Top Retirement Business Ideas

Businessman retiree contemplating at his desk
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People typically look forward to retirement because they can focus on exploring the world, practicing new hobbies, or spending more time with family—but perhaps you’ve got more business-oriented plans in mind. If that’s the case, retirement can be an excellent opportunity to start a new venture and generate an income that supports the next chapter of your life.

Below, we’ll explore some business opportunities for which you can leverage the skills or passions you’ve developed over the years and potentially make your retirement a profitable one.

Key Takeaways

  • The ideal retirement business opportunity is one in which you can leverage the skills or passions you’ve developed over the years.
  • Before deciding to launch a new business, consider your health status, time and financial investment, and knowledge of the business. 
  • Viable retirement business ideas include launching a consulting business, starting a pet day care operation, buying into a franchise, becoming a tour guide, teaching online courses, or selling goods online. 

Considerations for Your Retirement Business Idea

There are a few factors that could make your retirement business succeed or fail. They will influence whether your next venture is worth your efforts and investment. Review these potential issues before taking your first big step:

  • Your health status
  • Your time and investment capabilities
  • Your knowledge of the profession

You should feel comfortable with your understanding of the new industry and confident in your ability to operate within it. If you want to try something new, you can, for instance, find a mentor to help support your endeavor and form a business plan. The last thing anyone wants to experience after leaving their full-time career is a venture that fails and drains funding that would have otherwise supported their lifestyle.

List your most marketable skills to narrow down your options based on your refined expertise in specific fields.

Once you’ve decided that it’s the right time for you to move forward with your newfound professional dreams, think about these potential paths to take. 

Open a Consulting Business

People who open consulting businesses can use what they already know to earn income from helping other entrepreneurs. For example, if you spent your career in human resources (HR), you could provide virtual consultations to minimize the operating cost of your business by working from home. In addition, you won’t need to learn many new concepts, making consulting an ideal retirement business idea. 

You’ll also have to determine the worth of your advice. The average HR consultant makes nearly $74,000 per year, but that number could change if you have more experience in the field or provide guidance for making critical business decisions.

To help validate and promote your business, create a website that showcases your ability to improve team productivity or turnover rates to demonstrate the services you’ll provide for your consulting clients.

Enter the Pet Industry

Let’s say you decide to move to a retirement community after your career ends. You could break into the pet industry by offering to take care of your neighbors’ pets for a daily fee.

This particular industry is a lucrative one, as experts at the American Pet Products Association estimated that people will spend over $109.6 billion on food, treats, supplies, and vet visits in 2021. Along with these essential expenses, your neighbors will likely need someone to walk, feed, and play with their pets while they run errands or travel during retirement, which is where you can play a role.  

In retirement, you’ll have time to check on the animals in their homes or tend to them in yours, depending on how you want to establish your pet day care business. If your business grows enough, think of a catchy name and secure a domain for it to establish an online hub. By doing so, you can turn your love for animals into an opportunity to foster a community and make a few extra bucks along the way. 

Buy Into a Franchise

Starting a new business can take more effort than you’d like to expend after retiring. You’d have to generate name recognition, build your consumer base, and establish a successful marketing plan to get your company off the ground. Franchises, though, can be attractive businesses to start after retirement because a corporate team already put those elements in place.

If this idea sparks interest, compare brands that rank the highest among franchises to ensure that you buy into something that’s already well-known, like Ace Hardware, Burger King, or 7-Eleven. You’ll accept less risk with your initial investment and benefit from the preset business model and guidelines provided by your selected franchise brand.

Creating a multiyear roadmap that includes marketing and revenue growth strategies is key to succeeding with the brand’s provided guidance.

Become a Tour Guide

Perhaps you’d like to retire to a popular tourist destination. According to several rankings, some of the best retirement cities correlate with cultural and scenic attractions, like Nashville, Tennessee, and Asheville, North Carolina. If you love learning about local history and want to earn extra income, think about becoming a tour guide.

You could start a business to connect people with historic venues in your city or provide private tours of the area. It’s a great idea if you’re energetic and absorb historical facts like a sponge. The average tour guide earns $17.97 per hour, but you can increase your rate if you’ve lived in a place for many years or offer packages that include transportation.

Teach Online Courses

Teaching online courses can be an evergreen business venture in which you can use your decades of experience to educate people about your industry and how to succeed in it. For example, you can create a curriculum about developing professional leadership skills. 

Some of the key cost considerations to keep in mind for teaching online include your hardware (computer, camera/video equipment), recording software, website development and maintenance, and marketing (i.e., email marketing services like MailChimp and Facebook targeted ads).

To monetize your online teaching venture, you can sell your courses through marketplace platforms like Udemy or on streaming services like Vimeo on Demand, or even use sites like Patreon to produce content and share it with your followers for fixed monthly rates to correspond with new lessons added.

Update your virtual materials as needed so the information remains relevant and accurate.

If you want to take things offline later on, you can teach your most popular courses in person at local training events.

Sell Goods Online

Retirement can be the perfect time to indulge your passion for arts and crafts—and make money as well. Whether you make candles or want to show off your woodworking skills, consider selling your final products online through platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy. Listing your items in these top marketplaces can help you gain maximum exposure and reach an optimal target audience.   

Adjust the cost of each product to cover what you spent on materials to make it. Although you may not charge an accurate rate based on how many hours you spent plying your craft, you can potentially earn your investment back and maybe even profit from it. It can also be helpful to establish a social media presence on visually driven platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Tik Tok to market your products to followers and potential customers.