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Are you considering starting a new business venture during your retirement years but you’re unsure of where to begin? Taking that first step can feel overwhelming, but with good planning, you can set yourself up for successful and fulfilling opportunities. Here is some practical advice to help you prepare for a prosperous undertaking. 

Living Longer, Working Longer

If you’re considering jumping back into the workforce following retirement, you aren’t alone. Improvements in healthcare mean people are living longer lives, and that also often means many are working longer. On top of that, an increasing number of people are going back to school before starting new businesses in their senior years. Enhancing years of knowledge and building a new career is becoming a popular option for many retirees. In fact, according to some statistics, nearly a quarter of 2013’s new entrepreneurs were between the ages of 55 and 64. That is a significant increase, up from 14 percent from 1996. There are many reasons for reentering the workforce, and seniors are responding. 

Important Advantages

One advantage of lengthening your career is improved financial security for your golden years. By earning income longer, you’re investing more in Social Security and increasing your benefit; you can get an idea of what your benefit will be with a Social Security benefits calculator.  Forbes points out that a well-planned business venture in your senior years can mean generating ongoing income even after you fully retire. This could be things like revenue from book sales, advertising, product sales, or fees from subscription services. By thinking outside the bare bones of your work, you can enjoy a steady flow of income from multiple sources. 

Update Your Resume

Whether you plan to apply your expertise as a consultant to corporations or to mentor young people in a skill you spent decades honing, bringing your resume up to date is a key to presenting yourself professionally. If it has been a while since you last edited yours, be sure to add any new certifications or educational advancements you may have earned. Consider an online resume service which can help you navigate creating or modifying your resume and other professional documents. A well-done resume can really help you shine, making a positive impression on potential clients or employers. 

Decide on a Direction

What are you passionate about? What are your goals? How will you get there? Choosing your next career path can be a big part of the challenge you face. One suggestion is to consider both the skills and abilities you gained in your earlier work life in addition to what you aspire to pursue. You might want to go back to work for a former employer, become a consultant, or engage youth as a tutor or mentor. Sometimes you just need a couple of classes to spruce up on industry standards, or you might need a certification to turn a hobby into a new career. By developing a solid business plan and enacting it carefully, New Retirement points out that seniors can successfully turn going back to work after retiring into taking an earlier retirement. 

Enhanced Education

Taking courses can be a boon to seniors wishing to bring skills up to date, broaden their knowledge base, or boost their resume. Many industries modify standards or introduce new ideas all the time, and staying abreast of changes or supplementing your abilities can help you be more competitive. CNBC notes that retirees are going back to school for many reasons, and colleges and universities are responding to the demand positively. Participating in continuing education courses can make the difference in your confidence and in helping you stay cutting edge. It’s also a chance to connect with people in the field you wish to pursue and develop a network through college career services, fellow students, and professors. It’s also a smart way to boost your community involvement and enrich your social life.

Coming out of retirement to start a new venture can be the best challenge of your life. Weigh what you already offer for your next career and then decide what you need to boost your knowledge and abilities. With good planning your new business can mean more satisfaction and better quality of life in your future.

Joyce Wilson