Guest Post by Dave Stephenson
Often people nearing the end of their official working lives genuinely look forward to spending more time on favorite hobbies. Reduced income can be a concern, however, as sometimes there’s an uncomfortable gap between combined savings plus the Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) and living costs. A home business is one solution for retired people who wish to boost their income; it requires identifying a sound commercial idea, some attention to business planning and the ability to manage taxes and accounts.
With the benefit of a solid track record at work, many retirees are well placed to become consultants working from home on a project basis. One major advantage is that skills and expertise gained during a career can be converted to advise others. Those who offer services in areas where they don’t have professional expertise, however, are at a disadvantage, as this may mean they are personally liable for any costly mistakes. It pays to keep accurate accounting records for every project, so income levels can be quickly and easily identified.
Writing and blogging
Starting to write articles on subjects that are familiar can be a relatively easy business to set up and deliver; more and more specialist magazines and online websites need content. Beware of dabbling in unfamiliar areas, however, as badly researched articles may have a negative impact on consumers, employers and ultimately the writer. The most suitable and appropriate job opportunities are easily identified via business planning, and those that might yield little or nothing because they are too time-consuming can be rapidly weeded out.
Passing on knowledge is an option that is not confined to academics and retired teachers; many arts practitioners teach during their career, and retired musicians, dancers and actors often run regular master classes and workshops for younger artists. There is little point in embarking on a career in tutoring, however, if the teacher is only one page of the textbook ahead of the pupil.
Bed and Breakfast
Turning a large home into bed and breakfast accommodation requires normal daily tasks, such as cooking and cleaning, complemented by affable social skills; this will make customers feel like invited guests. If being sociable is an irritant, however, better to avoid this option. Those who are capable of dealing with marketing and account management tasks, as well as basic home maintenance, will find this option very suitable.
Pet sitting for folks who are away from home for short or extended periods means sitters need to be genuinely interested in, and committed to being animal caregivers. Owners usually prefer to leave their pets at home rather than in kennels, knowing they will be well looked after and loved by the sitters. This is not an option for those with pet allergies, so it’s important to make sure the responsibilities suit the lifestyle.
Those retirees that were prudent enough to have invested in Roth IRA options will find that their IRA plans that were funded by after-tax money will yield tax-free withdrawals and earnings in later life. In every case, keep a clear record of income and any expenditure associated with carrying out any business activity. This makes accounting procedures more straightforward and avoids any expensive mistakes re taxes. If in doubt, consult a financial expert.
Dave Stephenson who is a freelance writer currently studying business at college.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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