What business is good for senior citizens?

business ideas for senior citizens

We often view retirement as the finish line for a career, but retirement doesn't always mean the end of working.

For some, it's a phase when you're financially comfortable enough to stop working out of necessity and instead, you work because you enjoy it.

Retirement can be a chance for people to kickstart a small business or pursue a career path they've always dreamed of.

Here's a list of 10 business ideas which you can start after your retirement:

1. Dropship Products

Dropshipping is an internet-based business setup, often managed by individuals, where you sell things to people on the internet without actually keeping those items in stock.

You're in charge of building a website, picking what to sell, promoting your products, and deciding how much they should cost. When someone buys from your online store, you forward the order to a dropshipping partner. They then get the order ready and deliver it to your customers.

These dropshipping partners can be found on websites like AliExpress and SaleHoo. The trick in dropshipping is to discover items that are already popular or could become popular soon, and to set prices that allow you to make a good profit.

If you've always dreamed of running an online shop but don't want the hassle of handling product storage and shipping, exploring dropshipping is a great idea.

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2. Make and Sell Crafts

Many retirees find that picking up a hobby during their leisure time can not only be enjoyable but also a clever way to earn some extra cash. One prime example of this is the craft business.

The success of platforms like Etsy and Shopify has demonstrated that handcrafted items can become quite profitable. Various types of crafts tend to sell well, such as jewelry, art, photography, soap, candles, and sewing. 

What's great is that these crafts often require relatively inexpensive materials, allowing for a healthy profit margin on your sales. The primary investment here is your time, creativity, and skill in crafting these items. If you already have a knack for crafting, this can be an ideal small business opportunity.

You have several options for selling your crafts. You can set up shop at a local farmer's market, flea market, festival, or a small brick-and-mortar store. If you're comfortable with online sales, platforms like Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist can be used effectively.

3. Real Estate Agent

Real estate can be a great option for retirees looking to try something new. It's a field with lots of chances for you to begin your own venture or become part of an established one as a freelancer.

If you become a real estate agent, you'll have the freedom to explore your local area and work with clients on your own schedule. 

Alternatively, if you have some extra funds, you could consider buying property to rent out to vacationers, which can bring in passive income. And if you enjoy keeping things looking nice, starting a landscaping business might be a satisfying choice, helping to beautify your community.

In summary, here are three retirement-friendly options:

  • Become a real estate agent.
  • Invest in and rent out property on Airbnb.
  • Launch your own landscaping business.

4. Gardening

Gardening has always been a popular pastime for retirees. But have you ever thought about turning your green thumb into some extra green in your wallet?

Starting plants from seeds can be challenging for many folks, which is why they're willing to pay for ready-to-grow plants. This can include a wide variety of plants like flowers, bushes, shrubs, trees, garden starters, vines, potted plants, and even wall or patio plants – you name it.

If you're comfortable with strangers visiting your home, you can turn this into a 100% home-based business. You can grow these plants in pots right in your backyard, greenhouse, or on your patio, and then sell them directly to the public. Alternatively, if that doesn't suit you, you can consider leasing a shop or setting up an online business.

At first glance, it might not seem like a highly profitable idea, but just a trip to your local nursery will show you otherwise. Small plants often fetch prices ranging from $10 to $100, and your expenses are limited to water, soil, and a few pots.

Many gardening enthusiasts also earn extra income by selling surplus produce and flowers. It's an excellent way to transition from being a hobbyist to a budding entrepreneur.

5. Start a Franchise

Franchises have been a go-to choice for many small business owners over the years, and there are solid reasons for their popularity.

Starting your own business is undeniably challenging. Besides the substantial investment of both money and effort, you need to possess the knowledge and skills required. This is where the concept of franchising can be a lifesaver.

In return for an initial franchise fee and ongoing royalties, you receive comprehensive guidance on how to kickstart your business. The top-notch franchises come with renowned brand recognition and national marketing campaigns that effortlessly draw in customers.

When you invest in a franchise, you can skip the daunting task of crafting a business plan or worrying about intricate supply chain logistics. The cream of the crop franchises typically provide comprehensive training programs covering everything from excellent customer service to adept financial management.

Interestingly, one of the most iconic franchise restaurant chains in the United States traces its roots back to an older entrepreneur - none other than the legendary KFC's founder Colonel Sanders.

Starting a franchise isn't a budget-friendly venture. Along with the significant upfront fees, there are other expenses like purchasing equipment, recruiting staff, and renting a location.

For instance, to start a Taco Bell or McDonald's franchise, you need to have at least $750,000 readily available. If you're looking at a KFC franchise, your total assets should be at least $1.5 million.

The typical initial investment for a franchise, as estimated by the IFA, stands at around $250,000, excluding real estate costs. 

Additionally, franchisees usually pay monthly royalty fees, which typically range from 3% to 6% of their gross sales. So, it's crucial to be financially prepared before diving into the world of franchising.

6. Offer Freelancing Services

If you've spent your career in industries where skills like graphic design, programming, or writing are in demand, freelancing can be a straightforward path to keep working in your field.

One way to get started is by becoming part of online freelancer communities like Upwork.

These platforms are great for offering your services, whether it's writing for blogs or websites. Another option is to set up your own website offering sought-after online services like bookkeeping or graphic design. It's a flexible and accessible way to continue doing what you're skilled at and passionate about.

7. Become a Life coach

As a senior, your life journey has given you a treasure trove of wisdom to offer. You can turn this wisdom into income by becoming a life coach.

In both life and business, having experience is incredibly valuable. If you're known for being a good listener and providing wise guidance, consider embarking on a new career as a life coach during your retirement.

It's essential to note that being a life coach is not the same as being a professional therapist or psychologist, and you should avoid delving into their specialized areas. However, you can still provide valuable advice and support to those seeking guidance in their lives.

8. Soap Making Business

The soap-making industry is on the rise, offering opportunities for home-based or small local businesses. It's one of the best choices if you want to make some extra money while working from home.

Getting into the soap business might seem easy. You can gather all the necessary supplies for under $1,000. Plus, with the growing demand for skincare products online, it appears to be a promising field to venture into.

9. Rent Out Your Place

Becoming a landlord is a common and profitable path in the real estate world. It involves buying properties and renting them out to people. As a landlord, you have to take care of the property and make sure you get the rent from your tenants.

Being a landlord gives you a chance to create your own legacy. The money you earn from renting out properties offers both financial freedom and stability. It's like having an investment that can grow over time, and you don't need to put all your money into it.

Usually, after paying the mortgage and dealing with competition, you might make around $300 to $500 in profit each month from your property.

Right now, more and more people prefer renting over buying homes. This makes the landlord business even more attractive because there are lots of people looking for rental homes. This trend is expected to continue, so it's a good time to start being a landlord.

Being a landlord is a great way to build wealth over the long term. Plus, you get to be your own boss, and you don't have to handle all the daily tasks of managing the property. It's a win-win for those who want to be part of real estate without the hassle.

10. Host your home on Airbnb

If you don't want to rent out your place for long, then Airbnb business would be perfect for you.

Renting out your spare room through platforms like Airbnb can be a great way to earn extra money on the side. If you've got a spare room just sitting there, why not make it work for you? You can easily put it up on Airbnb for around $50 a night, and that income can help cover your regular expenses.

Starting an Airbnb side gig is pretty straightforward: first, figure out how you want to rent it out, then get the room ready, create a snazzy Airbnb listing, and promote your space to potential guests. It's a simple and profitable way to make the most of your unused space.


Starting a business can be challenging, but it comes with its own set of advantages. Creating your own flexible and rewarding company could be just the ticket for this kind of lifestyle.

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