Retiring Soon? 8 Practical Ways to Increase Your Retirement Income
Just because you’re retired or are retiring soon doesn’t mean you have to stop working completely. There are a ton of creative ways to earn extra income in retirement, and a lot of them can be done on your own time at home.
Thanks to technology, many jobs can be done via your computer, and communications can take place over the phone or via a video chat if needed.
Lynette Dawn Campbell is the CEO of Zoomers Employment Services, which is an employment agency exclusively for older workers 55+, and most of whom are retired.
She explains, “I believe people seek work out of need. Financial need, need to make a contribution and even the need to feel a connection with others. Older people have solidified their values and understand their natural abilities.”
That said, we’ve seen some of the suggestions online for earning extra money in retirement, and we’re not exactly impressed. I mean, bird breeding? Selling hugs? Hard pass.
1. Become a Tutor
If you’re a retired teacher, tutoring is an ideal job to bring in extra income for retirement.
Nowadays, tutoring can be done from the comfort of your own home with online tutoring options. Opportunities span from 4th-grade level to college tutoring, and there are plenty of subjects to choose from such as math, English, science, social studies, and more.
Sites like Tutor.com have tutoring opportunities, and they generally have a simple application process that involves:
- Subject exam
- Mock session
- Background check
Once that’s done, you’re ready to start making extra retirement income!
Additionally, if you’re not keen on the online setup, you can connect with our local schools for potential after-school tutoring opportunities.
2. Rent Out Part of Your Home
If you have a home with some empty rooms that you’re not using – or you’re a snowbird and have an empty home for part of the year – you might be missing out on some serious cash.
AARP reports that 90% of adults 65+ want to age in place, but they're often saddled by rising costs of living and are underprepared for retirement. However, 80% own a home, and many have spare rooms they can rent out for an average of $10,000 a year to offset their expenses and pad their nest eggs.
Wendi Burkhardt, CEO of Silvernest, explains that her online roommate-matching service pairs boomers, empty nesters, and retirees with long-term housemates. This helps generate extra income while allowing them to remain in their homes longer and benefit from the companionship.
Wendi explains that about a quarter of the homeowners who sign up for Silvernest are over age 65. The average age of the homeowners on her platform are 60 years old.
When opening up your home, safety is a huge concern, but Wendi explains that Silvernest has security safeguards: “Those include doing identity verification, offering robust background screens (criminal and eviction histories, etc.), and providing a securely encrypted channel for homeowners and housemates to communicate, so they don’t have to divulge their email addresses or other personal information.”
Homeowners make an average about $10,000 per year per spare room that they rent out.
Often times, the best candidates for home sharing live alone, have unused space in the home, and would benefit from extra income and companionship.
Wendi also says that you can choose a housemate that’s right for you. For example, you can choose someone your own age, of the same gender, or even someone who’s willing to help around the house in exchange for discounted rent.
“Long-term homesharing can take the place of a part-time job in many instances because the earning potential is comparable,” says Wendi.
3. Become a Consultant
Picture this: you’ve spent around 40 years in the workforce, seeing the same problems arise and coming up with solutions along the way. You can most certainly consider yourself an expert in your field… and just in time to retire!
For Paul Dillon, it only made sense to become a consultant. After all, he had built up an expertise after his many years of traditional working.
He explains, “Becoming a consultant is a tried and true ‘retiree’ bridge career. Becoming a consultant on your own, a sole proprietorship, in your field of endeavor, offers a chance to set your own hours, and work at your own pace while making an income.”
Nowadays, the best places to find consulting work reside on LinkedIn, through your previous employer, and consultant job placement sites like TalMix.
4. Consider Freelance Writing
After two successful careers – 21 years in the military and another 28 in higher education at the college/university level – Carol Gee makes money as an author and freelance writer.
She explains, “The money made from my freelance writing paid for our entire hotel bill on our most recent trip.”
Her small writing business came about as she transferred the copyediting and other writing skills she did in her former job as an editor.
If you possess a writing skill – perhaps it was something you did a lot before you retired – there are a lot of individuals and businesses that need writing help. Whether it’s writing books for nonfiction publishing houses or writing blog content for websites, there is a myriad of writing jobs available.
You can browse freelance writing jobs on sites like Upwork, Fivrr, and Writers Access. You can also reach out to local businesses in your area to see if they need any writing assistance.
5. Narrate Audiobooks and Advertisements
If you have one of those “nice to listen to” voices, you might consider using it to make some extra money while retired.
Potential jobs include narrating:
- Radio advertisements
- Corporate marketing videos
- Show introductions (TV, podcast, e-learning)
For example, if you’d love to be the narrator of an audiobook, you can audition via ACX. ACX integrates directly with Amazon, which in turn integrates with Audible. Before you know it, you could be the voice behind one of your favorite stories!
Upwork and Fivrr also have an entire section of their freelance hiring platforms dedicated to voice talent and voice over jobs. No matter what kind of material you want to be narrating, odds are there’s a job for it there!
6. Sell Produce From Your Garden
While this is only feasible for half the year, Illinois has some of the best dirt in the country. You can certainly try selling your produce to neighbors, your local grocery store, or via your local farmer’s market, but there is also a cost savings involved, too.
Illinois Country Living magazine explains that there are a number of produce items you can grow that will save you a ton of money at the grocery store.
- Snow peas
Other Illinois natives recommend pumpkin and watermelon if you have the space to grow them.
Whether you’re looking for an additional income stream or you just want to save money in your retirement, starting a garden could the answer you’ve been looking for.
Note: Another idea would be to sell eggs. Many individuals in central Illinois have the room for chickens, and organic free-range eggs at the grocery store generally cost upwards of $5 a dozen. If you have an overflow of eggs, consider selling them!
7. Sell Your Homemade Creations on Etsy
Do you love to sew? What about working with wood? Are you looking for a creative outlet? If you’re crafty, consider selling your creations on Etsy.
Etsy is a creative marketplace with over 33 million buyers. There are a lot of unique tools for individuals who want to sell what they make, and it could be the best way for you to make extra money in retirement.
Some examples of things people create and sell on Etsy include:
- Jewelry and accessories
- Clothing and shoes
- Wedding decor
- Home decor
- Holiday decor
- Vintage items, such as china or coins
There are tons of individuals selling their handcrafted items on Etsy.
Whether you’re good at knitting, sewing, jewelry crafting, design, or whatever the case may be, Etsy is an excellent start to a business you love – and a business you can run from home after you’re retired.
8. Start Babysitting and Nannying
If you’re not called to duty by your children to watch those grandkids, perhaps helping others by nannying or caretaking could be a way to make some extra retirement income.
Nannies Who Care, an agency that helps place nannies with families, says they have nannies as old as 70+. They also say that while most of their nannies are younger, they do have a substantial portion who are in their 50s and 60s.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about half of moms stayed at home in 1967, whereas today, only about 28% of moms stay at home (as of 2012).
Those working moms need childcare to assist them. For many, an at-home nanny is an attractive alternative to traditional daycare.
There are many places you can go to put yourself out there for a nannying job, including agencies, Facebook networking, or even Care.com, which is the world's largest online marketplace for finding and managing family care, with more than 30.8 million members.
Average hourly rates for nannies differ depending on where you live and how many kids you’ll be caring for and how old they are. According to Care.com’s care calculator, the average in Decatur, IL seems to span from $14-$17/hr.
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Once you have a nest egg built up, you'll want to be sure you're earning interest on it without any risk of losing it.
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As you can see, there are many opportunities for making some extra income in retirement. We hope we’ve given you some practical ideas to jumpstart your plans.
Are you working in retirement? If so, share your experiences in the comment section below!
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