What's the Best Business to Start Over 60?

It's never ever too late to try something new!

What's the Best Business to Start Over 60?
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Starting a new business after 60? Why not! With decades of wisdom and experience under your belt, it's the perfect time to explore your entrepreneurial side (even if it's a first!) 

Whether you’re looking to turn a hobby into a side hustle or start a new career path, we’ve got a list of the best retirement business ideas in this blog post. In our opinion, one idea is definitely a cut above the rest, but we'll let you make your own decision regarding that. ;)

The proof is in the pudding! Tens of thousands of students all over the world have taken their retirement into their own hands by self-publishing and earning royalty income through Amazon. How? Stop by this free publishing training to find out!

Why Start a Business in Retirement? 5 Reasons

5 rapid-fire reasons to start your own side hustle business during your retirement years: 

  1. Stay Active and Engaged: Finding work can be tough in your 60s. Running your own business lets you stay active, use your skills, and, best of all, be your own boss.
  2. Feel More Financially Secure: Extra income from a small business can supplement your retirement savings and Social Security benefits, helping you maintain a comfortable lifestyle (which, unfortunately, is becoming increasingly difficult for a lot of people).
  3. Pursue Your Passions: Retirement is the perfect time to explore interests you’ve always wanted to (it's okay to be selfish and put your dreams first!).
  4. Expand Your Network: Starting a business opens doors to meet new people and grow your social circle, helping you grow personally and professionally (you might just find a new mentor or best friend).
  5. Leave a Legacy: You have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experience by creating something meaningful that can impact your community and future generations for years to come (don't be afraid to make your mark!).

What Is the Best Retirement Business Idea to Start Over 60?

You're going to find all sorts of retirement advice across the internet, saying things like you should invest in stocks and real estate or offer consulting services. Finding the "best" fit for you is going to depend on a lot of things, like how much time and energy you have available or even what type of work environment you thrive in.

The problem is that most retiree businesses still require a ton of work upfront and ongoing work, which defeats the whole purpose of relaxing and enjoying your golden years. And when you do the math to figure out how precious your time is, you realize that being self-employed is a major advantage.

That's where self-publishing comes in.

#1 Business Idea for Retirees: Self-Publishing on Amazon

Self-publishing on Amazon is a perfect choice for those over 60 who value their freedom.

With the rise of e-books and print-on-demand services, it’s easier than ever to share your stories, experiences, and knowledge with the world (and get paid to do it). Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform is extremely user-friendly, and it costs $0 to publish your book on the platform, making it accessible for beginners.


  • No Upfront Costs: Upload your manuscript file and book cover design, and Amazon handles the rest, from printing to distribution.
  • Global Reach: Your book will automatically be available to millions of readers worldwide through Amazon's marketplaces.
  • Royalties: Earn up to 70% royalties on all your book sales, providing a recurring income stream.
  • Complete Control: You decide on your book's pricing, distribution, and marketing strategies.

AIA Course

New to self-publishing or want to refine your skills?

The AI Publishing Academy is a great resource that offers bite-size modules for:

  • Speeding up the writing and editing process 10x by outsourcing it or using AI tools. See for yourself why self-publishing is one of the top AI business ideas to start this year.
  • Coming up with optimized book titles based on years of bestseller research
  • Formatting your book for eBook and print formats to make even more royalties
  • Using Amazon's built-in marketing tools to gain book reviews and organic sales even quicker
  • And so much more!

Student Success Stories

Meet Koorosh, a retired teacher who is proof that older entrepreneurs can still build wealth on their own terms:

Publishing.com's Free Publishing Training

Have no idea where to even start when it comes to self-publishing but curious about what it would be like? Stop by our free webinar to see how it all works!

Other Top Retirement Business Ideas

If you're over the age group of 60 and considering starting your own business, here are five other broad categories to explore:

1. Consulting and Coaching

2. Creative and Crafty

3. Service-Based Businesses

4. E-commerce and Online Ventures

5. Franchise and Established Models

Let's break 'em down!

Home Based Business Ideas for Retirees

If you're more of a homebody, there are plenty of opportunities to make extra money in retirement without working in a stuffy office.

Make and Sell Crafts

Love creating handmade items? Turn your hobby into a profitable business. From jewelry, to pottery, and knitted goods, you can sell your creations online through platforms like Etsy or at local craft fairs in your neighborhood.

Here’s how to make your craft business stand out:

  • Unique Designs: Offer one-of-a-kind items that showcase your creativity.
  • Personalized Options: Provide customization options for customers to make their purchases special.
  • Engaging Story: Share the story behind your crafts to connect with your customers.

Open a Bed and Breakfast

Have extra space and a love of hospitality? Open a bed and breakfast! Turn your home into a cozy retreat for visitors from all over the world.

Here’s how to make your B&B stand out:

  • Themed Rooms: Decorate rooms with unique themes to create memorable experiences.
  • Local Experiences: Offer recommendations and partnerships with local attractions and restaurants (ex: You could offer beginner-friendly hikes, a day of personal shopping assistance, or a food tour of all the best pizza joints in town).
  • Homemade Breakfasts: Serve delicious home-cooked meals with local organic ingredients and support local farmers.
  • Personal Touches: Provide personalized touches like welcome notes and special amenities for guests.

Start a Pet-Sitting Business

If you're one of many pet-loving retirees, you might consider starting a pet-sitting business. This opportunity lets you spend time with all kinds of animals while providing a necessary service to pet owners. As a pet sitter, you'll take care of pets in your own home or at the owner's home, offering services like daily walks, feeds, and playtime.

Here’s how to make your pet-sitting business plan stand out:

  • Set Up a Schedule: Offer free client consultations to understand their needs and build trust.
  • Create a Pricing Structure: Base your pricing on services offered, such as daily visits, overnight stays, and special care needs.
  • Obtain Necessary Permits and Insurance: Make sure you have the required permits and insurance to protect your business and clients.

Retail Stores & Franchises

Maybe you're a bit more traditional and would prefer to get into the brick and mortar business instead? 

Pros and Cons of Franchising

Here’s the lowdown on the ups and downs of running a franchise: 


  • Proven Business Model: Franchises come with a tried and true blueprint.
  • Brand Recognition: Well-known franchises have instant name recognition, making it easier to draw in customers.
  • Training and Support: Get top-notch training and ongoing help from the franchisor.
  • Lower Risk: Franchises generally have a lower failure rate compared to start-ups, thanks to their established systems and support.


  • Initial Investment: Franchises often require a hefty upfront investment.
  • Ongoing Fees: Expect to pay royalties and advertising fees, which can cut into your profits.
  • Limited Flexibility: You’ll need to stick to the franchisor’s rules, which might stifle your creativity.
  • Long-Term Commitment: Franchise agreements usually span several years, so be sure you’re in it for the long haul.

Selecting the Right Franchise

Ready to find your perfect franchise match?

Here’s what to consider:

  • Your Interests and Skills: Pick a franchise that aligns with what you love and what you’re good at.
  • Market Demand: Do your homework to make sure there’s a market for your franchise in your area.
  • Franchisor’s Reputation: Choose a franchisor with a solid track record and happy franchisees.
  • Financial Investment: Look at the costs and potential returns. Make sure it fits your budget and financial goals.
  • Training and Support: Strong training and support from the franchisor can make all the difference.

Retail Business Ideas

Not keen on franchising? No problem!

Here are some other fun retail business ideas to consider:

1. Boutique Shop Open a small boutique selling unique clothing, accessories, or home decor. Focus on niche markets like eco-friendly products or vintage finds.

2. Specialty Food Store Start a store that sells gourmet foods, organic produce, or specialty items like cheese, wine, or spices. Cater to food lovers and health-conscious customers.

3. Craft Supply Store If you love arts and crafts, open a store that supplies materials for hobbies like knitting, scrapbooking, or painting. Host workshops to engage the community and build a loyal customer base.

4. Bookstore For the bookworms, a small, cozy bookstore with a curated selection of books can be a dream business. Add a coffee shop or host author events to attract more visitors.

5. Pet Store Open a pet store offering pet supplies, grooming services, or even pet adoption. Create a pet-friendly space that makes both owners and their furry friends happy.

Online Business Ideas

First, came the Internet boom of the early 2000's, and now, we're seeing the AI boom.

The good news is you don't have to be an expert to take advantage of this next wave of tech!

eCommerce Store

Starting an eCommerce store is a decent business opportunity for those over 60 if you have the extra time to set up a solid foundation. With the flexibility and low startup costs of online platforms, you can easily set up your own shop and sell products you're passionate about. Platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce make it simple to create a user-friendly online store.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Select a Target Audience: Identify who you want to sell to and choose products that cater to their interests.
  • Set Up Your Store: Build out all your profiles and link them to your bank account to get paid.
  • Create Product Descriptions: Write engaging descriptions and take high-quality photos.
  • Implement SEO Strategies: Optimize your store to drive organic traffic.

Service-Based Businesses

If you're a people person, you might be the type of business owner who likes to give back to their community.

Personal Assistant Services

As people lead busier lives, home businesses and personal assistance services are on the rise!

You might consider offering:

  • Senior Care: Provide non-medical support like companionship, meal preparation, and assistance with daily tasks.
  • Errand Running: Perform errands such as grocery shopping, prescription pickups, and dry cleaning.
  • Professional Organizing: Help clients declutter and organize their homes.

Consulting and Coaching

Over 60 and full of wisdom? Share your expertise with other businesses through consulting or as a life coach, and guide others while enjoying a flexible schedule.

Here’s how to make it work:

  • Focus on Your Niche: Identify a specific area where you excel.
  • Market Your Expertise: Establish yourself as an expert in your field.
  • Flexible Delivery: Offer your services in-person and/or online.

Academic Tutoring

Academic tutoring is a great way to help students of all ages, from elementary school through college.

Here’s how to start:

  • Identify Your Expertise: Choose subjects and age groups you’re comfortable with.
  • Advertise Your Services: Consider putting up flyers around local coffee shops and campuses to get the word out about your services.
  • Create a Learning Environment: Set up a professional and welcoming space for learning.

Offer Move Management Services

Transitioning seniors into new living arrangements is a profitable and meaningful business opportunity. As a move management service, you can help families with downsizing, home staging, and coordinating moving services, all while easing the emotional stress that often accompanies major transitions.

Here’s how to stand out:

  • Personalized Service: Offer tailored solutions to meet each client's unique needs.
  • Compassion and Care: Provide emotional support and understanding during stressful times.
  • Comprehensive Planning: Handle every aspect of the move, from organizing to setting up the new home.
  • Trusted Partnerships: Collaborate with reliable moving companies and real estate agents.

Freelance Writing

If you have strong writing skills, you can consider freelance writing as a business option. Use your industry expertise, research skills, and storytelling abilities to produce content for publications, organizations, or websites.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Pitch Story Ideas: Reach out to editors with your unique article ideas.
  • Join Freelance Platforms: Sign up on websites like Upwork or Freelancer to find gigs.
  • Leverage Your Network: Contact your professional network for potential clients.
  • Create a Portfolio: Showcase your writing samples on a personal website or portfolio platform.

Start a Garden-Based Business

If you have a green thumb, starting a garden-based business is a wonderful way to combine your passion for gardening with business acumen. Cultivate plants or flowers for sale and market your products at local farmers' markets, gardening centers, or online platforms.

Here’s how to succeed:

  • Specialty Plants: Grow unique or rare plant varieties that attract customers.
  • Organic Practices: Use sustainable and organic gardening methods.
  • Workshops and Classes: Offer gardening workshops to engage with your community.
  • Build an Online Marketing Strategy: Create a website or social media pages to showcase and sell your products.

What Low-Investment Businesses Can a Person Start After 60?

We've covered lots of great low-investment business ideas like consulting, dog walking, and growing plants in this blog post. But let's be honest: at Publishing.com, we might be a little biased toward self-publishing.

Why? Because we've seen it work wonders—from couples retiring in their 40s to grandmas publishing their first book and finally getting the confidence and income they wanted for years.

Get Paid to Enjoy Your Retirement Years

So, the big question...Why Self-Publishing?

  • Your Story, Your Way: Share your passions and expertise with the world.
  • Flexible Investment: Create quality content by partnering with ghostwriters or using AI tools like Publishing.ai as a copilot.
  • Earn Back Your Costs: Recoup your investment as book sales and royalties roll in.
  • Freedom and Flexibility: Write on your own schedule from anywhere.

And the best reason of all?

  • Royalties = Recurring Retirement Income 

Just ask Kamille, who knows a thing or two about overcoming obstacles and betting on herself! 

Sound like the freedom you're looking for? Stop by our free quick-start webinar to see how self-publishing can work for you!

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