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Seniors & Self-employment II:

9 Ideas for After Retirement Businesses

Last week I shared 4 benefits seniors would receive from starting their own business. I also cited that many older adults, out of necessity, have to work past retirement age simply to make ends meet. In May of 2017, Mitra Toossi and Elka Torpey, economists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, reported that 16.42% of adults over age 65 are self-employed. In round numbers, that’s roughly 8.2 million seniors. Personally, I think that estimate may be a bit low.

Based on earlier research and subsequent articles, not every senior has enough money to buy a franchise. If they need to quickly make ends meet, then they need a business that is inexpensive to start and will cash flow as quickly as possible. Today I will be sharing 9 ideas, in no particular order, for businesses that are easy and inexpensive to start.

Babysitter – Who knows about children better than a grandmother or grandfather? Grandma and grandpa sitters are generally more experienced, reliable and stable than their teen counterparts. Getting started should cost next to nothing. It’s a matter of making your service known. Word of mouth is cheap.

Airbnb – If you have space, you can rent it out for less than the cost of a motel. A great way to make full-time money with little or no investment. Easy to start and tons of support for all your questions.

Handyman– Many men are quite handy with tools and enjoy doing small home repairs. This is something you can start locally and, if you want, expand beyond your neighborhood. Again, word of mouth is cheap.

Sell online Craigslist, eBay and Amazon are probably the best-known places to sell items online. You can sell stuff from garage sales, trash piles and anything in-between.

House/pet sitting – If you like pets and don’t mind sleeping in strange beds, this may be the job for you! House sitting combined with caring for a pet can be fun, easy to start and potentially lucrative.

Personal chef– Busy families and seniors often need help with meal preparation, plus you can cook for larger groups as well. Little cash is needed and you can use your client’s kitchen. Lots of pros, especially if you like to cook.

Organizing– Are you patient with people and skilled at organizing?  From downsizing to creating space in the already over-used storage closet, there is a demand for skilled hands-on people who can find or design a niche or cranny for the hard to place object.

Home Staging – Do you have an eye for color and coordinating exactly where things should go? Maybe you don’t have an interior design degree, but you have the eye and talent for sprucing up an otherwise empty room. If so, realtors and others need your help showcasing their homes.

Consulting– You have 40 years of talent and experience stored up, now you can put it to use in the same industry or something entirely different. Experts are needed to help in everything from grant writing to designing a wardrobe.

When I researched online for businesses seniors could start, I was given over 63 million sites to study. Obviously, a lot has been written on the subject. When I saw how much information there was I decided to limit my ideas to businesses that were inexpensive to start and could produce an income in a relatively short period of time. I purposely chose businesses that required no additional (formal) education, licensing, certification or were physically demanding. There are hundreds of other businesses that can be started, there just isn’t time or space to list them all. For example, you can start a contracting business designing lawns, or supplying a petting zoo for parties and other events. The choices are endless. If nothing else, I hope I’ve given you some food for thought.