Great Second Career Ideas After Retirement

second career ideas

Retirees Can Find Flexible Business Opportunities Through Franchising

Many retired folks still have a lot to give, want a renewed sense of purpose, and wouldn’t mind a supplemental income. But most retirees aren’t after the typical 9-5 job. They want flexibility.

Luckily, franchising offers a fast path into a second career that can give retirees an ideal work-life balance. Many franchisors have designed their business models for absentee or semi-absentee ownership. With them, owners can mostly be hands-off. Some require as little as 5-20 hours a week to run. Many people even invest in these businesses while they are still employed, with their sights set on a retirement gig. Through franchising, retirees can find a true second act with the retirement lifestyle they always wanted. And the best part is that there’s no need to go back to school or fill out job applications. Here are some great second career ideas that retirees can find through franchising.

Fitness Franchises

Fitness franchises are an excellent option for retirees who want a fun, feel-good business. With many fitness brands, franchise owners can hire a general manager to operate the day-to-day activities. Most have membership-based models where owners reap the benefits of recurring revenue and high ROI. Many of the new, smaller boutique brands have low overhead and require small studio space. They also create a sense of community with members that leads to high customer retention.

Laundry services

Retirees can have a great business with a franchised laundromat. Franchisors have disrupted the fragmented laundry industry by using the latest technology, plus eco-friendly machines and detergents. Besides offering customers use of washers and dryers, they provide drop-off, washand- fold services, which have become popular at college campuses and in trendy, urban neighborhoods. Instead of having a dark and dreary atmosphere, laundromat franchises have set themselves apart with friendly, bright, and safe facilities. Some offer nice touches like snacks and entertainment in a more inviting setting than the traditional, depressing laundromat. Pick-up and delivery services add additional revenue streams.

Food Franchises

Food franchises offer a lot of options for retirees. And there’s so much more than just fast-food burgers and donut shops. Many newer, healthier brands have surfaced, like crepe cafes and juice bars. They are simpler to operate and require fewer employees and inexpensive kitchen equipment. These businesses are perfect for absentee ownership, but may require more time when ramping up. Hiring a reliable team is key. Franchise owners don’t need to have restaurant experience but will benefit from strong business acumen.


Vending is a wonderful option for retirees who want an investment business but don’t want to spend much time running it. Typically, it takes just a few hours a week to manage a vending business and a lot of the work can be done remotely. Technology rules today’s machines with digital payments and electronic alerts when inventory gets low. Today’s vending machines offer a lot more than chips and candy bars. Many specialize in healthy fare, and the contents of each machine can be tailored to the customer.

Business Consulting

Business experience and soft skills are key to owning a business consulting franchise. While many business consulting franchises are designed as owner/operator models,m retirees can earn a nice income with a part-time effort. Often called “white collar” franchises, they run the gamut from career coaching to expense reduction. Depending on the brand, franchisees can conduct business anywhere, an excellent perk for retirees who want to travel the world.

Franchise Consulting

A career as a franchise consultant can be extremely rewarding for retirees. Franchise consultants make money by helping people identify and invest in franchise businesses. They play a pivotal role in guiding aspiring entrepreneurs into the life-changing decision of owning a franchise business. By paying an affiliation fee with a broker network, franchise consultants receive ongoing training and have access to leading franchise brands. Franchise consulting offers a business where you can earn a great living with an exceptional work-life balance.

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Jill Abrahamsen’s career spans more than 20 years in editorial, design, and marketing roles. She serves as editor-in-chief of Franchise Consultant Magazine and FranchiseWire. Through both platforms, Jill reports on franchising news and helps Franchisors spread the word about their brands.
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