Your Full Guide to Running a Business in Retirement

The world of retirement looks a lot different these days than it did a decade ago. Today’s retirees cover a wide range of demographics. 


Some have been able to quit their “day jobs” and retire young. Others are in their Golden Years and earned their retirement at the government-approved age of 65. 


The common thread between many of these retirees is that they don’t want to sit around all day. And technology has made it to where they don’t have to!


If you’re looking for a side hustle to keep you busy or want to earn income during your retirement years, why not run a business? Freelancing and entrepreneurship is an industry worth almost a trillion dollars and is projected to keep growing.


Over ten million Americans run their own businesses. If you have a skill and a little business savvy, you can easily join this group! 


Here is everything you need to know to run a business while enjoying your retirement:


1. Find a Niche 


The buzzword in entrepreneurship today is niche, pronounced as “neesh” or “nitch,” depending on the person.


However you pronounce it, this word describes your area of specialty, whatever that may be.


You may have a marketable skill, but today’s competition is global. Having a specific niche sets you apart from the thousands of others who advertise something similar in their businesses.


What do you have to offer that no one else does? How can you capitalize on that skill? That’s your niche, and that’s what you need to build your business around.


2. Talk to a Lawyer and Create a Plan


Owning a business involves a lot of steps, from setting it up legally to building a strategy. That first part — the legal part — is very, very important.


Even though you’re retired, you still have to make sure you’re operating on the right side of the law.


You’ll probably need help getting started. Find an accountant who can help you understand tax and financial laws.


Don’t hire just anyone, though. This person will be your go-to as questions arise over time, so make sure they’re trustworthy, knowledgeable, and open to answering all your concerns.


With an accountant on your side, you can start your action plan. Write out a business strategy complete with a timeline and milestones to reach along the way. Include a marketing campaign and an exit strategy in your plan.


3. Get Digital 


You are now living in the Digital Era, and it’s time to embrace the innovations that come with it. That means taking full advantage of digital technology in running your business.


E-commerce is a necessary part of today’s successful companies, whether they are mom-and-pop shops or large corporations. The majority of shopping is done from an electronic device today, so much so that e-commerce is now a $4 trillion industry.


You can get your piece of this massive pie.


If you’re not current with the latest computer technology, find someone to help you get your business online.


You need a:


  • Web page


  • Social media presence


  • Google My Business listing


  • Online shopping cart for digital orders


  • Payment portal to accept online payments


It may seem difficult if you’re not tech savvy, but someone will be able to help you. If you don’t already know someone who can set up your e-business, consider hiring a freelancer on Upwork or a similar site. You should be able to find plenty of knowledgeable and affordable freelancers there.


4. Keep Yourself Healthy 


Overworking yourself is dangerous at any age. To fully enjoy your retirement, you need to get and stay healthy.


Think of your business as a child. It needs you to guide it, but it also needs you to take care of yourself so you’ll be there for the long run.


To keep yourself healthy, you need a schedule that balances work and pleasure. Set a routine for your business, and make sure to plan in time with family and friends.


You earned this retirement time. Make sure you enjoy it, even if you have a business to run!


Take care of your body, too. Get annual check-ups with your physician to stay on top of any potential health issues that could prevent you from running your business.


Eat well and exercise regularly. 


5. Find a Team But Stay Involved


Running any business is hard to do alone, no matter how much experience you have. You might start the business by yourself, but as you grow, consider adding trusted help to your team.


If you’ve followed the steps above, you should already have an accountant. After that, who you hire or partner with depends on the type of business you are running. 


A lot of small businesses use automated customer relationship management systems to streamline their workflow. But, you may need someone to handle your marketing, payroll, or other aspects of your business.


And maybe, at some point, you’ll be able to outsource all of your work to your team and sit back while the income rolls in!



Running a business, whether you are retired or not, takes a lot of strategy and planning. With these tips, your new enterprise can be successful in the era of global e-commerce.


You can make the most of your retirement and have the pleasure of working on something you enjoy!

Author Bio

Leon Grundstein has more than 28 years of experience in real estate development, with over two decades of experience in the retirement industry. He founded Tacoma Point Ruston with a game-changing business model to promote a healthy and robust retirement lifestyle for older adults.