With never-ending uncertainty in the economy, on Wall Street, and with insolvent government programs like Medicare and Social Security — the future is looking bleak for those approaching retirement age.

But financial insecurity during retirement doesn’t have to mean trouble, according to gerontologist Di Patterson. She shared 3 tips for those considering starting a business in retirement:

1. Get your legal documents in order

Di says,

It’s very important to get some business counseling. Find out what it takes to get a D.B.A. and filed the correct papers. The Small Business Administration gives three classes that anyone can attend and actually passes out the legal documents that you need to fill out to get going, and then through that process you can really find out the foundation of your business life.

2. File the correct papers

There are plenty of online services that say you don’t need an attorney. They encourage you to just log on and swipe your credit card, enter your numbers, and they’ll send you all the documents you need. While that’s not altogether bad, Patterson says a person really can find out all the forms they need for themselves without paying for any type of service. Instead, she says, if you have questions (which you will), hire a trusted attorney.

3. Only pay for an hour of an attorney’s time

She says,

Again, it goes to your foundation, and you want to stand on sand or on a solid rock? So as you are proceeding I really encourage you: don’t try to do it on your own because there are local rules and legal rules. There’s some quicksand that an attorney can help you stay away from, but I really encourage you to be smart. Read, read, read, but when you have questions, then buy an hour of an attorney’s time.

Highlight: 3 tips for retirees

Does age factor into the hiring process?

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