21 Ways Retirees Can Bring in Extra Money in 2021

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Are you retired — or planning to quit work soon — and looking for ways to put a little extra cash in your pocket?

Your years of hard work and experience can be valuable after you retire. Now, you’re in a position to leverage those skills in a new way, or to try your hand at something completely different.

Here are ideas for your next phase of work. Many can be done right now. Start planning for using others after the economy returns to normal and the pandemic is over.

Earn cash back

A senior man holds his credit cards while using a laptop computer at a coffee shop
YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV / Shutterstock.com

Did you know you can get paid for buying things you were going to buy anyway? All you have to do is go through a cash-back website such as Rakuten.

Just sign up for an account, which is free. Then, the next time you shop online, head to Rakuten’s website and click on the retailer where you want to shop. That will direct you to the retailer’s site, where you then can shop as usual.

Another way to effectively get paid to shop is to use a cash-back credit card — assuming you can pay off the balance in full each month to avoid interest. Better yet, you can double up on cash back by using a site like Rakuten and using a cash-back card.

Walk dogs and care for pets

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Now that you are retired, you may have plenty more free time, especially during the day. Use it to help out pet owners who work long hours.

Dog walkers earn cash by taking a few pooches for a stroll each day. Getting out for exercise and fresh air is good for you as well as the dogs.

You can also try pet sitting, which gives you a chance to snuggle up with furry friends and make money doing it. After travel picks up again, the demand for pet care seems likely to rise.

Rover is one site that helps you find this type of work. The site lets you post a profile, connect with people in your area who need help with their pets and handle payments online.

Housesit

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Housesitting is another of those occupations that is likely to spring back up after travel returns to normal.

You can earn extra money by helping out folks in your community when they go out of town. Housesitters are responsible for tasks like watering plants and keeping an eye on homes while residents are away.

Word of mouth is often sufficient to get jobs like this. But you’ll also find opportunities on Rover, which connects people looking for a housesitter with those ready to provide the service.

Rent out your car or become a driver

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There’s a good chance that, after you retire, your vehicle will spend more time in the garage or parked at the curb. However, you can get good use from that vehicle by lending it out or taxiing folks around town.

You can rent your car to others through Turo, for example. If you’d rather do the driving, look into driving for Uber and Lyft.

Run errands

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There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done, especially for people who work a full-time job. If you have a few extra hours a day, you can earn cash running errands for busy people.

This could mean grocery shopping, picking up dry cleaning or running any number of other types of errands.

Connect with these opportunities through Postmates or Shipt.

Mystery shop

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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. Again, this may an opportunity that must wait until the economy reopens more fully.

Mystery shopping can involve eating at a particular restaurant, or purchasing something from a local retailer, and answering questions about the experience.

Do be aware that scams have cropped up in the mystery shopping field in the past.

Cook for others

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The internet allows people who love to cook and bake to reach out to many potential customers.

Look for websites that match home cooks with local residents or travelers who are looking to enjoy home-cooked meals. We’ve got the details in “How to Turn Your Love of Cooking Into Extra Cash.”

<h3Create

Shymar27 / Shutterstock.com

Stuck at home during the pandemic? If you enjoy creative activities such as knitting or woodworking, you may be able to earn money from your hobbies.

How? Open an account at an online marketplace for handmade goods. Etsy, for example, gives you access to millions of potential buyers.

If you aren’t quite ready to debut products online, share your creations with friends and family or sell them at a local flea market. In-person conversations with buyers will help you decide which of your ideas have potential.

Blog or write

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Put your years of experience to good use by blogging or writing online about your area of expertise. 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.

Also, search for specialty sites that need help with writing, editing and tracking down images and other content.

Do landscaping and gardening

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Lots of people want beautiful gardens and landscaping around their homes, but they may not have the time or energy to create and maintain it.

If you 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.

Perform odd jobs and repairs

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Home repair services are always in high demand. Many people 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. Advertise your services on Craigslist or in your local newspaper, or pin up a notice on bulletin boards at hardware and grocery stores.

Alter and mend clothing

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Contrary to popular belief, people still repair their clothing — or would like to if they had time. If you can sew on buttons, alter and hem pants or patch a tear, you may be able to tap into this market.

One way to get started: Advertise at dry cleaning and laundry businesses.

Teach English

Rocketclips, Inc. / Shutterstock.com

The market for English language teachers is perennially strong — strong enough that many people support their travels by taking teaching gigs around the world.

But you can also do the job from the comfort of your home. You probably will need certification or a license and experience. Indeed.com explains how to become a teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL).

Lingoda and iTutorGroup match teachers and students. Or find clients on a freelancing site like FlexJobs.

Tutor

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If you have expertise in a particular field — say, physics or French — offer to tutor students in those subjects. There’s also a need for people who can simply help kids who are struggling at school get through their homework.

Post a note in the local library offering your tutoring services, line up your references and spread the word through friends and family. Two online tutor placement services are Wyzant and Tutors.com.

Provide customer service

goodluz / Shutterstock.com

Do you like chatting on the phone? Many companies hire customer service and sales representatives to work from home. You can sometimes choose the hours you work, which is helpful if you want to keep the workload to a minimum.

You will typically need a computer, reliable internet access and a headset and phone to get started.

One solid resource for part-time remote jobs is FlexJobs, which lists positions in a variety of fields.

Take a part-time job

Naypong / Shutterstock.com

Retirees have the freedom to explore jobs that intersect with things they know and enjoy.

If you love golf, maybe you should apply for a part-time job in the golf course pro shop. (It may not pay much, but you’d probably get a break on greens fees.)

A part-time job in a bookstore or wine shop provides an enjoyable place to spend time, meet people and earn money at the same time.

Start a small business

Small business
Nestor Rizhniak / Shutterstock.com

Retirement may be a good time to start a small business, especially if you’ve always had an interest in something that you weren’t able to pursue before. Use your new freedom to follow a passion you’ve always thought of following.

This could be anything from baking bread to financial planning, as we explore in “21 Hobbies You Can Turn Into a Business.”

Downsize

MR. PISANU NGAMSANGUAN / Shutterstock.com

If you are itching to get out but sheltering from the pandemic, this is great time to edit your stuff and get rid of clothing, furniture and other items you don’t use or need. Make some cash and downsize a little at the same time.

There are many outlets for selling things locally. Craigslist is one, as are consignment websites for designer or collector goods. Bonanza is one place for selling your used possessions. Another is eBay.

We list more marketplaces in “Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top Dollar.”

Take surveys

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You can even earn some cash by watching videos and answering questions on sites such as Swagbucks and InboxDollars.

Learn more about the survey companies that offer these opportunities in our article about websites that will pay you for your opinion.

Rent out a room

kurhan / Shutterstock.com

As a retiree, you may find that you have an extra room or two in the house, especially if the kids have all moved out. Put your extra rooms to work by renting them out. After travel restarts after the pandemic, your entire house might be available while you travel or migrate to sunnier climes in the winter.

You can make extra cash connecting with potential renters through vacation rental sites such as:

  • Airbnb
  • Vrbo (short for “Vacation Rentals by Owner”)

Rent out your RV

sirtravelalot / Shutterstock.com

If you happen to own a recreational vehicle, chances are it sits idle some or most of the time. If so, you can generate income by renting out the RV, in much the same way you would rent your home through Airbnb. One way to connect with people looking to vacation in an RV is RVShare.

How to Earn Serious Money From Your Idle RV” explains how to get started.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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