5 min read

Why it’s never too late to start your own business

If you’re over 50 and you want to start your own business there’s never been a better time. You may have recently retired, been made redundant, or maybe you just have a sudden urge to do something you’ve always wanted to do. With the Government’s recent changes on how you can use your pension pot, you could decide to use this money to fund your own business.

It’s now or never

We are more knowledgeable in our 50s, more experienced and more capable. Everyone wants to be fulfilled in their work – so starting a business in an area which you’re passionate about is the perfect way of creating social and personal fulfilment. One in six new businesses started in the UK are set up by over 50s – and they’re more likely to be successful. Over 50s start-ups have a 70% chance of surviving the first five years compared to a 28% survival rate for those started by younger people.

Financial independence

We’re all living longer and we need to be able to support ourselves financially when we get older. By starting up your own business, you can become financially independent and fund a more comfortable lifestyle in retirement. You can also work the hours you want and enjoy having a new challenge – rather than staying in the same tired routine.

Stay healthy

Starting up your own business in your 50s may also keep you healthy, according to cognitive neuroscientist and business strategist Dr Lynda Shaw. Running your own business and doing something you love is likely to help you stay mentally fit and physically healthy for longer.

Get ready, get set…

You may have decided that you’re going to use your pension pot to fund your start-up, but how do you go about setting it up? Here are some top tips on how to do it.

Do something you love

You’re going to have to spend a lot of time and energy starting your business in order to make it successful. So it’s really important that you’re truly passionate about it. Whether you want to run a pottery, become a life coach or start a dog walking business – make sure it’s something you love doing.

Research the market

It’s no good setting up an art café if there’s another one just down the road. Look for a gap in the market, then do some research so that you know the industry inside out. The internet is a great place to find advice forums.

Write a business plan

In order to make your start-up succeed, it’s essential to have a business plan. It will test the feasibility of your business and help you to effectively plan out your goals – and see if you need any extra investment.


We have a lot of contacts in our 50s, so now is the time to use them. If you have any friends or old colleagues are knowledgeable about legal or tax questions, see if they can help you out. You can also join a local business network to meet fellow ‘olderpreneurs’. The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Enterprise PRIME is a great resource for over 50s setting up their own business – and the charity also runs networking events throughout the UK.

Have faith

Don’t let the fear of failure – or disparaging family and friends hold you back. You’ve worked hard all your life – now it’s your time to take a leap of faith and do something that you love. If you really believe that you have the knowledge, ability and determination to make your business a success – go for it. You’re never too old!

And finally…

Although there are always risks in starting your own business, and using your pension pot is also a risk, having the freedom to do this can be liberating – and you finally have the chance to be your own boss. The Government has some helpful advice on starting up your own business and also outlines how to sort out things like tax and insurance before you start employing your own staff.

Always talk to a financial advisor and make sure that your new business can demonstrate strength and sustainability before you invest your well-earned pension pot.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Talking Finance content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions.