A few years ago, I published an article entitled “60 Ways to Make Money in Retirement.” It was massive. In fact, at just under 5,000 words, it was one of the longest articles that I had ever written.

Knowing that not everyone was lucky enough to have a corporate career, I tried to present a range of ideas from renting a room to becoming a craftpreneur. I talked about how to become a freelancer. I discussed becoming a yoga instructor. I even gave some tips for raising alpacas!

The article took weeks to research and write and, by the end, I was exhausted!

This is Why Whiners Never Win

For the most part, the feedback on the article was amazing. It was shared in social media 1,200+ times and dozens of people joined in the conversation, sharing their ideas for how to make money in retirement.

At the same time, there was a small, yet vocal, minority of people who just couldn’t help being negative. Here are a few of their paraphrased comments:

“These ideas are all for people in the U.S.”

“This idea takes too much time”

“This idea takes too much money”

I can guarantee you one thing – none of these people will ever achieve their financial goals in retirement. At best, they will find part-time work in retail. At worst, they will find themselves completely unhirable and living entirely off of their pensions.

The sad truth is that, when it comes to making money after 50 – let along in retirement – whiners never win!

Retirement Ain’t What it Used to Be

Retirement is positioned as the end of our working lives. Hollywood, the government and society at large, try to make us think that life after retirement should be all about playing golf, knitting and hanging out with the grandkids.

In reality, very few of us will retire comfortably. Even those of us who have significant assets are likely to have dramatically underestimated how much money we will need to live for 20-30 years. This is especially true when you consider the rising cost of medical procedures and medications.

What it Really Takes to Succeed Financially After 50

So, what does it really take to succeed financially after 50? For starters, older adults need to learn to see themselves as business owners rather than employees. It may take years for this mind shift to fully sink in, so, if possible, it is best to start a side business while you still have a full-time job.

To be clear, no matter what your sources of income are, if you are making money in retirement, you are a business owner. If you are a coffee shop owner, you have a business. If you are a freelancer, you are a business. Either way, you are now responsible for your financial future.

The second thing that financially successful older adults have is determination and “grit.” Look, I get it… by the time you reach your 50s and 60s, you are tired of working. There are days when all you want to do it curl up on the sofa and watch TV. Unfortunately, for most of us, this won’t be an option.

Most older adults will find themselves struggling to survive, let along thrive, in retirement. When you are having trouble paying your medical bills or putting food on the table, you will to whatever it takes to make more money. Unfortunately, without planning, your only option may be retail.

The men and women that I know who have started businesses, become freelancers or found ways to generate passive income after 50 are the ones that refused to be beaten. They were determined to succeed. They had “grit.” They took control, while they still had choices.

Finally, successful older adults take responsibility for their lives. They realize that Social Security was not written in stone. They understand that their company’s pension plan is only as strong as the stock market. And, they know that they can’t rely on their kids to take care of them in their old age.

By the time we reach our 50s, we have all made financial mistakes – I sure as heck did! That said, we can’t change the past. All we can do is take responsibility for our future. And, the first step in doing this involves getting honest with ourselves regarding our financial situation

If you are thinking about starting a side business in your 50s or 60s, my message for you is simple – you CAN do it! As an older adult, you have the skills, experience, contacts and financial resources to succeed. Now, you just need to dig deep to find the positivity, determination and confidence to get started.

What do you think it takes to start a business after 50? Do you think it is easier or harder to start a business at our age? Why? Please join the conversation!

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