20 Ways Retirees Can Bring in Extra Money in 2020

Woman baking
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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 many years of hard work and experience can still be valuable once you retire. But 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 some ideas for beginning your next phase of work.

1. Renting out a room

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As a retiree, you might also find that you have an extra room or two in the house, especially if the kids have all moved out. Fortunately, you can put your extra rooms to work by renting them out. Or, perhaps your whole house is available while you travel or migrate to sunnier climes in the winter.

These days, it is surprisingly simple to make money connecting with potential renters through vacation rental websites such as:

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

2. Renting out your RV

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If you happen to own a recreational vehicle, chances are it sits idle some or most of the time. If this is the case, you can generate income by renting out your RV — in much the same way as you would rent your home through peer-to-peer site Airbnb — by connecting with people looking to vacation in an RV through the website RVShare.

Check out this post for more on how it works.

3. Walking dogs and pet-sitting

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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 pooches 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.

You can also try pet-sitting, which gives you a chance to snuggle up with furry friends and make money doing it.

Websites such as Rover can help you find this type of work. The site allows you to post a profile, connect with people in your area who need help with their pets and handle payments online.

4. House-sitting

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Earn extra money by helping out folks in your community when they go out of town. If you decide to try house-sitting, you’ll be responsible for tasks like watering plants and keeping an eye on homes while residents are away.

Sometimes word of mouth is often sufficient to get jobs like this. But you can also find opportunities on websites such as Rover. It connects people in need of house-sitting with people ready to provide that service.

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 from that vehicle by lending it out or taxiing folks around town.

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

6. Running 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 some cash running errands for busy people.

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

You can connect with these opportunities by signing up with a service like Postmates and Shipt.

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 purchasing something from a local retailer.

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

8. Cooking

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Traditionally, bake sales were a way to make a little extra dough with your kitchen. But with internet connectedness, people who love to cook can reach out to a huge number of potential customers.

There are websites that match people who love to cook with local residents or travelers who are looking to enjoy home-cooked meals, as we report in “How to Turn Your Love of Cooking Into Extra Cash.”

9. Creating

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Do you enjoy an activity like 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, such as Etsy, will give you access to millions of buyers.

If you aren’t quite ready to debut your products online, you can share your creations with 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 your area of expertise 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 such a landscape.

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.

12. Doing odd jobs and repairs

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Home repair services such as fixing plumbing problems 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 still repair their clothing — or would like to if they had time. If you can sew on buttons, alter pants or hem them, 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 support their travels by taking teaching gigs around the world.

Nowadays, you can 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 and iTutorGroup, but you can also find clients on freelancing sites such as Upwork.

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 can 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, spread the word through friends and family, or check out online tutor placement services such as Wyzant 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 the 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.

A great resource for part-time and full-time jobs you can do without showing up at an office is the website Flexjobs, which lists hundreds of positions for people who want to work remotely.

17. 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 providing enjoyable places to spend time and earn money at the same time.

18. Starting a small business

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, as we detail in “25 Hobbies You Can Turn Into a Business.”

19. 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, as well as consignment websites for designer or collector items that might interest a buyer farther away. Get more ideas in “Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top Dollar.”

For selling your old tech devices, check out Decluttr.

20. 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 on sites such as Swagbucks and InboxDollars.

To learn more about the survey companies that offer these opportunities, check out “5 Survey Websites That Will Pay You for Your Opinion.”

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