In an era where entrepreneurship knows no age, senior citizens are proving that their wealth of experience and seasoned expertise can translate into successful business ventures. The numbers speak for themselves; in the United States alone, the 50+ age group is expected to account for 70% of the nation’s disposable income by 2023, according to AARP.
This staggering figure underscores the potential of seniors as a robust market and, increasingly, as a source of entrepreneurial innovation. In this article on business ideas for senior citizens, we’ve delved into a myriad of opportunities across diverse sectors.
20 Best Business Ideas for Senior Citizens
1. Online Reselling or E-Commerce
In today’s digital age, online reselling or e-commerce has emerged as a promising venture for senior citizens looking to supplement their income or simply stay engaged with the business world. Online marketplaces such as eBay, Amazon, and Etsy have made it easier than ever for individuals to set up virtual storefronts and sell a wide range of products. According to recent data, approximately 72% of seniors are now using the internet regularly, and this growing online presence provides ample opportunities.
Many seniors leverage their experience and knowledge in niche markets to find unique products for resale. This can range from vintage collectibles to second-hand books, clothing, or even handmade items. The fact that e-commerce platforms handle most of the logistics, like payment processing and shipping, simplifies the process. In fact, a survey conducted in 2023 revealed that over 38% of seniors who engage in e-commerce as resellers report an increase in their monthly income, and some even earn a substantial living from it.
Seniors can invest in building their e-commerce brand and reputation over time, enabling them to establish a loyal customer base. With the right approach and dedication, online reselling can be a lucrative and fulfilling business endeavor for senior citizens.
2. Handmade Crafts or Art Sales
Many senior citizens possess artistic talents and a wealth of creative experience. These skills can be harnessed for profit through handmade crafts and art sales. Handmade crafts, such as knitted items, jewelry, ceramics, and woodwork, often have a unique and personal touch that resonates with consumers seeking something special. Seniors who engage in this business have the flexibility to work from home or attend craft fairs and artisan markets, depending on their preferences.
Research shows that there is a growing appreciation for handcrafted goods, and consumers are willing to pay a premium for one-of-a-kind items. In 2023, the handmade craft market was estimated to be worth over $48 billion in the United States alone. Senior citizens can tap into this market, turning their hobbies and artistic skills into a profitable venture.
Moreover, online platforms like Etsy have made it easier for artisans to reach a global audience. For seniors, this can be an excellent way to supplement retirement income while doing something they genuinely enjoy.
3. Bookkeeping or Accounting Services
Seniors often have a wealth of experience in the business world, making them ideal candidates for providing bookkeeping and accounting services. As small businesses and freelancers are on the rise, there is a growing demand for financial professionals to help manage their books and ensure tax compliance. Senior citizens who possess accounting skills or have worked in financial roles can provide valuable services in this domain.
The demand for these services is substantial. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of bookkeepers and accountants is projected to grow by 7% from 2020 to 2030. This growth reflects the need for financial expertise in an increasingly complex and regulated business landscape.
Senior citizens offering bookkeeping or accounting services can work as freelancers or set up small consultancies. This allows them to enjoy flexibility in their work schedules, serve clients in their local communities, and provide essential support to businesses in need of financial management. In this profession, the wealth of experience that comes with age can be a significant asset, and it’s a great way for seniors to leverage their knowledge for financial success.
4. Gardening and Landscaping
Gardening and landscaping can be a fulfilling and profitable business for senior citizens who have a green thumb and a passion for outdoor work. As the demand for well-maintained outdoor spaces continues to rise, many homeowners and businesses seek the expertise of gardening and landscaping professionals. This trend has created a significant market for seniors interested in pursuing this business opportunity.
According to the National Gardening Association, in 2023, over 91 million households participated in gardening activities, spending an average of $604 per household on gardening-related products and services. This indicates a robust market for gardening and landscaping services.
Senior citizens can offer a range of services, including planting, weeding, lawn care, and landscape design. With the right marketing and customer service, they can build a solid clientele, particularly in suburban and residential areas. The flexible schedule of gardening and landscaping work allows seniors to enjoy the fresh air and the satisfaction of transforming outdoor spaces.
5. Catering or Baking
Catering and baking businesses offer seniors a chance to showcase their culinary skills and creativity. The food industry is continually growing, and there is a considerable demand for catering services, especially for events like weddings, birthdays, corporate gatherings, and more. Seniors can leverage their experience in the kitchen to create mouthwatering dishes and unique culinary experiences for their clients.
The catering industry is significant, with a global market value estimated at $97 billion in 2023. This makes it a lucrative opportunity for seniors with a passion for cooking. Additionally, the rise of food delivery and meal preparation services has expanded the reach of catering businesses, providing opportunities to tap into these modern markets.
Senior bakers can also explore the niche of homemade baked goods, such as cakes, cookies, and bread. Many people appreciate the personal touch and quality of homemade baked items, and the market for these products remains steady and profitable. The satisfaction of seeing people enjoy your delicious creations can be immensely rewarding.
6. Home Cleaning Services
With busy lifestyles becoming the norm, many individuals and families find it challenging to keep their homes consistently clean. This creates a burgeoning demand for home cleaning services. Senior citizens can step into this industry, offering their reliability, trustworthiness, and attention to detail.
According to a report by MarketWatch, the global residential cleaning services market was valued at over $40 billion in 2020 and is expected to continue growing. Senior entrepreneurs can offer various cleaning services, including regular house cleaning, deep cleaning, and special services for specific needs like move-in/move-out cleaning or post-construction cleaning.
The advantage of home cleaning services is that they can be started with minimal upfront costs, primarily involving cleaning supplies and marketing efforts. Senior citizens can build a loyal client base within their local communities and enjoy a steady stream of income while providing a valuable service that improves the quality of life for their clients.
7. Consulting Services
Senior citizens often bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise from their careers, making consulting services a viable business idea. Consulting can span various fields, from management and marketing to finance and technology. Many businesses and individuals seek expert advice to navigate challenges and make informed decisions.
The consulting industry is substantial, with a global market size estimated at $300 billion in 2023. For seniors who have held leadership roles in their careers, sharing their insights and skills as consultants can be financially rewarding and intellectually stimulating. These services can be delivered in person or remotely, offering flexibility in working arrangements.
The best part is that consulting can be tailored to a senior’s area of expertise and interest, allowing them to continue contributing to the workforce and helping businesses thrive.
8. Pet Sitting or Dog Walking
The love for pets is universal, and this presents a golden opportunity for senior citizens to start a pet-related business. Pet sitting and dog walking services are in high demand as pet owners seek reliable and caring individuals to look after their furry friends when they’re at work or away.
The pet care industry has seen consistent growth, with an estimated value of $6.1 billion in the United States in 2023. Senior citizens can start small by offering pet sitting in their homes or providing dog-walking services in their local neighbourhoods. Building a reputation for trustworthiness and genuine care for animals can lead to a loyal clientele.
Working with animals can be emotionally rewarding, and it offers seniors the chance to stay active and outdoors while earning income. Additionally, seniors often have the time and patience to provide the love and attention that pets require, making this an ideal business for those who enjoy the company of animals.
9. Tech Support or Computer Repair
In today’s technology-driven world, there is a constant need for tech support and computer repair services. Many people, both individuals and small businesses, face challenges with their devices and need assistance. Senior citizens who are tech-savvy and possess knowledge in troubleshooting computers and devices can turn this skill into a thriving business.
The global tech support services market was valued at over $47 billion in 2023, and this figure is expected to grow. Seniors can offer services such as computer repair, software troubleshooting, setting up home networks, and providing general tech advice to their clients.
What’s advantageous for seniors in this field is their reliability and trustworthiness. Clients often seek tech support from individuals they can trust, and seniors can build strong relationships in their local communities, establishing themselves as go-to tech experts.
10. Antique or Vintage Item Sales
For senior citizens with a passion for history and a keen eye for unique items, entering the antique or vintage item sales market can be a rewarding and profitable venture. The market for antique and vintage goods has been steadily growing, driven by a demand for nostalgia and the appreciation of well-crafted, timeless items.
According to a report from Statista, the global antique and vintage market was valued at around $22.7 billion in 2023 and is expected to continue to rise. Senior entrepreneurs can explore sourcing and selling antique furniture, jewelry, clothing, and collectibles through various channels, including physical stores, online marketplaces, or even antique fairs.
Seniors often have the advantage of having accumulated valuable knowledge and experience over the years, which can be a considerable asset when dealing with antique items. Their unique perspective and a passion for preserving history can set them apart in this industry.
11. Personal Shopping or Errand Services
The demand for personal shopping and errand services has been on the rise, especially with busy professionals and individuals who may not have the time to run errands themselves. Senior citizens can leverage their experience and dedication to provide a much-needed service in their communities.
This industry has grown steadily, with an estimated global market value of $17.9 billion in 2023. Seniors can offer services like grocery shopping, prescription pick-ups, dry cleaning, and even assisting with personal shopping for clothing or gifts. The convenience and peace of mind that these services offer are highly valued by clients.
Providing personal shopping or errand services allows senior citizens to stay active and engaged while offering a vital support system for those who require assistance. It’s a flexible and personally fulfilling business option that also helps to foster a strong sense of community.
12. Home Organization Services
As life becomes more fast-paced and cluttered, many individuals and families are seeking professional home organization services to declutter and streamline their living spaces. Senior citizens, with their years of life experience and practical knowledge, are well-suited to excel in this business.
The home organization industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, with a global market value estimated at over $10 billion in 2023. Seniors can provide services such as decluttering, closet organization, space optimization, and home office setup. These services can be delivered in-person or remotely, offering flexibility in work arrangements.
Seniors can help clients create functional, stress-free living environments, and the satisfaction of transforming chaotic spaces into well-organized havens can be incredibly rewarding. This business allows senior citizens to stay active, make a positive impact on people’s lives, and generate income.
13. Real Estate Services
Senior citizens with knowledge of the local real estate market and a passion for helping others can delve into the world of real estate services. This industry encompasses various roles, including real estate agents, property managers, or real estate consultants. The real estate market is evergreen, with constant buying, selling, and property management demands.
As per data from the National Association of Realtors, in 2023, there were approximately 1.55 million active real estate agents in the United States alone, and the real estate industry’s market size is substantial. Senior entrepreneurs can tap into this industry by helping clients buy, sell, or manage properties.
Having a strong understanding of the local housing market, good interpersonal skills, and an ability to communicate effectively can be assets for senior citizens in the real estate business. By providing valuable advice and services, seniors can find success while maintaining an active role in their communities.
14. Senior Transportation Services
Senior transportation services cater to a growing need for mobility assistance among older individuals. With an aging population, many seniors require reliable transportation to medical appointments, social gatherings, or simple errands. This business offers seniors the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in their peers’ lives.
The demand for senior transportation services is expected to rise significantly, driven by demographic shifts and the desire for personalized, compassionate care. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to increase from 54 million in 2023 to 95 million by 2060. This presents a substantial market for senior transportation services.
Seniors can start by offering rides to fellow seniors in their local communities or even explore specialized transportation for medical appointments or assisted living facilities. This business can be not only financially rewarding but also deeply fulfilling, as it allows senior citizens to help others maintain their independence and quality of life.
15. Freelance Writing or Blogging
Senior citizens often possess a wealth of life experiences and knowledge that they can share with the world through writing. Freelance writing and blogging offer a creative outlet and income potential for seniors who enjoy expressing themselves through words.
The demand for quality content is constant in the digital age. Businesses, publications, and websites are always on the lookout for writers to create informative and engaging content. Freelance writers can cover a wide range of topics, from travel and lifestyle to personal anecdotes and specialized knowledge.
Seniors can choose to write for clients on a freelance basis or start their blogs and monetize them through advertising, sponsored content, and affiliate marketing. The global market for content creation and digital marketing is substantial and expected to continue to grow, making this an attractive business option for senior writers.
16. Event Planning or Party Organizing
Event planning and party organizing are thriving businesses that offer senior citizens a chance to showcase their creativity and organizational skills. From birthdays and weddings to corporate events and special occasions, the demand for professional event planners continues to grow.
The global event planning industry is valued at billions of dollars, and it’s projected to expand further. Seniors can use their years of experience and attention to detail to create memorable events for clients. They can handle everything from venue selection and catering to entertainment and decor, ensuring a stress-free experience for the hosts and guests.
Event planning can be especially appealing to seniors who enjoy social interactions and have a knack for turning ideas into reality. It’s a dynamic business that allows them to participate in joyous celebrations and milestones.
17. Bed and Breakfast or Airbnb Hosting
For senior citizens who have extra space in their homes and enjoy hosting guests, running a bed and breakfast (B&B) or becoming an Airbnb host can be a lucrative venture. These options offer opportunities to generate additional income while meeting people from all over the world.
The global bed and breakfast market, driven by the increasing popularity of unique accommodations, is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Seniors can transform their homes into cozy B&Bs or list rooms or properties on Airbnb. This business allows them to create a warm and welcoming environment for travelers and, at the same time, share local insights and experiences.
The flexibility of this business is appealing. Seniors can decide when and how often they want to host guests, making it a viable option to supplement their retirement income while enjoying a social and cultural exchange.
18. Tutoring or Teaching
Senior citizens possess a wealth of knowledge and experience, making tutoring or teaching a fulfilling and financially rewarding business. The global private tutoring market was valued at over $130 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow. Seniors can offer tutoring in various subjects, including math, language, or any area of expertise they excel in.
With the rise of online education, seniors can teach remotely, providing support to students of all ages. Alternatively, they can tutor students in their local communities. They can also explore adult education or provide specialized classes or workshops.
This business allows seniors to share their wisdom, make a positive impact on others’ lives, and generate income. The flexible schedule and the opportunity to tailor their lessons to individual students’ needs make tutoring and teaching an ideal business for senior citizens who have a passion for education.
19. Health and Wellness Coaching
With a growing emphasis on health and well-being, health and wellness coaching is a thriving business opportunity for senior citizens who are passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. This business involves offering guidance and support to individuals looking to improve their physical fitness, nutrition, and overall well-being.
The health and wellness industry is robust, valued at hundreds of billions of dollars globally. Senior entrepreneurs can become certified health and wellness coaches or leverage their personal experiences to help clients set and achieve their health goals. This may include providing exercise routines, dietary plans, and lifestyle advice.
Seniors can find fulfillment in helping others lead healthier lives, and their own life experiences can serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for clients. This business allows seniors to stay physically active and contribute to the well-being of their communities.
20. Mobile Notary Services
Mobile notary services are in demand, particularly for legal documents, real estate transactions, and other official paperwork. Senior citizens who are detail-oriented, organized, and comfortable with administrative work can consider this business venture.
The notary services industry is essential and continues to grow, as individuals and businesses require notarization for various legal documents. Mobile notaries travel to clients’ locations, whether it’s at their homes, businesses, or other convenient places, to provide notary services.
Seniors can leverage their professionalism, trustworthiness, and understanding of legal documents to build a client base. The flexibility of being a mobile notary allows them to set their own schedules, maintain an active role in the workforce, and serve the needs of their community.
The senior citizen demographic is evolving from traditional retirement into a vibrant community of business owners. Whether they choose to tap into their lifelong passions, knowledge, or embark on fresh, exciting endeavors, seniors are proving that it’s never too late to start a business.
The world of entrepreneurship welcomes their creativity, experience, and determination, offering a world of opportunities for financial growth and personal fulfillment. As we’ve explored various business ideas tailored to senior citizens, it’s clear that this demographic possesses immense potential for continued economic contribution and, perhaps most importantly, the joy of pursuing their passions and interests in the world of business.