Many people think all Baby Boomers are already in their senior years. But in reality, we will need to wait until 2031 before most Baby Boomers will reach full retirement. If you, too, are nearing your retirement age, you might be thinking about how you could still be productive once you retire from your current job. Most people would love to spend their retirement years traveling, taking care of their grand kids, or other leisure activities. But for some people, they can’t bear the thought of not working especially since the cost of living only continues to grow.
Many people want to build their own business. Some managed to start one but failed during their first few years of operations. If you are nearing your senior age and you are thinking about starting your own brand but are afraid of being “too old” to be an entrepreneur, know that you are not alone.
Too Old to Build a Brand?
Most seniors think it is already too late for them to start a business. Many even think building your own brand in your 50s is already a bit late. When you only have no idea how long you can handle a business and when there is a limited time for growth, it is easy to dump your business idea.
Most seniors also know that it takes a lot more hard work than expected. You may crave the feeling of being productive and earning more at your age. But it can be hard to face many business challenges during your retirement years.
Many seniors these days are also experiencing financial issues that stop them from building a business in the first place. When you can barely afford your monthly expenses, it is only given that starting a business may be the last thing on your priority list.
Using Your Age as an Asset, Not a Disadvantage
There are some disadvantages to building a brand tied to your age. But know that there are also some ways that your age can be your very asset. For one, seniors already experienced many things which though them to be kind, patient, determined, and practical. They have met and worked with many people from all walks of life, making it easier for them to know what people want, need, and expect from a business.
Seniors also have the maturity needed to run a business. They know how to work well with other people, they do their research, and they exercise caution before making any important decision. They also know how to delegate tasks to the right people.
You may not have any idea how to build a business from scratch nor do you have experience running a business. But your past work experiences and skills can be helpful in building a brand. You can also leverage crossover skills you gathered throughout the years when pursuing your business venture.
Financing Options for Senior Entrepreneurs
Some seniors managed to save more money than they need to live a comfortable retirement. But there are also those whose savings are barely enough to finance a business. If this is your current dilemma, know that some financing options work well for senior entrepreneurs.
For house-rich but business poor seniors, they can consider tapping on their home equity to finance a business. Instead of the usual mortgage loans, a reverse mortgage can be a better idea. You can enjoy a lump sum of cash, structured monthly payments, or a line of credit that you will pay off once you move houses or when you pass away.
One can also consider looking for an angel investor who will provide the funds needed to launch your business. You will need to pitch your business idea to an angel investor, and they will evaluate the rate of return. If your business idea is capable of racking a high rate of return, you might be able to secure an angel investment for your startup.
You can also consider tapping on your retirement savings. You have the option to borrow from your 401K in a form of a personal loan, tap on your IRA without penalty or withdraw directly from your 401K instead. The latter options should be your last option considering you don’t want to rake up a hefty tax penalty in the process.
Catering to Other Seniors
Still unsure of what kind of business you can start in our senior years? Why not help your fellow older adults by catering to their needs? You already have ideas on what seniors want and need, making it easier for you to tap into the senior market.
With a business that addresses the needs of other seniors, you are giving their loved ones especially their kids’ peace of mind. This is since most consumers are naturally drawn to businesses that are empathetic to their needs and have first-hand experience of what struggles they may have each day.
There are perks and drawbacks associated with starting a business during your senior years. But if you are really passionate about being an entrepreneur and have the business idea and funding to match, why pass up the chance? You can enjoy a sense of accomplishment despite your age and show the world that seniors too, have the capability to build and grow their own brand in their retirement years.