Federal employee retirement can mean different things for different people. For some, it means traveling. For others, it means spending time with family.
Starting a new business is an option that’s becoming more and more popular, and many retirees are launching successful startups as a second career.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Starting a business after retirement can yield some great benefits: you can earn extra income if the business takes off successfully, you get to be your own boss, it gives you something to do, and you can make your passion a business so you get to do what you love.
But first you have to get the business off the ground, and that can be challenging and scary.
Whether it’s a consulting firm, tutoring center, pet care service, catering company, restaurant, or anything else, there are plenty of different ways to start a business. The problem may not be finding an idea, but figuring out how to actually make it happen.
It’s not the easiest thing to start a business, especially when you’re running on retirement money, so it’s important to keep some things in mind.
Success Isn’t Guaranteed
First of all, don’t count on it being wildly successful. Don’t invest your life savings into starting a business after retirement just because you don’t want to see it fail and take all your money with it.
Of course, this is not to say that you shouldn’t spend some money on your startup, just that keeping costs low is probably a good idea.
Get startup money, funding, or a loan. Don’t tap into your personal savings to start the business. Don’t buy a brand spanking new facility right away, because you may not need it.
If your business takes off, you can buy that new facility when the time comes. Have a backup plan, because it may not work out.
Use Your Network
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Use the resources you have for the things you need, whether that’s money, advice, or just some encouragement and support.
You don’t have to go through the process alone. Almost all successful people, in business or any other field, have coaches and mentors to give them sound advice and help them through the ups and downs.
Unexpected things can pop out of nowhere in the business world, and problems can come at you fast. And even though you are your own boss, you’ll still have to work hard, sometimes harder than you ever did at your 9-5 job.
You may be working some long hours, and you may end up in the negative for a little bit. Don’t obsess over the numbers too much, but be prepared for what may happen ahead of you.
Maybe technology was a big part of your last career. In that case, keep using it. Take advantage of that skill and the vast resources available to you.
If you aren’t tech-savvy and you’re starting a business, you have a few options. The first is to learn. The world is more and more dependent on technology, and you will probably find it hard to grow your business and make it work without the help of social media and everything else.
You don’t need to be an expert, but you should familiarize yourself with the major sources: Google, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Microsoft Office, Pinterest, and others.
Learning to use search engine optimization (SEO) will help get your website out there. The other option is to partner with or hire someone who knows how to market a business online.
Either way, without staying involved in the technology of the age, you’re facing an uphill battle.
Starting A Business After Retirement
Starting your own business is not an easy thing to do. It’s a challenge. It involves learning a lot of new things, long hours, and maybe not the best pay. But it’s a chance to do what you love.
More and more people are starting their own businesses after their federal employee retirement, and you could very well be one of them.
Hopefully, yours gives you the same great experience that many have raved about, so that you can call your startup a success.
Need to figure out a few more steps before you’re ready for retirement or want help planning the finances of a business after retirement?
For over 30 years, federal employee retirement planning has been a key focus of Medallion Financial Group. We recognize that FERS retirement benefits have extra layers of complexity, such as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), 401K, Pension plan, FEGLI and more. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of bad advice when so few people understand the basics. We help with the basics and beyond to enable our clients to get the education and advice they need to retire with confidence.
Our focus is twofold: first and foremost, we are fiduciary advisors. We stand against any violation of laws, values, and ethics. Second, we treat our clients as part of our family, not only those who call Maryland and Georgia home, but clients across the US who have benefited from our reputation of personal service, integrity, and expertise.
We strive to exceed client’s expectations – because we have high expectations of ourselves.