encore careersDespite popular belief, retirement may not just mean moving to Florida to drink sweet tea, play golf, and write cards to loved ones. According to a Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, 18% of those involved in early-stage entrepreneurship are over 55 and 7.9% are over 65. One in four individuals between the ages 44 and 77 are interested in entrepreneurial endeavors, and 63% of Americans plan on working during retirement. These statistics are exciting for the countless business savvy individuals who are entering the retirement stage of their lives.

Post-retirement entrepreneurism is typically spawned from decades of product and industry knowledge that people take in over the span of a professional career. In many ways working is very similar to going to school. It teaches specific skills and can bring a wealth of knowledge to anyone who is willing and able to work hard and learn. Once an individual understands the ins and outs of an industry and has the resolve to take a swing at it, they are ready to become an entrepreneur.  They may choose to follow a path different from the work they did during their employment, but they usually transfer the skills and knowledge they glean during their working days to their new business.

According to Inc.com the following are the 7 Top Retirement Start-Ups:

  1. Consulting Agency 
  2. Professional Speaker
  3. Online Business
  4. Blogging Business
  5. Opening a Franchise
  6. Bed-and-Breakfast
  7. Senior Care

Of the seven start-ups listed above, three are knowledge sharing based. Consulting, Professional Speaking and Blogging are all fields open to experts only, and what person knows their field better than a retiring professional? Business opportunities are in abundance for those with knowledge, funding and vigor and it seems that the retiring Baby-Boomers are the ones who fit this mold.

Words of advice for those retired/retiring entrepreneurs:

  • Stick with what you know – Staying within one’s field of expertise is an easy way for entrepreneurs to have success in a field. With years of experience in a specific industry or field consumers will have a higher level of trust in you and your company.
  • Choose a business that you can finance – be realistic, and don’t invest more into a company than you could potentially lose and still be comfortable. Every business venture is a risk, and understanding risk management is key when investing in any business venture. Alternative loans can be a safe way to stabilize a brand new company and ensure financial success for the future.
  • Know your weaknesses – weaknesses can vary from technology to public speaking, but the exciting part is that employees can be hired to do the things that you cannot.  An area of weakness is no longer a disadvantage for your company once new talent fills the right position.

Field experience and industry knowledge are a result of a committed career and many years of hard work, and they give post-retirement entrepreneurs an edge, as does decades of networking, connecting and hard-earned lessons that less experienced contenders may lack. Share your business ideas with the SBA today, and when you do set up your own business, be sure to sign up for a free D&B® D-U-N-S number. A D-U-N-S number will help you build and audit your businesses credit score. A D-U-N-S number is a unique nine-digit identifier for businesses and it has become the standard for tracking more than 225 million businesses worldwide.

Photo Credit: Visit Greenland, Flickr