Best Small Businesses for Retirees

4 min read ·


Some look at retirement as a chance to golf, read, or travel the world. Yet, others don’t want to slow down and look into starting a new business. Why not? You’ve got time and skills. This article will share some of the best small businesses for retirees to consider.

Retirement sounds great when it is on the horizon. Yet, it doesn’t always prove to be as satisfying as hoped. According to the Institute of Economic Affairs, retirees are 40% more likely to face clinical depression and 60% more likely to be diagnosed with at least one physical condition. Finding a way to keep working can help you remain focused and engaged. Plus, you can be more social and supplement your retirement income.

A Forbes article offered five main reasons to start a business in retirement:

  • You get an opportunity to work
  • Your work history is an advantage
  • You have established finances
  • You have niche experience
  • You can revisit your passions

Look at it this way: Col. Sanders started his Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) business after retiring. If you don’t have a secret spice recipe, you may want to launch one of these other best small businesses for retirees:

  • E-commerce
  • Dropshipping
  • Services
  • Home care assistance
  • Coaching/Tutoring
  • Property consultant
  • Writing/Blogging
  • Turn your hobby into a business 



Due to the pandemic, more people are shopping online than ever before, and they plan to keep doing so too. That makes e-commerce a great way to make additional income in retirement. The e-commerce market is expected to grow 17.9% this year to reach $933.30 billion.

Get your share of those billions by setting up an online shop. You might sell your own creations (by turning your hobby into a business as suggested below) or look to find trending items to stock and sell. You’ll enjoy lower startup costs than if you set up a brick-and-mortar shop and could do your new business without even leaving home.

For help getting a new e-commerce small business up and running, read our e-commerce for small business guide and find out more about ecommerce website platforms.




Dropshipping is one of the best small businesses for right now. Note: it is not taking people’s packages from their porch and dropping them on the ground really hard. 

What you do is decide on a product to sell from your online shop that a third-party supplier manufacturers and ships to your customer. You don’t handle the product directly. You simply set up a business website for e-commerce, find a partner (usually a wholesaler) with a product you want to sell, and work on getting customers to see and want to buy your stock.

Dropshipping is, as Shopify puts it, “one of the most hands-off of ecommerce businesses and ideal for new entrepreneurs who want to make a little extra money with minimal effort.”



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You might offer your services to others in the community. Depending on your work background, you might be able to work now as a tax accountant, bookkeeper, or consult in another profession—but now it’s on your own terms, solo.

Maybe you’ll be a house or pet sitter. If you’re physically active, you could offer landscape and gardening help or become a handyman. Cleaning services are also always in demand.


Home Care Assistance

While you’re healthy and have time on your hands, you could help others who need home care. This is a fast-growing area as our population ages. You’ll help other older adults with the activities in daily life they now find difficult.

If you are compassionate and reliable, you can create a business of providing transportation, helping with shopping and meal preparation, accompanying people to appointments, and overall supporting your clients’ desire to age in place.



With your life experience and professional expertise, you could try coaching or other types of training and tutoring. You might work as a life coach or professional career coach. You can help people to set individual goals or practice their interview or negotiating skills. The advantage is that you can do this using remote working tools and a home office, lowering your startup costs. 

Find out the latest in the Future of Coaching in a virtual environment in this International Coaching Federation article.

Other than coaching, you might find business opportunities in training new people in your field. Or speaking or giving webinars on the business topics you know best.

Then, there is always tutoring the next generation. You might help young children to read or learn math. Or share your language or computer expertise. This can also be done virtually or in person through schools, libraries, community centers, or professional companies.




If you have a way with words, you may be able to make money with your writing skills. Especially in these days of content marketing, companies are often looking for people to craft blogs and other materials to inform and educate their audiences. 

You could also get a domain name and build a website to blog about what interests you most. Then, monetize your site by signing up for Google Adsense, selling rights to retarget your traffic, and affiliate marketing.

Self-publishing is another route to extra income. Tell your story or write fiction or nonfiction and get it online for interested readers to buy. Learn more about self-publishing from this list of best companies.


Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

Maybe you love to bake homemade goods. Or you are a fabulous knitter. Or woodworker. Or you enjoy painting, photography, or making bath bombs. Take your passion and turn it into an added source of income. You’ll need to build an online presence for your business and find customers, but that’s what Yahoo! Small Business is all about. Check out our resource center today.