7 tips for retirement entrepreneurs

The baby boomers are hitting retirement age. Traditionally people have spent their golden years playing golf, sitting poolside and collecting Social Security for 20 years or so.

However, many of today's new retirees say they intend to keep working, and some plan to start their own businesses.

Stacy Francis, president and founder at Francis Financial in New York, says there are several good reasons to become your own boss once you've given up the 9-to-5 routine.

"No. 1 is because we're healthier, but also because people want to stay engaged," Francis says. "A third reason we often see is for extra income, to help supplement those everyday living costs that maybe they didn't save for."

Starting a business at any age requires some serious thought and planning. In addition, there are a few special considerations for people thinking of opening a business during their 50s, 60s or beyond.

Following is a checklist of things to think about before jumping into entrepreneurship during your golden years.

Green golden years
Starting a business in retirement can be rewarding if you consider these suggestions:

1. Follow your passion 

Choosing a business that allows you to pursue your passions may be the most important step in creating a successful business in retirement.

"I think it's really up to each person and what they want to do," says Ken Proskie, who left the corporate world at age 51 to become CEO of his own business, Compass Health & Safety in Evanston, Ill. "It may not have anything to do whatsoever with your previous background or jobs or previous training."

Gary Dunn agrees. Dunn left the corporate world at 38 years old to publish The Caretaker Gazette, a newsletter he publishes out of Boerne, Texas, that tries to match house sitters with homeowners who need an on-site caretaker.


Dunn suggests building a business around something you enjoy, whether it's woodworking, writing or painting.

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