Every month here at Boomer Benefits we talk to thousands of people turning 65. While many people are aware of Medicare’s costs from having helped a parent or friend in the past, there are always a few Medicare newbies who didn’t realize until now that Medicare isn’t free.
Updated January 2019
This leaves them a bit short on their retirement savings. They start to wonder what they can do to earn money in retirement. Some will search for part-time jobs for seniors at local businesses. Others want ways that they can supplement retirement income right from their own homes.
We asked for ideas from our clients and Facebook fans and did some online research as well to find great ways that you can earn money in retirement. These are in no particular order. See if you can find one that works for you!
Sign up with a Temp Agency
A client from Flower Mound, TX told us she recently put in for work through her local staffing firm that specializes in accounting jobs. Just a few weeks later she got placed in a part-time job, working two days week. “I was feeling a bit bored with just gardening and walking the dog,” she said. “This part-time assignment works perfectly for me.”
The great thing about staffing agency work is that you tell them when you are available. Some of you may only want to only work short-term assignment or fill in for people on vacation. Others may want longer-term assignments that provide steady, extra income. Register with several firms and let the staffing professionals find the best match your goals.
Walk Your Neighbor’s Dogs
When I needed a dog-walker, I posted online at Nextdoor.com, and found a local high-school student to walk my dogs for $7/day. I like the idea of someone local taking care of my furkids when I’m not home. It’s a great deal for me and my pups have never been happier.
This is a great way to earn money in retirement as well. Go to the Nextdoor website to discover your neighborhood social network. Post a note that you are recently retired and are looking to earn a little cash while you get some exercise. Soon you’ll be getting puppy kisses while you are getting in shape too. Aw.
Become a Pet Sitter
If you want to earn more than just a few bucks, you can go a step further and become a pet sitter as well. This may involve having critters in your home or you spending the night in their home, but the pay is higher than it is for dog walking. Find jobs via a pet-sitting website like Rover.
Try Some House Sitting
Don’t like pets? No problem. Lots of people without pets still hire house sitters to care for their property while they are away. You’ll bring in the mail, take care of the yard, water plants, perhaps feed the goldfish, if there are any. Your client can vacation without worry because you are looking after their humble abode.
Throw a Party
Are you a great entertainer? Consider signing up to be an in-home consultant for a company whose products you love. The range of choices today is truly unbelievable. Like fitness? Try Plexus or Thrive. Love Make-up? Check out Lip-Sense, Mary Kay, or Avon.
If you’re like me and love a glass of wine, maybe Wineshop at Home could be your dream hustle.
Sell Hugs at your Local Healthfair or Bake Sale
One of our Twitter fans came up with this idea to earn money in retirement, and it was so cute that I had to include it. Elizabeth Wallace, an education guru, suggested setting up a booth and giving hugs for a small fee. Your local senior center often has health fairs so consider starting there, but church bake sales might present opportunity too. Offer to split the proceeds with the organizer in exchange for a free booth.
Elizabeth said: “Most would love to hug a Grandma or Grandpa. So many people live alone and never touch any other human. Giving and getting hugs would improve mental and physical health.”
Honestly, considering what’s happening in this world today, hugs are a precious commodity. Can’t hurt, will almost certainly help, and if any of you try this, I’d LOVE to hear about it. Take a picture and we’ll feature it on our Facebook page.
Sometimes I run here along the Trinity River and every so often I wish there was a cart or standing selling bottled water. Buy water at Sam’s or Costco in bulk, load it into your cooler and then sell it in local parks or trail ways on a hot day.
Write for Others
Some of you out there enjoy reading and writing. Did you know that you can get paid to write for others? Many businesses these days need help with creating content for their websites or magazines.
Check out sites like Upwork where companies post writing jobs. Apply for the ones that really appeal to you and would be fun to write. You can produce them one at a time or you can look for companies that need regular authors to produce articles a couple times a month.
Apply to Be a Library Assistant
Here’s a similar job to the one above, but with less requirement for creativity. People who love books (myself included) love to be around them. If you enjoy books, this is such an easy choice. Hours are reasonable and the work is light.
Post an Ad on Fiverr
Fiverr is a freelance services marketplace. You can sell your services – whatever they are. Perhaps you worked in human resources and you can critique resumes really well. Maybe you worked in sales and could coach a sales newbie into a stellar salesperson. You can post a job and sell your services for as little as $5.
They have categories for graphics and design, digital marketing, writing, music and audio, programming and teach, business and fun and lifestyle.
Think you don’t have anything to offer? Check out these posts I found on Fiverr this week:
- I will take a pie in the face for fun – $5 (24 sales already)
- I will mail your anonymous letter from Florida (29 sales)
- And my favorite one….I will send a glitter bomb anywhere in the world for $5 (65 sales!!)
Put your thinking cap on and come up with something that you can sell.
Sell your Crafts on Etsy
Are you talented at crafts, stationery, home decor or scrapbooks? Etsy is a perfect marketplace for you. This website allows you to open your own online shop selling whatever handmade or vintage or crafty items that you create.
Etsy’s website touts that 30 million buyers spent more than $2.8 billion with Etsy merchants last year. You can be one of them.
Handwrite Greeting Cards
I’m one of those people that don’t send out Christmas cards. (Cringe, I know!) It’s because my handwriting is terrible. If you have great penmanship, consider offering to sign, address and mail greeting cards for a busy professional.
Work Holiday Retail
Don’t have great handwriting? You can still score a seasonal part-time job around the holidays at thousands of major retailers all over the U.S., and often these stores will rehire you seasonally again next year. Think retailers won’t hire you due to your age? Think again. You are a baby boomer, a child of the generation that produced the most reliable and dependable workers in history. Don’t be afraid to sell your potential employer on the fact that you are much less likely to miss work than the 20-year-old who applied just before you.
The best thing about this job is that it’s seasonal, so even if you don’t love the work, it’s only for 6 – 8 weeks.
Become a Human Billboard
The Penny Hoarder recently reported that Nomad Technologies pays people to advertise for brands by walking around densely-populated areas with tablets displaying messages attached to their backpacks.
Bam! Extra cash and tons of steps on your Fitbit. Read more here.
Sell Your Body
Okay not exactly, but certain parts, and I’m not talking about kidneys. Plasma centers pay top dollar for donations and if you’ve got nice hair, you can sell your tresses for those who make wigs.
Host Visitors in Your Home
Many baby boomers still live in the homes where they raised their children and find themselves with extra space on their hands. You can welcome people from all over the nation into your home when you rent it out on sites like Homeaway.
If you travel, you could rent your space for the weeks that you are out of town. If you don’t travel, consider renting out just a room or two.
Get a Roommate or Tenant
Likewise, a roommate is often a great way to earn some extra cash. You can place a listing on Roommates.com or another similar site to find the perfect companion. This works especially well if your home is a split master or has a separate entrance.
Fill Up Your Garage Space
If a full-time roommate doesn’t appeal to you, you can still consider renting out space in your garage or driveway. Lots of people need storage for boats or RVs or extra vehicles. People who live in apartments might need a cheap place to store smaller items like mountain bikes or kayaks that they maybe only use once or twice a year.
Become a Substitute Teacher
Schools are often short on qualified substitute educators, so some school districts don’t even require you to have a teaching certificate anymore. Check and see what your local school district requires. You have the freedom to choose your subbing assignments.
If the qualifications are more than the work you want to put in, you could consider being a teacher’s aide, assisting with grading papers, setting up equipment and helping with general classroom control.
Enlist as a Virtual Assistant
Do you have great secretarial or administrative skills? Perhaps you are super-fast at data entry or have good research skills. Businesses around the world now hire virtual assistants for short term and long-term projects that make use of such skills. Sign up with a VA service like Priority VA or take jobs one by one on Upwork.
Do Some Secret Shopping
Many moons ago when I was a struggling college kid, I did mystery shopping for a couple of different organizations. I remember I got paid $8 to secret shop at McDonald’s and thought it was the best thing ever. Took less than 20 minutes and I got two free meals out of it. To a young adult living on ramen noodles, that was awesome.
While this one doesn’t always create a ton of extra income, there are perks to certain secret shopper assignments and the choice of assignments is greater today than ever. You can even test drive cars as a secret shopper. Find the assignments that are right for you at mystery shopper companies like these listed at the Penny Hoarder.
Become a Driver
Getting paid to drive is easier than ever these days with companies like Uber or Lyft. You get to choose when you work so it’s very flexible for your schedule as well. I’ve noticed that some drivers really go all out to earn tips as well, offering immaculate vehicles, bottled water or small packages of treats and great conversation. It works too, because I always tip more for a clean car and friendly driver.
Turn Your Trips into Cash
Website Roadie.com offers you the opportunity to deliver packages for other people and get paid cash to do it. Sign up to be a driver and you can peruse the available driving gigs at any time. You choose only the ones that work for you. Let’s say you are driving to Arizona from Michigan for the winter. Sign onto Roadie to see what you can deliver along the way for someone else. Unlike Uber, this driving gig doesn’t involve delivering people so it doesn’t matter what type of car you drive or how clean you keep it.
Cater or Cook for Busy Locals
Do you know a busy professional who barely has time for anything outside of work? These people rarely have time to cook. Offer your services providing a set number of meals each week. It’s helpful to put together a list of dishes that you can offer that includes nutritional information.
Preparing meals for certain popular diets like Paleo are sure to bring in extra cash. You might even contact local gym owners to see if you can leave business cards for their members so you can gain exposure.
Become a Personal Assistant
These same busy people often don’t have time for shopping either. You can deliver groceries or run other errands like dry cleaning drop-offs or dropping the dogs at the groomer. Think of errands that would be beneficial to the busy people you know and offer your services for hire.
Are you good at organizing? Most people aren’t. If you’ve got a system in place that keeps your house tidy, consider becoming a personal organizer. There are thousands of people who can benefit from this service.
Sell Your Knowledge
Websites KoomCam and Udemy offer you an opportunity to sell what you know. Sign up as a seller and start teaching others how to cook, sew, garden, play an instrument apply makeup, dress for success or whatever talent you have to offer.
Write an Ebook
Almost everyone has something they know a whole lot about. Maybe you spent your career as a dietitian and you’ve got so much great advice to share. Put together a short ebook with your favorite ideas, tips, recipes, checklist or bits of knowledge. Then publish the ebook on Kindle or host it for sale on your own website.
Become a Convention Rep
If you live in a major city or town, it almost has a convention center or visitor bureau. These places are often huge and workers are needed for each major convention that rolls into town. When I went to the Fort Worth Auto Convention last winter, there were smiling parking lot attendants, cashiers selling tickets, workers handing out goody bags, workers directing people to the restrooms or concession stands and information booth attendants.
Contact your local Visitors Bureau to see if they need help.
Sign Up to be a Poll Worker
Every county, city and state has elections. These events need greeters and assistants of all kinds. The hours can sometimes be long, but the work is light and temporary. Get in touch with your local board of elections and find out how you can help.
Use your Musical Talents
So many artists and musicians spend a lifetime working at jobs that pay the bills. Now that you are retired, why not get paid to use your musical talent? Check with local churches to see if they need band member or piano players. Senior centers sometimes hire music directors as well.
Are you a harpist or solo singer? There are many brides out there looking for you. Get a friend or family member to help you put together a simple two-page website and hand out business cards to everyone you know, asking them to pass the word.
Become a Tutor
Are you great at math or English? Thousands of parents around the nation hire tutors for their kiddos both during the year and over the summer. This is work that makes a difference in someone’s life so you get the warm fuzzies to go with it. You can make your own schedule too.
Check out online tutoring websites like Tutor.com.
Transcribe Audio & Video
If you type well and have some computer equipment, you can transcribe audio and video. I know this because I send out all our Facebook Live videos to be transcribed by someone else. There are literally hundreds of thousands of videos being uploaded to the internet daily. Check out TranscribeMe.com. Starting rates are listed at $20 per audio hour.
Coach Young Athletes
Pay for coaching isn’t terribly high, but if you love sports, it’s a great way to make a difference in a youngster’s life while earning a bit of cash for yourself. Check with your local school district and any community sports leagues or organizations, such as your local YMCA.
People with accounting backgrounds can get part-time jobs preparing taxes for others. This income would be mostly at the beginning of the year, but sometimes that’s perfect for your winter months.
Consult for Your Former Employer
Sometimes when we retire, we are very happy but our employer is not. After all, your skills and knowledge and work ethic are hard to come by. My stepfather retired and now works contract for the same company he retired for, choosing projects that he likes and billing them on a monthly basis.
He enjoys the work more than ever because he sets his own schedule and doesn’t accept assignments that he doesn’t want.
Care for Others
Childcare and Eldercare are two fields where there is never a shortage of work available. Who do you know that might benefit from your help a few hours each week? You can be a babysitter, a companion, or a caregiver.
Become a Life Coach
You didn’t reach your 60’s without learning a few things. What amazing life wisdom do you have to share? Thousands of millennials and young business people could use your guidance. Start a Facebook page, invite people to join in your community, and start to advertise your life coaching skills.
Volunteer Your Way into a Job
I know a number of people who starting volunteering at a local Humane Society who later became part-time paid employees because they were reliable and clearly loved the work. What’s something you are totally passionate about that you might volunteer for today?
Lots of small businesses need help with cleaning their offices at night. This type of work is not too grueling – our lady spends about 10 – 15 minutes here each night emptying office waste bins and cleaning up our breakroom. This cleaning gig is less strenuous than housecleaning too. Hit a few small businesses in your area to see if anyone is in need.
At our prior office building, there was a guy named Al that came around to our office every so often and offered to detail our cars for $40. Now that’s a steal because detailing my car costs a fortune at the place down the street. Put together some cleaning supplies and test this out in your neighborhood and at local businesses during working hours.
Scoop the Poop
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Busy working folk have little time to clean up after their pets. Any neighborhood with dogs and kids has hundreds of prospects for you to target. This job takes only a few minutes and is much appreciated. You’ll probably meet some pretty cute canines as well.
Offer Landscaping or Gardening Help
As a busy working professional, I don’t have time to mow lawns or trim hedges. I also was not born with a green thumb. Every spring and fall, I hire contractors to do these things for me. If you enjoy landscaping or gardening, consider putting together a flyer about your services and distributing in your neighborhood. Now you can grab some cash AND vitamin D while you do something you enjoy anyway.
Be a Handyman
Are you a handy guy with great tools? There are single moms all over the place that could truly benefit from small repairs that seem minor to you. This is another easy one to market your services with flyers or business cards that you can leave door to door.
If you are not so handy, security positions are low stress and require little more than a watchful eye. Both part-time and full-time jobs can be found in this field.
Open a Bank Account
Is anyone else getting offers from banks for a free $200 to open an account with them? I’ll bet I’ve had 5 offers like that in the last quarter. Read the details and pick the one that offers you the most green.
You probably haven’t thought of this one since you were a kid, but people still get paid to throw newspapers. The best part is you are done early and have the rest of the day to relax and enjoy being retired.
Try a Variety
Maybe you like several of these ideas and are wondering how you might go about putting your name out there to be considered for several types of work. Try registering with Rent a Grandma, where you can put up your profile and make yourself available for a number of different part time jobs like childcare, pet sitting, companionship
Ok, you know I would be a crappy agent if I didn’t throw this one out there.
As an insurance agent who was once President of her local association, I have met literally dozens of agents over the years that work part-time selling life insurance, auto insurance, health insurance, cancer insurance, accident insurance, dental insurance… the list goes on.
Getting a license requires a few days of study and a licensing exam in most states. You can sell full-time, part-time, to family only or whatever you like. What you put in is what you’ll get out.
And last but not least….
Hold a Pre-Estate “Estate Sale”
Most of us have accumulated a lifetime’s worth of stuff by the time we turn 65. While some of these things have sentimental value, many of them are items which don’t serve any real purpose anymore – books we’ve already read, clothes, nicknacks, toiletries.
They are just clogging up our homes at time when we are really ready to downsize for retirement. Purging the clutter sooner rather than later is a GREAT idea. Plan a week to go through your home with a trash bin and some empty plastic totes. Tackle one room per day. (If you need inspiration to get organized, check out this great post by April Perry from LearnDoBecome.com)
Sort through the items in that room and ask yourself which items bring you joy. Those are keepers. For the rest of them, ask yourself which items are no longer useful and toss them. When you come across something still useful but no longer important to you, put it in a tote that is designated for items to sell.
By the end of the week you’ll have many totes full of items that you can sell in an estate sale. Notice that I call it an estate sale and not a garage sale because part of the purpose here is to liquidate and down size. Get rid of little stuff and big stuff like furniture that has served its purpose.
Whatever doesn’t sell, you can donate to goodwill or sell on Ebay or Craigslist.
Now go dance around in your living room at how great you feel after uncluttering all that STUFF! Purging a lifetime’s worth of stuff is a totally freeing experience.
A side benefit to this particular retirement-income-earner is that you’ll have less to move later on, leaving you with more options for living arrangements in the future.
Related Article: What To Do When Moving To Another State With Medicare
Now It’s Your Turn
Do you have a great suggestion for a way to earn extra money in retirement? Pop it into the comments below. We’d love to hear about it.