For many retirees, especially in the 21st century, retirement means anything but taking up golf or going fishing on a permanent basis. Continuing to work and live with purpose after retirement is not only a vital way to stay healthy and active, it’s also an opportunity to generate income.
But what are the best ways to make money past retirement without putting your IRA or 401K at risk? Here are some ways entrepreneurs and other retirees are continuing to put money in the bank after they exit the workforce.
Take Up Consulting
A lifetime of experience and skill doesn’t necessarily stop being in demand once you’ve retired. Some knowledge can only be gained through a lifetime of experience in a particular field. Many businesses and individuals can (and do) pay good money for that expertise. Freelance consulting work can be a viable low-risk business for retirees looking to put what they’ve learned to good use. Anything from tutoring to IT consulting can be a fulfilling way to boost income and make connections.
Start a Part-Time Business
The idea of starting a business after retirement might not appeal to everyone. A sideline business can be a great way to bring in some extra money. But a part-time business doesn’t have to mean a brick-and-mortar store and a daily grind. In fact, after retirement, it probably shouldn’t. Getting a new business started can be as easy as creating a website or a Facebook page. Dog walking, child care, repair services, or even selling unwanted possessions on eBay can all be lucrative side ventures. Ideally, cash investment should be relatively low, so there’s little risk of tapping into retirement funds.
Embrace the Sharing Economy
The sharing economy has brought fresh opportunity not only to homeowners, but to other enterprising souls. You can now rent not only rooms and homes, but boats and cars. For home or property owners who want to make their real estate work for them, AirBNB and other home-sharing sites can bring in money and help offset expenses. Who knows? You may even make some new friends.
Generate Passive Income
For retirees who would rather relax — but still want to make some extra cash — there are ways to generate ongoing and passive income. For those with the money to do so, buying up rental properties in desirable areas (and handling the repairs yourself) is a time-honored means of making money. Online activities like blogging, affiliate programs, and writing ebooks or online guides can also bring in cash through ad revenue and sales. Low-risk investment in stocks and index funds is also an option for those with the money, savvy, and willingness to put some money on the line.
Monetize Your Hobbies
Why not get paid for something you’d do anyway? Creating and selling your work lets you literally profit from doing something you enjoy. Sites like Etsy make it easy for people to sell their arts and crafts online. Many retirees make money from gardening by selling their fruits and vegetables at local farmer’s markets. If you’re a history enthusiast and know your way around your hometown, you can become a tour or museum guide to put that knowledge to work.
Having a side venture to occupy your time after retirement isn’t just good for your bank account — studies have shown it’s also good for your health. While it’s important to relax and kick back in your retirement years, there are also many benefits to spending time doing something you love… and getting paid for it.