Seniors get back in the Saddle with Retirement Businesses

Do not go gentle into that good night. After satisfying careers, many retired seniors continue working as freelances. Often it's home-based businesses that keeps them busy and earns them income, too. AARP quotes the market researcher IDC, that there will be 14 million full-time, home-based freelancers and independent contractors in America by 2015.

Art Koff, founder of told AARP: "Some people start this kind of work as a side job while they are working elsewhere, but huge numbers of older workers and retirees are creating income for themselves in these ways."

Mark Nelson, 60, a retired postal worker, grew tired of hunting and fishing. "You get to the point when you've done all the playing," Nelson told the media source. "You have to be productive." He turned a life-long love of leather craft into a second career.

"When I thought about what I would really love to do, that was it. I got the bug to make saddles, and not just any saddles," Nelson told AARP. His specialty is for the 19th century western saddles from the cowboy era - 1866 to 1899.

After a $5,000, six week saddle making course in Montana, Nelson returned to his Wisconsin home and opened Way West Saddlery. Sales per saddle are excellent but so is the cost per unit to keep each saddle authentic. This situation leaves the self-starter Nelson taking on a two-day a week job as a caregiver, earning $9.50 an hour at a nearby alcohol and drug addiction treatment center.

AARP recommends second careerists look at the real possibility of part-time jobs as Nelson is doing.

Seniors in Active Lifestyle and Independent Living residences are open to second careers.