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Thread: Working After Retirement - Thinking out loud

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Peacock View Post
    that I'll need to bring in about another $2K per month to support my life as it stands today..
    The simplest and perhaps inevitable solution is not to have the same "lifestyle" as you have today.

  2. #17
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    I am sure you have considered working as a woodworker...

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Peacock View Post
    I've often wondered how people get started in business.
    Everyone I know who started a business that became successful started small.

    I know a couple of people who dove in feet first, bought everything they needed, leased space and then found they couldn't generate the income they needed to keep the business going and had to close it.

    Those who started small and let the sales determine growth all did very nicely and didn't have a lot of stress. Opening your doors with everything in place and offering to do any kind of woodworking won't mean much of you don't have a customer base to support it.

    Develop the customer base and let that take you where you want to go, one customer at a time.

    Just my two cents...
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..." - Mark Twain

    Diapers and Politicians need to be changed often... Usually for the same reason.

  4. #19
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    What Tony said. No matter how great your passion if there is not a market for your product or service things will be tough. The broader the appeal the better. Sure you can create a market where one does not exist but that is better left to the Steve Jobs types telling the world they want an iPhone. Also look to your friends and contacts. Does anyone have a network you can tap?
    I was a stay at home dad and wanted to work part time. My background is teaching history, hobby woodworking and remodeling. My first thought was home energy audits. They are required in the city of Austin for older homes during a real estate sale. That however, would limit my work to just certain homes in Austin. Home inspections, however, are in greater demand since most people want one when purchasing a house and not limited to a one city. I had two friends who were realtors and they provided lots of advice. They also were the basis for a network for referrals. Things were slow at first year but I work enough to allow me to keep the work-life balance in check. If there is anything I can do to help let me know.

  5. #20
    Setting money out of the equation for a moment, are you at a stage where you want to simplify or complicate or your life?
    Starting any business is not the way to simplify it.
    Would working 20-30 hours/week at a Rockler store, Woodcraft or some other place that could use your woodworking knowledge be a good strategy? Maybe it would accomplish what you need with none of the risks and brain damage that goes with starting a business.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 12-06-2018 at 3:49 AM.

  6. #21
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    Edwin, the problem with retail is that it tends to be minimum wage and horrible hours...it's certainly fine to make some "mad money", but it's not going to supply the $2K a month that Dennis wants to achieve even working full time, 40 hours a week...which is also not usually achievable because the majority of retail jobs are part time so they don't have to pay benefits. Leveraging his woodworking passion and excellent shop really can provide the additional income he wants/needs and with a few good relationships for B2B, it's even realistic part-time.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #22
    This is a topic of interest for me and its been good to read the posts.

    I started my business (not ww'ing related) with $200 in the bank and missed getting my name in the yellow pages by 1 week.

    Almost 30 years later, no I'm not a millioinaire, but I make a comfortable living, don't a dime to anybody. But hear me - I do not recommend this!! I can remember days waiting for the phone to ring and going out and chopping a tree down with an axe just to keep from going crazy.

    So it can be done, but that said, most businesses require capital. Every business is different. Some have to be capitalized a lot more than others. this includes start up costs (supplies, advertising, remodelling a space, etc), but to pay people for 3-6 months. That comes in the from lots of sources: investors, personal savings, or a loan.

    This wouldn't really be applicable in your case, the business is not that big, but you will definitely have start up expenses with a legit business model. As mentioned this includes incorporation fees, local and state licenses, liability insurance, workman's comp (will you be installing signs on people's property?), and getting a website and Facebook page up and running (which I consider an absolute must in this day and age). Before you do anything you need to check with your county and see if there are any issues running a business out of your location (anonymously, of course).

    Web page design is something that may not be as cheap as you think. I can be a DIY if you're capable. Post a portfolio of work. I know I've mentioned this in a previous post, but it bears repeating.

    Sounds like you have a good plan in mind. Having no personal debt is a huge thing going into retirement. Downsizing is also something to think about, too. Everyone's situation is different. Several years ago I got rid of my bass boat, a stock trailer, and a utility vehicle. We also liquidated our goat farm and milking equipment. This was partially due to elder care obligation, but truth is we were both getting a little creaky from all the physical labor.

    I've got similar ideas when and if I retire so I've had my mind on these same things right along. The biggest hurdle for me is how to get jobs as in the city near me there are numerous big commercial cabinet shops that will be hard to compete with.

    Something else to consider is go to work part time at a sign shop.
    Last edited by Robert Engel; 12-06-2018 at 10:52 AM.

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Tashiro View Post
    The simplest and perhaps inevitable solution is not to have the same "lifestyle" as you have today.
    I totally agree with this!!!

    Being willing to downsize and live a little closer to the vest take a lot of pressure off!!

    Netting $2K/mo might mean getting $3-4K of business/mo depending on your overhead.
    Last edited by Robert Engel; 12-06-2018 at 10:55 AM.

  9. #24
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    Sep 2009
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    Medina Ohio
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    I do cutting for signs shops and that kind of ties me down I can't just take off on a vacation as I never know when I will be needed to do a job.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Rosenthal View Post
    I suggest you take a few courses at a local college or night school on business matters.
    They’ll get you started on accounting, sales, writing a business plan etc.
    Go see your bank. Usually they have a ton of helpful people for starting a business.
    Try contacting a local chamber of commerce branch, ask around at your charitable places you donate time and and money to.
    That will start you off.
    Remember, as you approach retirement age, you have less energy. Take time to enroll and maintain a steady excercise program.
    +1 on all. Especially the exercise program. 6yrs makes a big difference. Lifting and tote’n sheet goods and materials as well as finished product can be a pain so consider material handling.

  11. #26
    I retired 8 yrs. ago, more or less. It didn't take. I still get calls from my old clients to do the thing I did, but I do not take those jobs. I do craft work. Mainly for Christmas. We have here, a large Arts & Crafts show in November. I make a take apart puzzle chair that sells for about $50. 3 out of 4 are pure profit. If you go into a woodworking type business, Make few different things, too many reduce the profits. The advice given about a good CPA, or tax attorney is a really go place to start. Good Luck.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Edwin, the problem with retail is that it tends to be minimum wage and horrible hours...it's certainly fine to make some "mad money", but it's not going to supply the $2K a month that Dennis wants to achieve even working full time, 40 hours a week...which is also not usually achievable because the majority of retail jobs are part time so they don't have to pay benefits. Leveraging his woodworking passion and excellent shop really can provide the additional income he wants/needs and with a few good relationships for B2B, it's even realistic part-time.
    Hello Jim,
    No doubt, retail is no great shakes. My only concern was his mention that he has lost quite a bit of money in the last few years. At the retirement stage of life, it's important to think about how sensible it might be to take financial risks. You're right, in retail you would not make much but you wouldn't get hurt financially either.
    They say statistically the vast majority of businesses fail, I think 8 out of 10. If he goes forward he might beat these odds, but I think a good financial advisor would caution against risking more money than he can afford to lose at this stage in the game.
    It's different if you're young enough to have a long time horizon to make up losses, but as we get older, financial risk becomes more dangerous. Sorry if I'm being a bit of a downer here.

    Arguing in the alternative for a moment though - you mention he has an excellent shop, so if it were possible to put a toe in the water and take on a few jobs without much in the way of capital investment because he has all the equipment he needs, it may be a different story where the risks would be more modest. Maybe this is where you were coming from with your comment.
    Edwin

  13. #28
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    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    Edwin, Dennis already does some work for others and has an 1800 sq ft, well equipped shop with generally higher end gear as he noted earlier in the thread. Technically, he doesn't "need" to add anything to it to go into a formal business, but I believe there's a desire to bring CNC into the picture because it opens up some opportunities that he can't pursue without it. That's part of why he's trying to get a handle on all the angles. I just went through the same thing in the last year, so I truly can relate!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    TX, NM or on the road
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    I will save you some money, skip the CPA, find a local Enrolled Agent, they are licensed to practice before the IRS, and are as up to date on tax law as the CPAs and more than most tax attorneys.

    Being self employed requires salesmanship, you are selling your product and yourself to prospective customers. Start finding people that will want your products or services, get contacts and start burning some midnight oil getting your name out there as a part time business. It will give you a chance to see if your business ideas are a go or no go in your area.

    I know this is not your goal, but a thought I will throw out there. Offer a handyman service, a little of this and little of that and lot of headaches, Lot of people do not have the skills or time to do minor repairs, or minor remodels. Even painting and yard work is hired out. I had one client that made all of his Christmas money simply hanging Christmas lights for a few dozen people, today he has a few hundred homes and businesses that he hangs lights on. I know, not what you were planning, but options are better than nothing happening.

  15. ditto on the enrolled agent. As a partially retired attorney, I constantly wonder why every one assumes that running off to incorporate is the first thing on their minds. That involves a horrendous amount of extra paperwork and if you are the sole employee, does not save you anything. You are still liable for any negligence and product liability. Sometimes accountants advise incorporating just so they have an ongoing income handling the paperwork. Often people are better off just buying business insurance and an umbella policy to cover them. Having other employees, particularly somebody behind the wheel, is a different matter entirely. I was self employed my last 20 years. When I hired an employee, the paperwork and required insurance etc, nearly tripled the wage paid. It simply was not worth it. It was cheaper to hire contract help part time. Yes salesmanship is a help, but in some businesses, unnecessary. I still turn business away every week. I simply have enough business that I can choose to be choosey about what I handle. I have never advertised. I don't care what people think about me. Folks still call. If you don't have a ready market for the product and you need to go looking for customers, may be you need a different product.

    I turn wood as a hobby. I donate most of what I make to charity. Since the charity sale, I have received three phone calls looking to order things I made. One of the offers is quite tempting. A company wants 12 of the $40 items. I can make them in about two hours if I don't fool around.

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