If I were to ask you which age group has the highest self-employment rate in the United States, what would your guess be?
You might be surprised that it’s the 65+ age group.
“Self-Employment in the U.S., the self-employment rate among workers 65 and older (who don’t incorporate) is the highest of any age group in America: 15.5%.”U.S. Bureau of Statistics
What could be the reason?
It might be because the retirement landscape is drastically changing and how much time people are spending in their retirement years is one of the biggest factors.
Your parents and grandparents may have spent 10-15 in their retirement years.
With our increased life spans, this next stage of life may last 20-30 years. A pretty big difference.
This is causing people to rethink what they want to do during this time.
That stereotypical vision of spending days on the golf course between travelling still exists, not as much as it did in the past.
People are starting businesses as a way to keep their brains engaged and sharp.
The extra money doesn’t hurt either.
Are you thinking of starting a business in retirement?
I mean, why not?
It can be fulfilling in a variety of ways by helping you to ease the transition from your career or keeping you mentally on point or putting an extra zero or so on your retirement savings.
Take a moment to think about the times in which we currently live.
Has there ever been a time where starting a business has been so easy?
The internet has completely changed that paradigm and made the barrier to entry ridiculously low.
It’s also added to the overwhelm because there are now so many different types of businesses to start and ways to start them.
Just thinking about that might freeze you in your tracks.
By getting your head in the right mindset when starting a business can help to set you up for success.
How? Great question.
A question is where it all begins
The answer can easily be found on Google, much like everything else.
It can also lead to paralysis analysis with all of the information available. Thus causing you stay frozen and not move forward.
Let’s make sure you stay in motion. Ok?
To help you, I reached out to Kevin Lyles. He’s a Certified Retirement Transition Coach and Head of Education at Rock Retirement Club.
I posed this question to Kevin, “What’s the most important thing you’d ask someone that was thinking of starting a business in retirement?”
He said, “What do they want to get out of the business?
“That will lead to how I could counsel them because there are many possible answers.”
We’ll get to the answers, but first let’s talk about why this is a powerful question you must answer. Sound good?
The importance of this question
It’s time to do some reflection to understand the importance of this question.
Think back on your career and life for the past 30-40 years.
How much of your time did work take?
We’ll do some quick math to put this all into a better perspective. There will be assumptions in numbers and they’ll be low. Don’t get caught on the numbers. They’re just to prove a point.
There are 168 hours in a 7-day week.
Working 9-5 equals 40 hours.
Commuting to and from work for 5 days is about 10 hours.
You spend another 10 hours a week thinking about work when you’re not there.
That comes to a total of 60 hours dedicated to work.
That’s about 35% of your entire week.
We didn’t even talk about how work also determined how you spent those remaining hours. It was necessary at the time for you to survive.
As you enter retirement, work can mean something new to you and you determine how much time you spend with it.
This is why it’s important to start something that supports the vision you have for your retirement.
You now have full control of your time and what you want to do with it.
Is the importance of having a clear vision making more sense?
How to answer the question
These are common answers to the question that Kevin shared with me.
1. Money is required
For some, the money might be required to continue surviving. If this is the case for you, consider keeping some type of employment.
Starting a business and having it generate sustainable income in a short time will be a challenge.
Now if you’re a few years out from retirement, you might want to get a head start on your business now.
2. Having extra spending money
Let’s say your retirement financial plan is all set. Your expenses and taken care of with no worries.
In this case, starting a business might be a good way to pad the savings up or a way to do some additional activities without touching your savings.
Legacy is a word that has multiple meanings.
Leaving a legacy is something that’s personal to you.
It might be leaving money to others or leaving your footprint on the world.
However you define it, your business might be how you leave yours.
4. Being a problem solver
Solving problems is the first answer people gravitate towards. They’ve done something in their career for so long, they transition to consulting in that field.
There also might be something else you’re really good at that people will pay your help for.
5. Purpose and meaning
We spoke about the amount of time your career has taken on a weekly basis. When that’s gone, there will be a big void.
The void will be from the time standpoint, but also identity, structure and self-worth.
This is one of retirement’s biggest challenges.
“If they’ve been working 10-12 hour days for 30-40 years, now they wake up and don’t know what to do with themselves,” said Kevin. “Having a business can really fill that void and give them some purpose and reason to get up in the morning.”
Want to start a business in retirement? If so, in the comments tell us what you want to get from your business and why.
About the Author:
Mike Lieberman is the founder of Retirement Redefinition. He created the site to help you define your retirement lifestyle and start an online business that fits it.