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These 50+ Year Old Entrepreneurs Will Make You Rethink Your Retirement Plan

#1 Jim Butenschoen, 65, left the IT industry to start a hair-design academy

After 22 years in corporate sales and marketing, Jim of Springdale, Ark. decided that he’d had enough. He wanted to go into business himself so he spent 5 years researching for the perfect business to buy and decided on a beauty school in Arkansas. He then opened the Career Academy of Hair Design starting with 6 employees.

#2 Rand Smith exited the corporate world to open an optical retail business in his 50s

After working for 30 years in the optical industry, Randal Smith decided to go into business on his own with a trusted partner, his wife, Janeel. Both in their 50s, tapped their retirement funds and opened eyeSmith Sport & Fashion Optical, a high-end optical store in Kansas City, Mo., that sells prescription fashion and sport performance eyewear.

#3 Chris And Susan Beesley started their online business in mid-50’s

These two management consultants and accountants by profession are life partners in real life with 5 children and 3 grandchildren. They started their online business in their mid-50’s when they knew nothing about the online world other than the basics. They started a blog in 2009 called, a place for online business education helping other entrepreneurs.

#4 Ernestine Shepherd, 78, world’s oldest female bodybuilder started at the age of 56

Ernestine started working out when she was 56, thanks to her sister for that inspiration. Today, she takes classes for mostly senior women and older men. She started her classes with just 10 people and now some mornings people can’t get in the room.

#5 Michael Grottola started his consulting firm at the age of 65

Michael Grottola started his consulting business at the age of 65 and today he have helped approximately 165 small business clients across 20 industries. When Michael lost his job due to recession he decided to become an independent consultant, helping new business founders gain access to capital. See our creative fundraising ideas guide if you’re looking to raise money for your startup.

#6 Sam Taylor started an online art business at the age of 63

6 months into retirement and Sam was bored as he missed the buzz of business. After a brief spell as a business angel and directorship roles in Edinburgh he realized the only way he was going to enjoy his later years was to return to self-employment.

He found the business opportunity within his own family. His wife, who was doing textile art became his asset. They bought together Sam’s business experience and his wife’s artistic talent and set up an online art gallery.

#7 Colin King launched an online education business in his 50s

Around 7 years ago, Colin realised there wasn’t enough pension pot so he decided to earn some new money by setting off in a completely new direction.

Colin was aware of the fact that one thing essential for setting up any business in the 21st century is an understanding of how to use technology – something many older people still struggle to embrace, but still he took the risk and launched an online business in 2012, which provides fun, educational quizzes for schoolchildren. It is called Education Quizzes.

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