With people living longer and longer each year, the likelihood they will outlive their retirement savings becomes higher. Fortunately, there are many options to boost your retirement income including starting an online business.
Could this happen to you? The cost of living keeps going up, but income stays the same, and eventually you start depleting your savings and capital. If you have savings and capital. So you make an appointment with a qualified financial planner or try to calculate (or recalculate) your own retirement requirements. The news isn't good.
But you've worked hard and waited all your life to have some free time. You planned to play golf or play with the grandkids or indulge in hobbies and passions. A widowed friend wants to sample all the things she never did during her happy 40-year marriage, but quite a few, especially the travel she craves, are beyond her current means. Another is eager to finally tackle that ever-growing stack of books on her nightstand, but is watching her funds dwindle much faster than anticipated. She's wondering if she needs to go back to work instead of lollygagging around *just* reading. Another retired early and now wonders of that was his kiss of financial death. In his case, an unexpected health crisis has taken a huge bite out of savings.
Sometimes, for whatever reason, we get caught off-guard in terms of our retirement planning and income.
Though no one has a crystal ball to predict what will or will not happen, it is likely that many will need additional income during retirement, even those who planned ahead to the best of their ability. If it happens to you, you may find yourself in a world of jam.
Advantages of an Online Business
Though there are many ways to stretch your retirement income, including getting another job and frugal living, there is another strategy to consider - starting a business that does not require you to give up all your precious free time or punch someone else's clock, two things that are important to most retirees.
An online business can bring you additional income. It can transform a hobby into a profitable business with great growth potential. It can keep your brain fit with an exciting new learning curve. You can even work from home in your PJs if you like. An online business can also get up and running without the extreme start-up costs of a bricks-and-mortar business even if you invest in training or coaching (a wise move).
What kind of online work could you do?
As with every other business start-up, this is the million dollar question.
There are countless online niches. Name a topic - sports, handcrafts, cooking, coaching, finance, health, fitness, diet, relationships, self-help, the list is endless - and someone has built an online business for it.
Start by considering what you enjoy, what you do reasonably well, and what you are willing to do. The last one is crucial. There are quite a few things I enjoy and do well, but wouldn't want to do all the time. If you turn something into a business, you will need to do it consistently. Don't choose something you have to force yourself to do no matter how well you do it.
Here are 3 of the top niches for online businesses. Maybe one will be a good fit for you:
- Handcrafted items - If you are good with your hands and enjoy making things, you could sell your handy work on a site like Etsy. Etsy is an e-commerce platform (website) that’s mainly focused on handmade or vintage items and supplies, as well as unique factory-manufactured items. It’s the go-to store for people who want to sell their handmade goodies. It's easy to set up your store (which can serve as your website), but there is also excellent support available, both through Etsy and via consultants, if you need a little help.
- Coaching and consulting - If your friends have always come to you for advice or to learn how to do something or to get you to do it for them, you could use your skills and knowledge to become a coach or consultant. Life coaches, for example, work in a multitude of disciplines from relationships to business and success or health and fitness. They help clients figure out obstacles and reach their goals. In addition to marketing yourself through your own networking and website, you can also list your services on websites such as Upwork, Life coach directory and Lifecoach Hub. Plus, life coaching does not require a degree or certification.
- Blogging - If you have knack for storytelling, love making up recipes or talking about food, fashion, gardening, finances, or just about anything, blogging may be the ticket for you. There are many ways to make money blogging and many bloggers make a good decent income. Blogging builds on who you are and allows you to get personal without requiring any special skills. Whether you blog about losing weight or Great Aunt Martha's stupendous Mac and Cheese, blogging only asks you to get real. Blogs need a website. WordPress, Tumblr. Weebly, and Squarespace are all good platforms. Weebly, Tumblr, and Squarespace are pretty easy to set up even for novice. WordPress has a little more of a learning curve, but is much more robust in terms of options. Any of them will work just fine. Once your blog is up and running, you can consider monetizing through ads, sponsored posts, affiliate products and services, or even creating your own products and programs. Again, the possibilities are unlimited. Any of these options can help build you following whcih means you don't even have to work every day to make a decent income.
If you’re thinking it may be too late for you, I have news! It is never too late and you're not too old. Even if you've been feeling pretty powerless when it comes to trying to generate an income or have been hitting a wall with finding businesses that are willing to hire a retiree, you can take charge and generate that income on your own terms. With all of these tools and a little of your available time, you can build a reputable business without further busting the budget. And get ready to enjoy that sense of accomplishment!
Anne Wade is the founder and publisher of The Soulmate Dance. She is a writer, educator, life coach, and lifelong student of soulmate relationships, devoted to expanding our understanding of all types of soulmate relationships and experiences.