Sep 23, 2022 | Starting a Business

I recently retired. Am I too old to be starting a business?

Q. Dear Zenagos, I recently retired. Am I too old to be starting a business?
–Aurora

Age is just a number. You are never too old to start something new. If you have passion for a business idea, you should absolutely go for it!

If they can do it, you can, too
There are plenty of examples of people who became famous for something they started in their sixties. If you need inspiration, check out Kerry Hannon’s book, Never Too Old to Get Rich: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business Mid-Life. Hannon profiles more than a dozen entrepreneurs who launched their companies after age 50. For some more accessible examples, check out RetiredBrains, which keeps a list of businesses started by Boomers, Seniors, and Retirees.

Small business has terrific tax deductions
When you run a small business, most of your expenses are tax deductible. Take a look at this list from the IRS. For example, you may be able to deduct a portion of your auto expenses, utilities, insurance, rent, depreciation, subscriptions, office supplies, and/or travel expenses. You have to keep track of the expenses in order to receive the benefit, but the impact of these deductions on your lifestyle can be powerful.

Staying engaged is good for your health
Psychologists report that retirees stay healthier longer when they have structure, purpose, and community (Forbes, 2010). Launching your own business provides all three. If you spend your time on something that inspires your passion, you can increase not only your wealth, but also the span of your health.

Business will teach you current technologies
Retirees have a reputation for being apprehensive about the latest technologies, but running a business will force you to work with technologies and overcome any fears. Working with the latest technologies will help you stay connected to the younger generation and improve your engagement with the world.

Entrepreneurship is rewarding
If you have a passion for starting your own business, you should absolutely pursue it. It is never too late to achieve your dreams. Running your own business isn’t always fun – it can be tiring, frustrating, and anxiety-producing – but it is very rewarding. There is no substitute for the pride of building your own company.

Gather advisors you can trust
If you have no experience in business, be sure to find some experts whom you trust to mentor you through the process. You can get a free mentor through SCORE to walk you through the process of starting a business. You should also find a financial advisor who can help you make sure that you are making wise decisions with your precious retirement assets. Successful entrepreneurs take a learning mindset and build a community of people who can help them avoid the pitfalls of going it alone.

References

Hannon K. (2019). Never too old to get rich : The entrepreneur’s guide to starting a business mid-life. John Wiley & Sons.

Rosenblatt, C.L. (2010, September 15). Your new retirement job: Staying engaged. Forbes. Retrieved on September 22, 2022 from https://www.forbes.com/2010/09/15/how-be-happy-in-retirement-personal-finance-retirement-is-work.html?sh=1ff95d9366f1

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