How can I finance my retirement business? Self-employment is a popular choice among retirees who plan to work at something. A third of working men past age 70 work for themselves, compared with just 13% of men younger than 54. The numbers are similar for women. Setting up your own shop is relatively inexpensive if all you're doing is outfitting a home office to consult, write, design, prepare taxes or run an Internet business. You can probably finance a new computer and some file cabinets out of savings or through a small home-equity loan. But if your plans are more ambitious and include renting space, buying high-end equipment or stocking inventory, you'll need real money. "Remember that business start-ups are risky," says Deborah Russell, director of workforce for AARP. "We do not think anyone should put their retirement assets at risk." So resist the urge to cash out or borrow against an IRA or to take out a big chunk of your home equity. You may have to start smaller than you'd like and build the business as your revenue permits. Your best source of funding, says Russell, is the local bank or the Small Business Administration. The SBA even has no-interest loans for small businesses that are struggling. Check out your options at SBA.gov and take advantage of free small-business-mentoring services through the SBA or websites like SCORE.org and VolunteerMatch.org.