Over 60 and ready to kick butt…

Senior Politician

“The times they are a changing.”  Bob Dylan was right and it applies to older folks today.  Never in history have older people been ready to kick butt in all kinds of ways.  Let’s look at why.

The Grey wave

Today’s older folks will not be sitting in the rocking chair – unless it’s while listening to rock music!  They are planning on 20+ years of butt kicking in many ways.  You hear lots about the Baby Boomer generation and how they are going to break the Social Security and Medicare system.  But what about the positive aspects?

Political Clout

Older people are voting in record numbers and they pay attention.  When our representatives do something stupid they give them hell!

A little money and maybe a lot more time

It’s amazing what can be accomplished with a little money and some time.  Some 60+ people are hitting the peak of their earning years and they are not in a big hurry to quit.  Not only can they make a contribution to their employers, they also have some extra money because kids are grown and hopefully most debts are paid off.

Others have just a little money from Social Security and savings but a lot of time.  And all that time can be invested in myriad ways.  Think starting a business, volunteering, or helping young people.

So how can you join the “Kick Butt” demographic?

Get your health in order as much as possible

Health is probably the biggest determination of your degree of involvement.  You hear of many people staying very active into their 80s and 90s.  The key is reasonable health.  Minor health issues you can ignore and just keep going but serious health issues can put you out of the game or end your life prematurely.

Start a business where money isn’t the only goal

This is a big trend these days.  Instead of hanging up their work clothes some are putting on a whole new set.  Many times money is a secondary goal.  They are doing work they love and money is just a side benefit.

Start an organization for a cause

The world has so many problems that need to be solved.  Instead of waiting for somebody else to solve them why not start an organization to solve it yourself.

Use your experience and maturity

This is an area where older folks have a real advantage.  Older people have seen it all before.  Nothing surprises them and they don’t panic.  In my career managing programmers I’ve always tried to maintain a mixture of age groups.  I like older people because when everybody else is panicking they just keep trudging along to solve the problem.

Associate with people of all age groups

Don’t hang around all older retired people.  There is nothing wrong with them, just have an assortment of friends and acquaintances.  You can’t help young people if you don’t ever see any.  Choose your company carefully.  You want to associate with people that are doing stuff, not sitting on their butts.

So how will you kick butt?

10 Hobbies that can make you money

CrochetingMuch has been written about “follow your passion,” and hobbies are certainly a passion for many of us.  There are arguments about whether “following your passion” can lead to a full time career but we won’t get into that here!  We just want to take a look at some hobbies that can make you a little side income, all the while having fun enjoying your hobby while you’re at it!

Coin Collecting

Coin Collecting is a fascinating hobby that has the potential to make you money both from the investment side and through sales.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Before you pay a dime for a coin invest your time on education. Learn what makes a coin worth what, and all about condition, which makes a huge difference in the value of coins.
  2. Study EBay auctions and prices.
  3. Look for alternative ways to acquire your coins, from searching your spare change to placing a local classified ad and buying small collections from people no longer interested in the hobby.

Stamp Collecting

Most of what can be said about coin collecting can be said about stamp collecting.

Woodworking

This hobby has many possibilities for making money.  People value quality one of a kind items.  Like many hobbies that make money if you try to measure success by an hourly return you might fall short but if you love what you are doing it can all make sense.  As you gain experience you will learn what sells and you can improve that hourly rate.

Investing Research

This one is tricky because the stock market is tricky.  My point here is that some time spent on research improves your odds.  The investing world and learning about all the different options and the companies behind the ticker symbols can be fascinating.  Just look at all the internet sites, magazines, and books related to investing.  Not all the people using this information are millionaires, many just enjoy the learning experience.

Fixing up old cars

Lots of people like fixing up old cars.  For many it’s a labor of love.  This can take many forms from just taking an older non running used car and making it drive-able to full restorations of classics.  In either case there may be money to be made.

Making Art

Artists get a thrill out of creativity.  Many consider making money from their art to be the furthest thing from their minds.  However, those that can channel some of their creativity into the marketing side of art stand to make some bucks.  Today the internet is an artist’s best friend.  The key seems to be developing a following and marketing to your list.

Some Crafts

I say “some” crafts because finding crafts that sell can be dicey.  The key is testing what sells before you spend a lot on materials.  Some crafts work only for hobby purposes.

Quilting

Those that love quilting can’t make enough of them.  Eventually you run out of places to put them in your own home and even where to give them as gifts.  So why not sell some?  This is common practice in the Amish areas of Pennsylvania near where I live.  This is another one of those cases where if you tried to justify on an hourly wage basis you would probably fail.  But if your love is making quilts this becomes a secondary consideration.

Yard Sales

This one can take many forms.  Many people simply love going to yard sales and looking for bargains.  The key here is knowing enough to buy items that can be sold at a profit and not accumulating “junk!”

Antiques

Again the secret hear is knowing what to buy that can be resold as a profit.  Another possibility is re-purposing an antique item into another use that makes it more valuable.

Probably almost any hobby can be made into a money making side venture.  Just use your imagination!

20 Retirement Business Ideas

Senior Businessman Using Phone

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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.

Tutoring

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.

Consulting

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.

Coaching

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.

Speaking

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.

Catering

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.

Handyman

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.

Crafts

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

Writing

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.

Art

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…