The Next ChapterBy Charlotte Zang
Retirement sure sounds good, right? We have worked for decades, looking forward to the time when we can give it all up for the good life of leisure. No more adhering to a full-time hectic schedule, sitting through endless meetings, filing reports, and otherwise dealing with the pressures that come with a career. Sure, there is less stress when you no longer have a demanding job, but there could also be a sense of loss, and that doesn’t only mean income. Some retirees find that they are happier and more fulfilled when they are productive. They decide to put their experience and wisdom to good use and launch their own business venture.
If you’re a person who wants to stay busy in retirement, keep reading. We’ve got some ideas that are perfect for those who are no longer in the rat race but have plenty to offer:
You could become a consultant in the industry where you spent your career. Capitalize on your expertise while setting your own hours and rates. Stay active and make extra income with very little stress. Consulting options include business strategy, business development, financial advisory, investments, risk management, human resources, compliance, tax, accounting, IT, and business operations.
Tutoring is another option which is especially well-suited to retired teachers. Help students excel academically by assisting with lessons in their homes or online, if that works out better for you both. Choose a subject matter that you know well and it will be easy, plus you’ll get great satisfaction from seeing your students succeed.
If you love crafts and you’ve got a talent for making things, your hobby could be a good way to bring in money. Whether you make jewelry, art, toys, dolls, quilts, or other handcrafted items, you can sell through Etsy, your own website, or at craft shows and farmer’s markets. Turn an activity you love into a business. Woodworking, clothing design, baking, and painting are other craft business examples.
How about dog walking? If you love dogs, walk other people’s dogs while they are at work or otherwise away from home. Statistics say that 30% of Marylanders have a dog, so there is definitely a need for this service. You get to enjoy the pets and get exercise, too!
For those with a green thumb, you can grow plants from seed and sell them. If you prefer not to have customers coming to your home and don’t want to commit to leasing a shop, sell online. In addition to potted plants, garden starts, and shrubs, you could sell flowers and/or setup a produce stand.
Real estate can provide a good source of retirement income. If you’re not into buying, fixing, and flipping houses, consider purchasing a rental property. Multi-family units are great: you have only one mortgage but receive multiple rent checks. Or, dip your toe into the short-term rental market. There seems to be no stopping this industry! People love staying in an AirBnB with all the comforts of home instead of an impersonal hotel room. If you have the extra space in your current home, you could rent out a room or in-law suite. You’ll get extra income without the expense of purchasing another property.
If you are very organized and like to get things done, a moving manager service could be a good fit. In this business, you’ll help downsizing seniors and others by managing the moving process. This could involve cleaning out garages, packing, labeling, and organizing. (Hire strong young people – maybe college students – to do the heavy lifting!) You could even specialize in senior relocations, helping people find affordable retirement homes. Your service could include selling unwanted items and/or having things hauled away or donated to nonprofit organizations. Go one step further and offer to help unpack and organize in the new location!
Staying active is important, both physically and mentally. If you don’t want to start a business, there are plenty of ways to stay involved. Local museums, community gardens, arts organizations, animal shelters, parks, senior centers, and charities are always looking for volunteers. Choose something that interests you and you’ll actually look forward to going to “work” each day!