Best Retirement Business Ideas to Start Today

Best Retirement Business Ideas to Start Today

Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by NAMS Editor

Are you approaching retirement age and wondering how to stay busy and productive in your golden years? Starting your own small business is an excellent way to stay active and engaged and even earn some extra income on the side.

In this post, we’ll explore some of the best retirement business ideas that are relatively easy to start with low overhead costs. We’ll break down the key aspects of each opportunity so you can determine which ones may be a good fit based on your interests, skills and resources.

Let’s get started!

Cleaning Services

Providing cleaning services for residential and commercial clients is a classic retirement business idea that requires minimal upfront investment but can earn a steady stream of recurring income. There is always demand for cleaning help, whether for homes, apartments, offices, or other facilities.

Some key aspects of running a cleaning business:

  • Equipment needed: Basic cleaning supplies, such as vacuums, mops, brooms, cleaning chemicals, and personal protective equipment. A basic startup kit can cost $500-$2,000, depending on the supplies purchased.
  • Experience required: No prior experience is necessary, but cleaning your own home gives you a basic understanding of processes and techniques. You can take a professional cleaning course to learn best practices.
  • Business structure: Can operate as a sole proprietorship to keep costs low initially. Consider incorporating a limited liability company (LLC) for liability protection as the business grows.
  • Marketing: Word-of-mouth and flyers in local businesses are inexpensive ways to find initial clients. Consider online listings on sites like Angie’s List or Thumbtack as well.
  • Revenue potential: Rates of $20-40 per hour worked are common. Aim to land 3-5 clients per week for a monthly part-time supplemental income of $500-1000. Scale up by hiring staff as demand increases.

Cleaning services provide flexible, low-stress work that leverages your knowledge and experience keeping a home. Market to clients seeking an established, trusted local provider they can rely on regularly.

Pet Care Services

With the pet market worth over $100 billion annually in the U.S. alone, starting a pet care business caters directly to America’s love of furry family members. Offering dog walking, pet sitting, grooming or training services allows you to work with animals as your clients.

  • Equipment: Basic supplies like leashes, toys, and brushes are required. Mobile pet grooming requires a van outfitted as a self-contained grooming salon, which costs $15,000-$30,000.
  • Experience: It’s not required, but having your pets helps you understand animal behaviour. Training certifications boost credibility for related services. First aid training is advised.
  • Business structure: Sole proprietorship or LLC. Consider partnering with a local veterinarian for referrals.
  • Marketing: Approach boarding/daycare facilities and vet offices about contracts. Create profiles on Rover and Wag that match sitters with dog owners.
  • Revenue: The average is $15-25 per 30-minute walk booked through an app. Boarding rates are $20-40 per night. The grooming salon averages $40-80 per groom. The goal is 3-5 bookings per day/week.

With the flexibility to set your schedule, pet care is a low-stress way to interact with and help animals daily. Pursue certifications to build expertise in-demand services like training.

Online Tutoring and Teaching

Leverage your knowledge and experience to tutor or teach online independently or through platforms like Varsity Tutors, Chegg Tutoring or Outschool. Subjects in demand include all levels of math, science, languages, test prep, college admissions consulting and more.

  • Equipment: To get started, you need a computer, high-speed internet, and a quiet space. A webcam and microphone are recommended.
  • Experience: Any teaching/mentoring experience is applicable, whether in a school setting or informally helping others learn. Get certified in specific subjects to demonstrate expertise.
  • Business structure: You should initially remain a sole proprietor. However, consider creating an LLC if you want to work with multiple platforms or build your own online school.
  • Marketing: Build profiles highlighting your qualifications on major tutoring marketplaces. When independent, run social ads targeting local parents.
  • Revenue: Hourly rates of $15-50, depending on subject, credentials, and platform. Aim for 5-10 hours per week of part-time tutoring for $500-1000/month. Adjunct professor opportunities offer higher pay, too.

With full flexibility to set your schedule, online tutoring is an engaging and low-overhead way to help others learn. Reinforce expertise with continual education and certifications to attract more students over time.

Craft and Artisan Goods

If you have expertise and passion in a creative field like woodworking, jewellery making, sewing, painting, pottery or others – you have the beginnings of an artisan goods business. Leverage that talent to sell handmade products online at local craft fairs or venues.

  • Equipment: It varies greatly depending on your craft, but basic tools may only cost a few hundred dollars to get started. Look for donated or refurbished equipment to save costs.
  • Experience: Any experience creating your craft, whether amateur or professional-level skills, is applicable. Continually develop your portfolio.
  • Business structure: Sole proprietorship works for low-volume sales. You are registering as a business, which allows you to sell wholesale and at larger events. Consider an LLC if sales outgrow personal tax thresholds.
  • Marketing: Set up an e-commerce shop on sites like Etsy, participate in local indie craft markets/fairs, and reach out to galleries about consignment. Run targeted ads on social/search.
  • Revenue: Pricing depends greatly on craft. Aim for $25-100+ per custom/limited production item. Selling 10-20 products monthly can generate $500+ part-time supplemental income. Scale up through consignment deals or wholesale vendors.

Leveraging your creative talents to create a micro-business from home provides the perfect low-stress retirement endeavor. Consider partnering workshops/classes for additional revenue streams. Continually evolve your portfolio to sustain long-term demand.

Bookkeeping/Accounting Services

Many small business owners and self-employed individuals can benefit from outsourced bookkeeping, which helps manage their finances and tax compliance. Leverage your experience and knowledge of accounting best practices in an expert virtual bookkeeping service.

  • Equipment: To get started, you need a computer and accounting software like QuickBooks, Xero, or FreshBooks. Consider the expense of yearly software licenses.
  • Experience: No certification is required, but experience as a former bookkeeper, accountant, or working in a related field lends credibility. Ongoing self-study keeps skills sharp.
  • Business structure: Outsource bookkeeping under a sole proprietorship or LLC, depending on the scale. If interested in contracted projects through their marketplace, consider enrolling as a virtual service professional through places like Intuit.
  • Marketing: Contact local CPAs/Enrolled Agents about referral partnerships. Promote services on sites like Thumbtack and to attract clients needing part-time bookkeeping support.
  • Revenue: Hourly bookkeeping rates range from $25-50 depending on the level of work and location. Aim for 5-10 hours per week of billable work from 2-3 small business clients for $500-1000+ in monthly side income. Growth comes through positive client testimonials and referrals over time.

Demand for virtual bookkeeping services from small business owners continues to rise as they seek to outsource administrative tasks, allowing them to focus on operations. This provides a service people depend on for success.

Senior Companion/Caregiving

As America’s population ages, caring for seniors is an ever-growing need, whether providing transportation assistance, light housekeeping help, meal preparation, medication reminders or friendly companionship. Leverage your life experience and care skills in this rewarding, in-demand service.

  • Equipment: Nothing else is needed beyond your car. Basic cleaning/cooking supplies should be kept in your vehicle for client visits. Disposable gloves and face masks are recommended.
  • Experience: No certification required, but experience caring for others lends directly applicable skills and empathy. Training courses bolster your care competency.
  • Business structure: Operate as a sole proprietor through caregiving websites/apps or directly with clients. Consider an LLC with over five clients for liability protection as you gain experience.
  • Marketing: Promote services to seniors, their adult children, and through local community centres. Over time, positive client feedback will help you gain referrals.
  • Revenue: Hourly rates average $15-25, depending on services provided and location. Aim to care for 2-3 clients weekly for 8-10 hours each, earning $300-500+ per month in side income while enriching lives.

Providing companionship and caring for others is a deeply fulfilling way to spend your retirement years. Positive client interactions and relationships become as rewarding as any financial benefit. Continual education keeps your skills current so you can help those in greatest need.

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