Becoming an Entrepreneur in Retirement: Is it for You?

By Devin Partida

Special to Financial Independence Hub

With people living longer than ever, retirement now makes up a significant portion of our lives. Could it be the perfect time to start a business? Here are the pros and cons of becoming an entrepreneur in your golden years.

Important Considerations

Entrepreneurship can enrich your life in immeasurable ways. However, before launching your own business, you should consider the following challenges.

Financial Risk

According to a 2018 study by Harvard Business Review, older entrepreneurs tend to run more successful companies. The businesses that financially thrive in their first five years are, on average, started by 45-year-old entrepreneurs, probably due to this cohort’s experience and willingness to take risks.

Although the odds may be in your favor, it’s still important to consider whether you have the capital to run a business — and to pick up the pieces if it doesn’t work out. Over 80% of small businesses fail because of cash flow problems. Decide how much money you’re willing to invest and potentially lose in your new venture.

Time Commitment

How do you envision retirement? If you’re considering entrepreneurship, you’re probably not the type of person who wants to lounge around sipping drinks on a beach.

If you do want a more relaxed retirement, however, you might find the time commitment required to run a business overwhelming. Entrepreneurs often put in long days to get their businesses up and running. Even after your company gets off the ground, you may find yourself having to work longer hours than you were expecting.

Of course, as a business owner, you also have a lot of sway over how big you want to let your venture get. If things start getting out of hand, you can always scale back.

Social Security Deductions

If you’re younger than full retirement age in the U.S. — which can range from 66-67, depending on when you were born — becoming an entrepreneur during retirement can affect your Social Security benefits.

Before you reach full retirement age, the IRS will deduct one dollar from your benefit payments for every two dollars you earn above $21,240. The year you reach full retirement age, the IRS will subtract one dollar from your Social Security benefits for every three dollars you earn above $56,520.

Consider whether these fees will impact your ability to retire comfortably. You might find you’re earning more money from your business than you would from Social Security anyway, so the deductions may be of little consequence.

Benefits of Entrepreneurship

Although it may be challenging, starting your own business will likely enrich your life. Here are some ways it could positively affect your retirement:

Providing Purpose

Many people spend their entire working lives doing a job they dislike. Retirement gives you a chance to lean into something you truly love, whether or not you bring home a sizeable paycheck.

Maybe you always wanted to get into candlemaking or growing wine grapes. Perhaps you have visions of spearheading a tech startup. Whatever your passion, retirement is your chance to pursue it.

The best part? You can do it all on your own schedule and don’t have to answer to anyone else. Just set realistic and achievable milestones for your business to keep yourself on track.

Staying Connected

A survey found that 34% of adults aged 50-80 felt isolated from others in 2023. A full 33% said they had contact with people outside the home just once a week or less. Running a business inspires personal growth, continuous learning and engagement with the community, helping you feel happier and more fulfilled in retirement.

Financial Independence

Traditional retirement options — savings, pensions and Social Security benefits — may not be enough for you to live on comfortably. Entrepreneurship offers you a way to supplement your income and savings, giving you more room to pursue your passions.

Leaving a Legacy

A successful business is a wonderful contribution to the community and can help people remember you long after you’re gone. It can also set your children, grandchildren or other family members up for a more comfortable life of their own, especially if you pass the business down to them when they get older.

Follow your Passion

Retirement could be the perfect time for you to start the business you always dreamed of. If you’re still set on the idea after considering the pros and cons, go for it!

You only get one life, so make the most of it and do what makes you happy. Lounging on the beach can wait.

Devin Partida is the Editor-in-Chief of, and a personal finance writer. Though she is interested in all kinds of topics, she has steadily increased her knowledge of the intersection of finance and technology. Devin’s work has been featured on Entrepreneur, Due and Nasdaq.

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