You spend your entire life working hard to earn a living and provide for yourself and your family. And before you know it, you’ve hit the golden age of retirement when you can finally kick back, relax, and enjoy your well-deserved rest.
But for some retirees, sitting around all day with nothing to do is simply unthinkable. If you need to stay active and engaged even after you’ve left the workforce, then starting your own business might be the perfect solution.
The Senior Citizens League, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group that works on behalf of retirees, reported that people own almost one-third of businesses in the United States over 50. And retirees are increasingly starting their own businesses from home, according to a report by AARP.
Vikki Gerrard La Crosse, who built her career in agricultural management in horticulture, is an avid environmentalist who now focuses her energy on teaching communities about sustainability. In this article, we’ll discuss five business ventures Gerrard recommends for retired individuals looking to return to the business world.
The benefits of home-based businesses
Before we get into the list of businesses, it’s noteworthy to mention that most of Vikki Gerrard La Crosse’s suggestions can be operated from the comfort of your home. Home-based businesses are becoming increasingly popular, especially among retirees. According to the Small Business Administration, more than 23 million small businesses in the United States are owned and operated from home.
There are many advantages to starting a home-based business, including setting your hours, working at your own pace, and avoiding the commute. And with the rise of the internet, it’s easier than ever to start and operate a home-based business.
1. Online Sales
One of the businesses that Gerrard recommends is selling products online. With platforms like Amazon and eBay, anyone can set up an online store and start selling products to customers worldwide. If you have a knack for finding deals on products, then reselling items online could be a great way to make some extra money in retirement.
Or, turn your hobbies into cash by selling handmade goods or vintage finds. Etsy is a popular platform for selling handmade or vintage items, and there’s no shortage of buyers looking for one-of-a-kind products.
2. Consultant or Freelancer
If you have years of experience in a particular field, then you can use your knowledge to start a consulting business or offer your services as a freelancer. Many companies and individuals are willing to pay for expert advice, which can be a great way to earn some extra income in retirement. And since you’ll be working as your own boss, you can be as selective as you want regarding clients and projects.
3. Pet-Sitting Business
If you’re passionate about animals, why not make it financially rewarding by starting your own pet-sitting business? Many busy pet owners are willing to pay someone to care for their furry friends while away.
Before bringing anyone’s pets into your home, Vikki Gerrard La Crosse recommends discussing your plans with your insurance company. Make sure you’re covered in case of any accidents. You should also check with your municipality to see if there are animal regulations you need to be aware of.
4. Manage a Blog or Social Media Account
Do you have a knack for social media or writing? If so, you can get paid to manage someone else’s blog or social media account. This is a great way to make money while doing something you enjoy.
According to the social media management career website Hootsuite, there are nearly 3.5 million social media managers worldwide. And that number is only expected to grow in the years to come. So if this is something that interests you, there are plenty of opportunities available.
5. Tutor After School
If you love teaching, you can use your skills to tutor students after school. This is a great way to give back to your community and make some extra money simultaneously. If you don’t want students in your home, you can offer traveling services or meet in public locations, like the local library.
Starting a tutoring business has a ton of flexibility. You can choose which grade levels or specific subjects you’ll focus on. You can also do SAT prep or ACT tutoring if you feel extra ambitious.
While it’s technically not a business, volunteering in your community is a great way to keep yourself busy, have flexible hours, be specific about what tasks you want to take, and impact the world. Because of all the benefits, Vikki Gerrard La Crosse couldn’t leave it off the list!
There are several ways you can volunteer, depending on your interests. You can work with local schools, hospitals, animal shelters, soup kitchens, or any other organization that needs volunteers. To get started, search online for volunteer opportunities in your area.
Starting a business in retirement is a great way to earn extra money and keep busy. But it’s important to choose something that you’re passionate about. Consider your skillset, hobbies, and interests when deciding which business is right for you. And don’t forget to have fun!
Retirement doesn’t mean the end of your working life. It’s simply a new chapter. So get out there and start writing it.