Best Retirement Business Ideas to Start Today

Best Retirement Business Ideas to Start Today


Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by II Editor

With careful planning and the right business concept, retirement does not have to mean an end to working. In fact, starting a business can help keep you mentally and physically active in your senior years while also supplementing your retirement income.

In this guide, we explore some of the top business ideas you can start today to enjoy an active and financially rewarding retirement. Each concept offers low startup costs, flexible schedules, and opportunities to use your existing skills or experience. Read on to find ideas that spark your interest as a way to stay engaged during this next phase of life.


Become a Virtual Assistant

In a world where more work is done remotely every day, the role of a virtual assistant is a scalable business with endless opportunities. With just a laptop and internet connection, you can take on administrative, creative, or technical assistant tasks for clients around the world.

As a virtual assistant, you can help companies with tasks like:

  • Data entry and bookkeeping
  • Scheduling appointments and meetings
  • Proofreading documents and emails
  • Basic graphic design and website updates
  • Online research projects
  • Transcription of audio files

This business has low overhead costs to start and allows you to work as many or a few hours as you choose each day. Prior office, admin, or digital skills are a plus but optional since much can be learned online. Consider building your skills in popular programs like QuickBooks, Canva, or transcription software.

Organize Homes and Offices

Cleaning out closets and basements or organizing paperwork and electronics are time-consuming chores most people would rather delegate. That’s where an organizing business comes in.


As an organizer, you can take on decluttering and sorting projects for homes or small businesses. Pricing typically ranges from $25-50 per hour, depending on the scope of work. With experience in specific niches like craft room cleanouts or tech device setups, you have more opportunities to find clients.

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This business also allows you to work flexible hours to suit your schedule. Being mobile means you can take local jobs near your home. To increase customer credibility, consider getting certified through the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals.

Start a Pet-sitting or Dog-Walking Service

Pets are beloved family members for many, and their owners often pay well for reliable care when they cannot be home. As a retiree with a flexible schedule, starting a pet sitting or dog walking business perfectly fits that need.

Providing in-home visits, overnight stays, walks, or pet taxi services lets you spend quality time with furry friends. Depending on your area, pricing usually ranges from $15-30 per walk or visit. Building relationships with veterinary clinics and local pet feed stores is a great way to find clients.

You’ll need basic supplies like leashes, poop bags, and a pet first aid kit to get started. Carrying liability insurance also brings peace of mind. With experience caring for dogs, cats, small animals or exotic pets, you have creative service offerings. Just be sure to screen clients and follow strict safety protocols thoroughly.

Start a Craft Business

If you have talented skills in popular crafts like knitting, sewing, crocheting, woodworking, jewellery making or stained glass, turning your hobby into a business is a low-risk way to earn additional income.

Consider selling finished craft pieces through an online Etsy shop or local indie market booths. Offer custom orders or take commissions, too. Prices depend on the materials used, complexity, and rarity of the design. Craft classes or workshops are another revenue stream for teaching your talents to others in your community.

Setting up an at-home craft studio keeps overhead very minimal at the start. Building your brand on social media and getting involved in online craft communities helps potential customers discover your creative works. Pursuing licensing for character-themed crafts like Disney styles can also lead to higher profit margins. So, channel your passion into a rewarding craft-based side gig!

Become a Travel Agent

While online booking tools make planning vacations simple these days, many travellers still appreciate the personalized service an agent provides. For retirees with extensive travel experience worldwide, representing destinations and tour packages could be the perfect part-time business.

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As a travel agent, you can focus on specific regions, types of trips, or cruise lines you know intimately from visiting yourself. Create packages with special group rates or bundled amenities clients cannot find booking alone. Commission percentages range from 10% to 20%, depending on the supplier.

Getting your Travel Agency License and joining associations like the American Society of Travel Advisors boosts professionalism. An at-home or virtual office keeps costs low. Plus, you get to live vicariously through the exotic trips booked for clients in your spare time. Leverage your travel skills through this business, which allows you to work completely on your schedule.

Drive for a Rideshare Service

If you enjoy meeting new people and cruising the open road, becoming an Uber, Lyft or similar service driver lets you earn income on your terms. Passengers value safe and personable drivers, a role many retirees naturally excel at with plenty of life experiences to share.

As a driver, you need a relatively new vehicle, your local transportation license, and to pass a background check. Keeping your car in nice condition and offering amenities like bottled water or phone charging ports builds positive rider experiences. Income varies greatly depending on how many hours you choose to work, with the flexibility to pick up extra shifts seasonally.

Committing just a few nights or weekends per month to supplement retirement funds is realistic for many driver-entrepreneurs. When calculating profits, just be sure to account for taxes, regular vehicle maintenance, and gas expenses. However, the social aspect of meeting locals and travellers makes this business engaging and financially worthwhile.

Coach or Instruct a Skill or Hobby

If you spent your career honing a talent like foreign languages, musical instruments, sports, or culinary arts or have skills in a lucrative trade like plumbing or woodworking, sharing your knowledge through in-person or online classes is a smart business move.

As an instructor, you set class sizes, locations, and session lengths based on your interests and energy levels. Marketing directly to local schools, community centres, or online course platforms like Skillshare reaches students of all ages who want to learn.

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An annual business license and liability insurance are standard operational needs. But teaching in your home studio, community hall, or virtually means low overhead. If you love imparting a passion topic and helping others succeed, this engaging teaching business taps unused experience and expertise. Plus, it’s immensely rewarding to see students achieve their learning goals!

Flip Furniture for Profit

With some DIY skills and design sense, refurbishing used furniture can become a lucrative retirement gig. Look for unique pieces with restoration potential at estate sales, thrift stores, or online auction platforms.

After sprucing up pieces by sanding, staining, reupholstering or adding hardware upgrades, list the fully revived furniture for sale online through marketplaces like Facebook or on consignment at high-end antique stores. Quality before-and-after photos showcase the transformation.

Pricing restored items 20-50% higher than purchase cost accounts for your labour and materials. Operating a home workshop with basic power tools keeps costs minimal. As you build a following for your unique restyle talents, custom furniture commissions become profitable, too. And it’s immensely satisfying to see treasured pieces find new life.


The wide variety of business ideas explored here demonstrates that retirement does not have to mean completely leaving the work world behind. With careful planning and a concept aligned to one’s skills and interests, self-employment allows seniors to stay mentally engaged and add value through goods or services provided to local communities.

Most of all, these flexible business models respect your time by letting you choose how actively involved you want to be each day or season of the year. Prior experience in fields like caregiving, administration, teaching or craftsmanship can find new purpose through an entrepreneurial senior endeavour. Taking that first step to turn a passion into a moneymaking venture is the key to enjoying fulfilling work even after traditional careers end. Now it’s time to reflect – which of these opportunities might spark your own rewarding retirement business?


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