So you’re retired — or planning on retiring — and you’re looking for ways to keep busy and maybe put a little cash in your pocket. The good news is that your many years of hard work and experience, no matter what field you spent them in, can still be valuable once you retire. But now, you’re in the position to leverage those skills in a new way, or try your hand at something completely different. Use this list of 20 ways to make money as a jumping off point for your next chapter.
Earn extra money by helping out people in your community while they’re out of town. House sitters are often responsible for watering plants and keeping an eye on homes while the residents are away — a job that can earn $50 or more per day. Word of mouth is often sufficient to get jobs like this. You can also check for opportunities listed on job portals like Mindahome.com.
Pet-sitting often goes hand in hand with house-sitting, and its’ a service that people often need when they go out of town. What’s even better is that you can watch multiple pets at a time, which means that an average $20 per visit could really add up. If you are an animal lover, you get a chance to snuggle up with furry friends and make money. Again, word of mouth may get you some work, but you can also look for listings on pet-sitting sites such as Fetch! pet care.
3. Walking dogs
Now that you are retired, you will find yourself with more free time, especially during the day — when you can help out pet owners who are on the job for long hours. Dog walkers make as much as $20 per hour, which can add up if you take a few dogs for a stroll each day. And that habit of getting out for exercise and fresh air — it’s good for the dogs, but it’s also good for you.
4. Teaching English
The market for English teachers is perennially strong — strong enough that many people, retired and otherwise, support their travels by taking teaching gigs around the world. But, nowadays, you could also do the job from the comfort of your own kitchen via your internet connection. Examples of sites that help match teachers and students include Lingoda and iTutorGroup, but you can also find clients on freelancing sites like Upwork.
There is always a need for tutors in specific subjects. If you have expertise in a particular field — say physics or French — you could offer to tutor students in those subjects. There’s also a call for people who can simply help kids who are struggling get through their homework. Post a note in the local library offering your tutoring services, spread the word through friends and family, or check out online tutor placement services like Wyzant and Local Tutor.
6. Taking online surveys
Technology makes it possible to perform a broad range of jobs from your laptop. There are many survey companies online that require you to answer questions and take surveys and, in exchange, will pay you. For starters, check out this article on how to take surveys for money.
7. Renting out a room
As a retiree, you might also find that you have an extra room or two, especially if the kids have all moved out and started building their own families. Fortunately, you can put your extra rooms to work and rent them out through services such as Airbnb and VRBO (part of the HomeAway family). Check out these 15 tips for wringing profit out of your home in this way.
8. Sharing your car or becoming a driver
There’s a good chance that after you retire your vehicle will end up spending more time in the garage or parked at the curb. However, you can get good use out of your vehicle by lending it to people or taxi-ing people to the airport. Check out the two main ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft, or consider renting out your car to other drivers through sites like Turo
9. Doing landscaping or gardening
Lots of people want beautiful gardens and landscaping around their homes, but most don’t have the time or energy to create and maintain it. If you happen to have a green thumb, you can earn money taking care of people’s lawns and gardens and making sure their yards are well-manicured throughout the year.
10. Starting a small business
You’re retired, so you probably aren’t looking for a great deal of new work to take on. Now is a good time to start a small business, especially if you’ve always had an interest in something but weren’t able to pursue it before. Use the extra time you have now to follow a passion you have always thought of following. This could mean anything from baking bread to preparing taxes. Before you invest a lot of cash to get set up, check out: “5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Turning Your Hobby Into a Business.”
11. Providing customer service
Do you like chatting on the phone? Many companies hire customer service and sales representatives to work from home. You can usually choose the hours you want to work, which is helpful if you want to keep your workload to a minimum. For these types of jobs, you usually just need a computer, a headset and a telephone line to get started.
12. Earning money from your hobbies
Do you enjoy knitting or woodworking? Believe it or not, you can actually earn money from hobbies like these. You can set up an account with Etsy, upload some photos of your work and gain access to a market of millions. If you aren’t quite ready to debut your products online, share your creations with your friends and family — or set up your goods to sell at the local flea market. In-person conversations will help you figure out which of your ideas has most potential.
13. Blogging or writing
Put all your years of experience to good use by blogging or writing about it online. Whether you are an expert in RV travel, doll collecting or living on a limited income, you can set up a website, sell ad space and share your experience and expertise. You can also find a wide array of specialty sites that need help with writing, editing and tracking down images and other content.
14. Being a handyman/woman
Home repair services such as fixing plumbing and broken kitchen drawers are always in high demand. Most people either don’t know how to do these jobs or don’t have the time. As a retiree, you can put all the tricks and repair tips you have learned over the years to work and get paid for it at the same time.
15. Altering and fixing clothing
Contrary to popular belief, people do still repair their clothing — or would like to if they had time. If you can sew on buttons, alter pants or fix a hem, you can tap into the market. Sometimes you can advertise at dry cleaning and laundry businesses to get started.
16. Taking a part-time job for pay and fun
Now that you are retired, you have the freedom to explore jobs around things you know you enjoy. If you love golf, maybe you should apply for a part-time job in the golf course pro shop. (It wouldn’t pay much, most likely, but you’d probably get a break on greens fees.) Part-time jobs in bookstores and wine shops can end up being enjoyable places to spend time and earn money at the same time.
17. Being a mystery shopper
Yes, you can get paid to shop. Mystery shopping allows you to get your own shopping done, and earn money while you provide businesses with honest feedback. This could mean eating at a particular restaurant and then answering questions about your experience, or just purchasing something from a local retailer. Although scams have cropped up in the mystery shopping arena in the past, companies that are part of the Mystery Shopping Providers Association are generally considered legitimate.
18. Earning cash running errands
There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done, no matter who you are. If you have a few extra hours a day, you can earn some cash running errands for people and tackling some of the things on their to-do lists. This could mean going grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning, or carrying out any number of other errands that people need help with. While you take care of your own errands, you can earn money picking up someone else’s at the same time.
19. Home-style cooking
Traditionally, bake sales were a path for make a little extra dough in the kitchen, but with internet connectedness, people who love to cook can reach out to a huge number of potential customers. There are many websites that match people who love to cook with local people and travelers who are looking for home-cooked meals. Check out: Eatwith.com, Feastly, Eat With a Local and Cookapp for starters.
20. Making money by downsizing
Now might be a good time to go through all your stuff and get rid of clothing, furniture and other items you don’t use or need anymore. There are many outlets for selling things locally, such as Craigslist and virtual garage-sale sites, as well as consignment sites for designer or collector items that might interest a buyer farther away. This is a great way to make some cash and downsize a little at the same time. Get more ideas here: “Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top Dollar.”
What ideas or suggestions do you have for retired people who want to make extra money? Share in comments below or on our Facebook page.