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A Senior’s Guide to Starting a Home-Based Business in Retirement

Guest blog by Carla Lopez at

As wonderful as retirement is, there may come a time when you’re ready to work a few hours on the side. This is where starting a home-based business comes in. Home-based businesses are an excellent choice in retirement as many can be started with minimal inventory and capital. They’re also a great option for seniors with mobility issues and transportation constraints.

For some tips on starting a home-based business in retirement, read on. And for information on popular medical topics and resources (like this article) to help you live your best life in retirement, see more on Maureen Sullivan’s blog.

Explore Senior-Friendly Business Ideas

If you’re going to start a home-based business in retirement, it’s important to start by choosing a senior-friendly business idea. Rachel Hartman of the U.S. News offers the following recommendations:

● Financial advising

● Consulting

● Nutrition coaching

● Selling used or handmade items

In addition to these senior-friendly business ideas, several other great options include freelance writing and editing, music education, online tutoring and teaching, party planning, and baking. Some home-based businesses may be structured as sole proprietorships, while others are best operated as limited liability companies, partnerships, or corporations.

Learn as Much as Possible

Once you’ve chosen a great idea for your home-based business, you’ll need to ensure you have all the skills, training, and qualifications needed to effectively run it. The SCORE Association offers free online workshops and courses for learning about topics such as accounting, sales and marketing, tax planning, and technology. You could also earn an online degree in business to learn all about business management, administration, and strategy.

Understand Self-Employment Tax Issues

While there are tax advantages of running a home-based business, there are also some tax issues you’ll need to understand as a self-employed senior. According to Jean Murray of The Balance Small Business, your self-employment earnings could affect your Social Security benefit amounts — and it’s important to be aware of this before making the decision to start a business in retirement.

The Bottom Line

If you’d like to work in retirement, starting a home-based business could be the right career move for your Golden Years. You’ll get to earn an income from home, making it a great option if you have mobility or transportation issues — or concerns about working with the public amidst COVID-19. This quick guide will help you to launch your new work-from-home career!


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