20 Retirement Business Ideas

Senior Businessman Using Phone

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Let’s say you have decided to start a business to make some retirement income and keep yourself active. But what kind of business? Almost any business can be made to fit your retirement, but here are 20 ideas to get you thinking.

Teach Classes

Make a list of skills you have that others would find useful. Can you teach a class for either small groups or an individual? These could be in person or over the web.

Pet Sitting

Boy is this service appreciated by pet owners. Many would prefer a pet sitter to a kennel and once you establish a customer’s trust you will have them as a customer for life.

Rental Property Manager

Many real estate investors have money to buy their properties but no time to manage them. Maybe you can help them and start a nice little business for yourself.

Direct Sales

Do you have some experience in sales or at least like approaching and talking to people. As an independent sales agent you can help businesses that are too small for their own sales staff.

Running a franchise

Many retirees go this route. I personally think it is most appropriate for those with substantial savings, as most are not cheap and you don’t want to risk principal that you need for retirement income.


This one would be great for retired teachers and others that just like helping people one on one. There are many possibilities from young children to high school, college or even adults.

Computer Repair Business

People still need help repairing and upgrading their computers. Once you learn the skills this can be a lucrative side business.

“Other” Repair Business

Just like computers most things that are expensive enough to make repairs sensible can turn into a business. First step is to learn the necessary skills.


This is the retirement business most often mentioned in lists like this. Many times your first customer can be your former employer. This can work for both parties as the former employer gains from your experience and you gain by having greater control over what projects you work on and how much you work.


This is another often mentioned retirement business. It is similar to consulting except you are working one on one. This business may take time to get started and build a reputation but many coaches eventually earn high fees and have more work than they can handle.


This might work for somebody who is well versed in a certain area and there are groups that are willing to pay for a speaking engagement.


This could be a good business for somebody who likes to cook for large groups and work with people. It doesn’t have to be large gatherings like weddings. You might build a business doing smaller gigs like dinner parties or barbecues, where the hostess would greatly appreciate having somebody handle the food while they spend time with their guests.

Senior Care

There are probably many potential businesses in this area with the millions of baby boomers that are turning into seniors and will need all kinds of services.


Boy are they in demand. If you are good with little jobs many find they have more work then they can handle once they establish a good reputation.

Campground Worker

You could run this like a business by offering your services to assorted campgrounds or even gather a group of retirees together and coordinate sending them to local campgrounds on busy weekends.

Bed and Breakfast

Another business that appears on a lot of retirement business lists. This of course is a big undertaking but can be very fulfilling for the right kind of people.

Tourist Guide

Do you live anywhere near a popular tourist area? Really get to know the sights and the best restaurants and gift shops. Then rent yourself out as a guide.


This can take hundreds of forms. You can sell your wares at craft malls and shows or on web sites like Etsy.


Again this can take many forms, from writing articles for bloggers to writing and publishing your own books.

Small Business Support Person

Many small business need all kinds of help and can’t afford to hire employees. Offer your general services to assist. This could be anything from becoming a virtual assistant and working from home to helping with whatever needs done at a particular location.


Are you an artist? This can take many forms from selling your own fine art to prints. The key here is to establish a following and that can take some time.

Other thoughts

This list just scratches the surface as usual but hopefully it gets and keeps you thinking. What are your ideas?

Until next time…

Turning 60 – Stuck in between


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In many ways turning 60 is like turning 20. You are stuck in between. You are not a kid and yet not really grown up. It is a time of decisions. What kind of life do I want? Whit kind of career? Should I go to school or get a job? Where do I want to live? At 20 you know you should be thinking about these things and yet what you really want to think about is relationships and maybe what will you do this next Saturday.

60 is like 20

Being 60 is sort of the same. You are probably not retired, but yet you are probably not thinking as much about climbing the career ladder anymore. You know you need to think about your financial future. You know you need to think about what you will do with the rest of your life and even where you want to live. However you still very much have the responsibilities of a job and concerns about your family. Yes, 60 is like 20, except with a few more aches and pains!

And then of course there is the pure shock. How the hell could you be 60! The twenties took forever. The thirties and forties were kind of a blur because of long career hours and maybe raising a family. The fifties were still kind of busy and you just generally ignored the passage of time. But now you are 60 and suddenly life doesn’t seem so much like it will last forever.


For many of us your career could provide another shock. Some experience a layoff out of the blue and find that nobody wants to hire a 60 year old. Others may fear a layoff with that realization that recovering from one will be very difficult. Even if you have a job and are at the highest salary of your life you may feel that your company is kind of putting you out to pasture, taking you less seriously and giving the prime projects to younger folks.

Maybe it is time for a little life review. Chances are you now realize you won’t be a billionaire! But maybe that’s OK.

What went right?

Probably a lot went right. Now is time to list a few of the highlights. Doing so will give you confidence that a lot more is going to go right in the years to come.

What went wrong?

It is good to acknowledge some things that didn’t go as planned. Just don’t dwell on them. Consider them the attaining of wisdom! Useful so that you don’t make the same exact mistakes, but not for much else. Time to move on.

What’s the bucket list look like?

Have some things you would still like to do? Make a real bucket list. Maybe climbing Mont Everest is off the list (or maybe not – there is that Japanese guy that did it at 80!)

Making Plans

It is time to at least start thinking about what you want to do with the rest of your life. Just like at 20 these plans may change but its time to get them out there and try them on for size.
Start making some general plans and experiment to see what feels right. Don’t forget your significant other at this stage. Hopefully you both have some of the same ideas, and maybe some compromises may be needed.

More about the planning process in future posts! Until next time…

Self Designed Communties

Family House Picture

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We have talked previously about housing alternatives in retirement. A recent article I read in Marketwatch talked about some people that are living this reality. Below is the article:


Comparison to “55 Plus” communities

These housing arrangements share some things in common with builder’s “55 and Over” communities, but they are self created by groups of people who have carved out little communities for their shared use. Some people don’t like having all the people the same age group in a big retirement community. They would prefer a tiny community within a large general population community of many ages.

While these communities will vary greatly, here are some common chracteristics:

People watch out for each other

People share resources – this can be appliances, tools, cars, or almost anything

People share skills – maybe somebody is good at carpentry, another is good with computers and still another likes to fix cars

Sometimes there are shared common areas – like a shared backyard or deck

In general people have the opportunity to form lifetime friendships

Some Self-Created Community Ideas

Here are just a few examples of how a shared community might be created:

A townhouse or condo with 3 bedrooms is converted to 3 little studio apartments with shared areas for watching TV, relaxing, snd socializing.

A 3 or 4 bedroom fixer upper is gutted and converted into three apartments with a shared backyard and storage areas.

A group of friends take over a building in an existing apartment complex. Say a complex has several bulldings with 8 apartments in each building. You make an arrangement with the owner so 8 friends can reside in the building and created your own little community without the need to buy a building.

A group of retirees take over and renovate a small dilapidated motel – a recent trip along the old Route 66 gave me this idea. There are still some struggling motels that were bypassed by the interstates long ago. Some are located in nice little communities. Why not take one over with a group of friends?

Share a big McMansion. As some baby boomers shed their McMansions there might be some opportunities for a small group of people to share them. Note that some communities limit the number of unrelated people that can occupy a single house. However I see this changing as millions of retired baby boomers look for affordable housing alternatives.

Some questions to consider

No arrangement is ever perfect and difficult scenarios will sometimes arise that affect all members of the community. None of these reasons should stop the idea. Here are just a couple:

What happens when someone cannot keep up financially?

People get sick and grow old, both physically and mentally. What happens in this situation?

What happens if someone gets ill?

What happens when someone passes away?  The reality is that this will happen someday. Is the deceased person’s share  in the community sold? Split up amongst the remaining membes? How are expenses handled while the transition is taking place. Are legal documents in place to handle this situation?

I hope this article keeps you thinking about housing alternatives and the need for community in retirement. What are your ideas for self created communities?