This post is not about earning extra money on the side. Rather, this is about earning regular money, as your main activity, during your retirement. Offcourse not every elderly can perform every one of these jobs. Some of the jobs definitely require certain fitness level. But, there are some ideas here which almost any retiree or senior person can perform while not being at their best fitness level.
Honestly, I do not want to work during my retirement, I hate to even think about it. But, circumstances, family need, health and marital issues, recession or bad investment decision may force us to work even in our retirement. Then, there’s whopping 50% of US employees who do not have enough retirement saving. This article is for those struggling elders.
This is a research based article. Searching through internet forums, blogs, news articles and interviewing people I know, resulted in this compilation. I will appreciate your honest feedback about the ideas. And, if this article helped you finding employment, I would be very happy to share your joy, do leave a comment below if you can, in that case.
As long as you have confidence and a determination, you can do most like a young person can. Believe in yourself and try hard.
I have seen my father who lost his job during modernization and computerization wave. He lost his confidence and could never find a new job. He is a man of exceptional talents, he is a great painter, he is highly educated and he has tremendous interest in arts and crafts. But, without confidence and lack of real willingness, coupled with unbelievable competition in the job market in India, he has been unemployed since he was 54 years old.
First thing first. For some of the ways I suggested, they require some capital investment upfront. The best way is to tap in to your own fund. You may want to take out money from your lowest performing assets, like a CD or a savings bank balance to meet the initial capital need. The second option is to borrow from someone you know, like your family, relatives or friend.
The last option to arrange for cash is to take a business or personal loan. here’s my article on securing cheapest personal loan available in market.
Now let’s begin our real quest – art of earning on the side.
Ways retirees and elderly can generate income
When you retire, this is the time that you must be rewarding yourself for years of hardworking. It is the time to travel, to celebrate with friends and loved ones, and to pamper self.
However, what is happening is otherwise because of the fear of lack. Yes, there is a retirement fund that you can spend but you are being controlled by the “What if I ran out of funds? Or what is an emergency matter happens?” questions.
Before you get overwhelmed and spoil your supposed to be fun and fulfilling retirement, think that there are lots of earning opportunities that you can work on even if you are already a retiree. Here are some of them.
Make the Most out of your Skills
Perhaps you’ve been in the same job for decades before your retire. You’ve been an employee always and never a boss. As you retire, it’s time to be a boss by building a business same as the line of your previous job. This is the best time to extract all lessons learned and be one of the competitive businesses in the market.
The below list of job sites may become beneficial for you if you are looking for hourly opportunities in your skill areas. This is not all but these are the major ones. For various activities regarding my blog and eBooks I seek out hourly employees at these sites.
This blog was designed by one retired graphic artist, who had Hollywood production work in his resume. Actual coding and implementation of the design was done by my good friend Andrea.
Start volunteer work first
Start with getting involved in local communities and circles. If you have a professional membership and even if you are a part of Linked in groups, you may find a lot of opportunities to volunteer.
Hone your skills first, perhaps you could make yourself indispensable which ultimately may result in a temporary paid work in future. One of my neighbors (south Florida is favorite retirement destination and my community has many retired couples living) started out volunteering at local library and now she’s a 4 hour per day/ 3 days a week librarian.
Habitat for humanity is a nice place to seek out local volunteer opportunities. If this story of Jim Power can’t inspire you, nothing would ever will. Jim was homeless for 25 years, he spent his time decorating light posts in NYC, before finally starting making money out his work. The story would surely inspire you.
Register with temporary employment agencies
As per Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4 million temporary jobs in the year 2011. Chances of getting a temporary job in your retirement is much higher. There are various kinds of job an employer may offer that can fit to your physical and mental fitness level.
Here’s a smart guide to get a temporary job through a temporary employment agency from Wikihow. You can even search Google for local temporary employment agencies. If they have a website, browse for the openings or call them up and schedule an interview.
Be your professional best and have confidence. You may not get the same hourly rate as you used to get, so be prepared for that. Remember you are competing with a fitter and young workforce your only advantage is your willingness to take lesser pay.
Given Govt. has temporary and part-time job listed here.
You can actually start this even before retirement. There are many legit and very promising companies today that allow you to earn passively. You need not always join and market their products aggressively.
You just need to be wise in finding the right networking company, find the perfect person with a promising marketing tree, if you can, position yourself at the top, and watch how your marketing tree grows. As it grows, your passive income grows. It will not end as long as the company is existing.
Remember, we are not talking about passive income like, stock dividend, rental income etc.
(Related - What is Passive Income and How do I Create It?)
Sell the Good Old Stuff
If you are fond of collecting things when you were young, do you keep them intact? It is time to share those good old stuff to the younger ones. Try selling those with little value to you but you think will have more value to others.
When you do your selling, do not sell as of you are holding a garage sale. Be wise by grouping your stuff and sell them by season. Through this, you are sure to have better sales since you can target particular needs of people in that season you are selling.
I admit this is not a sustainable source of income. Unless you can self manufacture things that you can sell. This is where the required skills in arts and crafts are so important. If you are good at making any good-looking and useful object, like a jewelry or decorative items, you can be a seller on Etsy and generate steady income. My wife buys stuff from Etsy all the time.
Write your own Book
Are you fond of blogging? If you have been blogging for long, this is the best time to gather all ideas and aspirations you poured out into your personal blog and publish it as a book. Who knows, it could be the next best seller? This is how you can get started with book writing and publishing.
My favorite blogger, Tim Ferris, wrote an exception piece, full with case studies, on how to sell your eBooks online and make money. He is a highly successful venture capitalist, not a con man. You can rely on him. I made my father read the article as well.
I have no experience in publishing a book, but many of the personal finance bloggers I know have published successful eBooks that are selling good.
Be a Trainer
If you have been at your best in your craft while you were working, you can share your mastery through training. You can conduct classroom or practical training and earn from it. It need not be complicated; just a short but will be beneficial training is enough.
This is a nice guide to be a trainer, at anything.
Buy a Property to Rent out
Rental income a pure passive income. You can even outsource the routine maintenance work on your rental property to others.
You can use your retirement package to fund this mortgage. You can start with a condominium unit and have it rented. This will not entail too much work from your end. It will just require you to visit and check monthly at the most.
I live in a rental condo whose owners are in South Africa, their daughter collect rent from us and the servicing part is outsourced to a property management company.
If you plan to stay home after retirement and still want to earn, the internet can be your best help. If you are patient enough to browse and be updated online, you will discover the almost limitless possibility the internet can offer. There are lots of freelancing tasks you can do that can give you good amount.
Home Based Franchise Business
This is tougher than it may sound. Nothing short of starting your own business. But risk is limited as you can start a home based franchise with as low as $5,000. Here’s Inc. guide to start your home based franchise.
This top 100 home based franchise list can be a good starting point for you. It lists start-up cost, fees, royalty fees, etc. Based on your expertise and interest you may want to start narrowing down the list before picking the one you’ll be most comfortable with.
If you like teaching kids, you can work as a tutor to a particular subject you are interested; or you can be a personal academic tutor. Again, this type of job won’t need much time. The key here is early preparation of the lessons. You will only work based on the agreed study time with the parents.
Register yourself on tutor.com, you can earn minimum $10 per hour and find opportunities to tutor kids for 5 – 40 hours a week from your home. You’ll need high-speed home internet though.
To find other online tutoring opportunities Google “online tutor”, you can even search by your area of expertise like “Online Math Tutor”, etc. You’ll be amazed to see the results.
You can even publish your availability on Craigslist gig board. I see my neighbors tutor other neighbors’ kids.
Share your Space
You might want a renovation of your house and allot space that you can share and rent. It need not be big as a house. If you only have small space, you can set it up as a dormitory or a beds space apartment.
See if you can sell some stuff and make an extra room. You can advertise in local news papers or Craigslist for a paying guest. In that way you’ll get company as well as a steady stream of money every month.
Pay Bills and Do Errands for the Neighborhood
People are most of the time too busy to run errands or pay their bills. This is a good business with an easy task. You can start with the neighborhood. Tell them that you can pay and do errands on their behalf for a minimum fee.
If you have a place that you like going to from time to time; or you have tourist spot in your local area, you can apply as a tour guide. Since this will just be a part-time job, you won’t need a salary as an employee tour guide. Just make sure you’ll be an active tour guide who can make the tour worth remembering. Review you history subject and make your own tour guide piece. You can also sell tour keepsakes.
Sell Cooked Meals
Cooking is fun. You can easily sell them especially if you have a competitive price. However, the competition among sellers may be stiff. A good trick you can use is to look for offices (it can be your previous office) where you can sell your meals. Negotiate with their HR team and have a contract with them. By doing this, you are assured of making profit.
Kids love sweets. The best place to sell your baked goods is in a school. However, not all parents will allow their kids to eat sweets because of the sugar content. To make your goods nutritious, do some twists. Make them veggie or fruit flavored without losing the usual sweet taste.
You’ll need trade license and you should be ready for regular inspection. Here’s a guide to start catering business.
Working at Local Retailers
Every retailer need part-time workers and sales men during the holiday season. I see elderly persons or students manning the cash counters at our local grocer, Publix. Their per hour pay is not bad plus, they get regular benefits which can offset many drawbacks of medicare.
Even big chains like Walmart and Target offer part-time employment during peak season and holidays. Small shops also look out for help.
On a weekend a trip to a few local strip malls revealed more than 10 “For Hire” or “Hiring” signs to me.
This can be a tedious task if you will be maintaining big gardens. Just choose small gardens in the area and have this only for twice and thrice a week. Do not do this every day as it may tire you or may make you sick. If you have those “green hands,” you can offer garden set-up for your neighbors. Build a small veggie farm for them or a flower garden too.
There are lots of home for the aged institutions out there. You need not do the job of an elderly nursing aid. You can just apply as some who will prepare their things, who will prepare their food at the table, and other simple tasks. For an added twist, you can sing songs for them; facilitate simple games, and other entertaining activities.
Networking and Marketing
Look for a product or a company that you can do referrals. You can choose between offline and online set-up. Online set-up is more convenient though since it will not require much movements from one place to the other. You just need to spend time looking for prospects in the internet. Most are incorporating network and marketing into their personal blogs and through social media updates.
Determine your area of expertise and look for an entity where you can serve as a consultant. It need not be a corporate firm. Since you are only doing this part-time, you can just look for a small entity in your local area. You can look for one that may have similar line of business from your previous job.
You are sure to give sound advices based from years of experience.
Some church provides stipend to church advisers. The church is an entity where people go to in times of personal, relational, and even financial crisis. The leaders of the church may not be able to accommodate everybody.
You can talk to the leaders and apply as an adviser. Just remember that this can be a dragging experience since you are dealing with problematic people. You should always be emotionally, physically, psychologically, and most of all spiritually ready when having a session.
Above are some money-making tasks you can do after retirement. If you will choose from the list, remember to do them at your own convenience. Your main aim still, is to enjoy your retirement age.
You should be making the most of your retirement years and reward yourself for a job well done over the years. Choose from the list, which you know you can do with ease and with enjoyment. After all, you need not much money since you already have your retirement pay.
Sometimes, be prepared to move , I could find one community in California, Burbank Senior Artist Colony, where artists can stay on rent while honing their skills and earning money from it. If you are a good artist consider living in such communities for added protection. Here’s the list of 8 such niche communities for elderly.
If you decide to start home based business, whether it is cooking, consulting or elderly care, you need to register as a business and there’s no better resource you could find other than Small Business Administration website, it will teach you everything about starting and managing home based small businesses.
You have a wealth of skills, wisdom and experience to offer. Many employers seek older workers for their knowledge and values at work. As they say, a retirement is a perfect time to enjoy another career, different from the one you used to have over years.