The idea of starting a business post-retirement might sound a little crazy, but plenty of retirees are doing it. A second-act career can come with plenty of benefits. Entrepreneurs are citing reasons such as more independence, exploring new passions, and extra income as the driving force behind their dive into a new business venture.
“Regardless of their motivation for starting a venture, many boomers are finding entrepreneurship to be a fulfilling encore career,” a Gallup poll reported, and the 83 percent who’ve done it say it keeps their mind engaged and supplements their golden years.
If you’re feeling inspired, or perhaps looking for some motivation, the following tips and advice from UpNext Designs are the deep breath you need.
Find Your Calling
You can start a business doing just about anything, which is what makes the world of entrepreneurship so exciting. However, you want to make sure the venture you choose is something you are good at and passionate about. Look to your past career timeline to find a branch to expand. Maybe you were really good at marketing or consulting and built a long career out of those skills. Perhaps you could turn your woodworking or painting hobby into a business.
The key is to ensure there is a market for your new business venture, in addition to using your previous connections. Throughout your lifetime you’ve met some great people, souse their skills, expertise and recommendations to your advantage. Accept any and all help you can get, but don’t sweat the pitfalls.
Dealing with Financial Woes
You saved and put away tirelessly to prepare for retirement, and now that it’s here, what’s next? It is imperative that your retirement savings and Social Security benefits (if you are currently eligible) can support your business goals.
Crunch some numbers and pinpoint how much you generally spend each month, and what areas you can cut back on. You might have a fairly large nest egg built up, but when you combine the expenses of daily living and a business, you’ll be chipping away those funds pretty steadily. Look for ways you can save, such as buying in bulk at the grocery store or using public transportation so that you can free up money for business expenses. Meet with a financial planner to put a budget and financial plan in place.
The good news is that there are other options you can explore to finance your business and give yourself some much-needed breathing room. However, understand that starting a business doesn’t have to break the bank. According to AARP, there have been home-based businesses started for $2,000 or less. If you don’t have the funds, consider a loan to help get you started.
Also look into what type of business structure best meets your needs. One of the benefits of forming a limited liability company (LLC) is the assurance that you won’t be personally held liable in the case of, for example, a negligence lawsuit -- only your business assets will be affected. LLCs also have tax advantages compared to other structures like a corporation. Forming an LLC may seem complex, but it’s possible to streamline the process while avoiding high attorney set-up fees by letting online formation services like Zenbusiness do the work for you.
Melt the Stress Away
Starting and running a business is a big undertaking, which is why mental health and stress management can’t be emphasized enough. As a business owner, you’ll likely find that it is hard to separate work and home, so find ways to purge your brain. Write everything down(including multiple solutions), or find an activity that relaxes you such as yoga, gardening, reading or drawing. If your hobby is now your business, find another hobby you can turn to when you need a quick escape. Take breaks, and take them often.
If you find that this new venture is overwhelming, take a step back and reevaluate. Being in tune with your mind and body, and what it can and can’t handle, is important. The beauty of entrepreneurship is that you get to decide how much time you want to dedicate, making an encore career that much more rewarding.
You’ve spent a lifetime building a successful career, and now you’ve chosen to step away and take some time for yourself. That doesn’t mean your life is over, and many retirees are taking on an encore career. Your newfound freedom is yours to do with as you please, so if entrepreneurship is calling your name, answer. The golden years don’t have to be the end, and with some planning, some creativity, and that same drive you’ve had your whole life, turn those years into your best years.
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