How to Get Clear Before Starting a Business in Retirement

You’re not alone if you are one of the 80,000 Baby Boomers who is approaching or currently in retirement and looking for a way to generate income to supplement your savings, Social Security, and pension.

Many of the women I work with are looking for a way to generate this income by starting some sort of business that will allow them to leverage their unique abilities and talents as well as give them the freedom to travel, take care of themselves and give back.

I believe for most, the new retirement solution will be a combination of work, fun, learning, and giving back.

Before quitting your job, taking an early retirement to start a business in retirement, there are three steps I recommend you take:

Step #1: See where you stand financially by creating a financial plan. Yes, this means meeting with a financial planner who can help you take a peek at what you want to do before you do it. A financial planner can help you look at your current income, expenses, debt, investments, insurance and company and government benefits to help you see alternate scenarios before you take a leap.

  • Examples could be downsizing, working part time, how working longer affects pensions and Social Security, even moving overseas where costs are much lower. BTW, I’ll be interviewing Kathleen Peddicord of Live and Invest Overseas about doing just this.
  • In fact, reducing your expenses just $10,000 per year during retirement can have the net effect of $250,000, because at 4% it would take an additional $250,000 to generate that $10,000 over a 30 year period.
  • Doing a financial plan can also tell you how much income you need to generate from a business to cover your income shortage.

Step #2: Create a formal business plan. Take some time to work with a business coach or your CPA to help you create your business plan, identify what type of business you want to create, how you would generate revenue, programs, products, services and the key players you will need in the business. There is a lot more to this, including branding, marketing and outsourcing, but the key here is to plan before you leap.

  • One mistake I see people make is to retire thinking they can start a business which will give them freedom and income, only to find themselves overwhelmed, losing money and wondering what they got themselves into.
  • You can keep your business model very simple by doing the planning before you put your shingle out.

Step #3: Assess your strengths and weaknesses by understanding the concept of Front Stage/Back Stage

How many business owners start a business looking for freedom only to end up as the “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” vs. thriving by focusing on their unique abilities in a team where others are doing the same?

  • Example of Front Stage: Someone who is a “Front Stage” person could work for a CPA firm, but would not be happy behind a computer working with numbers. In fact, a “Front Stage” person would be terrible at it. “Front Stage” people flourish by growing the firm, developing relationships with new clients and strategic partners, and problem solving, but they would want to hand-off the details to their team of “Back Stage” folks. Neither is better than the other — they both play very different and important roles. You can be an engineer, CPA, consultant, graphic designer, yoga teacher, and be in either one of these roles.
  • Example of Back Stage: A young lady who worked for me a few years ago had an engineering degree from U of M, with a specialization in accounting and got a job as a financial planner after graduating. She passed all her exams and loved working on the financial analysis. She thought she had found a career she loved until she was told that it was now time to get on the phone and find clients. She ended up leaving the career feeling like a failure. This is sad, yet it happens so often.

I immediately saw she was a “Back Stage” person and helped her get a job doing administrative work for a local CPA firm. She is now thriving managing the details for the lead CPAs in the firm.

So here is the key, to truly enjoy your “retirement lifestyle” will working in your new “retirement business” you will want to get crystal clear about what you should be focusing on, what you want to delegate and outsource and who you’ll need on your team.

And remember, just because you are the owner doesn’t mean you need to be front stage. You could be the owner and do the technical or managerial tasks, while partnering, delegating or outsourcing your marketing and front stage work.

In addition, your team can be virtual. My Virtual Assistant, Tara, lives across the county and takes care of all the detail work so I can do all the creative, big picture, and connecting with others.

My biz partner, Chris, makes everything better and is fabulous at graphic design. I also have a book editor and marketing expert who lives in North Carolina. We all have specific skills and work together great as a team.

Without my team, I would be overwhelmed and unable to implement. With my team, most systems, like the radio show for example, run totally without me. This way, I can travel, create, connect and lead which is what I love and do best.

Online Assessment and Consultation:

Want to know what you should be focusing on and what you do best? I suggest you start with an assessment.

One of my favorite assessments for identifying your key strengths or roles you should focus on in business as well as who you will need on your team is called Wealth Dynamics. The assessment is not free — it runs $97, but I believe it’s worth every penny.

You can visit the main website to learn more. They even have a nine-minute video that describes the process. When you take the assessment, you receive a very detailed 32 page assessment. Again, here is the link to check out the Wealth Dynamics assessment.

If you take the Wealth Dynamics assessment and want to review it with me, I am offering a limited time 30-minute complimentary Breakthrough Coaching Session which is a $200 value. During this call, we will talk about your business idea, what role you should play, and who you need on your team to thrive. Just visit and you’ll be taken to my online calendar when you can pick a time to chat!

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