If you’ve been successful in your entrepreneurial ventures, you probably have some means of income for your retirement, but usually, entrepreneurs, particularly women entrepreneurs, need to supplement their monthly retirement income to maintain their lifestyle.
Financial risks are higher for women in retirement due to a few factors. They live longer than men and their lifetime earnings are generally less than that of their male counterparts. Both of these factors often mean that women lack the assets to fund a prolonged retirement.
If you’ve been an entrepreneur for most of your working career, it’s likely that you’ll still have the entrepreneurial itch after you retire. Starting a business in retirement seems counterintuitive, though – you’re supposed to be retiring. But there are many businesses that you can start that will still allow you the flexibility and freedom that retirement is supposed to offer.
Here we offer some ideas for businesses that can provide a good monthly retirement income for women entrepreneurs.
You’ve no doubt picked up some valuable skills during your entrepreneurial career. You could freelance in any number of fields, such as:
- Social Media Marketing
- Website Design
- Search Engine Optimization
- Graphic Design
- Computer Programming
That’s just a short list of the possibilities. Consider what your specific skills are and get creative. What of value could you contribute to other businesses?
No matter what your skills are, freelancing allows you the flexibility to choose the projects that you want and to work at home on your own time. It can also be quite lucrative. Depending on the nature of the work, freelancers can command anywhere from $20 an hour to well over $100 per hour.
In 2022, there are more than 70 million freelancers in the U.S., and that number is projected to grow, so clearly businesses utilize their services. In fact, freelancers contribute about $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy annually.
Consultants generally help businesses with a strategy for some aspect of their business. It could be general management strategy, operations strategy, financial strategy, marketing strategy, or information technology strategy.
You’ve undoubtedly gained valuable business insights throughout your career, so consider what your biggest strengths could be valuable to business owners. You could even consider working with a business incubator to do consulting for startup companies.
The management consulting industry in the U.S. has been growing by leaps and bounds for the last decade, with a value in 2022 of nearly $330 billion. Consulting is also very rewarding – you’re helping businesses grow, which contributes to the health of the overall economy. It can earn you a nice monthly income as well, with hourly rates ranging from $50 to $100 or more.
Real Estate Investing
Real estate can bring in a relatively passive monthly income for your retirement. You can either purchase rental properties for recurring revenue or you could buy properties to renovate and sell for a profit. Either way, you can have others do most of the work for you.
If you have rental properties, you can simply hire a management company to handle the day-to-day tasks. If you buy properties to renovate, a general contractor can handle the work.
Both can be very lucrative but in different ways. With the rental property option, it generally takes a lot of units to make a significant monthly income if you’re financing the properties, but you’ll get tax benefits and the benefit of the long-term appreciation of your portfolio.
If you choose to renovate and flip houses, you’ll generate more short-term income, depending on the extent of and time for the renovations. The average gross profit on a house flip in 2021 was $67,000, so if you can find and renovate houses quickly, you’ll have some nice funds for your retirement activities.
Buy an Existing Business
Rather than starting a business from scratch, you could find an existing business to purchase. If you find one with a management team in place, you could play a fairly passive role in the business and just reap the benefits.
You should look for a type of business that interests you and that you have some knowledge about, though, because you’ll still need to oversee your management team.
If you choose to buy a business, be sure to have the help of an attorney to make sure that the deal is done properly and that your interests are protected.
Buy a Franchise
Similar to buying an existing business, buying a franchise makes getting started much easier. You’ll be working with an existing brand and operational strategy, and you’ll have support to get the franchise up and running.
Once it’s established, you can hire a management team so that again, you can play a fairly passive role in the business.
The list of franchises to choose from is nearly endless, and prices can vary greatly. Again, you should choose something that interests you and that you’re somewhat versed in, but make sure that you do your homework and have the franchise agreement thoroughly reviewed.
Franchises are huge contributors to the U.S. economy, with an economic output of about $827 billion and employing nearly 8.5 million people.
A franchise can give you quite a nice retirement income, with one survey showing that the average franchise owner makes about $80,000 per year.
eCommerce with Drop-shipping
An eCommerce business can seem overwhelming and expensive to start because you think of all the inventory you’d have to purchase. This does not have to be the case if you find a manufacturer or supplier that offers dropshipping.
Drop-shipping means that when a customer places an order through your eCommerce store, you place the order with the supplier, who then ships it directly to the customer. That means no inventory to purchase and hold.
Your job is just to maintain your website, market your products, and receive and place orders, which you can do from the comfort of your home.
You could do this with any number of products – just look for something that’s unique but has a large market and preferably, a good profit margin.
Online education is a booming industry and another way to put your years of knowledge to use. Many online platforms exist that allow you to create and upload your own curriculum and market your courses to your target audience.
Most online classes are self-study, so once your curriculum is online, how much or little to be involved is up to you. You could be available to answer questions by email, or you could hold Zoom sessions that students can attend.
The global e-learning market has been growing steadily for years and is expected to reach a size of $400 billion by 2026, so it’s a great time to get into the industry. And some online class sellers report making up to $100,000 per year, which could fund a few nice retirement vacations.
If you’re looking for a business that’s a little more Zen and you have a yard and a green thumb, you could start your own plant nursery at home. You could grow anything from decorative plants and flowers to vegetables and sell them to garden centers or from your own little farm stand.
If you’re really ambitious, you could build a greenhouse in your yard so that you’ll have plants year-round. You could even set up your greenhouse as a mini-garden center and let customers come in and browse.
Profit margins on plants are high, and it doesn’t cost much to get started. Even building a greenhouse can be done fairly economically.
The plant and flower growing industry revenue in the U.S. was more than $17 billion in 2021, so if you can earn even a small share of that market in your own backyard, why not give it a try?
Kids these days face a lot of academic pressure, leading many parents to hire private tutors. Online tutoring is even becoming popular, and is now its own industry, worth more than $8 billion.
If you have a subject that you excel at and some teaching experience, you could either tutor students in your home or set up your own website to do online tutoring.
It would be quite a fulfilling venture to help students meet their academic goals, and you can generally make between $25 and $50 per hour.
Events are back on in the wake of the pandemic – weddings, corporate events, birthday parties, you name it, people are ready to have some fun. If you’re one of those people who thrive on handling the details, an event planning business could provide a nice retirement income.
An event planning business takes very little to get started. You’d just have to market your services and make some connections with vendors. You could specialize in certain types of events or keep yourself open to all options.
The event planning industry in the U.S. was worth more than $4 billion in 2021 in spite of the lingering effects of COVID and is expected to show good numbers for 2022 and beyond.
Typically, an event planner makes a commission of 15% to 20% of the total cost of the event, and the average wedding costs about $20,000, so clearly, even planning one event per month would give you a nice income.
Hello Etsy! Etsy is a great platform for craft lovers, both those who make them and those who buy them. If you’re a talented crafter, you could set up your own Etsy store to sell your wares. In 2021 Etsy sellers generated nearly $1.7 billion in revenue, so it’s a great vehicle for sales and much simpler than setting up your own website.
Popular crafts include glass etching and leather goods, as well as up-cycled items, but it all depends on your creative talents. It’s a bit labor intensive, depending on what you make, because you’ll also have to handle the packaging and shipping of your items.
But still, if crafting is your hobby and you enjoy it, why not make it a source of retirement income? Often the best businesses involve doing what you love.
If you’re a pet lover, you can make a surprising amount of money as a pet sitter. The daily cost of pet sitting, which includes just one visit to the pet is about $30, and an overnight stay with a pet costs about $75. If you build up a good clientele, that can add up to a nice monthly income.
Working people are willing to pay to have their pets cared for while they’re at work, and others would rather go on vacation, leaving their pet care to a pet sitter rather than an expensive kennel. The fact is people spend a lot of money on their pets, to the tune of $150 billion in 2021 on pet services alone.
You can even become a certified pet sitter through the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters to add to your credibility with customers.
It’s a great way to make money while not doing anything too labor or time-intensive, and if you love pets, you’ll have a great time.
Bed and Breakfast
A bed and breakfast can take some doing to get started. You have to find a great property in a desirable location, furnish it appropriately, and equip your kitchen to feed multiple people. However, once you’ve got it set up, you can bring in several hundred dollars a night during the busy seasons!
If you love to play host, you’ll also find it very enjoyable and meet lots of interesting people. Every day will be different, and you’ll be providing a lovely place for people to vacation.
It’s also easier than ever to advertise your B & B, with the success of sites like Airbnb and VRBO.
Retirement is supposed to be a wonderful part of life, and you should have the luxury of being financially secure. As an entrepreneur, you know what it takes to start and manage a business, so a new venture can be a fulfilling way to bring in a nice retirement income.
Choose something that you love and something that allows you the flexibility and freedom to enjoy this part of your life. After all these years of working hard, you deserve it!