So, what's your dream?
It's no longer uncool to dream big, dream unusual or have a strong desire to leave a legacy behind. And plenty of older folk are taking the road to entrepreneurship or a new job or a freelance gig well after they have retired. The reasons could be diverse - perhaps the career you got into at a young age hasn't really engaged you the way you would have liked, perhaps the urge to earn big after contending with a lifetime of a fixed pay packet drives you or it could be simply that you want to leave your mark on the world with a really kickass business.
Do you dream of starting your own book store? Or a cafe that sells your signature cookies? Or do you want to launch yourself as a financial advisor or a life coach? Perhaps you want to buy yourself a couple of acres and grow a lucrative bamboo plantation? The possibilities are as endless as they can be financially and emotionally fulfilling.
If you aren't convinced your passion alone can fuel your success in your post retirement venture, here are some more reasons -
- Experience.You have seen life through its ups and downs, and can bring a lifetime's worth of experience to play when you launch out on your own.
- Network. A lifetime of connecting with colleagues, friends and clients helps you develop a large circle of acquaintances you can reach out to for business, advice or partnerships.
- Wisdom. Knowledge accumulated over the years helps bring perspective, balance and vision to the new venture you plan to start once you say adieu to your job.
A word of caution
While you start planning for the dream venture, you should also account for a few things.
- Profitability. Not all businesses or ventures or gigs will start being profitable from day one. Patience is key. With the right mix of perseverance and dedication, the returns should turn positive within a year or two.
- Vagaries of the market. This is not something in your hands, but you need to account for dips and rises in demand for the product or service you are pitching. You should be ready to ride the waves of unpredictability in a fast changing world.
- Health. While you are still raring to go, you need to strike a balance between work and life. Health could need a bit of extra attention as you inch into your 50s. Starting a good fitness regimen from now could be a good way to ensure you are fit to undertake the rigours of a new business later on.
Are you on the right track?
It's never too early to start planning if you want to follow your heart once you retire. Here's how you can prep yourself well from now to reap the rich harvest in your golden years.
Start with a deep dive into your soul, ask yourself about the dream you want to follow, check if you have the passion and personality, talents and inner drive to make it a success.
Go in for certifications, diplomas or weekend courses that allow you to get skilled in the field of your choice. Look around for fellow small business owners who can be a great source of support and advice and are often willing to share their wisdom. Join meet-up groups in your area where you can meet other entrepreneurs and learn from them, in your spare time. Read up all you can on the business you plan to pursue, check online resources regularly to update yourself on advances in the sector you plan to plunge into. If you aren't comfortable already, learn to use technology like video conferencing, emailing and collaborating online. Most future businesses will be heavily tech reliant.
Start a side job
Before you go into business full-time, look for a way to try out your idea on the side first. You could do this by volunteering at a farm or a cafe if that's what you want to start on your own in the future. Line up freelance projects for your evenings or weekends, test out the process of finding work, completing it, and collecting money from clients. All this will help when you start your own venture.
Once you know how much capital you will need to start your venture in the future, you can work backwards. You will need to take into account not just the initial funds you need to start a business, but the living expenses of yourself and those of your dependents. If you have a tidy sum salted away by the time of your retirement, you can take the plunge without worrying about your finances at every stage.
A simple way to do this would be to use a comprehensive retirement planning calculator to see if starting a business after retirement impacts your retirement age or your financial security in retirement.
Plans like HDFC Life Pension Guaranteed Plan are tailor made which allow you to realise all your dreams without any worry. The plan offers single premium annuity product which provides a regular guaranteed^ income for lifetime.
^ The word "Guaranteed" and "Guarantee" mean that annuity payout is fixed at the inception of the policy
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