Monday, June 6, 2011

Life After Retirement: Starting A Business

Older entrepreneurs are rewriting the book on retirement. There are no rules, just fun! If you are looking for renewed purpose, starting your own business may be right for you.

Many of us are looking forward to retirement – that time where we can leave the rat race behind for good, sleep late and do what we want – all while still collecting a check. It sounds like the epilogue to the American Dream, a suitable ending to a fairytale life. However, things rarely work out quite that way.

Pensions and Social Security don’t seem to pay enough or we find that retirement leaves us with a little too much time on our hands. If you seem to have more month than money or just seem to be at a loss as to how to spend your time, and you aren’t quite ready to leave the race just yet, consider looking into the possibility of starting your own business.

Re-entering the workforce after retirement is growing increasingly popular. In 2005, U.S. labor force participation by men and women aged 55 and older was 70 percent, up from 64 percent in 1970. It has been suggested that those who work well past retirement age can expect to live longer lives with fewer health issues than those who do not. So while the benefits may be financial, working past retirement can also have physical benefits as well.

So how do you decide what your new career or business is going to be? Well, it might be better to keep things simple. Start with your interests. Like baking? Think about starting a home based business specializing in baked goods. Love to garden? Offer your services as a landscape consultant. Are you a great golfer? Why not offer some lessons at your local club? Whatever your interests and/or talents, you just might be able to make money while still doing what you love - and that my friends, is the trick to enjoying your latter years while still feeling productive!
You could also look into the possibility of owning a local franchise of an existing business. Or perhaps consider purchasing the business of someone else who is retiring.

If you decide to start your own business, try to keep your start-up costs at a minimum. Even if you have a substantial life savings, it would be unwise to risk huge amounts of it until you know your business is being successful.

Also, to keep from feeling overwhelmed, limit your work hours at first. We all like to think we can still do five things at once and keep up with the rest of the world but the reality is that as we age, we need to pace ourselves.

In the end remember that these are still your retirement years and you should be allowed to enjoy them!

*NOTE: There are also opportunities to work on line, which are great for seniors because it is not even necessary to get dressed, let alone leave home to make some money. Be very careful, however, because there are so many people on line who can't wait to get their hands on your hard-earned money. Before you get involved with any on line business, be sure to check it out with the Better Business Bureau.

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