Life doesn't end at 60. Or 70. Or 80. Or any set time. There's certainly no requirement that you sit by and wait for the end just because you've passed a certain age.
Our culture is, and has long been, obsessed with youth. That's why it sometimes feels like every single U.S. newspaper and magazine has its own 30 under 30 list showcasing promising young business and creative people who are out there accomplishing their dreams at annoyingly young ages. These lists are misleading, though, since most people don't find their calling until later in life. Sometimes much later.
Colonel Sanders started KFC at 65, using his first social security check to help kick things off. Grandma Moses started painting at 78 and kept right on painting for the next 23 years until she passed away at 101. Peter Roget published the world's first thesaurus when he was 73.
These famous folks aren't exceptions, they're just a few examples of many. There are thousands of customers at Weebly alone who have started their own businesses post retirement.
What about you? Why should you start your own business in retirement?
You Can Do What You Love
Very few people are lucky enough to spend their whole lives working in a field they're passionate about. Most of us have to focus on much more basic responsibilities: like paying the mortgage and eating. That's not a bad thing. It just means we ultimately plug a lot of our time and energy into doing things we don't really enjoy in order to support those things we do. That's all the more reason we should follow our passions as our responsibilities start to lessen.
Joe is a life long poet who never saw this as a viable business until he started his own small and successful poetry print shop, The Peasandcues Press, in 2015 at the age of 67. His business is doing well and he really enjoys his work. Something he can tell you all about in the short video below:
It'll Help You Stay Sharp and Healthy
Colonel Sanders lived to be 90. So did Peter Roget. Grandma Moses lived to 101, painting all the while. It's no coincidence that these famous people who found their calling at a later stage in life lived longer. Research, studies and experience show that people who continue to work later in life, particularly if its work they enjoy and that engages them, live longer on average than people who don't.
Life isn't just longer; it's more fulfilling. Though retiring from all work may seem wonderful, many people struggle with boredom and stress from not having anything to do with all their free time. Researchers at Boston College said that:
"Working provides people with 'substantial financial, psychosocial and cognitive resources' to draw upon, while retirement can create stress, anxiety and even depression, especially in countries where work is highly valued."
Nothing keeps your mind sharper than a challenge. And few challenges are more rewarding than building a business you love.
After losing her husband at the age of 68, Betty of the Pretzel Princess had the choice to just stop everything and live off Social Security or to start the business she'd been dreaming of founding for years. She chose the latter and has been very happy she did.
You Can Make Extra Money
You may have a pension. You may have saved for retirement. You may be relying on social security. Regardless of your source of money, it's likely you would enjoy more of it.
If you found a business in a field that you love, there's a good chance that you already have the needed skills and most of the resources to start a business in that field. The only major investment you'll need to make is time. And since you're not trying to support yourself solely through your new business, you can keep things small while building slowly and not rushing through the process.
That's what Kate, the inventor of the Yarnit did, after founding a business based on some of her own frustrations she'd encountered while knitting. Now she's shipping products all over the world while keeping the business small enough that she can enjoy the work.
How Can You Get Started?
Put your business idea down on paper, and formulate a basic business plan. This doesn't need to be anything fancy. Just a description of what your business will be, what you hope to accomplish with it, and how you think you'll go about achieving those goals.
Think about branding. What will you call your business? How would you describe it or pitch it to someone else?
Tell your family and friends. Their feedback can be helpful and this will give you accountability to actually get started.
Things will be slow at first so you don't have to worry about being overwhelmed. So why not jump in!?