Retirement and me: 60-year-old helps seniors 'increase income' with simple online platform

60-year-old Suzanne Noble has had an exciting career that has seen her work in TV production, PR and head up her own company selling baby slings. She has no plans of slowing down and is using her personal experience to help over 50s set up their own businesses after being made redundant.

When it comes to running successful businesses, Suzanne from London has bucket loads of experience.

As her businesses are online, this winter she’ll be running them from Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, because although she has no plans of slowing down, she would like to enjoy a warmer climate.

She says: “As I’ve gotten older, the desire to live in a warmer climate has increased year on year.

“The pandemic created an urgency in me to finally manifest my dream as the last winter, spent primarily indoors, was particularly cold, wet and dreadful!”

Retirement and me: 60-year-old helps seniors 'increase income' with simple online platform
© Suzanne Noble/Getty Suzanne Noble Start Up School for Seniors

Of course a dream like this doesn’t happen overnight.

She has already put in the hard work to transition her course into an eLearning platform called Startup School for Seniors with the help of her co-founder Mark Elliott.

Suzanne explains: “Despite being online we discovered that the flexible style of learning particularly suited our cohort of over 50s, many of whom had been made redundant or lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.

“I realised that provided I was in the same or a similar time zone as the UK, I could finally turn my desire to live somewhere warm into reality!”

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Although the economic downturn affected lots of people, statistics show that both the over 50s and 18 to 25-year-old age groups were the worst hit when it came to losing their jobs during the pandemic.

The difference is that it can take someone over 50 much longer to recover, some find it knocks their confidence so much that they leave the job market completely.

She explains: “When an older person loses their job after a career spanning 20 plus years it can be particularly devastating and the knock in their confidence and resilience cannot be underestimated.”

“We equip those over with the skills, training, confidence and network to turn an idea into a business or to increase the trading income of an existing business.”

As well as running Startup School for Seniors, Suzanne has another web based business where she helps over 50s find house shares with people of a similar age.

Although traditionally it has been younger people who tend to flatshare, figures show that by 2040, one in three people renting will be over 65.

Suzanne adds: “More and more older people are finding themselves, either through debt, divorce or death, in a situation in which shared living is the only form of accommodation they can afford.

“Older women, especially, tend to be drawn to home-sharing, either for financial or personal reasons such as seeking companionship.”

She advises over 50s who have been made redundant to “take stock, reflect on your next step, volunteer. You have more skills than you realise”.

“Unless the requirement to generate an income immediately is an issue, this is the time of life to consider how your experience can contribute towards a career that makes you happy.”

“Know and understand your customer. It sounds simple but so many people I see start with a solution before they’re truly understood the problem for their potential customer.

“Often the best ideas come out of a conversation around a problem that, through conversation, you hear over and over again.”

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