senior woman working on laptop
Retiring allows you to use the skills you've learned over the past few decades and create a business that is fully yours, and that you are passionate about. — Getty Images/PIKSEL

With one career over, retirement can easily feel like an ending. For many retirees, however, it’s also a beginning: the start of a new chapter full of possibilities. If you’re ready for a rewarding second act, here are some business opportunities to consider.

Open a B&B

Don’t downsize your home just yet. Now that the kids have moved out, consider putting those empty bedrooms to good use. If your home is comfortable and in such a great locale that even you hate to leave it, there’s a good chance others will pay to stay.

If you like meeting new people and aren’t afraid of hard work, running a bed and breakfast could be for you. Review websites of other B&Bs in your area to see what amenities they offer and what they charge. Then, jump in with a gorgeous website of your own, get listed on a site like Airbnb and start baking those muffins.

Become a teacher

You took more than your potted plants and framed family photos when you left your office. The knowledge and experience you acquired as a professional have value — so pass them on. Consider becoming a teacher or consultant.

As an expert in your field, you are qualified to teach others. Today’s technology has made it possible to reach unlimited numbers of students, and e-learning is big business. Tools are available to create course content that suits your style and intended audience.

Sell your handiwork

Remember those hobbies you never really had time to pursue while you were employed? Let loose the woodworker, glass-blower, mitten knitter or graphic artist inside you. Hone your craft until the resulting product is best-in-class, then open an Etsy or Society6 business. Maybe even a pop-up shop.

[See more: Pop-up Retail 'Trend' Is Now a Mainstream Marketing Strategy.]

Treat your business as just that: a new business. Brand your products and market them with the same focus and determination that made you successful in your former occupation.

The knowledge and experience you acquired as a professional have value — so pass them on.

Become a home inspector

If your pre-retirement experience was in the building trades, consider launching a home inspection business. Nearly every buyer requires a thorough inspection prior to closing on a property. Many sellers pay for a pre-inspection to avoid surprises that could cause them to accept a lower price.

Connecting with local real estate agents is a good way to get clients. Alternately, you could purchase a home inspection franchise.

Write a travel blog

If you like to write and travel is on your post-retirement bucket list, why not blog about it? You might review RV hotspots, airport hotels or little known byways you’ve discovered in that rented convertible. Every day on the road or in the air will provide content, and folks with a similar wanderlust will sign up to read it.

Affiliate marketing, Google ads, and writing sponsored posts are three ways to monetize your blog. Travel blogs are like post cards — reports from the road — except they arrive instantly and you can get paid to send them.

Become a public speaker

Get out there and represent your field of expertise. If you can engage an audience — be informative and inspirational while sharing an anecdote or two — consider becoming a public speaker. Get paid to talk about what you know.

Once you’ve chosen a topic and written a killer talk, create a brochure to get the word out. Groups such as Kiwanis International and your local Chamber of Commerce often feature guest speakers. Giving a talk there for free will help you gain experience and build a network. When your presentation is polished and ready, find a speakers bureau — an agency to connect you with audiences.

Buy a franchise

Purchasing a franchise is like buying time — the time it takes to perfect an idea and build a business model. If you don’t have thirty years to invest but you have some cash, a franchise can give your second act a running start.

Franchise opportunities vary greatly, both in business type (anything from robotics to window screening) and cost. Buying into someone else’s bright idea is a great way for retirees to begin again.

Published June 07, 2019