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The best retirement business ideas can emerge from whatever past career that you have had, and includes whatever hobbies you have ever had.


For example, if you have worked for a wind farm - or in any other expanding economic sector - you have adequate knowledge and contacts to establish yourself as a consultant.   This is particularly relevant if you have innovative solutions to issues that typically have yet to be resolved.

What do chefs do when they retire?

Lou Papé is a French service that allows nostalgic food lovers to hire a grandma to come to their house and cook for them a superb meal from their childhood.

Founder Alizé Delbès told the Memo: “It’s a way that I can engage with people my own age and for older people to find a new activity in retirement, to preserve social utility and let them share their passion.”

It's all done online, from the website that Delbès has in his home office.

What do horticulturists do when they retire?

 Just a few years before he retired from his career with government horticulture in 2011, when he was in a holding pattern just waiting for his final payday, Darby Higgs started an online business using the SBI (Site Build It) platform.

His focus is on small vineyards that make wine from uncommon grape varieties, and wrote articles against high demand/low supply keywords. He started out selling maps of wine regions in California, France and Italy - he'd buy them in bulk for a few dollars each and then sell each for $30 (plus postage).

After a year of so he was making $10,000 and then he added books, and now - six years later - he does tours, with himself as operator, lecturer and raconteur. He jokes "anyone can do what I do, and I keep telling people to register a website such as and do the same with cheeses."

* * * * * * * 

Retirees should join the Facebook community Retirement Startups Group to learn how their peers have faced this (very common) challenge.  

If you need to create a side income (and everyone wants to be above that very modest average retirement income) hobbies that make money are easy to establish as a home based business, and provide you with an above average retirement income.

The basic approach to the best retirement business ideas

Self employment is a real option for any retiree. offers something similar for the young unemployed and bored.  This is their five step basic approach: how they recommend that their clients proceed:

       Challenge 1: Think Like A Job Creator

       Challenge 2: Create A Brand

       Challenge 3: Build An MVP (Minimum Viable Product)

       Challenge 4: Acquire A Customer

       Challenge 5: Pitch An Idea

Of course, if you are yet to retire, and are thinking of early retirement (whatever that is these days) you’ll find solid advice in this magazine.   And of course my views on a practical approach to thinking about retirement include positive advice if you are thinking of a career change as you move into "retirement".

For example, if you want to invest say $100,000 in a passive business, my suggestion would be to buy a laundromat.

Feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions about your own situation.

Then of course, if you want a hands-on business for your retirement, you could also consider

  • a dealership for electronic bikes - your customers will be members of your community who can't walk as far as they used to, but still want to get out and about
  • a permanent shop for local makers and creatives.  Ideally you would be living in a tourist zone, are able to find very modest rent, and sell on consignment.  You'll need to charge 20% on sales, but if you offer to pay instanteously you'll attract loads of clients as their alternative is weekend farmers' markets.
  • a debt collections agency - ideal for a home based, part time afternoon gig.  Best if you focus on a niche market e.g sports physios who have retail clients.


Perhaps you have an interest in vintage cars, rodeos, Portuguese Water Dogs, baking, gardening, farming, sailing, railroads, first peoples, brown bears, salmon, natural woodland, Highland Games, British monarchy, tea, Paraguay - in fact, a profitable hobby can emerge from virtually any interest that you may have..  

"Profitable Hobbies" are generally par-time home based businesses that make money because they not only generate an income through servicing the needs of other members of your tribe, but they also add to your zest for living, which flows through to your better health.

This is an easy route - provided you build upon a hobby that you really enjoy.

One chap I knew some time ago would fly radio controlled model aircraft.

Then to add a new dimension to this hobby, one day he installed a small camera in the belly of an aircraft, which – thanks to the marvel of electronics - he was then able to control this camera remotely.

Then he started doing aerial photography of weddings, and eventually he hit the big time by selling his services to commercial real estate agents who sold mega factories and large industrial sites.

So his weekend hobby business became another example of a profitable hobby.

Since then of course, as always happens, he has developed other hobbies that make money.

He used joke with me that he was the expert in providing broadly based great retirement advice.  

Additional retirement business ideas

To be paid as a writer is something you may not have realised is easy in this electronic age.

And as I mention at the foot of this article, any hobby today can become an online business and "profitable hobby".  

If you hold a conversation with someone, then - instead of speaking words - just put those words on paper. Writing is an excellent example of hobbies that make money - within the overall approach to finding retirement business ideas that are viable for you.

You are probably an expert on something – everyone is. It may be nothing more than “raising teenagers” but if there is an audience for what you know, you are well on your way to becoming a writer, and be paid for it.

In this electronic age, you can readily start by blogging. Now if you write on a piece of paper, no one else will see it. However if you start writing (blogging) on a site which has a huge readership, you could start to earn good money.   However you need to find a topic with wide appeal, where the news is constantly changing. is a blog that pays for content. It consists of columns (articles) written by its member-users based on various niches such as technology, education, cars, gaming, finance, health, lifestyle etc. with each covering all the aspects of the respective niche. All the columns are written by its member contributors (columnists) and hence visitors will often find great deal of information on the same topic. pays around $1.50 CPM i.e. for every thousand views that your columns generates you get paid $1.50. When more and more readers come to read your columns, you simply make more money.

Buying and Selling

A simple retirement business idea in the “buy-low, sell high” category is buying and selling autos online.   If you can buy an auto for $3,000 and sell it for $4,250, and you repeat that process every so often, you'll have quite a profitable hobby.

The trick is to find quality looking cars, and then bid just $1 more in the last few moments of the online auction.  Then you sell that same auto for a fixed price, somewhat below what a dealer would sell it for.  If you concentrate on vintage cars, there's more flexibility in what you'll be able to sell for.

However in some jurisdictions you will need a dealer's licence if you sell more than five cars in a year.  

But you get the idea - there are things out there online that you can buy, and on sell at a profit


Retirement business ideas are everywhere, and you may be daily passing up on opportunities to  make money from home with a micro business. 

For example, if you like walking, you probably are walking past a potentially “profitable hobby” i.e. walking sticks.

The hardest part of this hobby is locating a supply of straight sticks. The ideal time to search is during winter, when the sap has retreated to the roots, so the wood is dryer and less prone to splitting when you begin to work it after it has dried for a few months in your shed.

Ideal locations would be deserted railroad tracks or forgotten forest trails, and the best timber is perhaps cedar, but hazel, birch, cherry, blackthorn, ash, oak and holly are all quite suitable.

If you want to dress your finished product, you can always buy an old leather coat from a thrift shop and fix pieces to both the base and handle.

Then you can sell your walking sticks at either a flea market or at a craft market. But while you may be able to sell a walking stick for $25 at a flea market, the identical same product might sell for $55 at a craft market. The difference is due solely to the environment, which differentials what a buyer thinks he should pay.

Hobbies that make money are often very easy to establish.

It’s often just a matter of asking people for suggestions.

Another example is house renovations.  They can generate big profits, although you need some capital to start.   Visit the Facebook group TOO YOUNG TO RETIRE for additional stimulation.

Any Hobby Can Become An On-line Business

Make money fast from  home with photography is another simple on-line profitable hobby, as all you need is a routine.  Once again, this qualifies in the list of first-rate retirement business ideas because it is simple, but can be very profitable.

Or consider it you were to breed Chinese Golden pheasants.  These are very colourful game birds and routinely sell for $150 a pair.  You would naturally need to use the internet - perhaps a free advertising site such as - to attract customers.   Everything is an on-line business these days.

If - after you have read this page and need further inspiration - you will find other suggestions for retirement business ideas in the textbook 37 very profitable hobbies   These case studies emerged from the responses to my newsletter that has its focus on financial planning for retirement.    And of course there is always the Work from Home magazine.

A final thought if you need extra money - any hobby can be the basis for an online business using the technology from Site Build It! (That's how I created this profitable magazine that you are now reading).

This month's Special Book Club offer - "Lifestyle Retirement Guide" $9.97 click here

for a broad discussion Achieving a Successful Retirement, click here

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My book "Creative Retirement Planning" includes the best retirement strategies I have discovered in 30 years of assisting family, friends and private clients.  

Benefit from my experience to enhance your retirement whether by improving your finances, your health or your quality of life.  

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