Starting a Small Business to Supplement Your Retirement Benefits - Here's How

Whether you are approaching retirement or you have made the sensible choice of thinking about it before you reach the end of employment, it's never too late to entertain the thought of setting up a business for when you retire. There are plenty of people that do this and for good reason, if you're one that's used to being on the go all the time retirement can feel quite slow and you might find yourself getting bored.

Another hugely beneficial reason to set up a business for when you retire is to add to your pension, sure you might be getting a workplace pension but why not make that number bigger by having an income as well? The best thing is you can do whatever you want, so if you've ever dreamed of having a little cake shop or an online marketing agency then the world is your oyster. Here we take a look at some of the steps you need to take to start a small business.

Decide What You Want To Do

This might seem obvious, but people spend years working out what they would like to do for their career, let alone what they would like to do when they retire. Now, some of you may have the answer on the tip of your tongue and know exactly what you want to do and if that's the case then brilliant! However, if you're in the camp that the majority of nearing-retirees are in then it's time to do some thinking. What are your skills and do you want to continue using them after you fully retire or would you like to do something slightly different? Remember this is your opportunity to own your own company and it won't be the same as your previous place of work, so you could use your skill-set in a slightly different way. There are also options to run a business from the comfort of your sofa, more people than ever are working from home these days and if that's something that interests you then there are hundreds of businesses you can start. Especially if you have worked in technology or have online marketing skills, running a business from your house has never been easier.

Business Plan

Some of you already have this in place but for those of you that don't, this is an important step to getting your business up and running. Make sure you plan out every aspect of what you want your company to do, from budget planning to online eCommerce. Making sure you have a clear and concise business plan will help you reach your goals and raise the income you're getting. There's no point in starting a business if it's going to end up taking money from your pension pot to help it survive, the best way to prevent this is by being prepared.

Make It Autonomous

This is the goal of every business but if you want to retire and relax then this is pretty important, you don't want to be making decisions and getting heavily involved every day. This step is difficult and I wouldn't expect full autonomy from any business so always expect to have to work sometimes, but if you can make it so you have as little involvement as possible then you'll most probably enjoy your retirement better. That being said some of you might want the challenge of getting into the nitty-gritty details of a company and if that's the case then you will probably grow your business faster with the expertise you have from your previous career.

Have Fun

Your company is for you and no one else, if you're starting a company then it should be for the benefit of you and for the longevity of your retirement. The whole point of life is for you to now have fun and if that's not the case then you've probably started a company for a different reason. If you're in the small category of people who genuinely enjoyed their career then there is no reason why you can't carry that on, the only difference is that you will be your own boss and take home 100% of the profits. If you, like many, didn't enjoy your career then the world is your oyster, start anything you like, and have fun!

When it comes to retiring we will either be thoroughly ready for it or we won't want to at all, there never really seems to be a middle ground. Take both of these situations and run with them, if you're ready to retire you can now do whatever you want and if you aren't ready then no worries, just start a new company and you'll continue to work. Make sure you chose the right thing and enjoy what you do, we only get to officially retire once!

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.


When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.


Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.


If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.