8 Online Business Ideas for Retirees

If you’re concerned about income in retirement, it may be time to consider boosting your

If you’re concerned about income in retirement, it may be time to consider boosting your finances by starting a business. “The prospect of working beyond the age of 62 or 65 is fast becoming a reality,” says Roy Cohen, a career coach based in New York City and author of “The Wall Street Professional’s Survival Guide.” “Assets have shrunk, which is a huge concern for many retirees, and the ability to save enough to keep up with inflation is a challenge, too.”

To stay safe and have flexibility, consider business opportunities online. You may be able to generate income from a retirement business without leaving home. However, it’s important to pick the right field and carry out research before launching a business venture in retirement. You will need to find an online business option that lines up with your interests and expertise.

Consider these retirement business ideas:

1. Fitness trainer.

2. Financial advisor.

3. Sell hand crafts online.

4. Consulting.

5. Sell vintage items.

6. Nutrition coach.

7. Food business.

8. Create books and courses.

Fitness Trainer

If you worked in a health or athletic industry, you may have years of knowledge and experience with exercise programs. You can use your specialties to help other seniors improve their levels of fitness. “Older people need trainers who understand the physical and mechanical limitations that are inevitable in an older client,” Cohen says. “But they are reluctant to return to the gym even when they reopen.” You may be able to set up Zoom consultations or meet online to lead a virtual workout.

To get started, make sure you have the right certifications to be a trainer. Then contact acquaintances who have expressed interest in learning more about fitness or create a website to draw in clients. You might also film senior workout videos and post them online to attract viewers and subscribers.

[See: 15 In-Demand Jobs for Seniors.]

Financial Advisor

If your career was in the financial industry and you’re excited about sharing your knowledge, you could become an advisor to help others manage their money. To become a certified financial planner, you’ll have to pass the CFP exam. After that, you can build a financial business by setting up a website and offering online consultations. Highlight your experience and knowledge in finance, along with how you can help potential customers. Also, line up what you will charge in fees, and consider advertising online or locally to start a client list.

Sell Hand Crafts Online

Rather than setting up a street stand or looking for local fairs where you could sell your crafts, you can set up shop online and sell to customers anywhere. “We recently consulted with a retired financial advisor who brings in a few thousand dollars a month making high-end fishing equipment made of wood,” says Paul Burke, an entrepreneur in residence at Sidekick Digital Media in Seattle. You can sell directly through sites like Etsy and Shopify.

[See: 19 Part-Time Retirement Jobs That Pay Well.]


If you worked in a specific industry for several decades, you can share your knowledge of the field with others who are looking for mentors. “There are endless possibilities for turning a lifelong career into a consultancy,” says Doresa Ibrahim, a profit automation coach in Kernersville, North Carolina. A retired teacher, for instance, could help new teachers learn how to manage their classrooms, create effective lesson plans and increase student success. You can reach out to connections you’ve made in your industry over the years. Build a website and offer phone or video consultations to interested contacts.

Sell Vintage Items

If you’re downsizing and want to reduce some of your collectibles, consider putting them up for sale online. You could also browse nearby locales for goods that buyers might be interested in. “Selling vintage requires some time spent sourcing items to sell, but if you like to shop at yard sales, it’s an easy fit,” says Stacy Verdick Case, owner of Peony Lane Designs in Stacy, Minnesota. You can set up a shop online to get started. Then consider starting a blog about vintage items, making videos or writing articles to help spread the word about your business.

Online Nutrition Coach

If you worked as a dietitian or in the nutrition industry, you could have a long list of healthy eating habits to share with others. You might look for seniors who have certain food requirements due to health conditions. Make sure you have the certification needed to provide nutritional advice. Then consider offering online coaching sessions and customized meal plans to older individuals looking to improve their diet.

[Read: Work From Home Jobs for Retirees.]

Start a Food Business

If you worked as a chef or caterer or have experience making food, look for companies and residents in your area who could benefit from homemade meals or treats. Set up a website that features your specialties and advertise locally to gather your first customers. Be sure to follow health codes and safety protocols in your area when making and delivering food items.

Create Books and Courses

Think about the area you worked in and what you learned. Then write down helpful information for others in an e-book or develop a video course. For instance, if you were a home appraiser, you might write a book or film a course that explains to others how they can become a successful appraiser. “When retirees package their wisdom into informational products, they can connect with others and make good money in the process,” says Brian Robben, CEO and founder of Robben Media in Cincinnati, Ohio. “You can charge anywhere from $47 to $997 or more for these materials, as long as you are packing in the value.” Along the way, you’ll likely hear from individuals who appreciate the help and guidance.

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