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Old 01-13-2010, 08:19 AM   #21
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I guess when I say business, I'm not looking to generate a full time like income, just something to generate a small, but relatively steady income. Maybe a $1000 dollars a month give or take. A side business.
I teach a few classes a week and make this kind of money. I work less than 10 hours a week, and it's something I enjoy very much. Are there some things you are good at that might lend themselves to teaching local classes? If you enjoy travel, you could even find opportunities to teach classes in other places and you'd be racking up some business expenses. I've had this opportunity, but I generally don't enjoy travel so I stick with local teaching.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:07 PM   #22
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Handyman. Even better if you're wiling to pressure-wash, clean windows, and paint. If you advertise you'll have more work than you can handle. If you don't advertise then you'll still have more word-of-mouth work than you want. And if you develop a niche like roof repairs or organizing closets...
I think Nords hit the nail on the head. I have a young guy who does that kind of work for me. (He's not retired but the concept is the same.) He's really hard to schedule because he so many other folks chasing his services. He does plumbing, electrical, painting, carpentry, etc. and does them all pretty well. I first ran into him in a situation where we were both helping a little old lady. I got chatting with him and asked what he did and he told me he was just starting his handyman business. I asked him what he had done before and it turned out he was an engineer who got burned out on engineering. Seemed like a no-brainer to me: hire a guy for $25 - $35/hr who would approach a maintenance problem with the mind-set of an engineer. He also said he had several rental properties that he maintains himself, so I figured he must get lots of practice on the same kinds of jobs I hire him for. He says there's nothing he won't do, so I'm going to have him check up on my house a couple of times when I'm in Central America later in the winter to make sure the power hasn't gone out. The benefit here is that if it has, he knows what to do to drain the pipes to keep them from freezing.

Somewhat related, on the Motley Fool early retirement boards there is a guy named "Seattle Pioneer" who has done very well in retirement with a furnace repair business. He did something during his w*rking life that was related, so he knows what he's doing. But he is in the position of turning work away when he'd rather do something else; just keeps enough work in the pipeline to keep a modest amount of money coming in and otherwise enjoys life.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:13 PM   #23
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Somewhat related, on the Motley Fool early retirement boards there is a guy named "Seattle Pioneer" who has done very well in retirement with a furnace repair business. He did something during his w*rking life that was related, so he knows what he's doing. But he is in the position of turning work away when he'd rather do something else; just keeps enough work in the pipeline to keep a modest amount of money coming in and otherwise enjoys life.
I remember reading this guy's posts. It's a great side job for him, as not every out of work guy is able to take on messing with people's gas lines, but he is.

Ha
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:49 PM   #24
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A $1000/month is equal to 9% of a $133,333 investment. That's around what we make doing private loans. Loans are secured by property at 60-65% loan to value. No repairs required. Risk is there - we have an poorly to non performing unsecured loan out for more than we took in in interest last year, and we did have to retain a lawyer to encourage a borrower to pay us off rather than be foreclosed on, so it's not without issues, but there are no toilet repairs or dealing face-to-face with tenants or customers.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:11 PM   #25
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I buy and sell a few cars per month. Buy them from dealerships or find them on Craigslist and resell them either at the auction or on ebay.

The trick is getting into car dealerships as an unknown and gaining the confidence of the used car manager. Also have to get your dealer's license to be able to transfer without tax and to get into the auctions.

I work a couple of days a week and usually make about $2-3K per month. Buy mostly cheap stuff. You need to know the market obviously (what's hot and not) and know cars mechanically. I have had previous experience in the auto business so it's pretty easy for me but may be hard for others. I don't really know.......

Also actively looking for foreclosed homes to buy, but have not been able to buy any on the courthouse steps yet. Still working on that. Will try to flip them or turn them into rentals. I have 4 rentals now so I kind of know that business, but it's not really my favorite due to constant repairs and dealing with renters.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:24 PM   #26
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IMHO, if you have left a job/business, call yourself "retired", yet expect to take on another job/business, you are not truly retired. All you are doing is moving in a different direction in your employment life - nothing more, nothing less.

Nothing wrong with that at all. Just don't call yourself retired (look at the term as defined in any dictionary).

BTW, I am retired...
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:03 PM   #27
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A $1000/month is equal to 9% of a $133,333 investment. That's around what we make doing private loans. Loans are secured by property at 60-65% loan to value. No repairs required. Risk is there - we have an poorly to non performing unsecured loan out for more than we took in in interest last year, and we did have to retain a lawyer to encourage a borrower to pay us off rather than be foreclosed on, so it's not without issues, but there are no toilet repairs or dealing face-to-face with tenants or customers.
how do you find your borrowers?
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:57 PM   #28
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how do you find your borrowers?
We fund through a small loan outfit - borrowers come to them, they present loan "opportunities" to us, we go out and do drive-bys and any other investigation we feel like. Sometimes the spirit moves us, sometimes not, but we rarely meet the borrowers. Contact small loan outfits and tell them you want to be a "hard money lender". Different places have different plans, we like being the first or second on a specific property vs. being part of a consortium.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:30 PM   #29
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Or, since I love to write (haven't you noticed?) I could write a novel and become a famous author. Yeah, maybe that's what I'll do.
I love to write too. Have a couple of blogs, my retirement plans are usually multi-page narratives and I have a couple of ideas for books (one fishing guide book and a fantasy novel).

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are you currently retired? is it wise to be quitting your career, with kids in school, for the uncertainty of rolling the dice on a business, that has a 90% chance of failing?
I am retiring with a full pension that is 75% of gross. This will be in addition.

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Why not be a fly fishing guide? Have your ER activity and get paid for it.
It was an idea. Has a lot of strings. Nevada requires 4 years as a sub guide before you can get a license. California will give a guide license to you if you have a pulse, but to be 100% legal you must get special use permits from all of the federal and state agencies who own the "public" lands I would guide on. It's not off the table, but it also would require lots of weekends and with kids, even though I'm retired, they still only get weekends of most of the year.

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Can I repeat the old saw "find something you love to do and the money will follow"? Seems to hold true over the years. Just saying....
Good advice!!!

I plan to work as an engineer part time once retire for a period of time to bulk up the portfolio. During that time I was hoping I could settle into a nice, easy income from a business. I'm a planner, so I'm just trying to get some additional ideas that I hadn't thought of. There is some great info here.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:57 AM   #30
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We're in our 4th year renting the lake house as a vacation rental ... haven't had a positive cashflow yet. Expenses are high (e.g. internet and cable are a must .. and must be retained year round) and nearly all the rent comes in 4 or 5 months. Rest of the year is vacant. We use the house alot ... so this works for us. But managment fees run 20-40% depending on how little you want to do (we hire out cleaning - do the renting/management ourselves). Really not a way to make money. Helps pay the bills ... but that's all it'll ever do.

This is with dual seasons (lake in the summer; skiing in the winter). You'ld need a year round paradise to improve the numbers. But I believe everyplace in this country has a bad season (too hot/cold/rainy/dry).

From my view, the only people who profit are the ones who manage/service the unit. Stick with the fly fishing (how 'bout a fishing guide!)
Why not manage it yourself? Save the rental fees, costs less than $300 per yr in marketing, and we are not at the mercy of an agent who has had clients longer than us. We were lucky in that our neighbor had done some of the research for us (cleaning person & handyman). Also, look to expand your rental season. You would be surprised at the number of people looking for a retreat, no matter what the season. An agent has little incentive to market an off-season property another reason to DIY.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:38 PM   #31
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IMHO, if you have left a job/business, call yourself "retired", yet expect to take on another job/business, you are not truly retired. All you are doing is moving in a different direction in your employment life - nothing more, nothing less.

Nothing wrong with that at all. Just don't call yourself retired (look at the term as defined in any dictionary).

BTW, I am retired...
I agree, for a while while the kids are still at home I figure I might as well be semi-retired. Part-time stuff and doing what I want and when I want. Not retired, but not exactly not retired.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:04 AM   #32
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Anyone here have any experience with owning vending machines?
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:55 AM   #33
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Flyfishnevada, The url Fly Fish Nevada is not available. You may want to register a similar domain name and use it as a basis for a related business.
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Old 01-16-2010, 07:50 AM   #34
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Anyone here have any experience with owning vending machines?
Not personally, but my friend's brother used to do it. The trouble is that it is a, um, cash business and most of the value is in getting good locations (which tend not to switch vending companies). So there is a lot of competition for the good spots and since this is a cash business it sometimes attracts competitors who are not 100% ethical, if you catch my drift.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:05 AM   #35
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Another thought: One of my neighbors supplements his income by detailing cars for people. He does this in his driveway, one at a time and I think he makes a tidy little sum. Overhead is very low and advertising is inexpensive or free.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:51 AM   #36
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My parents owned a business. I know exactly how much work is involved in 'being my own boss.'

No thanks!

I might do a bit of tutoring (I'm a teacher), but an actual business!??!

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

ta,
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:12 AM   #37
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In some off-hours on a field assignment in Vicksburg, MS, a couple of us went to the national monument and paid for a personal guided tour of the site. It was given by a retired local who was a history buff. I think we paid $10 apiece and got a terrific tour. Also learned about the area and many other things.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:17 AM   #38
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Relatives sold their auto parts store, bought a motor home and traveled around the country working in national parks.

I have also heard of retired people who deliver fire engines, of all things, and motor homes.

I once ran into an old guy who shuffled cars for a rental company. He drove them from one city where they were piling up to another that needed them. Older drivers are preferred for their good sense and driving record.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:23 AM   #39
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Recently I had to take an all-day defensive driving course for my work. The trainer I worked with was a retired small business owner. He put me through an interesting driving course all over a converted farm.

A few years ago I took a course for a previous employer. The trainer had us drive in many situations all over town and finally we did our skid testing at an old airstrip.

Both days had a lot of driving and a written test at the end.

It sounds like several possibilities here.
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:38 AM   #40
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I agree, for a while while the kids are still at home I figure I might as well be semi-retired. Part-time stuff and doing what I want and when I want. Not retired, but not exactly not retired.
Sorry if I misunderstood but why not do the opposite (if you have enough money)? In other words, while kids are at home, retire. Once they are gone, do part-time work...
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