Put Retirement Boredom To Rest: Three Reasons Why Franchise Ownership Makes Sense For Retirees

Most people dream of retiring and relaxing on a lounge chair with the waves crashing at their feet, but the beach isn’t for everyone. You can get sunburned. The sand is hot. And if you’re somewhere popular and scenic, it’s probably crowded. Don’t get me wrong — I love the surf and sun as much as anyone, but retirement isn’t for everyone. Plenty of people leave the workforce too early or simply believe their post-career life is less fulfilling than they envisioned.

Right in time for July’s anti-boredom month, I’d like to share a few tips for retirees who are eager to do something new, exciting and meaningful. If you’re retired, or approaching retirement age, that next step may be starting a business — investing in yourself and building toward a better future for your family. Thanks to my background as executive vice president of Wayback Burgers, I’ve seen how owning a franchise can bring success.

If you’ve just retired, the idea of buying into a franchise may sound crazy. But after receiving the results of a survey from my company’s franchise owners, I couldn’t help but notice a trend. Multiple Wayback Burgers franchise owners mentioned how owning a franchise had been a godsend in their retirement. In fact, several of these owners said that they’re now in the best period of their lives.

These owners had either taken an early retirement or were laid off due to a company acquisition/downsizing but were not ready to hit the beach or golf course full-time and wound up buying a franchise. And now we have franchise owners who, instead of lying on a beach, are running a Wayback Burgers restaurant, and they love it. Apparently, owning and operating their own restaurant gave these franchise owners a way back to the business world.

So, if you’ve ever thought about buying a franchise, here are three reasons why you should consider making this move during your twilight years.

You can be as busy as you want.

In the beginning, if you buy any franchise, you’re likely to be a little overwhelmed. You hear a lot about franchises being turnkey businesses, where you turn the key to unlock the doors and the operations start humming. I think that’s the wrong way to look at owning a franchise. Unless you’re wealthy enough to hire someone at the outset to run your entire business, you’re going to work. No business, franchise or not, magically runs itself.

That said, plenty of franchise owners — once they know their business inside out and have a trusted staff — hire great managers to help with hiring, scheduling, ordering inventory, etc. This means that as years go on, you can slow down a bit and not be involved in the business every single day if you’ve found great people and established an excellent culture. Or, you can stay as busy and involved as you like. Again, it’s your business.

You can’t be fired or downsized when you own your own business.

While money doesn’t always buy happiness in franchising, it’s liberating to know you are in control of your financial future as the business owner.

You know what I’m talking about if you’re approaching, say, 50, and especially 60 or 70, and you’ve ever become squeamish about what might happen if you were let go from your job. It can happen to anyone at any age, of course, for any reason — the economy suddenly tanks, your business is bought out or merged and your position disappears or you suddenly have a serious personality clash with someone higher up the ranks. But obviously, the younger you are, the more time you have to bounce back after a layoff and thrive.

I don’t want to sugarcoat franchising or business ownership in general. It’s a lot of work. But you don’t have to worry about arriving at work and being told to clean out your desk.

You’ll have something to leave your children.

This may be one of the nicest things about buying a franchise when you’re retired. You could purchase one with your son or daughter and make it a family business from the get-go. Or perhaps in a decade or two, your children will take over when you’re really ready to sell the business, so you’ll keep it in the family. And of course, there’s a third option — selling the business to someone else who can build on your success.

Having something for your kids — and yourself — deep into your actual retirement may be the main attraction of purchasing a franchise when you’re a retiree. Buying a franchise — especially if you purchase a restaurant, crowded with guests — won’t give you the peace and quiet that retirement offers. However, business ownership will keep your mind active and engaged while affording you the opportunity to create jobs and give back to your community — quite the encore career!