Business Ideas

Home Based Business Ideas for Retirees: Start Low-Cost Business in Active Retirement

Home Based Business Ideas for Retirees

Home Based Business Ideas for Retirees

Retirement can be an exciting new chapter, offering retirees the gift of free time and flexibility. While some retirees are content to simply relax and enjoy hobbies, many seek out ways to supplement their retirement income or remain productive.

Starting a home-based business is an appealing option for retirees looking to earn extra money while working from the comfort of home on their own schedule. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best home based business ideas suited for retirees.

Why Start a Home-Based Business in Retirement?

There are several compelling reasons to consider a home-based business in retirement:

Supplement Retirement Income

Many retirees find that their retirement savings and social security benefits are not enough to cover all their living expenses. The rising costs of healthcare, housing, food, and other necessities can make it difficult to make ends meet. A home-based business provides an income stream to supplement other retirement funds.

Even modest earnings from a home business can go a long way toward covering unanticipated costs and living more comfortably.

Pursue Passions and Interests

A major perk of retirement is having more time to delve into personal passions. Starting a home-based business around a hobby, talent or area of interest can be deeply fulfilling for retirees.

Turning something you love into a money-making endeavor is rewarding. Home businesses also allow you to work on your own schedule, pursuing sidelines at your preferred pace.

Stay Engaged and Connected

The social isolation of retirement can be challenging for some. Operating a home-based business provides retirees with a sense of purpose and meaningful connections to others.

Client interactions, networking with other small business owners, and engaging with your industry community can ensure you stay mentally sharp and socially engaged.

Achieve Flexibility and Autonomy

Retirees often wish they had more flexibility and freedom over how they spend their time. Home-based businesses provide maximum flexibility and autonomy.

You can work when you want, take time off for travel or family visits, and avoid long commutes. The ability to self-direct your business aligns with retirement goals of greater independence over your schedule and activities.

Test New Directions

Some retirees view retirement as a time to test out new career directions or entrepreneurial ventures while managing lower risk. Starting a home-based business lets you gain experience with minimal start-up costs and overhead.

Testing out a new area via consulting or freelancing helps determine if you want to eventually grow a full-scale business. Home businesses offer a built-in exit strategy if you decide the area is not fruitful or appealing.

Business Ideas in Active Retirement

1. Consulting

Retirees often have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share from their pre-retirement careers. Offering consulting services allows retirees to leverage their expertise to advise others in their former profession or industry.

This can include consulting roles such as business advisor, career coach, financial planner, and more. The flexible and independent nature of consulting work appeals to retirees.

2. Freelance Writing

Retirees who have a flair for writing can turn their hobby into a lucrative home based business. Many websites and companies seek out freelance writers to contribute articles, blog posts, web content and more.

Retirees can flex their writing muscles in areas they are knowledgeable and passionate about while earning income. The demand for quality freelance writers continues to grow, providing writing opportunities across diverse industries and topics.

3. Bookkeeping Services

Bookkeeping is a home-based business idea that complements the detail-oriented nature of many retirees. Retirees with an accounting background can leverage their financial skills to provide bookkeeping services for small businesses, solopreneurs, and virtual assistance clients.

This can include services like payroll, invoicing, financial reporting, and more. Retirees can choose to offer services on an ongoing or project basis.

4. Crafting and Selling Handmade Items

Many retirees enjoy hobbies like sewing, woodworking, baking, jewelry making, painting, and more. Turning these crafts into a home-based business is a fulfilling and profitable option.

Retirees can sell handmade creations through online stores, local craft fairs, consignment shops, and other venues. Creativity and talent can be transformed into extra income.

5. Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

Animal lovers can transform their pet passion into home-based business income through pet sitting and dog walking services. Retirees have flexible schedules well suited to caring for pets when owners are away or providing midday dog walks.

Marketing to neighbors, listing services on sites like, and creating a website/social media presence can help attract clients.

Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

6. Online Coaching or Tutoring

Retirees can leverage their expertise to offer virtual coaching or tutoring in areas like academic subjects, job skills, fitness, finances, and more. This allows you to set your own schedule and rates.

Useful for retirees with teaching, training or specialized skills.

7. Elderly Care Services

Retirees with medical or caregiving backgrounds can provide services like companionship, transportation, meal prep, light housekeeping, and medication reminders for elderly clients. Market to seniors and their families. Requires sensitivity, patience, and reliability.

8. Virtual Assistant

As a virtual assistant, you can offer administrative, technical, or creative project support to businesses and entrepreneurs online. Tasks may include email management, data entry, graphic design, web research, scheduling, and more. Play to your organizational and computer strengths.

9. Online Reselling

Sourcing and selling goods on sites like eBay, Etsy, Amazon, and Craigslist can earn retirees supplemental income. Start by reselling items from your home, thrift stores or estate sales. Photography and writing skills are useful.

10. Homemade Food or Baking

Baking, preserving, candy making and more can be turned into a home business by selling goods at local farmer’s markets, online, or to local shops and restaurants. Creativity and passion for cooking/baking is a must. Ensure proper licenses, permits, packaging, and labeling.

11. Gardening Services

Retirees skilled in landscaping, gardening, and yardwork can offer services like garden installation, maintenance, pruning, lawn care, and outdoor beautification. Physically demanding but appealing to nature lovers.

12. Travel Planning

Combine your travel knowledge and planning abilities to start a home-based travel agency. Arrange travel packages, bookings, and customized itineraries for clients’ vacations, honeymoons, tours, and more. Strong research skills and travel experience are required.

13. Home Renovation or Repair Services

Handy retirees can provide services like painting, carpet cleaning, tiling, roofing, plumbing, cabinetry, flooring installation, and other home project assistance. Start locally by networking and marketing directly to neighborhood residents.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Home-based Business Idea

Your level of commitment – How much time do you want to devote to operating your home business? Do you want it to be a side hobby that brings in a modest income, or a major endeavor that replaces your career?

Your willingness to commit time and effort will influence the type and scope of business you choose.

Your financial goals – What are your monetary goals for launching a home business? Do you just want to earn a few hundred extra dollars monthly for minor expenses?

Or is your goal to match or surpass the income from your former career? Your financial aims will determine whether you need a high-earning business model.

Your skills and experience – Leverage your background and abilities to their highest potential. For example, former teachers could offer tutoring services, accountants could provide consulting, and engineers could invent products for licensing. Make a list of your competencies and how they could be applied.

Your target market – Research your intended customers and what offerings would appeal to them. A local dog walking business targets nearby pet owners, while online life coaching reaches clients globally.

Defining and understanding your target market is key to focusing your offerings.

Taking stock of these factors will help retirees choose a home business aligned with their goals, qualifications, and resources. Conducting thorough self-assessment and market research is crucial for mapping out a realistic and promising home-based business.


Starting a home-based business enables retirees to earn additional income while enjoying the benefits of working from home. Consulting services, freelance writing, bookkeeping, handmade crafts and pet sitting/dog walking represent five lucrative and engaging home-based business opportunities for retirees.

With careful planning and commitment, retirees can find fulfillment and financial reward through a customized home-based business aligning with their passions and abilities. Check out here for more business ideas.