Five Businesses for “Retirement”

Quarters add up to dollars

Quarters add up to dollars

Like many people who start a financial blog, I have a desire to achieve financial independence or be able to “retire.” Recently, I read a post at Edward Antrobus about not really being retired if you still work. I don’t think it matters what you call it. I hope to get out of the day to day grind that we get stuck in to pay the bills. Within 10-12 years, my husband and I hope to be free of that, but I am not one to sit around the house watching the Game Show Network. I have a list of possible business opportunities that seem promising. These may never pan out, but it’s fun to dream.

1) Property Management-We already have a residential rental and a commercial rental. We hope to add 2-3 more over the next several years. By that time, we should be more experienced as landlords, and might even take on management of other properties. If we are “retired,” we should have plenty of time to take calls and fix leaky toilets in the middle of the night. However, I watched a show called World’s Worst Tenants this weekend. After seeing them wrestle an alligator out of a tenants bath tub, that could make me change my mind. We’ll see.

2)Laundromat-Don’t laugh. My neighbor is a true entrepreneur. He’s “retired” from his career as a police detective, and has owned several businesses. He currently owns a laundromat and is raking in the dough. His biggest money maker is drop off service. Paying someone to do your laundry, who would have thought? There would be a good chunk of money to put down in buying one, but then your overhead is only rent, insurance, repairs, electricity, water, and a few minimum wage employees. You also need a big bucket to take all the quarters to the bank.

3)Pet Sitting/Boarding-It is no secret that I love animals, and I could certainly see myself pet sitting if I didn’t have a day job. A boarding kennel would be more of an investment, but I think the local ones in our area do really well. Cons would be working when everyone else is on holiday, but I guess you could hire someone if you had to.

4)Mountain Bike Guiding-We live in an area with a very active outdoor culture. Some of the bigger mountain bike towns like Moab, UT and Durango, CO have mountain bike guides that take beginner-intermediate mountain bikers out on trails and basically supply bikes and helmets, lead them, make repairs, and make sure they don’t get eaten by mountain lions. We are in a smaller area, but have some great trails, and there are tons of tourists that visit Mesa Verde National Park nearby. We’d have to work out some sort of agreement with a bike shop for rentals, have some sort of a transport van or truck, and we’d need insurance. My husband is an expert biker, and used to be a ski instructor, so he knows how to be a cheerleader and hold hands when necessary. I think we could make this work for the warm months if our bones and joints hold out.

5)Be an Eye Doctor-This is probably the most likely scenario. I don’t want to run a practice or work full time, but I already have the training and connections to make this pretty likely. I can’t sing, don’t play instruments, am not great with computers, cooking, or housekeeping, but I am good at being an eye doctor, and there are always doctors looking for fill in work. I wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel.

When I “retire” or achieve financial independence, I hope to have enough passive income to cover expenses, but running some sort of a business or continuing to do what I do now are very likely options to earn extra income and challenge the brain. The other nice thing about any of these opportunities is the fact that I could take an extended leave to travel if we wanted to do that. Whether I do one, several, or none of these options, it is pretty fun to imagine a life where I get to pick and choose.

Do you consider it retirement if you still work in some capacity? What would your “retirement” business be?


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Five Businesses for “Retirement” — 42 Comments

  1. We totally consider it retirement if you’re still working. The difference is between working because you HAVE to and working because you WANT to.

    Living in S FL, we see tons of retirees, and the happiest ones are those that have kept their minds engaged - and that’s usually by running a small business for a few hours/day or /week. One of our 89-year-old friends recently had some ground floor space renovated and converted into storage units that he’s already got renters lining up around the block for. It’s not causing him any stress, and he thinks it’s a fun challenge. Plus, he’s got more than enough money if he wanted to just sit there and do nothing for the rest of his life. But he likes doing what he’s doing. What more could a person want in “retirement”? =)
    Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies recently posted..Why We Love Public RecordsMy Profile

    • I would have to agree with that. My Grandpa did great after retirement when he could work on his farm and raise his cattle, but when he got too old for that he went downhill fast. I hope to keep my mind active long after the body wears out.

  2. Washing other people’s laundry is probably the oldest side hustle on the planet. It’s even in A Christmas Carol.

    I’d be willing to bet that’s where your neighbor makes all of his business. It turns out that runnning a laundromat is an expensive business. That’s why so many close down all the time and why the open ones are usually run down, the owners just don’t make the money they need to keep them up.
    Edward Antrobus recently posted..3 Ways to Get Rid of Your Old Cell PhoneMy Profile

  3. My ideal retirement business is a guest house, with 3-4 rooms, and me cooking for the guests. I heard a couple of times about the laudromats but heard about problems too, when homeless people or drug dealers start enjoying the flexible opening hours.
    Pauline recently posted..2013 financial goalsMy Profile

  4. When I achieved financial freedom, I “worked” 2-3 hours a day. I never considered it work because I liked what I was doing! To a great extent , it was looking after my investments. Coin operated laundries are money makers. In the early 1980s I was a CFO of a group of companies that had coin op (about 40K) equipment in apartment buildings. They were also the distributor for a major coin op laundry equipment company. The built and sold laundry stores. Location is everything!
    krantcents recently posted..Happy HolidaysMy Profile

    • Absolutely! We live in a lower socioeconomic area with lots of renters or people coming in from the reservations, so laundries are very busy. I can also see the need near colleges. If you were in the suburbs in a wealthy area, not so much.

  5. I TOTALLY agree with you that you can be retired but still working!! I know I plan to still work after I retire. The difference is that I won’t ACTUALLY need the money like I do now. It will just be doing what I enjoy without any financial consequences. Like your #5, I will probably just keep doing what I do now but only part time.
    My Money Design recently posted..My Stocks with High Dividends Income Report – December 2012My Profile

  6. I will not call it retirement if you still continue workin, whether you put up your own business or you start working from home. I just call it “canged careers” — from an engineer to an entrepreneur or a teacher to a writer/blogger. Given the opportunity to start my own business, I would like to continue with my hair acccessories business. At the moment, we are looking for our second home and we will rent out this property. When things turn out right, I am a property manager by the first half of 2013.
    Manette @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance recently posted..A WEALTH BUILDING GIFT FOR YOU-part 1My Profile

  7. That’s funny you brought up the laundry mat and drop off cleaning. I used to own a route that had the toy crane machines you see in laundry mats. When I went to my laundry mat location I would consistently see people bring in bags of clothes to drop off and have washed and thought about it quite a few times. I guess I never checked it out for myself, but I would assume the charge and that kinda stuff would be pretty decent.
    Ian recently posted..Wishing You a Merry Christmas from The 30 Something Student!My Profile

  8. Interesting that laundromats are so lucrative! And it sounds like a reasonably stress free kind of business.

    My background is in editorial work - writing, editing, blogging, social media… Who knows how those might evolve over the next 40 years, but they could be conducive to part time work in rtirement.
    eemusings recently posted..In which I show my princess coloursMy Profile

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