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22 Retirement Business Ideas

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Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Updated on January 26, 2023

22 Retirement Business Ideas

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22 Retirement Business Ideas

Most people look forward to retirement. But after weeks or months of not working, many get bored and restless. What to do to avoid anxiety and depression in retirement? Why not stay active, and make some money, by starting a business!

You could do some consulting, tutoring, or writing. You could start a bed and breakfast or a greenhouse business. The possibilities are nearly endless. Check out our list of excellent retiree business ideas to jumpstart your golden-years entrepreneurial journey.

1. Tutoring

How to start a tutoring business

Do you have an area of academic expertise? Maybe you’re great at math, deeply familiar with science, or obsessed with language and literature. Even if you’re not a subject expert, but simply good with children, now’s a great time to consider starting a tutoring business. 

The industry took a hit during the pandemic, but now tutors are embracing virtual instruction and tutoring is expected to see steady growth in the years ahead. As a result, you’re now able to run a tutoring business almost entirely from home, all while helping children to learn and making a good living.  

Starting a tutoring business is not terribly complicated. If you have teaching experience or proof of your expertise, you mainly need a good computer and wifi and you can start offering your services on a variety of online platforms, like ClubZ or eTutorWorld. With a bit of marketing on social media, you should be able to attract a few clients and start building your tutoring empire.

2. Dog Daycare

How to start a doggy daycare business

Dogs get lonely and bored too. That’s why many pet owners opt for dog daycare services instead of leaving their dogs alone at home. At a dog daycare, dogs are able to stay physically active and mentally stimulated. If you love dogs, starting a dog daycare business can be a fun and profitable business for you. The US doggie daycare industry is worth more than $4 billion and growing. 

You can start by converting an idle space in your home into a dog daycare center. Besides registering your business, it’s to your advantage to research the market and find out what services other dog daycares are offering. Most dog daycare businesses also provide grooming services while some offer veterinary services. It’s important to be innovative and come up with unique offerings like interactive activities and outdoor pet runs to set your business apart. Once you implement your marketing plan, your dog daycare business is expected to get off the ground.

3. Dog Walking

How to start a dog walking business

Would you believe that dog walking is a billion-dollar industry in the US? It’s true, and the pandemic deserves some of the credit, because so many people stuck at home for months on end needed company and decided to get themselves a pet. All those dogs need to be walked, which means demand for dog walking services is strong and on the rise. If you love dogs, you could start your own dog walking business and help people care for their pets while making a good living, getting some exercise and enjoying yourself! It’s a win-win-win. 

Of course, it’s not as easy as giving a dog a bone. You will most likely need to register with your local health department and get insurance, to help you in the event of any incidents. But beyond that, you’ll just need to offer your services on social media and online platforms like Rover.com and deliver excellent dog walking services to your first few clients. Once you establish a brand and start getting referrals, you might find yourself with too many dogs, and too little time!

4. Pet Sitting

How to start a pet sitting business

You’d probably never guess that pet sitting is a $2.6 billion industry, but it is indeed. People love their pets, and will spend whatever it takes to ensure they’re well taken care of. The pet sitting market is projected to see impressive growth through 2027, so if you’re an animal lover, now is the perfect time to start your own pet sitting business and ride that wave to serious profits. 

The first step is to decide which type of pets you’ll care for. Do you have more experience with dogs or cats? Are you OK with snakes? Pigs? Once you’ve got that nailed down, you’ll just need to buy some pet toys and supplies and offer your services on a gigs site like TaskRabbit. It’s a good idea to reach out to friends, family and work-related contacts and acquaintances. If you’re able to generate an initial client or two from your own personal network, and provide them with great service, you’ll have a strong reference to promote your services and start building a successful business.

5. Event Planning

How to start an event planning business

The biggest events — weddings, reunions, graduation parties — are often moments that people never forget. You can play a key role in making memories for countless people by starting your own event planning business. As the pandemic recedes, party planning is picking up speed and now worth $3 billion in the US alone, so the opportunity is real. If you enjoy organizing and planning, this could be the perfect venture for you — and now’s a great time to do it. 

More and more people are looking to plan long-delayed major events, from weddings to reunions to memorials and more. You can grab a piece of this growing market with a bit of training, confidence and organizational skills. Starting an event planning business requires little investment, and event planners often make 15-20 percent of the total cost. So just imagine how good you’ll feel working from home while planning a $100,000 wedding reception!

6. Freelance

How to start a freelance business

Around 60 million Americans are now doing freelance work and contributing $1.2 trillion to the US economy. If you’re skilled in writing, graphic design, IT, accounting, administrative services, marketing, or business consulting, you could start your own freelance business. Plenty of opportunities are available as demand for freelance services is expected to see steady growth through 2026.

Before you get started, it’s important to understand that the gig economy is competitive and that some jobs pay more than others. You should also know that freelance workers don’t get the perks and privileges of regular employees. If you work for global clients, cultural differences may present a challenge. 

Startup costs for a freelance business are minimal. You can work from home or remotely from anywhere in the world as long as you have a laptop and a stable internet connection. But it’s important to build your personal brand and expand your network in order to find clients. If you play your cards right, your freelance business can be very profitable.

7. Dropshipping

How to start an ecommerce business

Dropshipping is an increasingly popular business model in which online stores sell products without carrying inventory. Instead, when the shop owner receives an order, she simply contacts the supplier and relays the product order, which is then shipped directly to the customer. Already, advanced dropshipping apps like Oberlo have begun to emerge, allowing business owners to simultaneously offer a variety of products from several different suppliers. 

The market is growing fast and offers great opportunity for the bold entrepreneur. Yet because a dropshipping business is relatively easy and inexpensive to launch and operate, the competition is getting intense. In order to stand out, your dropshipping business will need to offer either uniquely appealing products or, more likely, a one-of-a-kind customer service experience, from order placement through delivery. 

It’s not easy becoming the next Jeff Bezos, but right now is a great time to give it your best shot.

8. Bed and Breakfast

How to start a bed and breakfast business

Many Americans still prefer to stay in a traditional B&B for the unique hospitality, homemade food, and fascinating local insights. The US bed and breakfast market was worth $1.7 billion in 2021 and expected to rebound strongly from the pandemic after the lifting of travel restrictions. If you’ve been thinking of opening your own bed and breakfast, now is a great time.

When starting a B&B, it’s important to be aware of the latest industry trends. For example, many guests prefer a facility that offers live entertainment or is located close to tourist attractions. It’s also to your advantage to research the market and see what features and services are being offered by the competition. Be innovative in coming up with ways to differentiate your business. Running a bed and breakfast is not easy, but it can be very rewarding if you play your cards right. 

9. Handyman Business

How to start a handyman business

You might be aging, but if you’re still good with your hands and enjoy fixing things, starting a handyman business could be a smart move. For one thing, you’ll be doing what you love and taking care of people’s problems. For another, the US handyman industry has been growing steadily for years, and by 2026 the broader home services market is expected to double! So there’s clearly a real opportunity out there. 

A key first step will be determining which services you will offer. In addition to repairs, you could offer maintenance, painting, cleaning, drywall, carpentry, minor renovations and more. Next, buy all the necessary tools and start advertising your services on online platforms like Angie’s List. 

You could also reach out to landlords, developers and residential complexes offering to provide your services at a discount. Once you’ve delivered great work in your first few jobs, you can bump up your rates. With any luck, you’ll soon be kicking back in the office counting your cash while your employees do the heavy lifting.

10. Photography

How to start a photography business

Are you an amateur photographer who loves snapping great images? Photography in the US is an $11 billion industry expected to see steady growth in the coming years, so now would be a great time to stretch your entrepreneurial wings and give it a shot. You could start your photography business from home and give the world beautiful photos while also making a good living. 

A crucial step will be finding your photographic niche. There’s a wide array of subjects to choose from. You could focus on personal portraits, fashion and culture photography, news and celebrities, or travel, nature and wildlife. Assuming you already have a professional-level camera, you’ll just need some great editing software and to build a website showing off your portfolio and listing your prices and services. With a bit of talent and determination, you could be snapping your way to success in no time!

11. House Flipping

How to start a house flipping business

The US real estate market has nearly doubled in size in the past decade and is now worth more than $200 billion. Thanks to a pandemic-driven boost, the industry has thrived in recent years and is forecast for further expansion in the years ahead. One of the best ways to take advantage of this is house flipping, which involves buying a home, fixing it up and then selling it for more than your purchase price. 

In 2020, nearly a quarter of a million US home sales were flipped homes, which means the practice is surviving despite regulations against it. In addition, the average profit made from a flipped home today is more than $65,000, so if you’re able to flip a few a year you’ll be doing just fine. The best way to start your own house flipping business is to start looking through real estate ads, in your area and beyond, and keeping an eye out for fixer-uppers and bargains. 

It’s gotten more difficult lately as more people have turned to house flipping, but there are still gems out there, waiting to be discovered and polished.

12. Consulting Business

How to start a consulting business

Business is revving back up as the pandemic recedes, and one of the industries best positioned to take advantage is consulting, which is worth more than $250 billion in the US and recorded strong growth in 2021. If you have an area of expertise — finance and budgeting, technology, operations, or management — you could start your own consulting firm and help businesses improve their efficiency and profitability while also making a good living. 

Starting a consulting business is difficult, and will require hard work and determination, as well as a decent amount of red tape. Beyond building up a strong network and reliably providing value to your clients, a key element of your success will be understanding what sets you and your firm apart from your competitors and finding ways to promote that message to your target market and deliver on your promise. Accomplish this and you’ll soon build a reputation and, with a bit of luck, seven-figure revenues.

13. Landscaping

How to start a landscaping business

If you love working on your yard and spending time outdoors, you might consider a landscaping business. Boosted by the recent real estate boom, landscaping and lawn care have seen steady growth in recent years. That expansion is expected to continue, so now’s an excellent time to get in on the action and ride this wave to success. 

You could offer a wealth of services, from designing yards and gardens to tree planting and trimming, or you could focus on businesses, rather than homeowners. First, you’ll need to brush up on your landscape design and maintenance skills. Fortunately, the US government in 2019 partnered with the leading landscapers’ association to launch a national landscapers’ apprenticeship program to train more skilled workers. 

You’ll also need to invest in quality equipment, as well as a reliable truck. After that, to attract clients you’ll want to build a simple, appealing website and launch some strong marketing to get the word out. From there, you should start seeing the business roll in as you enjoy the scent of freshly cut grass.

14. Life Coaching

How to start a life coaching business

You’ve lived a good life, right? So maybe it’s time to share some of your wisdom and help guide people through major changes in their lives as a life coach. Demand for life coaching services has increased sharply in the US, with the number of life coaches expected to exceed 18,000 in 2022.

A life coach provides counseling and helps clients explore possibilities in personal development, finance, careers, relationships, and more. There is no licensing requirement for life coaching, but it’s to your advantage to obtain certification that will let potential clients know you underwent training. There are many certifications you can apply for, but the most prestigious is the certification from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Besides undergoing training, it’s also important to have empathy for your clients. With all this, your life coaching business can be truly rewarding.

15. Podcast

How to start a podcast

Podcasting might seem like a young person’s game, but it’s really just a throwback to the age of radio. More importantly, the number of Americans who listen to podcasts is growing fast, and many of them are the younger listeners advertisers prefer, which means good money.

Starting your own podcast can be daunting, but if you can get it on iTunes or Spotify, you can engage millions of people worldwide. Submitting your podcasts for upload on iTunes or Spotify is easy, but the challenge is getting an audience to listen to you since you’ll be competing against podcasts with tens of thousands of loyal listeners. Hopefully you have some great stories to tell!

16. Catering

How to start a catering business

Do you have great culinary skills? Have you always dreamed of making your delicious dishes for hundreds of people? Now is a great time to start a catering business. The industry is seeing strong growth as the pandemic recedes and more and more people plan major events, like weddings and corporate affairs. 

The crucial first step will be nailing down an initial menu. Do you favor traditional American dishes? Are you obsessed with Italian? Or maybe Mexican, Thai or Middle Eastern food is more your thing. Once you decide, fill out the menu with appetizer options, second courses, soups and salads, and a selection of entrees and desserts. And don’t forget Americans’ dietary issues — be sure to include low-fat, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. 

Next you’ll want to nail down your product offerings. For example, some caterers today are providing box lunches for in-office events. You should also consider embracing technology, as today’s top event planners often use apps to book the best caterers. Lastly, it’s crucial that you acquire all the necessary licenses and permits, as food businesses are strictly regulated. 

Now you’re ready to get in the kitchen and start making a lot of smiling faces, and a lot of money.

17. Franchise

How to start a franchise business

Starting a franchise is a popular way of expanding a business and increasing its value. A franchise, which is acquired after paying a fee, gives a franchisee the license to sell a product or service under the franchisor’s business name. Some franchisors have been able to quickly grow their networks to thousands of units. Among the biggest US franchises are McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, and Burger King. Convenience store 7-Eleven is another successful franchise. 

If you’re thinking of expanding your business through franchising, it’s important to understand first how this business model works. You’ll need to comply with legal requirements, come up with an operations manual to guide franchisees, and carry out an effective sales and marketing program for your brand. You’ll also be expected to train your franchisees, assist them in opening and running their own stores, manage the supply chain, and control quality in all franchise units. With careful planning, you can develop a successful franchise network in no time.

18. Freelance Writing

How to start a freelance writing business

In this age of social media and digital marketing, opportunities abound for skilled and creative writers who can connect to any audience. In the US, employment of writers and authors is projected to grow nearly 10% per year through 2030. If you’re looking to capitalize on your writing skills and creativity, you might want to consider setting up a freelance writing business. You could write or ghostwrite for magazines, books, blogs, organizations and corporate clients. 

There’s nothing easy about freelance writing, though. You would be competing with millions of writers on known freelancing platforms so you’d have to work first at establishing your brand as a writer. Create a blog or a website, set up an account on social media and networking platforms, and connect with other writers to find your first client. It would take a lot of hard work, patience and dedication for you to succeed. But once you start to find some clients, you can expect to land more contracts.

19. Copywriting

How to start a copywriting business

Can you whip up a compelling article under time constraints? If so, you may want to consider starting a copywriting business. Copywriting can be a lucrative and rewarding career, and it’s an ideal business for entrepreneurs who are creative and have a strong command of the English language. Demand for copywriters is high as their services are considered essential in marketing and advertising. More than 15,000 job openings for writers, including copywriters, are expected each year through 2030 in the US. 

The biggest barrier to entry is finding clients, but it shouldn’t be difficult. Consider building your personal brand on social media by using captivating headers with great text and visuals, regularly sharing content, and keeping your posts positive and engaging. If you want to work with more than one client at a time, start by building your client list and your portfolio before taking on new projects. With a lot of creativity, you’re ready to begin your copywriting business.

20. Resume Writing

How to start a resume writing business

You might be surprised to hear it, considering the popularity of work-related social media platforms like LinkedIn, but resume writing is still big business. Countless college graduates and established professionals alike remain unable to create an appealing, strongly written resume and are willing to pay good money — up to $300 or more — for a quality CV. If you’re a perfectionist with strong writing skills, you could start your own resume writing business and help people find the jobs of their dreams while helping yourself find some serious success. 

You could start by reviewing some of the countless free online resume writing courses and brushing up your skills. Then you could reach out to a few friends and acquaintances and offer your resume writing services for free, or at a steep discount. Then, assuming you deliver quality work, they’ll provide you with testimonials and positive reviews and you’ll be on your way. Just be sure to keep your rates reasonable at the start, then you can increase as you build your brand, establish a reputation and add more and more skills.

21. RV Rental

How to Start an RV Rental Business

RVing, or traveling in a recreational vehicle, is a popular way of exploring the US with family and friends. It’s showing no signs of slowing as more than 70 million Americans are expected to go on road trips in an RV they rent, own, or borrow, according to the RV Industry Association. If you’re looking to tap into this lucrative market, then consider and start an RV rental business.

You can either invest in a fleet of RVs, which require a hefty investment, or you can just list your RV on online marketplace Outdoorsy. Before setting your rates, it’s a good idea to scope out the market and find out how much the others are charging. You’ll have to factor in insurance and other costs in order to make a profit. Finally, it’s important to keep your RVs well-maintained and clean to attract customers, most of whom prefer to rent out new units. With these in place, your RV rental business will be up and running in no time.

22. Concierge Business

How to start a personal concierge business

Many top-ranking corporate executives, celebrities and other VIPs outsource routine and time-consuming tasks to concierge services providers. As economies recover from the coronavirus pandemic, busy work schedules resume and disposable incomes improve. These drive demand for concierge services, which are expected to post a steady 5% annual growth through 2025. So why not consider starting your own concierge business? 

A concierge assists clients by running errands, booking hotel or restaurant reservations, arranging limousine and other transportation services, performing administrative functions, writing and replying to emails, and undertaking other personal assistance tasks. Which of these services will you offer? You’ll have to determine your capabilities and identify your niche market from the start. You don’t need hefty investments to start one and you can choose whether to set up an office or go digital. Focus on providing exceptional services and you’ll find it easier to find clients, gain their loyalty and grow your business.