If money is tight and expenses are growing, consider boosting your income by joining the gig economy.
“Gig economy” is a relatively new term for an old concept. It refers to employment that entails doing multiple short-term jobs for several clients rather than working one job for a single employer. It’s generally synonymous with self-employment and freelance work.
Anyone can join the gig economy, but it might have special appeal for those nearing retirement. Not only can older workers postpone dipping into their retirement funds, but they also get to set their own work hours.
Other advantages of the gig economy for people nearing retirement include that it:
- Provides an alternative for older workers who have difficulty finding a traditional job because of such things as age bias.
- Involves few upfront or ongoing costs.
- Provides social interaction.
Of course, like anything else, the gig economy has downsides. They include the fact that:
- Income can be unpredictable.
- Workers are generally responsible for paying their own taxes.
- Benefits like health insurance are generally not available.
How to take advantage of the gig economy
Rover is among a growing number of websites that help people find freelance work. Joining these sites is generally free and as simple as signing up for an account, although potential workers are often screened before they can start soliciting work.
Signing up for a Rover account, for example, entails simply providing your name, email address and ZIP code. Rover also conducts background checks.
If pet-sitting isn’t your ideal idea of retirement work, other options in the gig economy — just to name a few — include:
- House-sitting. Examples of websites that help you find this type of work include Rover and Thumbtack.
- Renting out a room to travelers (Airbnb, HomeStay and VRBO).
- Renting out your car (Turo).
- Tutoring (Wyzant).
For more options, check out the “Make” section of our website.
For tips to get you started in the gig economy, check out:
Have you ever done any freelance work or otherwise worked in the gig economy? Tell us about your experience below or on our Facebook page.