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(This is a guest post by Carla Lopez of Boomerbiz.org)
There are many reasons people go back to work after retiring. Whether you miss the interaction of a workplace, want to keep your mind and skills sharp, or simply could use the added income, there are ways to go about starting a new business without putting your financial security at risk. Here’s how to safely embrace a new venture in your retirement years, no matter what your motivation happens to be.
Decide on your direction
Beginning a new career after retiring can mean more freedom than you ever had in your previous work life. You worked hard for years developing talents, skills, and knowledge that you can now put to work for yourself in a whole new manner. It’s important to think about what motivates you, and what sort of environment will help you thrive since the last thing you want is for your new venture to bog you down or disrupt your financial future.
Thankfully, we live in a time when opportunities abound. Perhaps you wish to become a consultant, sharing your insights with businesses and helping them to grow. Or maybe you’re thinking of making the gig economy your vehicle for success. Some people turn a hobby into a second career, selling handcrafted wares online or opening a storefront. Meanwhile, others adopt the dropshipping platform to sell trendy products, including everything from office and party supplies to toys and electronic gadgets. Using this platform, you don’t have to keep a physical inventory; a third party ships them to the customer whenever an order is placed.
With nearly endless possibilities, sometimes picking the best avenue can be overwhelming. BusinessTown offers an online quiz you can take to help you decide.
Put some tech in your toolkit
Preserving financial solvency is a logical goal whenever starting a new business, but especially when you are in your retirement years. With that in mind, explore some of the tools technology offers, which can help you keep overhead and start up costs minimal. For instance, you can use a free logo generator to design an eye-catching trademark for your new venture. There are also low-cost and free accounting apps to help you track your numbers and manage invoicing. And it’s important in this day and age to provide a website for your new business. You can use a website builder to create one yourself. Just bear in mind that if your website is sub-par, it can hurt your business.
Get the word out
All businesses rely on customers to stay afloat, so think about how you’re going to create a clientele for your new venture. Depending on your background and the direction you’re going, you might have contacts from your former career you can reach out to. Enlisting community resources can help as well, such as becoming a member of your local chamber of commerce. It’s a great way to generate new contacts and local interest.
Going beyond face-to-face connection can help your new venture grow. Think about how you will market your business effectively to build a solid customer base. Some gig opportunities use a platform to link you with potential clients. Another idea is to engage social media. It’s free, easy, and when people share about what you’re doing, you can quickly reach previously uncharted territories. Post Planner suggests keeping the same profile throughout your social media accounts, and posting at least once each week to keep your audience interested.
Protecting your savings
Beyond free and low-cost opportunities, sometimes startup money is needed for a new undertaking. Rather than dipping into your retirement savings, there are other ideas to consider. For instance, Forbes notes there are several funding options for retirees, such as industry grants, a home equity line of credit, a line of credit from your life insurance policy, or a loan through the U.S. Small Business Association. Weigh your options carefully, and consider discussing any new debts with a financial professional.
Beginning a new venture at any age can be daunting, but when you’re already retired, it’s crucial to protect your retirement savings. With careful planning and some handy tools, you can often lay a firm foundation with minimal financial outlay. Examine your situation carefully, and find a post-retirement niche that will be both satisfying and solid.