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Is starting a new business a good plan during retirement?

I recently decided to retire from the banking industry. I love cooking and have long wanted to start a business in health and wellness. I am wondering if I would be taking on too much. I know this is a personal decision but I am curious to hear other people's thoughts about starting a business during retirement.

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I am sure that you have heard the expression, "if you do something you love, you will never work a day in your life." If health and wellness is something that you love then go for it!

Set reasonable expectations and make sure you structure so that you are not giving yourself another job.

Also a big concern in retirement can be cash flow, I encourage you to start your business using a model similar to what I did... don't go into debt and don't invest more than you are making. Determine the amount you are willing to comfortably invest, then use the 80/20 rule... for the first 6-12 months every dollar you make 80% goes back to the business and 20% is for you.

Hope that helps :)

PS: I am a marketing expert, so most of this is simply the advice I would give my parents.

That's insightful!


It seems to me that there are two key issues in retirement: how will I spend my time? and how can I create additional cashflow so I don' t run out of money? Starting a business you love can be a great answer to both of those questions. As you indicate, it is a personal decision -- so it more depends on your energy, motivation and passion for doing something in health and wellness.

In my humble opinion, I would first define what "starting a business in health and wellness" means for you. Is it opening a shop where you sell health and wellness products? Is it opening a gym? Is it opening a restaurant? Is it having a health food store with a restaurant? What does that look like for you?

Next, I would try to find people who are already in similar businesses and ask them about their experiences:
** What does a typical day look like?
** How many hours per day/ per week do you devote to the business?
** What are the major challenges in running such a business?
** What are the major rewards?
** What kind of profits can you anticipate, etc?

As you begin to answer these questions and others, you will know if starting a business is the right thing for you.

Best of luck!


Hi Jane ~

Boomer retirees are nothing like previous generations! I write in the senior space, and have just launched a 4-part series on The New Retirement. The first post presents 10 resources for creating the life you want in retirement, including books and sites to help you launch your "Third Age": http://www.hecmworld.com/reverse-mortgage-news/resources-aging-retirement-quality-life

Tomorrow's post will focus on when one partner retires and the other keeps working.

Health/wellness is a burgeoning area, especially as the population ages, so depending on your area of interest, financial resources, etc., this may be an ideal way to invest your later years. All the best!


In 2014 over 20% of this nations startups were launched by folks 60+. When I talk about start-ups I don't mean just the Hi-Tech money machines that get almost all of the attention across the media. I'm talking about 20% of the almost 6 million businesses that get started every year in the US. From lawn care to health care and from manufacturing to importing olive oil from Spain. There is no limit to what Mature Entrepreneurs can do and accomplish. I'm over 65 and looking to launch a web resource and magazine just for this market niche Check out Mature-Entrepreneurs.com for more information.
The one thing I like to advise people who are looking to step into home-based / microbusiness is that it's very different from what business is like from the corporate perspective. You won't have the staff to call on or the budgets to buy it done. Take the time to learn how the four key elements (Operations / Marketing / Finance / People ) integrate to form a functional business. You'll need to learn how to work the four parts on your own and where to look for help when one part or the other bogs down. But, that being said, get out there and enjoy yourself. Being your own boss and calling the shots is the best part my day And, I've only been doing this for over 30 years. Please let me know if I can be of assistance.


Hi Jane. The short answer is YES! Encore entrepreneurs are proven to be more resilient and experienced which leads to more success. A lifestyle business can be just the thing. You'll want to start planning and launch before your retirement, of course.

Worried that you might not have all the skills you need to run a business? Today, you have all kinds of resources and freelancers who can bring your vision into reality. I work with small bizs to identify what to outsource and how to find trustworthy talent. You can learn more at http://DinasRolodex.com

Two books I recommend to all my clients are: Profit First because it's how much you keep, not how much you make, that matters; and, Ask because it helps you tighly align what you target audience wants with what you offer. Shoot me a message if you are interested in good FB groups to join. Go get 'em!


As others have said, do what you love. That's the #1 priority. Also, think about ways to structure your business in a cash-flow positive way, and be willing to collaborate with others on things that are non-core and not something you want to be spending your time on. Also, as a former banker turned entrepreneur myself, you may find that going from the regular paycheck to entrepreneurship brings with it emotional challenges that need to be overcome. I'm not a believer in retirement, which is something the corporate world sold the workers in the 20th century in return for lifetime allegiance, not a working model in this day and age. Entrepreneurship can be great fun, and if you'd like to eliminate the negative emotional issues that can come with it, please feel free to contact me for how that's done.

Anonymous User

Retirement's a great time to start a business, if you've thought about your pension and you don't have to make an income immediately it can take some of the pressure off. Be careful not to over commit yourself financially though and don't invest so much that you put your home and basic income at risk.

Take time to think about what you really want to achieve and consider what your vision is. I'm guessing that being heath and wellness business you want to help people change their lifestyles and become healthier. You can do this on many levels though, you might just be thinking about some people you know and see within your local community or it could be people all over the world. So think about how far you want to go.

If you have a clear vision then your own passion and enthusiasm will carry you through the tough bits. Just don't listen too much to the doubters and remember to enjoy yourself, I'm sure you've earnt it.

Good luck


In my opinion, we start our careers just trying to generate income to support our families and build a good life, once we reach retirement we've basically set ourselves up for the remainder of our years, in my opinion, if you couldn't do it prior to retirement then retirement would be the best time to follow your passion, I would only advise not to use your retirement income as a means of starting your new business, you want to live well whether your business succeeds or fails.


I'm a risk taker, and always feel you should follow your gut and passion. Having been around many very successful entrepreneurs in the food space, namely big name chefs, I will caution that without any food, prep, training I would go a little more cautiously. The market is flooded with so many types of food services for families, healthy delivery options, precooked, or pre-measured meals for a week, etc, that you should be careful. One suggestion would be to seek one of these businesses that are already established and see if you could work for them for 6 months and get a sense of how these businesses work, the effort and hours needed, the marketing and locations to be in to be successful and then decide to take the leap or not.


Hi Jane,

The decision to start a business is normally difficult for other stages of life but after retirement it is easier to identify whether you are in a position to take a risk or not.

Allocating finances is the most important decision which is generally very clear at the time of retirement.If you want to start a business after retirement to earn money than the answer is no.If you are financially good and achieved all your financial goals for your retirement than you can definitely take a chance without disturbing your originally planned retirement funds.Any surplus can be invested in a safe manner so as to keep you engaged and also not make losses for you.

Generally after retirement people are more satisfied in terms of their hunger for money hence more suitable to do good business with an ethical mindset.

Relationships and networks are also mature at this time which can benefit a lot.

If you love cooking you can start off with cooking at different occasions build your market and move forward.Also catering is a good idea which is more variable in nature and you have to focus on fulfilling orders and build customers.

At retirement it is good to do what interests you.

Regarding health and wellness business you need to identify what expert support you need and at what cost.Another important decision is the target market around your business vicinity who will be interested in health and wellness.

It depends on your own fair and practical assessment of circumstances whether you are taking too much or not.You need to discuss with your closed ones if you should move forward with the decision or not.

Starting from a small set up is not at all a bad idea in my opinion.

Best of luck,

Toronto, Canada

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