People often assume that you have to take it easy when you retire. After all, that’s the literal definition of retirement. But just because you’ve retired from your old job doesn’t mean you can’t work anymore. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least 10,000 people reach retirement age every single day. For most of them, it’s their chance to relax after a life of hard work. A few, however, still have the energy and zeal to run a business.
Older people have special needs. Remember when I said that over 10,000 people retire each day? They represent an untapped market begging for care and attention. It’s estimated that by 2030, at least a fifth of Americans will be over the age of 65. Older adults know what other retirees are going through, which is why starting a business that targets them makes perfect financial sense.
If you have some capital and business savvy, you can turn your sunset years into a second chapter for your business career. If you know you have the energy to run a business, then you should go for it. Here are a few things you can do to make the most of your retirement.
- Provide in-home services
Retirees are a paradoxical bunch. Compared to younger groups, retirees are more likely to be homebound. But they’re also one of the most well-traveled people. In fact, retirees are more likely to travel and go on vacations than Gen Xers or Millennials. And since many retirees have a substantial nest egg, they can afford to drop thousands of dollars on tourism.
What does that mean for you? If retirees often travel, they need someone to look after their homes while they’re away. Normally, they wouldn’t trust a stranger to stay inside their homes, but make them look professional and presentable, and they would pay money to hire housesitters. Pet-sitting has also become more popular in recent years.
Another business venture you might want to consider is in-home care. Since many retirees are homebound, they need someone to take care of basic tasks like errands and home care. You can fill that gap by starting a business that helps lighten the load for retirees and older adults.
- Maintain residential properties
You can’t rely on your body to hold up under stressful situations forever. Even if you can perform basic repairs around your home, your body isn’t as limber as it was before. That means you’ll need someone to do repairs and replacements around your home. If you can’t maintain your own home, then others probably can’t either. You can start a business that provides repair services for retirees.
In a similar vein, even retirees spend thousands of dollars on home improvement projects. Many homes today cannot accommodate the special needs of retirees and older adults. You can specialize in projects that make homes safer, more convenient, and more accessible.
Finally, many retirees are concerned about their safety. Crime is on the rise across America, and retirees are often targeted by criminal elements. Some businesses specialize in home security systems for senior citizens.
- Start a storage company
If there’s anything that older adults have lots of, it’s stuff. The older we get, the more likely we are to become sick. Some of us might sell our home and move to a more manageable apartment or in senior living. Moving somewhere smaller means they won’t have enough space for everything they own. That’s where you come in.
You can start a storage business that caters to older adults and retirees. Instead of having to sell off their prized possessions, they can just keep them locked up in a secure locker or vault, saving them for future generations. You wouldn’t want to auction off your art or collectibles just because you can’t fit them in your new apartment.
- Manage retirement funds
One of the drawbacks of retirement is the loss of income. You can’t expect your nest egg to last forever, and your social security barely covers your basic needs. Many retirees have found themselves broke due to poor financial management. If you have a background in finance, why not help your fellow retirees manage their retirement money better?
For instance, many retirees require round-the-clock medical supervision, which can put a huge strain on any family’s finances. If you know how to manage or even invest other people’s money, you can build a good reputation within the retiree community.
The bottom line
While anyone can start a business at any age, you need to understand that your responsibilities haven’t changed just because you’re retired. You still need to deal with the same issues that other entrepreneurs face.
Most importantly, you need to have the right background for the business you want to start. It makes sense for a retired accountant to start a financial services firm, but not an auto repair shop.