand doing housework or simply don’t have the time. Others, (like you if you’re retired), could have plenty of time and perhaps you’re also somebody who doesn’t mind housework or even enjoys it.
Just Grab Your Bucket
If this sounds like something that could interest you, all you need is a bucket, some cleaning supplies, and cleaning tools. You probably already have those, so then all you need is to order some business cards and print up some flyers.
You can also advertise online as well and, once you have a few loyal customers, you’d be surprised how many others will hear about your good work and call you to clean their homes as well.
11. Starting a House Painting Business
Whether you're painting the interior or exterior of a house, there's something kind of relaxing and satisfying about it. At least that’s how it is for some people and if you’re one of them, this could be a good option for you.
You’ll need a few more start-up supplies (rollers, brushes, tarps, ladders, etc.) than some other businesses but it shouldn’t cost too much. You may even have some or all of them if you’ve done some painting at your own home.
This is, however, one of those businesses that require you to be in pretty good shape, so bear that in mind unless you plan on hiring others to do the work for you. Either way, you can make a pretty decent income since painting is something that every business and homeowner has to do at one time or another.
12. Starting a Landscaping & Gardening Business
Are you somebody who likes working with your hands but prefers being able to be in the great outdoors where you can soak up the sun? Maybe you should be considering landscaping and gardening as your retirement business idea.
Getting started is about as easy as it gets with just a mower and a vehicle for getting it there to start with. Then, just make some calls to your neighbors and leave some flyers on their doorsteps. Offer them an amazing “special introductory price”, and then wait for the jobs to come to you.
As your clients tell their friends about your great work, you'll probably start getting referrals as well. Don’t forget to offer referral discounts so that they’ll all be more likely to start spreading the word.
13. Starting a Pool Maintenance Business
It's a fact that lots of homeowners don't like to (or don't have time to) clean and maintain their own backyard swimming pools. If you don't mind and have some experience in that area, then being a “pool boy” or “pool girl” could be a good option for you.
All you need is a pickup truck and a few supplies from the local pool supply store and the strength and energy to schlepp all of it to each pool. This isn't for the faint of heart, however, since you'll need to deal with pool chemicals and keep yourself safe while doing it. But, if it's something you can handle, the income can be good and you can work on your tan at the same time.
14. Starting an eCommerce Store
If what you’re looking for in a retirement business is something that’s strictly online and can be scaled to your interests and available time, then this is for you. Online shopping becomes bigger and bigger every day and it’s quite profitable for many people.
You can find plenty of sites online that will lead you through designing and starting up your own eCommerce store. And, if you don’t have any merchandise to sell, don’t worry. You can sign up with a drop shipper and sell their merchandise, let them ship it, and you can make a good living off of the sales with no inventory required.
15. Giving Tennis Lessons
If you play a decent game of tennis and also enjoy teaching others, then becoming a tennis coach could be for you. It gets you outside, gets you moving on a regular basis, and you can earn some decent income doing it.
Posting a flier or business card at the local tennis clubs, advertising online, and word-of-mouth are good ways to help you get started with acquiring students. If your game isn’t tennis, then how about coaching another sport like racquetball or pickleball? You’ll be having fun and earning a few bucks at the same time.
16. Buying & Selling
Do you have a knack for discovering all kinds of products at prices that are well-below market? Perhaps it’s on clearance racks, online, or at garage and estate sales. Wherever it may be, if you’re already accustomed to buying low, then it just might be time to try buying and selling for profit.
A Simple Concept
The basic concept is quite simple. You just find ways to buy products super-cheap and sell them via online outlets like Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook. This requires a small investment in some cheap products or you could get started by selling unwanted items that you already have.
17. Becoming a Franchisee
There are clearly plenty of retirement business ideas to start after 50, but this one seems to consistently capture the most attention when retirees are considering starting a business. Why? Because it’s not only attainable and understandable, but the franchisor will usually walk you through the entire process. They do that because it’s definitely in their best interest.
There are a ton of franchises out there with great track records, so here are a few of the top franchises that are currently available:
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Great Clips
- Papa Murphy’s Pizza
- RE/MAX LLC
- Sonic Drive-in Restaurants
- The UPS Store
18. Becoming a Bed and Breakfast Owner
Have you always dreamed of owning a bed and breakfast? Well, it probably sounds romantic and fun but here are a few things to consider to see if it could be the right retirement business for you:
- Are you confident that you’ll be good at dealing with pressure?
- Are you a consummate expert on your locale as a destination?
- Are you willing to try new technologies and strategies for achieving success?
- Can you multitask?
- Do you enjoy cooking and cleaning?
- Do you enjoy getting into a routine?
- Do you love the idea of becoming self-employed?
- Do you really love people and being around them daily?
- Do you love the idea of becoming self-employed?
- Do you learn from your mistakes?
- Do you possess a strong support base in case you need help?
19. Investing in Real Estate/ Flipping Homes
Real estate is a good investment any day of the week. We all know that it always has been and always will be. So, if you have the capital and/or the good credit to invest in some, it’s an excellent area to get into during your retirement years. And, of course, if you watch HGTV, you know how profitable flipping houses can be these days.
Just ask the El Moussas and Tarek’s ex, Christina. They always seem to be making around $100k or more on every flip.
20. Buying an Already Established Business
Starting a business from scratch can be no easy task. You’ve probably heard that four out of five small businesses end up failing within the first five years. So, if you don’t want to struggle to get your business going, then maybe you’d be better off buying a business that’s already established.
If you possess the financial resources for doing it, it could actually be the most profitable move, considering your potential for immediate earnings. Just be sure to do your research and consult an expert in this area before plunking down your hard-earned money.
There’s never any right or wrong way to retire. It’s entirely up to you and when the time comes to enter your golden years, there are definitely lots of ways to occupy your new spare time.
They can be both fulfilling and relaxing as well as an effective way to avoid dipping into your retirement savings. Your possibilities can be endless for making a little (or a lot) of retirement income, spending your time wisely, and doing what has meaning for you.
You’ve already succeeded in your life, and you know that it wasn’t by accident. It required careful planning, lots of determination, and continued learning. Starting a business in your retirement years is no different.