Guest Post: The Best Advice for Retirees Aiming to Start a New Business

Written By: Jim McKinley

There are many different reasons for starting a new venture after entering retirement. Maybe you want to pursue a business idea you never had a chance to realize before, or maybe you miss putting your knowledge and skills to work. No matter what’s driving you, your first priority needs to be keeping your financial future secure and intact.

Check Your Perspective

Your first step toward developing a successful business during retirement is developing a realistic fiscal outlook. As Inc. explains, thinking in terms of the financial future is a must. Even if you retired at a young age, are currently economically sound, and are in great health, you need a strategy oriented toward long-term success on all fronts. According to some statistics, nearly a third of all retirees must dedicate 40 percent of their retirement income toward existing debts, and if you have a situation where you’re starting out your business barely making ends meet, you are more apt live with stress and financial struggle instead of making good headway.

Examine Debts

Acknowledge any debts you have, including your mortgage. If you already owe money to creditors, make it a point to become debt-free as soon as possible. It might be a good time to downsize your home, and you should examine what you have in your retirement savings. Also, take a hard look at your credit report and examine it for any accounts that don’t belong to you, clerical errors such as incorrect dates, or old debts which should be removed. According to, investing in a credit repair service can mean entering into your new business venture with solid financial footing and better peace of mind for your golden years.

Solidify Your Plan

Once you have a good feel for your financial position, take an earnest look at what you expect to be doing. US News notes the largest part of success for small business owners is making a solid business plan, which includes recognizing an existing need and then finding a way to meet it. Are you offering the right product or service at the right time? Do you already have the abilities to fill that niche, or do you need to invest in special equipment or training? Some retirees turn a hobby into a small business, such as making handyman repairs, landscaping, or selling handcrafted items online. You might decide to be a real estate agent, in which case you should check the requirements where you live.

Resources for Funds

According to the Muse, if your business idea requires a substantial investment, you might decide to take out a loan or find investors willing to help finance your endeavor. You could reach out to friends and family members through crowdfunding, or connect with specific people you think might be as passionate about your idea as you are. Think about the need you intend to meet as well as who will be impacted and how. Be creative in your outreach, be ready to pitch your idea, and you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

Pathways and Exits

How long do you plan to work at your new venture? Depending on your objective, you might only intend to work for a set number of years. For instance, some people work until they reach a particular financial goal or a specific age, while others develop their businesses with the intention of passing it along to someone else later. Have a plan in place for how you will later exit your business. Your business’s legal structure can help determine your exit strategy as much as your goals, and certain formats can also help protect your personal finances. You may wish to explore the AARP’s entrepreneurial resources when deciding how to proceed.

Taking on a new venture during retirement is a big step. So, weigh your situation carefully to ensure your financial well-being. With some careful planning, you can start a new business without risking your future.

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