retirement business ideas

Thinking to start a business after 50? You’re not alone. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers alike have started to notice a big gap in how much they’ve saved for retirement and how much they’ll actually need. Starting a business after 50, even while you still work your day job, is a great way to fund the gap, earn passive income and really enjoy your golden years. But I also know most late-career workers feel like they’re a one trick pony. You don’t have the skills or knowledge to start a business after 50.

But I don’t agree.

Here are 4 retirement business ideas that just about anyone could start after 50.

4 Retirement Business Ideas


Set up a consulting business in your community or online. Offer a word from the wise to people interested in your skills and industry.

Say you spent the past 30 years working in marketing. You could start a business consulting other small business owners on how to do this on their own. You don’t even need to quit your day job to get started — start scaling your business on evenings and weekends and then switch over full time when it’s time to retire.

Your consulting services don’t have to be limited to your career expertise. Young Millennial professionals are constantly looking for advice on how to be, well, professionals. How to nail an interview, how to manage a team of employees, all of it. And you learned those skills long ago.

Selling Products Online

Selling products online is a booming niche that many businesses aren’t taking advantage of. According to BigCommerce, ecommerce is growing 23% year-over-year, yet 46% of American small businesses do not have a website. It’s a great way to earn passive income. 

There are a few different models for this retirement business idea:


You sell items on your website that someone else manufactured. Your only job is to sell the items through advertising, content marketing, or other means. Once people make a purchase, the manufacturer ships the item, and you get a cut of the profits.

Wholesaling (or FBA)

You purchase items in bulk and store them somewhere. Then you sell them on your website using advertising, content marketing, or other strategies. When people make a purchase, you ship the items.

This can be done through the Fulfillment By Amazon program. You sell the items, and Amazon will pick, pack and ship the orders for you.

Affiliate Marketing

As an affiliate marketer, you wouldn’t be selling any products directly from your site. Instead you would host advertisements, or feature other businesses in your content that sell products. When someone clicks on an ad or link on your site, goes to the other business and makes a purchase, you get a small cut of the profits.


You manufacture, market, and ship the items. In this business model, the profits are all yours. It’s a great option if you have a passion to create and sell something unique.

Selling Knowledge Online

Selling knowledge is a more hands-off approach than consulting. You’re still offering wisdom that people will pay money for, but you don’t take time out of your day to chat with each person. Instead you package your knowledge into an ebook, ecourse, webinar, or other digital format.

It is really easy to do this. Tools like CourseCraft can help you design and market your own ecourse. You can also publish an ebook or webinar on a third-party platform, or host everything yourself.

Freelance Services

You can offer freelance services online or in your community with very little startup capital. Maybe you’ve gained very specific skills from your day job which you can also sell moonlighting, such as design services, accounting, tax services, etc.

It’s also easy enough to learn a new trade that’s in high demand, like bookkeeping.

Compared to other businesses to start after 50, a  freelance service isn’t as scalable, because it’s limited based on your time availability. But it’s a great way to supplement your income and keep your day job.

You’ll notice that all the retirement business ideas to start after 50 can be done online. That’s because online businesses offer you the most freedom to keep your job, work during retirement, and live where you want. For many, this kind of flexibility will be necessary to fund the gap and meet their retirement needs.

You might also enjoy: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Buy an Existing Business.

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2 Comments. Leave new

[…] starting and running a business is risky and takes a lot of work. And while there are certainly many options you could pursue, I’m here to tell you why buying a business, specifically an online business, is […]


Still love this way to replace lost income, gain time and location freedom!


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