If 2020 has taught us anything so far, it’s this: times are certainly not what they used to be. And retirement is no different. Once built on the three-legged stool of Social Security, company pensions, and personal savings, retirement was a simpler time. But as pensions continue to dissipate and our personal savings begin to follow suit, a stable retirement today could require bolting on another leg to that old stool—cash flow.
Regardless of your financial situation, it’s always nice to make some extra cash. And whether you’re looking to ramp up your cash flow or simply subsidize your retirement savings with a hobby, there are several ways to make money in retirement. No matter your skill set or your previous career experience, there are options that bridge your skills with your passions. The best part—many of these options don’t involve a commute or ringing early morning alarm clock.
Consider some of the following ways to make some cash in retirement, while having some fun in the process.
Participate in Online Surveys
A penny for your thoughts? How about some cash for your opinions? Online focus groups and surveys are a great way to make some easy money just by sitting in front of your computer. Companies and marketers value your opinion, and, as such, are willing to pay for feedback. All you need to do to get started is sign up for a survey site, providing some basic information. From there, you will receive email notifications whenever there is a survey opportunity that fits your demographic. Most survey sites make cash out available via PayPal, while some let you redeem your earnings via gift cards to major retailers.
Create a Crafty E-Shop
Let’s talk hobbies. Odds are that you have one (or a skill that you love to practice), so why not profit from your passion? Whether it’s knitting, painting, jewelry making, scrapbooking, creating stationery, or even designing unique home décor items, Etsy can help you turn your crafting into a scalable source of income. An online marketplace similar to eBay, Etsy allows you to “open” your own shop online to showcase whatever handmade or vintage crafty creations you make. And with 34 million buyers spending over $2.8 billion on the site annually1, Etsy could be your chance to monetize that passion or hobby you’ve spent the last few years (or maybe even decades) perfecting. This is an especially fun option for the creatively inclined.
Rent Out Your Spare Space
As you settle into retirement years, you may find that your once bustling house may have an extra room or two. Or maybe that summer lake house sits vacant far more than it used to. Whatever the situation may be, renting out your spare space(s) is a great way to generate some extra cash and cover maintenance costs. And in today’s technology-driven world, there are several websites that allow you to monetize your spare room or house by advertising it to travelers coming to your area. As the host of your property, you’re the boss. This means you decide what price to charge, what dates your space is/will be available, and what rules you require renters to follow. But renting out your space could be far more than a much-needed income boost—it could also be a great way to meet people from all over the world and share stories about why you love your area.
Care for Local or Neighboring Pets
What’s better than spending time with cute, furry animals? Getting paid to care for them. If you’re an animal lover, there is no better way to make some extra money in retirement than by providing pet care services to homes in your area. Whether it’s dog walking, grooming, or pet sitting while owners are travelling, there are plenty of ways to indulge in your love for animals— and get paid while doing so. And while there are no shortages of pet service needs, there are also no shortages of ways to spread the word. Start by posting flyers with your information at local pet stores and animal hospitals to connect with pet owners in your area. You can also join one of the several pet-care job marketplaces online, like Rover and PetSitter, where you can create your digital profile.
Run a Tutoring Service
Are you good at math or science? What about English or essay writing? Whatever your subject, tutoring could be a rewarding way to help a student succeed—while supplementing your retirement income. Tutors are in high demand year-round, especially when it comes time to prepare for tests such as the SAT and ACT. Best of all, tutoring is flexible—you can either sign up for a tutoring company with a physical office to work out of, tutor in the child’s home, or even tutor virtually. Start spreading the word about your tutoring services through friends and family, or even post a note at the local library or online town forum. There are also online tutor placement services that will take care of this for you, connecting you with parents and students in need of a tutor specializing in your subject area of expertise.
Become a Tour Guide
What brings people to your area? Whether it’s the natural landscapes of a state park, the rich history rooted in a local museum, or even recreational attractions such as a major league sporting venue or community zoo, there are plenty of places to apply for work as a part-time tour guide. Whether or not you have prior experience as a tour guide, a part-time position could be a great fit for nature or history buffs—or even just someone who knows a lot about their city or local area. A fun way to earn some cash in retirement, tour guide work combines social, intellectual, and physical aspects as you share the sites and stories of these attractions with locals and tourists alike.
Go Undercover as a Mystery Shopper
If you like to shop ‘til you drop, becoming a mystery shopper could be your ideal retirement gig. As a mystery shopper, you get paid to shop and provide honest feedback that companies can use to identify areas for improvement. Job roles could be anything from making a purchase with a customer service associate at a local clothing store to dining at a particular restaurant and then answering questions based on your experience. While mystery shoppers don’t make a ton of money, the job can provide some cash to have on hand—and a reason to get out of the house a bit more often.
Take on a Part-Time Job
While entering retirement once meant collecting a final paycheck, today, many Americans are continuing to work well into retirement years. And increasingly so not because they have to, but because they want to. With retirement comes the freedom to explore jobs that align with your hobbies and passions. For instance, if you love books and reading, taking on a role as a library assistant could be the perfect fit. With reasonable hours and light work, you’ll spend your time surrounded by books—and earn a paycheck in the process. Similarly, if you love to golf, applying for a part-time job in the pro shop would be an ideal place to spend time and make money at the same time. Plus, you may even get a break on greens fees! The options here are virtually endless—it’s all about doing something you love.
Now, let’s revisit that three-legged stool from earlier. If generating extra cash flow in these creative ways are not suitable options, there is something else you should consider—home equity. By adding a fourth leg (in this case, the equity from your home) the stool instantly becomes that much more stable—and so does your retirement.
And tapping into your home equity with a reverse mortgage could be a viable solution for additional cash in retirement. Available to homeowners ages 62 and older, a reverse mortgage allows you to access a portion of the equity in your home to use as you wish. Once thought of as a financial tool of last resort, reverse mortgages are making a comeback, as financial advisors and consumers alike discover that tapping into home equity can be a useful part of a sound retirement plan. And the more home equity you have, the more cash you can get for the things you want—without depleting your retirement investments. For more information on funding your retirement lifestyle by tapping into the equity in your home, contact the Longbridge team today.