As more Americans are entering retirement there can be a profound loss of a sense of self that is often tied to your career. Losing the routine, the relationships with co-workers and even how you define yourself i.e. teacher accountant etc. can be a difficult proposition. There is also a come down after the initial euphoria of retirement, where boredom can begin to seep in. Fortunately starting a small business is a wonderful way to stay busy as well as bring in extra cash. Here are five reasons why starting a small business might be a good idea.


The prospect of opening your own business may seem daunting and more trouble than it’s worth, however it’s important to remember you don’t have to come up with a million dollar idea that employs large numbers of people. Often small business ideas can be set up quickly, and it’s easier than ever to set up an LLC or a website. For instance let’s say you bake wonderful pies that people enjoy, for a small amount of money you could set up a business, rent some time at a commercial kitchen, bake the pies and sell them to friends and neighbors or a farmers market. The possibilities are endless.


Don’t forget that you have accumulated an extensive amount of expertise and experience over the years, this knowledge is actually very valuable. One of the easiest ways to start a business is to become an independent consultant, depending on your skill set. Often businesses can’t afford full time positions in certain fields anymore, but they still desperately need expert advice. By becoming an independent contractor, you can work as many or as few hours as you want while being able to charge a high per-hour rate.


Maybe you have a hobby that you have pursued in your spare time throughout your life, or perhaps there was a part of your career that you wished you could have focused on more. A small business is a wonderful way to connect with those passions, whether they are something you’ve been doing your whole life or a hobby you’ve discovered recently. Exploring your passion will always be rewarding and you may end up making some cash as well. By opening a business you have a true love for, you will have a much higher chance of being successful.


Retirement sometimes can be a mixed blessing, on one hand you have so much free time on your hands, however you might end up becoming bored if you don’t have enough activities to keep you busy. Starting a small business or even a home business is a wonderful way to get out there and interact with a large number of people you might otherwise never run into. There are also a large number of ways to get involved with other small businesses, from local markets to shared working spaces. Often you will also meet people who share the same passions you have, and this can be a wonderfully creative experience.


I think a retiree has to be careful assuming that a small business will make you wildly wealthy. However, if you are providing a service people want at a reasonable price there’s no reason to think you can’t turn a profit. In this day and age as retirement benefits shrink and a social security check doesn’t seem to go as far as it used to, having another stream of income, even if it’s small, can make all the difference in the world to living a more comfortable life in retirement.