Our parents were usually ready for retirement as they reached their 60s. Our generation, however, seems intent on living life to the fullest – and even setting up new business ventures!

Those of us who have done exactly that have chosen those businesses carefully. If you have worked in a corporate environment – as I did for more than 40 years – it is the absolute last kind of business you’d want to be involved with!

Do you remember KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), annual appraisals, training and development plans, “blue sky thinking,” away days and all that jargon and often back-stabbing corporate stuff? It’s enough to make you want to run in the opposite direction!

 
 

I know several mature women who have turned their backs on that kind of life and are now running their own, very successful small businesses. They have based their ventures on hobbies or interests – and if it makes money, so much the better!

In the UK, the retirement age is gradually creeping up to 68. While women used to retire at 60 and men at 65, that has all changed due to longer, healthy living. Our children may not retire until well into their 70s or beyond, which does make me feel sorry for them. Despite leaps in medical science, the mind is often still willing while, unfortunately, the flesh is a little weak.

What Kind of Business?

I have several friends who have “retired” from their profession and gone on to create new start-ups and are loving it!

One close friend had always loved sewing. Many years ago she took some fashion and design qualifications, before ultimately pursuing a successful career in Human Resources for a food company.

Post retirement she set up her workshop business where she teaches people to create their own beautiful garments. She has not looked back. She tells me that she no longer has that Sunday night dread about going to work after the weekend, and absolutely loves what she is doing.

Another friend used to work in marketing, but has invested in property, buying houses and improving them to create beautiful new homes to sell. Yet another, a former teacher, is now creating logos and corporate clothing, while a different friend, who used to work in industry, is now a periodic supply teacher.

Creating a Success

Of course, the work is sometimes hard. Depending on how successful you want your business to become, it may involve business plans, bank loans and learning new skills. Fortunately, most of us don’t mind hard work if we are the ones who will ultimately benefit from those labours – particularly if we love what we do.

Sometimes it isn’t even about creating a business. Most of us want a reason to get up in the mornings and feel as if we are a useful member of society, still contributing.

Another option is volunteering, particularly if you have a skill honed over many years at work, which can be invaluable to local charities.

And me? Having started the Sensational Baby Boomers blog with my close friend, doing things that we enjoy – which is travelling and styling our wardrobes, we haven’t yet managed to earn any money from it… but we do have a plan!

I am very fortunate in that the whole reason for setting up the blog was not necessarily for the cash, but rather to do something which I have always enjoyed doing – namely writing. Still, we would love to review hotels and holidays if anyone is interested in working with us…

Would you like to start a business one day? Have you set up a business later in life? What kind of business is it? Was it a hobby or something you enjoy – or just an idea to make money? Is your new business successful? Do you have any tips for taking it from a good business to a great one? Let us know about your own lives and share some of the inspiration!

Anne CrowtherAnne Crowther is a former journalist and corporate PR professional. After leaving a major blue-chip company, she set up her own small business helping companies with their PR, marketing and social media presence. Now semi-retired, she blogs with her colleague and best friend about their travels and personal fashion styles through the Sensational Baby Boomer website. You can also connect with her via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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