Six Reasons to Become Self-Employed in Your Retirement
By Karyn Greenstreet
copyright © 2003, by Karyn Greenstreet. All rights reserved.
So, you’re looking forward to being retired. Relaxing in the lawn chair, sipping iced tea, watching the clouds roll by. Lazy days of reading good books, traveling with family and friends, puttering around in the garden.
What? That’s not the lifestyle you want? Good for you!
Most retirees don’t want a lazy lifestyle. Yes, they’d like to scale-back a little, but doing the same thing day after day is boring. Many people start their own business after they retire. And why not? You’ve got the time, you’ve got the energy and experience, and presumably you’ve got a little money tucked away to tide you through. If ever there is a time to become self-employed, your retirement years are nearly perfect. Here’s why:
- Money. Many people are worried that they don’t have enough money to retire upon. Whether you’ve got enough to live on, or want to earn a little extra cash, being self-employed will allow you to increase your wealth. In addition, many retirees can use a portion of their nest egg to get themselves started in business.
- Time. Unless you’ve created a huge “to do” list for your retirement years, you’ve got plenty of time. You can take time to scope out your business ideas, and take time to implement them properly. You can choose to work part-time or full-time, so that there is still time left over for traveling or relaxing. When you’re self-employed, you can take vacations whenever you want!
- Experience. After all those years of living, you’ve picked up a thing or two about how business works. You know what good customer service looks and feels like. You can sense what people need and want, and you know how to talk to others about your ideas. Not only that, but you know what hard work is and you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty.
- Energy. At 65 (or earlier, if you’re lucky!), you’ve got plenty of energy. Your mind is still as sharp as it was when you were 25 – perhaps even more so! If the idea of sitting around all day is boring to you, put that energy to work for yourself.
- Control. If you haven’t been lucky enough to be self-employed during your earlier years, you know what it’s like to have someone else make all the rules for you at work. Being self-employed means that you make all the rules, and you succeed or fail on your own terms and by applying your own decisions, knowledge and wisdom.
- Passion. Did you have a job that didn’t excite you? Were you always passionate about something that you could only pursue on weekends? Now that you’re retired, you can pursue that passion every day of the week – and get paid for it!
Where To Begin
As with all business ventures, the first thing you need to do is find what you’re passionate about. This is a time in your life when you no longer have to settle for doing work that’s boring or doesn’t excite you to the very core. Besides, if you’re really passionate about what you’re selling, people will sense that excitement and want to buy from you because of it. Take a look at your hobbies for ideas on businesses that interest you. Or, take a look at your bookshelf – what books and magazines do you always seem to buy and read? What topics are you always talking about with family and friends?
Next, create a business plan for the product or service you’re selling. If you don’t know how to create a business plan, check out the local library or bookstore for business planning books, or use an online search engine to find sites related to self-employment and small business ownership.
If you need help with creating or running your own business, remember that other retirees are here to help! The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a government-sponsored group that offers free advice to anyone starting or operating their own business. They often work out of your local Chamber of Commerce office.
Creating your own business, especially after you retire, can be a rewarding way to spend your “new life.”