When you retire, it doesn’t mean the end of productivity or the pursuit of new interests. It can be the beginning of some of your most exciting adventures! Whether you are looking to invest retirement money into a new business or your time and energy into smaller jobs for extra income, you can still generate gold into your golden years – and now it is easier than ever.
Back in 2020, the pandemic helped open the door to more remote work, and even years later, labor statistics show that opportunities for this type of work are expected to climb. You will continue to find more opportunities to work from home, and you may already have a home office setup equipped for the job.
23 Business Ideas for Retirement
Here are some of the best business ideas for retirees. You will find options that work for everyone, from small business owners to big-time investors. Best of all, many jobs don’t require prior experience.
1. Follow Your Passion
You may think that it’s too late to start something new or start your own business once you have hit a certain age. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Retirement offers a unique chance to rediscover passions or explore new ones. Best of all, you can determine your own hours. You aren’t constrained to a 9-5 job.
Ever wanted to paint, dance, or write a novel? Now might be the perfect time to embrace these passions or discover new ones. The beauty of life is that learning and growing doesn’t have an expiration date.
2. Become a Virtual Assistant
This is one of the easiest ways to obtain extra income, making it one of the best retirement business ideas. The digital age has revolutionized how we work, creating roles that didn’t exist a decade ago. As a virtual assistant, you might be managing an executive’s calendar, doing bookkeeping, answering calls, handling social media accounts, aiding with online marketing, or arranging parties and events – all from your living room.
This business idea offers a lot of flexibility, with many clients open to part-time arrangements. And for retirees who’ve previously held administrative roles, this can be a seamless transition.
3. Offer Freelance Services From Home
Talents like writing, graphic design, and consulting are no longer confined to the four walls of an office. Online platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer have opened doors for professionals globally to offer their services on a per-project basis. This means you can take on as much or as little work as you’d like, all the while setting your rates and working hours. If you’re a retiree with a specific skill set, freelancing is an excellent way to stay engaged and earn a supplementary income. It also requires very little startup costs.
If your history in a field is limited, such as freelance writing, you can still get started by charging a lower fee in the beginning and working your way up. No prior experience is necessary, and business ideas are unlimited. And the better you get at your job, the more repeat customers you gain.
4. Dropship Goods
Imagine running a store without ever needing a physical warehouse. That’s the beauty of dropshipping. You only purchase the product once you’ve made the sale and the customer has paid. It’s efficient, requires less upfront capital and cash flow, and allows you to showcase a diverse range of products. Plus, with the rise of e-commerce platforms like Shopify, setting up your online store has never been easier. It’s a business idea that offers flexibility – perfect for retirees looking to dip their toes into e-commerce without heavy investment.
5. Become a Life Coach or Business Mentor
With age comes wisdom. Who better to guide someone through life’s challenges than someone who’s been through them? Life coaching is about empowering others to make, meet, and exceed personal and professional goals. This could include excelling in the workplace, becoming happy and fulfilled at home, exploring oneself, or managing challenges like loss or change. As a retiree, the rich tapestry of experiences you bring to the table can offer invaluable insights to others. Your previous job and life experiences are valuable. And since you already have the knowledge, it is a relatively easy business idea.
6. Start a Podcast
Podcasting has exploded in popularity, with topics spanning from true crime to gardening. If you have a story to tell, expertise to share, or love the idea of hosting discussions, this could be a fulfilling venture. While this business idea does require some initial setup, like procuring the right equipment and learning about editing, the rewards, both personally and potentially financially, can be significant.
7. Create Online Courses
The thirst for knowledge in our world is unquenchable, and with platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and Teachable, sharing your expertise has never been easier. Whether you’re a math whiz, a baking enthusiast, or have a unique way of teaching soft skills, there’s likely an audience eager to learn. And the beauty of creating an online course? You do the hard work once and can reap the benefits for years. It is one of the best business ideas for generating income with little ongoing effort.
8. Get Paid to Write
The world of written content is vast and ever-growing. Some long-standing writing opportunities are still popular, such as book writing or magazine article writing, but as the digital age propels forward, so does the demand for diverse, quality content. Whether you’re crafting engaging blog posts, insightful magazine articles, or persuasive copy for businesses, there’s a world of opportunity. With platforms like Medium or direct freelancing on websites like Contently and Upwork, even those new to writing can find their voice and audience. Plus, the flexibility to choose topics and set your schedule makes freelance writing a fitting venture for retirees.
9. Become a Senior Concierge
As the aging population increases, so does the need for specialized services catering to senior citizens. A concierge offers personalized assistance, whether running errands like grocery shopping, coordinating medical appointments, providing senior relocation services, or providing friendly companionship. It’s a role that’s not just about convenience but also about enhancing the quality of life for other seniors. Having a concierge business is emotionally and financially rewarding and taps into the empathetic qualities retirees often possess in abundance. You also keep yourself on a better shelf by staying active while you gain extra income.
10. Start an In-Person or Online Tutoring Business
Tutors help students – young and old – in areas like academics, musical instruments, and life skills. Platforms like VIPKid or Chegg Tutors make it easy to connect with students globally. And with the rise of virtual learning, tutoring from the comfort of your home is more feasible than ever.
11. Be an Independent Consultant
Retirement doesn’t mean the expertise you’ve garnered over the years becomes obsolete. Businesses, both big and small, value insights from seasoned professionals. Whether you guide them through a complicated project, offer management strategies, or simplify complex processes, your experience can be gold. Consulting gives you the flexibility of choosing short-term or long-term projects, allowing you to decide how engaged you want to be.
12. Make and Sell Crafts
Crafting isn’t just therapeutic; it can also be profitable. The market for unique, handmade items is thriving, from soap and candles to hand-knitted scarves to bespoke wooden furniture. Platforms like Etsy or local craft fairs provide a platform for artisans to showcase their talents. Plus, turning a retirement hobby into a business means you’re truly doing what you love.
13. Start a Niche Blog
Blogging isn’t just about penning down thoughts. It’s about creating a community around shared interests. Whether you’re passionate about gourmet cooking, vintage cars, or mountain hiking, there’s likely an audience eager to read and engage, and with that audience, you can create an online business. Monetization can come via ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsored posts, turning your passion into profit. This means you can make extra money while you sleep, making it one of the best retirement business ideas. You will need to put in some work to gain traffic, but it’s worth the effort.
14. Write a Newsletter
Newsletters are more than just regular emails. They’re a curated blend of insights, stories, and updates, personalized to cater to a niche audience. Whether you’re chronicling your travels, offering weekly cooking tips, or dissecting the latest books, there’s an audience eager to read. Platforms like Substack or Revue can also help monetize your newsletter once you’ve built a dedicated following.
15. Buy a Business
Starting a business requires a concept, research, and a lot of groundwork. However, buying an existing one bypasses many initial hurdles. You inherit an established brand, a customer base, and possibly a loyal team. Of course, it’s vital to do thorough research, understand the business’s financial health, and get a grasp on the market. But with the right choice, it could be a profitable venture with fewer startup pains. You can focus on a small business to reduce your financial risk.
16. Invest in Someone Else’s Business
If the idea of starting from the ground up or buying an existing business feels too daunting, consider the alternative: investing in someone else’s vision. By contributing to a crowdfunding campaign or becoming an angel investor, you’re not just providing capital. You’re nurturing dreams, supporting innovation, and getting the chance to see financial gains if the business thrives. Helping friends accomplish their own business goals and keeping them from having to take out a business loan will be rewarding for you and them.
17. Become a Franchisee
When it comes to retirement business ideas, this one may not come to mind at first, but it is a smart option. Franchising is like buying a ready-made business model. Instead of starting from scratch, you’re adopting a proven system, benefiting from the brand’s reputation, and receiving ongoing support from the franchisor. It’s attractive if you’re keen on entrepreneurship but prefer a path with fewer uncertainties. Whether it’s a fast-food outlet, a gym, or a retail store, franchising offers diverse opportunities with the blueprint to success already in place.
18. Invest in Real Estate
Real estate remains one of the most time-tested avenues for investment. Buying properties to rent out can provide a steady passive income and the potential for property appreciation over time. From residential homes, apartments to vacation properties, the options are vast. Plus, you won’t need to work at real estate offices to learn the market. The research is right at your fingertips with platforms like Zillow or Realtor.
19. Become an Airbnb Host
The home-sharing economy has changed the face of travel. Airbnb allows homeowners to rent out their spaces, whether an extra room or an entire vacation home. It’s an excellent way to monetize unused spaces, meet people from diverse backgrounds, and play ambassador to your locality.
20. Become a Bed and Breakfast Owner
Turning your property into a B&B is about more than just providing lodging. It’s about offering an experience. Whether it’s a rustic countryside retreat or a chic urban abode, guests seek a unique stay. Being a B&B owner lets you play host, share stories and meals, and offer a personal touch that hotels often lack.
21. Dog Walking
For dog lovers, this is more than just a business – it’s sheer joy. Walking dogs keeps you active and provides the joy of spending time with furry friends. And with many pet owners leading busy lives, a reliable dog walker is always in demand.
22. Pet Sitter
Just as parents seek babysitters, pet owners often need someone trustworthy to care for their pets during vacations or work trips. As a pet sitter, you offer peace of mind, ensuring pets are fed, happy, and safe in familiar surroundings.
23. Tour guide
If you reside in a location rich in history, culture, or natural beauty, why not share its magic? As a tour guide, you’re narrating stories, unveiling hidden gems, and providing visitors with a deeper understanding of the area. It’s an opportunity to share your passion and meet people from various parts of the world, making it one of the most fun retiree business ideas.
Work as Little or as Much as You Like
Retirement isn’t a full stop. It is a new chapter brimming with possibilities. The myriad of business ideas above showcase that opportunities are independent of age. So, harness your experiences, tap into your passions, and let retirement be a rewarding journey of discovery and enterprise. Devote as much time to it as you like. Retiring gives you more freedom to do more of what you love, and the beauty of these retirement business ideas is that you can go at your own pace. Since you are self-employed, you are your own boss.