Small business ideas for my dad?

manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?!Registered User regular
So my dad is a retired insurance sales agent with State Farm. He's still with my mom and she has some (non life threatening) medical issues he's helping her deal with. He's 71, still sharp in the head, drives, exercises. He's been incredibly beaten down trying to get back into the job market. As you might expect, it's always some polite excuse around his age. He did work in County Corrections a few years ago on swing shift, which was murderously hard, and he had a few bad luck injuries. He also buys and sells used cars as a hobby in the $1,000-5,000 price range. He's just really burnt out applying for new "corporate" jobs with the lack of respect for his experience, and pretty much always assuming someone younger could do the job better.

I've been trying to encourage him to start his own home or online business. He doesn't need to make bank, just enough to supplement his SS and medical retirement income. The top three fields I've been able to find, since he lives in a rural area, is medical patient transportation, online retailing, or perhaps insurance consulting.

I was wondering if any knew, or had experience at some of the better non-cheesy "getting started" advice.

Posts

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    He's got to have some kind of skillset to work with from his insurance sales. Does State Farm not have a retirement package or rehire system?

    Elvenshae
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Does he have handyman skills? Could he drive for Uber/Lyft? Deliver Pizza?

    At his age, realistically he's not going to want to work a full shift every day, especially as he isn't getting any younger.

    Could he do data entry remotely for insurance companies (is that even a thing?)

    Watch out for MLM schemes (legal pyramid schemes.) They prey on people in his situation.

    SmrtnikElvenshaeBouwsT
  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited February 2018
    Enc wrote: »
    He's got to have some kind of skillset to work with from his insurance sales. Does State Farm not have a retirement package or rehire system?

    To my knowledge no, which is a shame since he did it at a time where the work wasn't broken up into chunks, he saw claims through from beginning to end. It would be mostly an issue of his computer skills which, while not terrible, aren't up to par with people in their 20s-30s.
    Does he have handyman skills? Could he drive for Uber/Lyft? Deliver Pizza?

    At his age, realistically he's not going to want to work a full shift every day, especially as he isn't getting any younger.

    Could he do data entry remotely for insurance companies (is that even a thing?)

    Watch out for MLM schemes (legal pyramid schemes.) They prey on people in his situation.

    No handy skills, but the Uber/Lyft thing has promise and he at least seems somewhat interested in it since he enjoys cars and driving. I'm not sure if there are any guides I could show him to get him up to speed. It's mostly trying to convince him it wouldn't be a massive expense of money or time to get started.

    Remote data entry is another thing I was reading about, but I'm not sure which fields would be relative to his experience. What's involved with that?

    manwiththemachinegun on
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Lyft/Uber driving can be a money sink anyway - you are expected to have a nice car, and pay for your own insurance, which might eat up any possible profit in a rural area. So he'd be right to be cautious.

    I don't know anything about remote data entry - he might want to see if any colleagues he knew might still be working there (the office junior is probably the manager by now.)

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    I can tell you that I know where you're coming from. My father is 74, single, and while a lot of his financial burden is his own doing, he lives entirely on social security and it took the better part of two years to get him away from financial ruin.

    If you genuinely want to help, the first thing you need to do is set boundaries. Are you willing to aid him financially? If not, that's perfectly fine. Know that. KNOW THAT. If not, you can help him set up with a financial planner to see what his options are. Is he a smoker? If so, it can almost entirely put a wrench in Uber/Lyft. What is he willing to do to earn extra income? My father was a sales person his entire life. It's all he knows, and he's good at it, but he now lives in a world of technology and no one wants to hire him when he's in his 70s and it took a long time for him to come to terms with that.

    How is his health? Can he stand for long periods? Can he tolerate rude customers? If so, he can look at a cashier position at a grocery store. A lot of the nicer ones pay well. Also look at independent businesses like pet supply stores. Lowes/Home Depot are also good options, as is Tractor Supply.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    I can tell you that I know where you're coming from. My father is 74, single, and while a lot of his financial burden is his own doing, he lives entirely on social security and it took the better part of two years to get him away from financial ruin.

    If you genuinely want to help, the first thing you need to do is set boundaries. Are you willing to aid him financially? If not, that's perfectly fine. Know that. KNOW THAT. If not, you can help him set up with a financial planner to see what his options are. Is he a smoker? If so, it can almost entirely put a wrench in Uber/Lyft. What is he willing to do to earn extra income? My father was a sales person his entire life. It's all he knows, and he's good at it, but he now lives in a world of technology and no one wants to hire him when he's in his 70s and it took a long time for him to come to terms with that.

    How is his health? Can he stand for long periods? Can he tolerate rude customers? If so, he can look at a cashier position at a grocery store. A lot of the nicer ones pay well. Also look at independent businesses like pet supply stores. Lowes/Home Depot are also good options, as is Tractor Supply.

    He has enough money set aside for the next few years, so there's no imminent threat, I just want to encourage him to get excited again about his (part-time) work life. He did actually apply for a few Lowe's/Home Depo jobs over Christmas, and when he didn't get them, he was pretty depressed over it for a few weeks.

    manwiththemachinegun on
  • CauldCauld Registered User regular
    What about something like selling supplemental insurance, like Aflac? Have you looked into that?

  • RadiationRadiation Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Flexjobs has been pretty good for an acquaintance of mine. She works part time at the library, but needed more hours than they could give her. She signed up, got a few editing gigs and has been rocking steady on that for a while now I think.
    I'll have to follow up but last I talked she was still super happy about it.

    This is more for part time or remote type work.

    Radiation on
    PSN: jfrofl
  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    No, how does that work?

  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Hospitals hire lots of people part time in the gift shop, or doing patient access work at an information desk. Usually part time, though some facilities staff with volunteers for those positions.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    What is the size of his community and is he close to a significantly larger city (how big?)?

    There are some age-independent trades, but if you don't have enough potential volume, then there is no point in looking into them unless its something he loves to do anyways.

  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Hospitals hire lots of people part time in the gift shop, or doing patient access work at an information desk. Usually part time, though some facilities staff with volunteers for those positions.

    Also, since he's fine with driving, they probably need couriers. The hospital here has couriers to pick up samples and specimens from outlying labs to bring in for testing, and they mostly seem to be retired men who are doing this part time for extra cash. The courier group has its own cars too, since there are rules against carrying potential biohazards in personal vehicles, so he wouldn't have to worry about Uber/Lyft wear and tear.

  • LeptonLepton Registered User regular
    What about newspaper delivery? I know around these parts, newspapers are still delivered to your paper box early in the morning if you're a subscriber.

    Also, what about buying and fixing up used cars? You mention it as his hobby, but if he can step that up and turn them around for a profit, he'd not only be helping himself out, he'd probably be helping out your community by providing reliable, affordable used cars to people.

  • MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Newspaper delivery is rough. Paid very little, very early hours, wear and tear on vehicles from long routes. I tried it once. Only once.

    Mayabird on
    ceresWiseManTobesmysticjuicer
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    Lepton wrote: »
    What about newspaper delivery? I know around these parts, newspapers are still delivered to your paper box early in the morning if you're a subscriber.

    Also, what about buying and fixing up used cars? You mention it as his hobby, but if he can step that up and turn them around for a profit, he'd not only be helping himself out, he'd probably be helping out your community by providing reliable, affordable used cars to people.

    If he has a workshop he could even teach classes or work with a local community college. Based on what little you told us he should be good at communicating.

    I dunno, my dad is a few years younger and I noticed that when he tries something new it is because of a personal connection he makes in his village. I think that if your dad wants to start a business he should meet with local groups, talk with people of his age and go from there.


    ...Just y'know... Be wary of pyramid schemes and folks selling bridges.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I know this was a long time ago and I don't know if he's got something now, but I've had this thought literally dozens of times and then forgotten it before I could post.

    I don't know if they have any where he is, but here where roads get busy there are crossing guards near school zones for kids who need to walk to school. It's really important and the ones around here are almost always older people.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
    Mayabird
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    I know this was a long time ago and I don't know if he's got something now, but I've had this thought literally dozens of times and then forgotten it before I could post.

    I don't know if they have any where he is, but here where roads get busy there are crossing guards near school zones for kids who need to walk to school. It's really important and the ones around here are almost always older people.

    That's a really good idea and you can go to usajobs to apply for it in your state and county. It's a government position in most states for public schools.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • RadiationRadiation Registered User regular
    ceres wrote: »
    I know this was a long time ago and I don't know if he's got something now, but I've had this thought literally dozens of times and then forgotten it before I could post.

    I don't know if they have any where he is, but here where roads get busy there are crossing guards near school zones for kids who need to walk to school. It's really important and the ones around here are almost always older people.

    That's a really good idea and you can go to usajobs to apply for it in your state and county. It's a government position in most states for public schools.

    usajobs is mostly (all?) federal agencies/organizations. It'd be best to go to county or the school district pages.

    PSN: jfrofl
  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    I've got 2 decades + of pizza/other delivery experience. Even have a few seniors on current crew. Feel free to pm me if leaning that route with any questions

    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    So my dad is a retired insurance sales agent with State Farm. He's still with my mom and she has some (non life threatening) medical issues he's helping her deal with. He's 71, still sharp in the head, drives, exercises. He's been incredibly beaten down trying to get back into the job market. As you might expect, it's always some polite excuse around his age. He did work in County Corrections a few years ago on swing shift, which was murderously hard, and he had a few bad luck injuries. He also buys and sells used cars as a hobby in the $1,000-5,000 price range. He's just really burnt out applying for new "corporate" jobs with the lack of respect for his experience, and pretty much always assuming someone younger could do the job better.

    I've been trying to encourage him to start his own home or online business. He doesn't need to make bank, just enough to supplement his SS and medical retirement income. The top three fields I've been able to find, since he lives in a rural area, is medical patient transportation, online retailing, or perhaps insurance consulting.

    I was wondering if any knew, or had experience at some of the better non-cheesy "getting started" advice.

    If he's already in the used car reselling business, why not develop that a little? Maybe get into parts, equipment used for restoration work, things like that?

  • manwiththemachinegunmanwiththemachinegun METAL GEAR?! Registered User regular
    I am still reading this so thanks for your pitches people!

  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Radiation wrote: »
    ceres wrote: »
    I know this was a long time ago and I don't know if he's got something now, but I've had this thought literally dozens of times and then forgotten it before I could post.

    I don't know if they have any where he is, but here where roads get busy there are crossing guards near school zones for kids who need to walk to school. It's really important and the ones around here are almost always older people.

    That's a really good idea and you can go to usajobs to apply for it in your state and county. It's a government position in most states for public schools.

    usajobs is mostly (all?) federal agencies/organizations. It'd be best to go to county or the school district pages.

    I could have sworn I saw jobs for TN state govt at USA but you may be right. Thanks for clarifying.


    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
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