Four Small Business Ideas for Active Retirees

After decades spent in employment, retirement can seem at once wonderful and daunting. The prospect of no longer working leaves many feeling rudderless and apprehensive about how they will fill their days, causing a case of cold feet even in those who have looked forward to a life of relaxation away from responsibility for years.

A concern that is particularly common amongst soon-to-be retirees is whether they can afford to give up the financial benefits of employment given the current economic climate. The rising costs of fuel and food and subsequent soaring inflation have had such a dramatic impact on the UK economy that only 25% of UK residents reaching retirement age in 2022 feel confident in surviving off their savings alone.

This collective uncertainty has created a new trend of ‘flexi-retirement’ as more older people choose to continue working part-time after they have officially stepped down from their job, either in a different role at the same company or by organising their own freelance employment that plays to their strengths and qualifications.

If you are looking to bolster your savings and keep yourself physically and mentally active during your retirement, consider setting up a simple small business that gives you the freedom to work as much as you want with a schedule that suits you. This will give you peace of mind as well as providing a comforting structure for your new ‘recently retired’ routine.


Even if you are happy to do a certain amount of work during your retirement, it is unlikely that you will want to continue working full-time. Consider setting up a business that is seasonal so you can reserve half of the year for holidays and leisure projects. Gardening is a great choice for those who love to be in the open air, and it leaves the autumn and winter largely free for relaxation.

In order to maximise your business potential, invest in good-quality tools which allows you to work quickly and to a high standard without causing too much physical strain. For the larger pieces of equipment, battery-powered options such as a self-propelled lawnmower help to minimise fuss and are more lightweight and easier to transport than their corded counterparts. You will also need to educate yourself on the best season for planting bulbs and seeds in order to get the best results.

Dog Walker

Another business idea that is based outdoors is professional dog walking. Particularly following the increase in UK pet sales during the COVID-19 pandemic – a trend which is showing no sign of stopping – providing dog walking services for your local community can prove to be a lucrative enterprise. Minimal travel is an advantage, as are the knock-on benefits of gentle daily exercise. You also have each afternoon free to while away as you please.


Do you have a talent for DIY work, or experience working in the construction industry? Most people struggle with easily fixable household issues and are happy to pay for help, so promoting yourself as the local handyman is bound to be a steady earner. You could also offer your services for time-consuming painting and decorating jobs that people would rather avoid such as stripping wallpaper.

Window Cleaner

Not a job for anyone with a fear of heights but becoming a window cleaner is another business idea that you can trust to bring in steady money no matter what is happening in the wider economic landscape. While you can purchase fancy equipment that comes with a hefty price tag, all you really need to create a window cleaning business is a ladder, a bucket, cloths or a squeegee, and some special cleaning products. You can manage window cleaning alone, but it is recommended to do this with a partner to ensure safety and speed up the cleaning process at each property.