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  • Should You Start a Business in Retirement?

    Game Plan

    In-Depth

    Popular Business Ventures for Retirees

    Once you’ve decided that you like the idea of starting your own business, and depending on the type of business you have in mind, there are three main models to choose from:

    There are literally hundreds of businesses you can run on your own or with minimal staffing that can be started with very little capital. Many are ideally suited to be home-based operations. A few of the more popular retiree business options include:

    • Consulting services. You may be able to consult for your former employer or for competitors in the same industry.
    • Becoming a professional speaker. If you’re good in front of people and love talking about your areas of expertise and educating others, becoming an expert speaker can be lucrative. You can market yourself to niche audiences and deliver motivational or problem solving talks in offices, at events, and at large conferences.
    • Consumer convenience services. Find an affordable luxury you can provide to others, such as dog walking, catering, house cleaning, or errand running. Specialty foods are always in demand, especially those centered on healthy eating, such as gluten-free baked goods or vegan offerings.
    • Pet businesses. Americans spend a lot on their pets. The American Pet Products Association estimates total spending in 2014 at more than $58 billion. Discover a way to capture a part of that industry.
    • Senior care services. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people over age 85 are the fastest growing group of the elderly, and they are in need of medical services and home care options.
    • Online business. The Internet is the great equalizer for individuals competing in various industries because anyone can sell products and services from their home through a website. You could sell actual products as an eBay or Amazon store, market mobile apps, operate a virtual marketing agency, or build a blog audience that brings in affiliate marketing and advertising revenue.
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    Game Plan

    • If you’ve determined that operating a home-based business makes the most sense for your lifestyle and financial resources, here’s a list of 25 home-based business ideas to get you thinking about the possibilities.
    • To find retiree entrepreneurship events and other resources for people over age 50 in your state, AARP offers a state-by-state listing.