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Starting a small business for seniors

Finance & Planning | May 06, 2015

Once you've retired, it's natural to want to pursue your dreams. For you, that may mean opening the small business you've always wanted to run. In fact, a survey from the American Association of Retired People and the Society for Human Resource Management found one in 20 employed workers over 50 wants to start a business in retirement. One in five unemployed workers over 50 says the same. This can be a rewarding way to spend your time, and it may also be a source of income throughout your retirement.

According to the AARP, older entrepreneurs have many advantages, from a full career history to a strong work ethic. While nothing can guarantee business success, older founders do have a lot on their side. If you're interested in opening a business during your retirement years, read on for some tips:

  • Find the right resources. Workshops, mentoring programs and classes can all help prepare you for the life of a small-business owner - and they're becoming more and more available to seniors, too. The investment you make in this kind of help will pay off hugely as you get your own business off the ground.
  • Test the waters. Even if you know you have never wanted anything more than to build sailboats, make sure to give yourself time to decide whether that's really true. An apprenticeship or a part-time position in someone else's business can help you determine whether you are really on the right path for you. If you are, your experience will help you succeed - and if you aren't, it's better to know before you have opened a business.
  • Take care of your health. Making sure to stay active, healthy and fully covered by Medicare and Medicare supplemental plans can only help your business. During your retirement years, running a business may be your dream. Don't let health problems or health care costs take it away.