20 Ways to Make Extra Money in Retirement

Enjoy your golden years by doing what you love -- and getting paid for it.

A senior woman in glasses smiles while he rests her hands on a piggy bank and lies on a bedRacorn / Shutterstock.com

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 a position to leverage those skills in a new way, or try your hand at something completely different.

Use the following list of ways to make money as a jumping off point for your next chapter.

1. Walking dogs

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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 work long hours. Dog walkers make money by taking a few dogs for a stroll each day. And that habit of getting out for exercise and fresh air is good for you as well as the dogs.

Websites such as Rover.com can help you find this type of work.

2. Pet-sitting

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Pet-sitting gives pet lovers a chance to snuggle up with furry friends and make money.

Word of mouth may get you some work, but again, you can also find work through pet-sitting sites like Rover.com.

3. House-sitting

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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.

Word of mouth is often sufficient to get jobs like this. You can also check for opportunities listed on websites like Rover.com. It connects people in need of a house sitter with potential house sitters, just as it connects pet owners with pet sitters and dog walkers.

4. Renting out a room

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As a retiree, you might also find that you have an extra room or two, especially if the kids have all moved out.

Fortunately, you can put your extra rooms to work by renting them out. This is especially easy to do through vacation rental websites such as:

5. Renting out your car or becoming a driver

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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 taxiing people around town.

You can rent out your car to others through sites like Turo.com. If you’d rather do the driving, check out Lyft.com and Uber.com.

6. Running errands

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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 running any number of other errands that people need help with.

7. Being a mystery shopper

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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.

This could mean eating at a particular restaurant and then answering questions about your experience or just purchasing something from a local retailer.

Just be aware that scams have cropped up in the mystery shopping arena in the past.

8. Cooking

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Traditionally, bake sales were a way to 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 or travelers who are looking for home-cooked meals. Check out EatWith.com, Eat With a Local and CookApp.com for starters.

9. Creating

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Do you enjoy knitting or woodworking? Believe it or not, you can actually earn money from hobbies like these. Setting up an account with an online marketplace for handmade goods, like Etsy.com, will give you access to millions of buyers.

If you aren’t quite ready to debut your products online, share your creations with your friends and family — or sell them at the local flea market. In-person conversations will help you figure out which of your ideas has the most potential.

10. Blogging or writing

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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.

11. Doing landscaping or gardening

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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.

12. Being a handyman/woman

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Home repair services such as fixing plumbing and broken kitchen drawers 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.

13. Altering and fixing clothing

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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 get started by advertising at dry cleaning and laundry businesses.

14. Teaching English

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

Nowadays, you could also do the job from the comfort of your own home via your internet connection. Examples of sites that help match teachers and students include Lingoda.com and iTutorGroup, but you can also find clients on freelancing sites like Upwork.com.

15. Tutoring

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There is always a need for tutors in certain 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 need 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.com and Tutors.com.

16. Providing customer service

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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 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, reliable internet access and a headset and telephone to get started.

17. Taking surveys

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Technology makes it possible to perform a broad range of jobs from your laptop. You can even answer questions online and get paid for it.

To learn more about the survey companies that offer these opportunities, check out “Survey Sites to Turn Extra Minutes Into Extra Money.

18. Taking a part-time job

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Now that you are retired, you have the freedom to explore jobs that intersect with 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 may not pay much, but you’d probably get a break on greens fees.) Part-time jobs in bookstores and wine shops can end up offering enjoyable places to spend time and earn money at the same time.

19. Starting a small business

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Retirement may be 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 financial planning.

20. Downsizing

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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. This is a great way to make some cash and downsize a little at the same time.

There are many outlets for selling things locally, such as Craigslist.com, as well as consignment websites for designer or collector items that might interest a buyer farther away. 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.

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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