“Time is wasted on the young” – an oft repeated phrase that surely demonstrates how little time people feel they have to accomplish their dreams. “If I only knew then what I know now” – another memorable quote expressing how youth whittles itself away, before you’re able to stretch out and really get a feel for what you would enjoy doing. Well, times have changed – people are living longer, healthier lives – and the usual retirement option isn’t what it used to be.
For those with an innate entrepreneurial spirit, the possibilities were probably always endless; their instincts told them that they were capable of learning three languages, joining the Peace Corps, creating business startups as a retirement option from a weekend hobby, and solving some of the world’s problems. And that was just for starters.
As to everyone else, the good news is there’s a ‘new normal’ for retirees – allowing you to generate extra income by pairing your learned skills or hobbies with your love of independence. Even if you never started a business on your own, it can be a great retirement option and there are plenty of support venues available to you; assistance with everything you need from researching your market to drafting customised small business legal documents for new startups.
The Not-So-Golden Years
While ‘not having to work anymore’ is something people have looked forward to for centuries, unfortunately the ‘golden years’ have also meant that you were coming into the final stretch – the end of your youth, a normal career with a steady paycheck, and probably the independence of living on your own. It’s no wonder that some seniors have seemed to lose their way and go into seclusion, succumbing to shorter life spans.
Most people just live their lives without regard to building a retirement ‘nest egg.’ They rely on the pension that years of working hard for others will bring. In the long run though, most pensions aren’t going to provide you with the life you’re accustomed to living. It might be time to look into a retirement option that can provide an additional income source.
The Brighter Side Of Retirement
Boost Your Retirement Funds Now – If you live in the UK, your government is taking steps to help with this. With the Workplace Pension Reform, your employer must auto-enroll you and match contributions. These funds pay you extra income on top of your State Pension. There are exceptions to the 60-65 maximum age. For instance, if you’re still working up to age 74 and earning over £486 up to £833 – if you request to opt in, your employer must add you to their pension scheme and make contributions.
Make Your Pension Work For You – Many new retirees thrive by going it alone, and are a significant segment of the 15pc of Britain’s workforce currently self-employed. After reaching 55, you can turn your pot into a flexible drawdown account, and take out 25% as a tax-free lump sum (or smaller amounts as needed). The larger draw may give you funds to launch your business startup, whereas small amounts might cover your subsistence while you are busy utilizing a retirement option to create more revenue.
Re-Starting Your Engines – The golden years are actually a great chance to pick up that dream you’ve had since-way-back-when and dust if off. Your kids (and maybe grandkids) are already grown. You are (or soon will be) drawing at least a minimal pension, so there’s a bit of money in your pocket. Now add to that what you can accomplish with the free time you now have on your hands, and it is astonishing, on anyone’s terms.
Take Credit For Your Life – Look at everything you’ve done to get yourself where you are today. For the most part, you came from generations with a strong work ethic, fewer shortcuts and excuses, and you know what the other side of a depression (or recession) looks like. Sheer life experience and the inherent wisdom it comes with can’t be bought. And, you already have these things in your tool box. Sounds pretty valuable, right?
It All Starts With An Idea
One of the primary reasons lifespans were shorter (for many perfectly healthy seniors) was the loss of interactions with friends and family (leading to decreased validation and loneliness). Today we have the Internet, which has greatly increased the sharing of ideas and companionship, as well as society’s ability to communicate as a whole. No longer do the “golden years” mean sitting at home bored. Consider giving life to an idea you have been mulling around as a retirement option.
Consider your senior years as a gift with which you can fulfill your true purpose, or indulge yourself by putting that new-found free time into something you really love. Here are just a few different paths to a retirement option you could take to a brand new ‘silver startup:’
Family business – This might be the perfect time to create a legacy that you can pass down your family tree. It can be hard to initiate these type of venture startups in your 20s and 30s because you are trying to support a family (so there’s no room for errors or experimentation), and the sheer pressure of working and living together (and keeping the business afloat) can cause rifts in families that never go away.
Consultancy – Here is another business that seniors are embracing as they retire from their jobs. Having ‘been there and done that,’ you can provide excellent support to others who would appreciate and greatly benefit from your sage advice. If licenced or certified in a particular field, don’t let those affiliations lapse, as they may come in handy in setting up your own firm. Obtain legal advice for business disclosures and service agreements, to cover potential liabilities.
Online ventures – Fortunately, the Internet has made many things possible; from having instant news at your fingertips, to giving you the opportunity to sell an idea or a product to anyone in the world. There are classes online or given at local libraries, for instance, where you can learn computer skills. Everything from web designing to digital marketing can be mastered in a matter of months that will increase thoughts of a startup as a retirement option. Social media can provide you with rewarding social contacts, as well as highly sought-after marketing techniques for busy companies.