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Buying a small business in ER?
Old 03-14-2014, 02:32 PM   #1
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Buying a small business in ER?

I ER'ed last year at 51. Doing some part-time teaching and consulting in ER as planned but wanting to be more engaged. From time to time, SO and I think about buying a small business to keep us occupied and bring in some extra income. Obviously, we'd want something that does not require 24/7 attention 365 days a year. Wondering whether anyone on the board (a) has bought a small biz in ER and (b) would recommend it or not.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:35 PM   #2
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Some friends and family keep bringing up small business ideas to me now that I am retired, telling me "that'll give you something to do" or similar. I continually tell them that they need to look up the definition of retired. To me it means not working and IMO running a small business is work. Sorry I can't be of any help to you.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:40 PM   #3
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Some friends and family keep bringing up small business ideas to me now that I am retired, telling me "that'll give you something to do" or similar. I continually tell them that they need to look up the definition of retired. To me it means not working and IMO running a small business is work. Sorry I can't be of any help to you.
+1

"Small" business.

The size of the business bears no correlation to the amount of work required. Many small businesses are nothing more than a legal form of self-imposed slavery.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:41 PM   #4
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To me, teaching, consulting, and running businesses is contradictory to "being retired". But my definition of retirement might be inaccurate.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:43 PM   #5
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To me, teaching, consulting, and running businesses is contradictory to "being retired".
That's a career change, not retirement.
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Old 03-14-2014, 02:46 PM   #6
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TimSF - Are you nuts? Stay away from it unless you will be doing something you know very well and enjoy (as a hobby). Otherwise, it becomes another source of income, i.e, job. Running a small business, if you have never ran one, can be pretty stressful, time consuming, and unprofitable.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:25 PM   #7
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Not everyone in ER wants to sit around the sofa, eating bon-bons, and watching Golden Girls reruns all day -- though there is nothing wrong with that ... The point of ER is to do what you want, to choose your life consciously - not because some employer or client is demanding it. I want to teach part-time because I like it. My consulting so far is all pro bono and keeps me alert and uptodate. I don't really want to a buy a business for the reasons mentioned/implied here but my SO, who is considerably younger, is enamored of the idea. Believe me, I am considerably and appropriately cautious about the idea. Wondering if anyone on the forum had a positive example to share.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:29 PM   #8
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Not everyone in ER wants to sit around the sofa, eating bon-bons, and watching Golden Girls reruns all day...
Really? You think that's what those of us who don't want to "teach, consult or own a small business" do all day?
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:30 PM   #9
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I prefer Designing Women over Golden Girls.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:32 PM   #10
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Cool if you start a business selling Bon Bons out in the woods where I ride my motorcycle that would be great!
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:36 PM   #11
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...... I don't really want to a buy a business for the reasons mentioned/implied here but my SO, who is considerably younger, is enamored of the idea..........
So, put the SO to work in a business. And pass the bon-bons.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:36 PM   #12
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Figure of speech only, to suggest that there are many varied visions of what ER can be.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:38 PM   #13
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Not everyone in ER wants to sit around the sofa, eating bon-bons, and watching Golden Girls reruns all day -- though there is nothing wrong with that ... The point of ER is to do what you want, to choose your life consciously - not because some employer or client is demanding it. I want to teach part-time because I like it. My consulting so far is all pro bono and keeps me alert and uptodate. I don't really want to a buy a business for the reasons mentioned/implied here but my SO, who is considerably younger, is enamored of the idea. Believe me, I am considerably and appropriately cautious about the idea. Wondering if anyone on the forum had a positive example to share.
I do a lot of pro bono work as well - or as I think of it - 'favors" for people I know and I can be helpful to - but it is scattered and I can dictate the schedule, timing, etc. for the most part so I don't consider it work.

Besides, it is amazing how thankful people are for free advice.

I just think running a small business would be more demanding on my time than I want. YMMV.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:41 PM   #14
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The small business owners I know fall into two groups:

Those who love having their own business and work a lot.

Those who dislike having their own business and work a lot.
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:45 PM   #15
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Both my So & I run very small portable businesses from our home . They are more like lucrative hobbies. He has a small company that sells award plaques & I sell dresses to women in their thirties & forties on ebay . We can shut down the businesses and travel whenever we want and most of our work is done in our PJ's .We can close our businesses whenever we no longer need the stimulation. Some people travel , some people blog or write books or teach and some people do not want that stimulation. We all get to choose whatever suits us .
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Old 03-14-2014, 03:47 PM   #16
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The small business owners I know fall into two groups:

Those who love having their own business and work a lot.

Those who dislike having their own business and work a lot.
DW and I were the latter. Money was good but it was lot of work. And you see ugly side of humanity when you deal with lot of people (employees & customers). 9 customers may be good but 1 can drive you nuts. Ditto for employees.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:22 PM   #17
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Not everyone in ER wants to sit around the sofa, eating bon-bons, and watching Golden Girls reruns all day --
Really? You think that's what those of us who don't want to "teach, consult or own a small business" do all day?
+1 It seems to me that perhaps the problem is not that you need a job, so much as that you need to learn how to exercise your imagination so that you can think of something else to do that isn't so tedious as what you describe. Actually to me it seems awfully sad that you have no hobbies at all, no curiousity or driving desire to explore your dreams and interests during your new-found leisure time, or anything else that you want to do with all your time once you have reclaimed it. Instead, you want to exchange time for money.

If you regard the work of running a business as being your hobby, then that could be really great. But just to be sure, what I would do (YMMV) is to work at that business for five years without earning one cent or putting any money back in the business - - every earned cent should go to charity, like maybe to a library or homeless shelter. If you still love it at the end of five years, then you pass the test of loving this for itself and not because you are selling your time for money. And that could be great and very rewarding.
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:44 PM   #18
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The small business owners I know fall into two groups:

Those who love having their own business and work a lot.

Those who dislike having their own business and work a lot.
You forgot the group that pours money in a small business, goes down in flames, and spends their retirement years paying off the debts. I know a couple like that. The wife wanted a small business which they bought in 2007 or early 2008.
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:54 PM   #19
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If you regard the work of running a business as being your hobby, then that could be really great. But just to be sure, what I would do (YMMV) is to work at that business for five years without earning one cent or putting any money back in the business - - every earned cent should go to charity, like maybe to a library or homeless shelter. If you still love it at the end of five years, then you pass the test of loving this for itself and not because you are selling your time for money. And that could be great and very rewarding.
My business passes your hobby standards since all the money goes to my grandsons education fund. Charity begins at home !
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:57 PM   #20
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My business passes your hobby standards since all the money goes to my grandsons education fund. Charity begins at home !
I knew that. See, there you go! You really DO like your business and you have proved it to yourself.
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