Home Business Ideas for Seniors

Home Business Ideas for Seniors

A small home business can provide extra spending money or finances for living expenses. If you are a senior thinking of starting a business, here are ideas and options to consider.

Internet Home Business Advantages

Selling a product or offering a service online differs in several important ways from operating a local business. One of the biggest advantages of an online home business may be its market potential. With the Internet, you can find needed supplies or merchandise for your business, and sell to customers worldwide.

This is especially valuable if you are interested in marketing a very specialized items or service. Unusual and unique products and services will probably appeal to someone somewhere – via the Internet, but may be impossible to sell locally.

Another big advantage of an online small business is its flexibility. With the Internet, you can pretty much work on building your business according to your own preferences and time schedule. You can even close up “shop” for days, weeks, or even months at a time and not worry about the pool of potential customers drying up.

Possible Internet Home Businesses

Seniors, more than the general population may excel at certain types of online businesses. Some possibilities are:

Past work experience Services

If you’ve spent many years perfecting your skills in a subject or field, consider selling your expertise online. Advertise your extensive background and charge a little higher than the norm for your practical knowledge. Customers appreciate finding someone who really “knows their stuff”, and your business should prosper.

Senior-related Products or Services

Because of your own experiences, you are more likely to know what other seniors might want or need. Products for retired and senior citizens you might consider selling include knowledge (articles and books), items relating to entertainment, travel, lifestyle, nutrition, and health. An Internet business could also provide any services that could be delivered or arranged electronically and would fulfill the needs and desires of seniors.

Local Home Business Advantages

If you would rather spend your time involved in business activities that do not involve the computer, a local home business might be the ticket. One large advantage is an opportunity to socialize. A big part of many home-based small businesses is some or a great deal of interaction and even socializing with clients and customers.

You can also build a local business that is done mostly from home with very little interaction with others. Or even none – through arrangements with other marketers. Possible local home businesses for seniors to consider include:

Antique and collectible Items

If you enjoy shopping at garage and estate sales, thrift stores etc., you might do very well at dealing in used, old, and vintage things. Depending on your preferences, you can sell at flea markets, collectibles shows, on consignment in the shops of others, or even open your own store.

Craft and Holiday Items

Making and selling crafts or holiday items of any kind is a possibility for seniors who love the work. Selling options include craft or holiday fairs and shows, on consignment in various shops, or through you own store.

Outdoors or Indoors Services

Any type of work geared towards the needs of local resident seniors will probably do well. Choose to offer something that your research shows is in short supply in the area, and that you enjoy and do well. Or choose to provide skills to the general population of your area and advertise your considerable background. Providing professional services of all kinds should work well also, if the number of competing providers is limited where you live.


Finance Your Mortgage or Pay Off Credit Cards

Pay Off Credit Cards

Are you worried about how you are going to survive financially? Well, you’re not alone. The economy is in bad shape. Incomes have dropped by 10% from what they were last year. With the rising cost of utilities, food, gas and other necessary living expenses, many people are running out of cash long before their next paycheck.

The economic crisis has not bottomed out and is not expected to until sometime in 2010. Financial advisers are suggesting people tighten their belts a little tighter by adopting a budget and sticking to it. Cut out all unnecessary expenses, pay off credit cards and keep one or two credit cards with the lowest rate and start a savings account. It’s easy to say but hard to do.

Paying off huge credit cards balances and keeping the mortgage on the house current is a struggle for most Americans today. But when you’ve done all you can do and bank loans have all but dried up, here are a few sources of cash you might try:

Virgin Money

Virgin Money has two types of loan programs. Social Lending which formalizes loans between family and friends and Traditional Lending, you borrow from Virgin Money.

Social Lending

Let’s say you need extra money to pay off credit cards, to fix the car or for a down payment on a new home and you think mom or dad might help. Relatives or friends would probably feel more comfortable loaning you money if the loan was formalized and handled by a third party. Virgin Money negotiates the terms and repayment schedule. The interest rates can be lower and the terms more flexible than a traditional bank.

Traditional Lending

Maybe you are trying to sell your home and can’t find any bank approved buyers. Virgin Money offers FHA, fixed and adjustable rate mortgages. Get the information you need from Virgin Money.

Lending Club

Reader’s Digest lists lendingclub.com as a possible source of cash. They offer low rates and fixed monthly payments on personal loans, auto, debt consolidation, student and home improvement. If your credit is good, you can get a lower interest rate than you would receive from more traditional sources.

Lending Club has been written up by CBS News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, ABC News and quite a few more. Read the news coverage and see what you think.

Since traditional loans are harder to get and social lending clubs have become a viable source of loans, the Securities and Exchange Commission is busy trying to form regulations and approve each club. Two clubs awaiting approval are Loanio.com and Prosper.com. They have suspended operations and hope to reopen soon. At the rate the economy is crashing, let’s hope it’s soon!

Loanio.com and prosper.com are for riskier loans. They facilitate loans between borrowers and lenders. Be sure to gather as much information as you can and understand the risks and your rights before you borrow or lend.

Private Student Loans

The demand for student loans has increased while the availability of loans has decreased. GreenNote is a social lending club for student loans and they provide fixed rates and no co-signer or citizenship is needed. Relatives, friends or anyone who wants to invest in you, can fund your education. GreenNote formalizes the loan and handles all the details, including repayment. Read news and press releases for GreenNote.

Be careful, these loans are real and need to be paid back. Missed or late payments will be reported to credit bureaus.