11 Ways Retirees Can Make Extra Income
If your work days are in the rearview mirror now, you may be enjoying your retirement but also wondering how you might bring in a bit more cash. The average Social Security retirement benefit as of September 2022 is $1,628.17, which simply isn’t enough income to support a comfortable life for most people in the United States, especially older people who can often require more healthcare.
Fortunately, many retirees have options for bringing in extra income to make ends meet that might include working online, getting seasonal jobs, or starting a business. In addition, retirees can make use of resources to reexamine and potentially reallocate investments and savings. These moves can maximize their retirement experience.
For example, they might be able to shift invested money to a more liquid position. Or trade a big house that costs a lot to maintain for a smaller place that frees up extra cash for travel. Read on for some ideas for discovering extra income sources for retirees.
For people who want to earn money from the comfort of home, there are many online jobs that require varying degrees of experience. Often you can work when you like, in your pajamas if you prefer. This is, after all, supposed to be your time. Here, some work-from-home jobs for retirees:
1. Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants tackle jobs that companies don’t have the money or inclination to hire full-time employees for. This might include anything from handling social media to managing customer emails or handling the CEO’s schedule. Often, they work for small companies, but they may be called in to help large ones as well. Some virtual assistants make very good money; six figures even. The key is to create a niche, an area where you already have expertise to set you apart from the competition.
Bookkeeping can be a fairly easy skill to learn; it isn’t accounting, and bookkeepers don’t handle all the tasks of an accountant. A bookkeeper might create new accounts, handle payroll, and pay and issue invoices, usually with the help of bookkeeping software. They probably won’t be responsible for closing out the books, reporting taxes, or other tasks that have the legal liabilities of an accountant. One bookkeeper might be able to handle several clients.
Even if you haven’t taught before, if you have knowledge to share and have always been good at explaining things to others, online teaching might be for you. You could teach English to non-English speakers, or tutor in any subject in which you have depth of knowledge. Earnings can range from a few dollars an hour to more than $25 depending on your expertise. An online search can lead you to many options.
4. Customer Service
You’d be surprised how many jobs there are for customer service representatives who want to work from home. You might be hired to help customers via phone, social media, or even chat. You could be working with products or services, from selling kitchenware to answering questions about healthcare services. Or if you have management experience, you might manage a team of home-based customer service representatives. This is a job that requires patience and a love of working with people.
5. Retail, Tax Season, Tourism
You may not want to work all year round. Perhaps just bringing in a little extra money now and again would suit you fine. If so, holidays, tourist season, and tax season may provide all the work you want. For example, U.S. retailers expect to hire many 100,000s of workers for the 2022 Christmas season, mostly working as sales associates in brick-and-mortar stores. For instance, Walmart alone is hiring 40,000 employees.
While Christmas retail may provide the most seasonal jobs, tax season isn’t too far behind and also provides hundreds of thousands of jobs for tax preparers. Many of them must first take a short course and work from the first of the year through April 16. But there are other opportunities, too. All summer and fall people need yard work and gardening help. If you live in a tourist town, attractions need staff, too. Picking up seasonal work means enjoying the leisure of retirement in between picking up extra cash.
Start Your Own Business
The skills you gained during your working years could provide the foundation for your own pursuit, or you could try something different. How many hours you devote to it is your call; flexibility can be a benefit of side hustles or entrepreneurial business. Some ideas:
More and more companies are turning to contract work rather than hiring full-time employees. If you have a solid skill set, want to set your own hours, and choose your clients, you can use your connections to begin a consulting company. You may need a website or LinkedIn to promote your services, or you may have a strong enough network you can just reach out to connections and let them know you’re in business!
7. Service Work
Maybe you love cooking and can create a business providing meals for a handful of families every week. Perhaps you love kids and want to work as a nanny. Perhaps you are good at simple carpentry and can do odd jobs. Many families find they lack the time to take care of jobs, kids, homes, and hobbies and would love a reliable person to take on some of their tasks.
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Many people know how life gets more full and complicated as the years pass — buying stuff, accumulating debt, gaining complexity. Retirement can be the right time to figure out what brings you joy and start shedding that extra stuff which may have become a burden to manage.
8. Sell Stuff
By retirement age, many people have collected a lot of possessions. Instead of just unloading it for free, you might offer it on a site like Ebay or Etsy, or one of the dozens of other possible places to sell your things. Or, if you donate it, make sure to track what you gave away and keep receipts for a possible deduction. Then use a software or app to ensure you get the write-off at tax time.
9. Unload Debt
Debt is expensive. Whether it’s a credit card, a personal loan, or even a mortgage, it’s wise to find ways to reduce the cost of that debt. That might mean it’s time to refinance your mortgage and perhaps roll other debts into it to cut the interest rate and boost your tax deductions.
It might mean making extra payments on principal or using the extra income you bring in to whittle away at high-interest loans. It might mean seeing if you can get a better rate by using a personal loan for your car. Talk to a financial advisor to find the best ways to reduce the burden of debt.
10. Reduce Fixed Costs
Use a spending tracker or budget tracker to find ways to reduce your fixed monthly expenses like food, housing, transportation, and healthcare. Could you get by with only one car instead of two? Or maybe it’s time to sell that home and tuck into a smaller one that gives you more money at the end of the month.
Various tools let you check home values to see how much you could get for your current home. You could also eliminate a couple of streaming services or follow store sales to stock up on favorite items.
11. Ask for Discounts
Take advantage of seniors’ discounts everywhere you go. Many mobile phone services have senior discounts; grocery stores have senior discount days; movie theaters, hotels, airlines, all offer discounts to seniors.
Beyond age-related savings, know that you can also sometimes renegotiate bills for things like insurance and internet service. Many companies expect it and build it into their customer retention plans so you’re not asking for “special favors.” You might also try negotiating medical bills as well.
Revisit Your Financial Plan
Financial planning has to evolve as the markets evolve. You should ensure you have a retirement plan and that you regularly evaluate your financial portfolio. You may be able to move money around in a way that provides you extra cash each month.
Many retirees are looking for ways to bring in more cash, and there are plenty of ways to do so, from starting a side hustle to selling unwanted items to taking on seasonal work. You might also benefit from taking a fresh look at your budget and reallocating some funds.
Another important facet of thriving during retirement can be to find the right banking partner. SoFi can be that ally. When you open a Checking and Savings online bank account with us, you’ll spend and save in one convenient place. Sign up with direct deposit, and you’ll earn a top-notch 4.20% APY and pay no fees, which can help your money grow faster.
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