Individuals who have worked for several decades often have mixed opinions about the idea of starting a second career. "No one will ever hire me," or "What can I actually do?" are common reactions. However, there are a variety of ways to turn skills from your former career into a part-time income stream after retirement. Here are some post-retirement business ideas.
Project work. Consider using the skills from your old job to work on specific projects. A retired electrical engineer for a manufacturing company, for example, could lay out circuit boards on a per job basis for different companies. The pay would not be regular, but it could be interesting and challenging to work on projects from completely different companies. Working on a project basis could also expand your social opportunities.
Write or blog. Retirees who have been in a career field or industry for a long time generally have good stories and valuable advice to share. Some retirees could write or blog about their area of expertise. A retired financial adviser, for example, could write a blog about how to get out of debt or prepare for retirement, which is what I do at MoneyNing.com. Or if you’ve been laid off from a former job, consider blogging about your job search process.
Consult. Whether it's taxes, marketing, management, or human resources, small companies are always in need of specialized expertise. Leverage what you've learned at your job and think of ways to line up a consulting gig with your current company or even a competitor.
Handy work. If you love doing work around the house, consider setting up a small business doing household chores. Or if outdoor work is more your style, you could start a company doing exterior paintings for buildings and houses, yard work, or gardening. Once you get positive referrals from a few clients your business is likely to grow.
Crafts. When my daughter was born, we wanted to feature our daughter's name as a piece of art and hang it on our wall. My wife found a person selling his skills carving custom lettering from wood on eBay. He claimed to be a handyman turned business owner who now works part-time. "I love my work, and you won't be disappointed," he mentioned in the advertisement.
A web business. Some retirees run web-based businesses from home. The online coupon site that I started, CouponShoebox, wasn’t trivial to set up. But after that initial hurdle, people started sharing and talking about the coupons they’ve found and used.
Teach. Some of the day care centers that we spoke with in our search for the perfect place to take my daughter were instructed by former kindergarten teachers who retired from their previous positions. Retired teachers often love working with children and know what it takes to educate them at the same time. Teaching can be a good way to leverage your skill set for a second career.
David Ning runs MoneyNing, a personal finance site aimed at helping others change their habits for a better financial future. He suggests that everyone to sign up for an online savings account to get more out of our hard earned money.