Lifestyle • April 9th, 2020

20 ways to make money in retirement

Michael Schultheiss

Key Takeaways
  • You can continue to invest and make good money in retirement.
  • There are many businesses you can start out of your home or with very little capital.
  • Reducing expenses can add to your retirement income.

If you’re looking for a way to make money in retirement, you’re in good company. Many seniors want to earn some extra income and add to their retirement income. If you have some capital to invest and you have the desire, why not keep working? You could even start a business of your own.

Today we’ll discuss 20 ways you can continue to earn money in retirement. Of course, which one you choose will depend on the kind of work or other money-generating activity you want to do, as well as other considerations such as available capital.

No matter what you choose, it’s a good idea to talk to a Certified Financial Planner©. A consultation will help you get a clearer idea of your financial situation, and may reveal assets you can invest or financial opportunities that are new to you.

Continue investing

Have you ever heard the saying “the first million is the hardest million”? It’s a truism, and it’s especially true for investment.

Now, let’s say you reach retirement with some investments under your belt. Perhaps you also have a pension, and you’ve chosen an annuity distribution. If you’ve been wondering how to make money when you retire, this is it.

With those assets and your Social Security, you’re set to continue investing. There’s no age limit for contributing to Roth IRAs, so you can continue using those accounts. You can also use taxable investment accounts. And while it’s true that after a certain age you will have to start taking required minimum distributions (RMDs), this doesn’t mean your investments suddenly stop growing.

Senior and special needs chauffeur

Are you in good health and do you enjoy driving? If so, you might consider becoming a senior and special needs chauffeur – that is to say, a chauffeur helping your fellow seniors and those with special needs. Both seniors and people with special needs often have difficulty with tasks such as driving. They may need assistance with grocery delivery and unpacking.

If you have the right combination of winsome personality, a love of driving, and the willingness to buy a lift-equipped vehicle or have one converted, this could be a good job for you. Plus, you’ll be helping out your fellow seniors and people with special needs.

Travel tour guide

Let’s say you love traveling and can’t get enough of it. If you’re looking for a way to do more traveling and get paid, becoming a travel guide might be perfect for you.

There are many perks to becoming a travel guide. First, you get to travel. This is obviously a big draw for people who enjoy seeing new places, or who never got to see the world while they were working full time. Second, you get to introduce other people to the wonders of travel. If you have an infectious sense of wonder and curiosity, this is likely to be perfect for you.

And third, you get paid for all of this. If you work for a travel company, all your expenses will be covered, and you’ll be paid a wage and may receive tips as well. You might also want to start your own travel company.

Hauling

If you like driving and enjoy good health and fitness, hauling might be a good opportunity for you. Hauling businesses exist to help people dispose of trash, garden waste, and household things that they no longer need or want.

It’s usually not too difficult to start a hauling business. The main thing you’ll need is a vehicle, preferably a truck or a van, and perhaps a tow trailer. If you’re not daunted by waste, this could be a good opportunity for you.

And if you’re concerned about the environment, hauling can actually have positive impacts if you do it right. For example, many discarded items can be recycled or reused. Even discarded household furniture and used construction items can often be reused, notably by organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

Gardening and landscaping

Have a green thumb? If you enjoy gardening and landscaping, you may be able to turn it into a profitable business. While this is a highly seasonal business and you’ll need to consider how much demand there is in your area, it can be potentially quite lucrative. It’s also an opportunity to indulge your creative side.

Painting and interior decorating

Maybe you want something hands-on, perhaps in the building industry, but you need something on the less strenuous side. If that describes you, why not get into painting and interior decorating? There’s a great need for these services, and for some people they are genuinely fulfilling. They also provide significant opportunities for creativity.

Painting and interior decorating require an eye for color and the ability to pay attention to detail. This is the perfect kind of business for someone who is artistically inclined or “crafty”, and it’s a lot less strenuous than most things in the building industry.

Translation services

Do you speak a language other than English? If you’re fluent in a language that’s in demand and you have excellent writing skills in both languages, why not offer translation services?

While it’s true that Google and other companies have software that can provide automated translation, the quality of these computer-mediated translations still leaves a lot to be desired. As a result, many major organizations and governments still need people who are proficient in two or more languages to handle their translation. This is particularly important for technical documents or anything that involves industry-specific knowledge – and if you have a technical or industry specialty, so much the better.

The great thing about this kind of work is that you can do it from your home using only a laptop or desktop. If you’re wondering how seniors can make money from home, this is one way. Of course, this also means you have the option of traveling and working while you’re abroad.

Arts & crafts

Arts and crafts can provide interesting opportunities for combining creativity with income-generating activity. Whether you enjoy painting, ceramics, woodwork, sewing, or something else, why not market your artwork and sell it? This has to be one of the most fun money making opportunities for seniors on this list.

Thanks to platforms like Etsy, it has never been easier for creative people to market their homemade artworks through virtual storefronts. If you enjoy creating and selling to an appreciative audience, this could be the retirement small business for you.

Again, if you’re wondering “How can seniors make money from home?”, this is a particularly good option. While some people do this kind of thing and make only a little money, depending on your art you may be able to make quite a bit. This is potentially one of those fun retirement jobs that pay a small fortune.

Dropshipping

In these days of ecommerce, you can sell a product without having anything to do with manufacturing it or even shipping it. If you’re creative and entrepreneurial, a dropshipping business might be a fantastic option.

With dropshipping, you have a virtual store that sells goods. When people go to your site and buy something, the order goes to your supplier. Your supplier fulfills the order and ships the product to the customer.

This means you don’t ever have to worry about inventory. You’ll have to invest in getting your business off the ground and figure out what you’ll be selling, but unlike other retail fulfillment models dropshipping doesn’t require you to buy any inventory before you make a sale.

Let’s be clear about one thing: dropshipping is not a get-rich-quick scheme. You’re marketing goods produced and shipped by someone else, and that means they will take most of the money from each sale. On the other hand, because they’re handling all the manufacturing and shipping, your costs will be quite low. If you come from a marketing background, this might be the ideal small business idea for you.

Start a blog

Are you passionate and knowledgeable about a niche, interest, or hobby? Do you like to write? If the answer to both of these questions is yes, you might consider starting a blog and using it to make money.

The internet is full of blogs about practically everything. Most of them make no money, or very little. The secret to picking a good niche is figuring out something that will draw people based on their interest, and encourage them to buy products and services that you’ll sell them.

You can make money from a blog in a few different ways. For one thing, you can run advertisements. This may not generate much money, but it could provide some extra income. Another way is affiliate marketing, where you encourage people to buy products and services associated with other companies.

You can also use a blog to market your own services and products. Maybe you have a digital course that teaches skills related to what you’re blogging about. Or perhaps you’ve written a book. You could also use your blog as a way to market consulting services of some kind.

Tutoring

If you have a specialized field of knowledge and a passion for helping young people learn, why not offer tutoring? It’s a good way to help mold the next generation while sharing your knowledge. Unlike schools, there are no classrooms full of students: you’ll most likely work with one pupil at a time.

For that matter, you don’t even have to have students in your home. Online tutoring is gaining popularity. And if you find you’re particularly good at online tutoring and your subject is in demand, you might even consider creating a course and putting it on Udemy or Coursera and making money from it.

You can even promote it on a blog. Do it well, and you’ll have potentially a major source of passive income. If you’re looking for cash paying jobs for seniors, it’s hard to beat a sizable passive income from a course that you created and uploaded to a learning platform.

Childcare

If you enjoy taking care of children, turning your home into a childcare facility might be a good option to consider. While this is not one of the more lucrative businesses on this list, it can be an ideal business for seniors who enjoy children, have the time and energy, and are willing to open their homes. And if you have experience taking care of children – if you’re a parent, perhaps a grandparent – so much the better.

Pet services

For many people, pets are their children, and that means there’s a demand for people to serve as pet sitters and dog walkers. Similar to childcare, the pet services niche is not a particularly lucrative business, but it is the kind of thing that is easy to get into and is often personally very fulfilling.

You also have more options with pet care. Dog walking is one obvious way to go, but what about pet grooming? If you’re a passionate animal person and you’re willing to invest the time to learn how to do it, becoming a dog groomer might be just the thing for you.

Another option is pet sitting. When pet owners go on vacation or travel, they often don’t want to kennel their animals. They may prefer to hire a sitter, someone to come visit their place while they’re away.

Security services

Do you have a background in law enforcement or the military? If so, you might consider founding a security company, or becoming a security advisor.

There’s a demand for trained, capable security personnel to advise businesses and protect events, including sporting events and major business or community events. If security is your background, becoming an advisor or even starting your own company could be perfect for you.

Airbnb host

Airbnb has emerged as an alternative to established hotels, and with good reason: it allows people access to a wider variety of accommodation at potentially much cheaper prices. Assuming you own your own home in a city that gets at least a modest amount of tourism and you have a bit of extra space, why not become an Airbnb host?

Becoming an Airbnb host is the perfect option for homeowners who have the space and enjoy the company. You might be surprised how much money you can make by putting up a room or two for a few nights a month.

Market researcher and tester

Companies need people to give them opinions and feedback on the products and services they’re selling, and they’re willing to pay money for it. If you have the time and you enjoy giving feedback, why not sign up for some focus groups and participate in some paid surveys?

Of the two, focus groups are the more lucrative. You may be able to earn up to a few hundred dollars for a few hours of your time. Surveys are more likely to earn you a little spending money on the side.

Go part-time at your existing business

If you already own a business, why not simply work part-time? You can cut back on your hours but still come into the office and help out. It’s a good way to stay involved with your business while also allowing yourself more time off to do other things you love.

Outsource work

Another option is to outsource work. Are there parts of your business that can be outsourced, saving you time and effort? Obviously the kind of work you do matters rather a lot when talking about outsourcing, but perhaps you’re able to find competent people you can subcontract some of your work to. This can help you to achieve a more manageable workload, while you still continue to earn money.

Outsourcing may also mean allowing other people within your organization to handle more of your responsibilities. Again, what this looks like will depend on what kind of work you do and who you work with, but it can be a helpful option for achieving a better work-life balance.

Cash-back apps

Cash-back apps are applications you can download onto a smartphone or PC. They give you money back on purchases you’ve made. Try downloading a few cash-back apps: depending on where you shop and how much, the savings could be appreciable.

For example, some apps work with participating stores. You can check your cart against current offers, see if you have anything eligible for cash-back, and then collect your cash by scanning your receipt.

Reduce expenses

Reducing expenses is a good way to get extra income for seniors. The reality is that in retirement, many people find they don’t have all the same needs they did when they were working and raising a family. For some, this may mean selling a car or boat. It may mean downsizing to a smaller house, even relocating to a cheaper state.

Insurance can also help you reduce expenses. Make sure you have the right Medicare, for example, and talk to a Certified Financial Planner© about your tax planning.

Weigh Your Options

There are many ways to continue to make money in retirement. You’ll want to consider what you’re capable of doing, what you want to do, and what will make money.

You’ll also want to consider your overall financial picture. This is where talking to a Certified Financial Planner© comes in. A Certified Financial Planner© can help you take stock of your tax situation, make the most of your assets, and provide input to help you make financial choices about your new business. Whatever your individual situation is, you’ll understand your options better after a consultation.

Author

Michael Schultheiss

Michael Schultheiss is a freelance copywriter of long-form content and other marketing communications (B2B and B2C) in the financial services and FinTech niches. In copywriting, he looks for hungry crowds. Other interests include health, fitness, and reading and writing fiction.