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Why Baby Boomers Need To Consider Investing In Virtual Real Estate

EF Staff Updated on February 29, 2020

The Baby Boomer generation, or those born between the years 1945 and 1964, is one of the fastest-growing groups of entrepreneurs in the U.S. They have incredible advantages over younger generations: years of upper-management training, leadership experience, a strong financial backbone, and clarity of vision – they know exactly what they want and what they don’t want.

Baby Boomers are eschewing traditional retirement in favor of leveraging their skillsets and years of experience to pursue new opportunities. Let’s take a more in-depth look at five reasons why more and more Baby Boomers are choosing to take the road less traveled:

  • An Established Business with Proven Revenues
  • Agency and Independence
  • Impact
  • A Primary Source of Income
  • More Money to Support Their New Retirement Lifestyle

An Established Business with Proven Revenues

The majority of Baby Boomers aren’t interested in a 40+ hours per week job working for somebody else, and neither are they interested in investing huge amounts of time and energy creating a business from scratch. They want an existing business with a steady ROI.

Agency and Independence

Baby Boomers have spent the majority of their lives working for somebody else. They don’t want to work for anybody else ever again. Being 100% responsible for and exercising control over their own business gives them a tremendous source of independence and pride.


They want to have a greater impact in the world, either through using this opportunity to raise additional funds to support an important cause or charity, or by incorporating philanthropy into their business model.

A Primary Source of Income

Unemployment affects Baby Boomers as much as the next person. Those who have been let go are stuck trying to find new jobs, and at their age they find this a real challenge. Starting their own business allows them to forego the stress of the job hunt and get back on their feet in record time.

More Money to Support Their New Retirement Lifestyle

They’ve recently retired and have been given a taste of the good life – and they want more of it! Having an additional source of income allows them to pursue the life of their dreams. They will be given financial freedom which in turn results in choices. Buy a yacht and sail around the world? Buy their dream home? Start a college fund for the grandkids? Goals like these become vastly more attainable.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are approximately 75 million Baby Boomers and 80 million Millennials in the U.S. today. Even though there are more Millennials, guess which demographic is the largest, most powerful entrepreneurial demographic? Baby Boomers. The freedom and flexibility of an online business model and the ability to leverage their skillsets and experiences is enticing to many Boomers.

Why Does an Online Business Offer the Perfect Encore Career for Baby Boomers?

According to the Kauffman Foundation, Baby Boomers are twice as likely to start a business than Millennials. Millennials have significant student loan debt and have yet to recover from the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

Baby Boomers either can’t afford to or just don’t want to “retire” and spend the rest of their lives watching Wheel of Fortune or gardening. They want financial freedom and choices – and an online business offers just that.

You could be eating pad thai on your balcony overlooking Bangkok or drinking merlot straight from the bottle in Tuscany, all while running your business empire. An online business gives you the flexibility to work from where you want and the freedom to work when you want.

Welcome to the second, or encore, career!

Baby Boomers are looking to become entrepreneurs. They want to see a proven, low-risk, business model that offers a steady ROI, and ideally doesn’t require a lot of their time.

If you’re a Baby Boomer looking for personal and/or financially-fueled gratification in an encore career – that’s where we come in. We’ll introduce you to different types of online business models and how you – yes, YOU – can make cold hard cash from them.

‘Show Me the Money!’ – Assessing a Business’ Value

What’s the difference between an offline and online business?

Don’t make the mistake of looking at an online business like you would look at a brick-and-mortar business.

Let’s say you purchase a traditional business: a restaurant, for example. You buy high-end appliances, dishware, and other kitchen essentials. These become business assets. If you had to, you could sell all that stuff and make money. The restaurant’s value isn’t just determined by what’s in the cash register at the end of the day – you also take into consideration its assets.

By contrast, if an online website is making money, that determines its value and whether or not it’s a profitable business. If you have an attractive website but it isn’t making any money, there’s no real value there. When you purchase an online business, your costs are typically associated with content and a keyword research tool like Long Tail Pro – considerably less expensive than restaurant dishware.

For someone looking into purchasing an existing online business, it’s vital to do your due diligence when determining the value of a website. Being new to the industry, you will benefit from having a third party evaluate any website you’re looking to buy. Empire Flippers offers a free valuation tool here.

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What Online Business Is Right for Newbie Norm?

The “Newbie Norm” is someone who is new to the industry, perhaps has done a few sales, but is still working on dipping more than his big toe into the waters.

We’re going to do an overview of seven different online business models, outlining which ones Newbie Norm should go after and which ones he should avoid.

Assessing Online Business Models

Newbie Norm Should Avoid Purchasing:

  • E-commerce Sites – Customer pays the website money, and the website ships the products directly to the customer. It is a basic business model but has complex monetization methods.
  • Drop Shipping Sites – Customer pays the website money and the website contacts their “middleman” (e.g. a warehouse full of socks in China) with the order. The middleman ships the products to the customer. This is another type of site with monetization methods that would be best suited for someone with a good grasp of e-commerce.
  • Amazon FBA – You buy the product and ship it to Amazon. Amazon handles everything else, from the shipping to customer service. It’s great to be able to sell under the umbrella of Amazon. They have mastered the art of online sales and have an unbelievable market reach. However, it takes a significant upfront investment to purchase inventory, and it isn’t cheap to opt into the FBA program. Now, if you’re an ambitious type, an Amazon FBA might be something to consider, as it isn’t too difficult to manage after it’s up and running.
  • SaaS Sites – Otherwise known as software as a service sites, these sites require customers to purchase a subscription to access software that the site sells. It could be anything from a type of security software to health and wellness software.

Newbie Norm Should Consider Purchasing:

  • Affiliate Sites – These are easy to set-up and require very low maintenance. You set up a website talking about certain products and put affiliate links to Amazon throughout the site. Whenever someone clicks on the link, you get a certain percentage of whatever they purchase from Amazon for 24 hours. So, someone could buy the $50 fishing rod you linked to, or discover a $2000 diamond ring while browsing around, and you would get the commission either way! There are other sites with affiliate programs, but Amazon is the behemoth.
  • Service-based Sites – A service-based site would be good for those who have an in-demand skill set, such as freelance writing or providing legal advice. The customer either pays a one-time fee, or a fee upon acquiring your services.
  • AdSense – Also known as pay-per-click, these sites grant you a certain amount of money for every click someone makes from your site linking to a certain product or business. AdSense sites are more content-based, whereas Amazon affiliate sites are primarily focused on product reviews.

Getting Your Entrepreneurial Feet Wet

AdSense and affiliate sites are perfect for someone looking to acquire a low-risk online business that requires low maintenance. With the right broker, finding a great AdSense or affiliate site to invest in doesn’t have to be a time-consuming, arduous process. In fact, it can be relatively painless.

There are things you can do to avoid making a costly mistake:

  • Use a third party to get an expert analysis of the site’s actual value.
  • Don’t bet the entire farm on your first few purchases. Try not to spend more than half of your budget on one site.
  • Avoid template, non-earning sites. They are a waste of time. Focus on proven models already producing revenue.
  • Use a website brokerage like Empire Flippers to help match you with sites that fit your specific criteria. The Empire Flippers marketplace has a very selective vetting process. You won’t have to worry about purchasing a “fluff” site or a site that was falsely advertised. You get complete transparency as you go through the purchasing process.

Setting Your Financial Goal

When you step back and take a look at your life now, and compare it with what your ideal life would be, are they pretty close or is there a sizable discrepancy?

It probably goes without saying that the larger the discrepancy, the stricter you’re going to have to be with your budget in order to meet your financial goals; maintaining financial discipline is your only hope to close that gap between your life now and your ideal life.

Planning a budget means you predetermine where your money is going to go. You don’t just let it walk away and then be left wondering where it went. It’s important for your financial well-being to create a budget and stick to it.

Let’s say you’ve made the decision to invest in online businesses and launch your encore career. You have figured out how much you’ll need each month to support your ideal lifestyle. You know what types of sites are out there and the pros and cons of each.

Having a clear financial goal in mind will be of huge benefit to your broker, or to yourself if you’re planning on doing the process alone. You will be able to look at profit reports and other site statistics to decide if a site is worth purchasing or passing on.

If you’re unsure how much you’ll need each month to support your lifestyle, we previously covered “backwards budgeting” here. It’s a great tool to quickly see where you are and where you need to be. You’ll consider any of your “dream” monthly expenses, for example: maid services, condo rentals, or college tuition (for yourself, or grandkids?). You add up your expenses, and that’s the target you want to hit each month.

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Looking Ahead

In the beginning it’s important to just take it slow and steady.

Sites like AdSense and affiliate sites are pretty safe bets when you’re just starting out, as they don’t require a lot of time or effort. As you start getting more and more comfortable, venturing out into deeper waters, you will find you start identifying less with “Newbie Norm” and perhaps more with “Portfolio Paul” or “Flipper Fred”. As “Paul” you will be focused on building and diversifying your portfolio. Diversity means greater financial security. If you find yourself identifying with “Fred,” you’ve been in the game a little while and are comfortable with purchasing high-traffic, low-earning sites. You’ll improve their monetization methods and ‘flip’ or sell for a good ROI.

Maintaining a steady cash flow is necessary to keep up with your desired lifestyle. In order to keep the cash coming in each month, you must start to diversify your portfolio. You should never have all your eggs in one basket. What happens if the basket gets a hole in it and all the eggs fall out and crack?

Don’t feel like you need to know everything all at once. It takes time and experience, just like with anything, to learn the ins and outs of the industry. We sold our first website in 2011 and we’re still learning – and what we learn, we share!

We provide you with the resources and support you’ll need in finding a site that will allow you to achieve your personal and financial goals. Stick with us here and if you’re not on our mailing list, there’s no better time than right now to sign up.


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  • Jeremy says:

    When you look at the terrible interest rates being paid today, you pretty much have to invest in something other than “savings” to generate a livable income without touching principal (unless you literally have many millions of dollars in the bank).

    With $100,000 to invest in a variety of sites, you can create a middle class income stream of 50-75k annually. Compare that to putting $100,000 in CDs, which will maybe earn you $1,000-$2,000 annually.

    A website can net you in a week what a short term CD will net you in a year.

  • Dave Starr says:

    This is a great rundown, guys. Both Joe and Justin and I have tossed this idea around before. For someone who recently retired and has, perhaps, $50,000 available to invest, the “standard” advice often is “buy an annuity” for life.

    This is not “bad” advice, but a person close to 70 would be lucky indeed to get an annuity that pays $500 a month for $50,000. Much less if s/he wanted to include include a spouse so the income would continue until the death of both partners.

    For the same $50,000 our exemplar “Boomer” could get two established online incomeproducing sites (in different business areas/monetization modes, and these sites, if bought properly, should easily yiels ~$2000 a month.

    Unlike the annuity model, with diligent care … which a retired couple has plenty time to provide ”’ they will hold their value or increase with work and good fortune, and upon the death of one or both spouses instead of a depleted annuity account their heairs have two valuable properties to sell off, or continue to operate.

    And when you bring in the idea of sitting on the balcony in Bangkok, remember an annuity is not considered “earned” income, so there’s no possibility of shielding it from US income tax (yeah even us old folks have to pay taxes, often plenty of them).

    But income from an online business which the taxpayer owns and is at risk for _IS_ earned income, and if the taxpayer is overseas, that income may be excludable as foreign earned income. This makes it 25% to 50% more profitable to the owner/operator. (consult your professional tax advisor, of course)

    Websites certainly beat the standard annuity idea all hollow, IM(Baby Boomer) O.

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