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Once upon a time, retiring meant hanging up the proverbial boots and saying goodbye to working. Today many Americans are redefining retirement by choosing to work after the age of 65. If you’re looking for a way to join them and make extra money in retirement, read on!

If you’ve just retired, it’s time to pop a bottle of champagne, celebrate your achievements and say goodbye to working in the traditional sense. You’ve earned it. Then you might consider that retirement is a great opportunity to earn extra money on your terms while staying active and social. Whether it’s to supplement your pension and Social Security or simply to monetize a hobby or skill you’ve always wanted to try, there are many achievable ways to earn a decent income after you retire. 

Oh, and if you’re worried about your Social Security benefits being affected by extra income after retirement, don’t be. When you reach full retirement age, your benefits won’t be affected by your earnings[1]. Your additional income will be taxable. If you’re not sure how additional earnings would affect your tax status, consult a tax professional to ensure that there are no surprises when tax season comes around. 

1. Investing and Trading 

This is an ideal strategy for younger retirees or those who want to use their extra money to build a nice nest egg for their children or grandchildren. 

Learning how to invest wisely can be one of the best ways to earn extra income leading up to retirement and well after. I’m not talking about the get-rich-quick schemes you see on YouTube. The key is to start as early as possible and invest in something modest and safe like Index Funds or ETFs. 

Make sure you do your research if you plan to start investing after retirement. Having a diversified portfolio and keen eye for risk is key to being successful and protecting your assets. Market volatility is not the only thing you should protect your assets from. Learning how to spot and avoid investment fraud is crucial, especially since seniors are often targeted by fraudsters. 

💵 Earning Potential:

That depends on how much you can afford to invest and for how many years you’ve been doing it. Just to give you an idea, according to CNBC’s calculations, if you invested $500 monthly at a 4% rate of return in the last 10 years, you’d have over $73,000 now and over $91,000 if that rate was doubled[2].

2. Renting Out Your Space 

Letting strangers into your home is one of the most profitable ways to earn extra money in retirement. You can make a solid income by safely renting out your home using platforms like Airbnb and VRBO.

If you have a newly renovated basement, a cottage you rarely use, or you go on vacation for a month, you have prime real estate! Instead of leaving your unused property vacant, you can rent it out and make a profitable side income. One retired host rents out her New Orleans home to travelers and makes enough money to support herself and supplement her Social Security. 

💵 Earning Potential:

In a recent analysis of tens of thousands of loan applicants, loan provider Earnest reported that Airbnb hosts make an average income of $924/month[3]. It’s a realistic and achievable way to earn extra income in retirement. And take it from a frequent Airbnb user: a clean, nicely decorated space will get you top dollar.

3. Teaching and Tutoring 

Thanks to high-speed internet and Covid-19, virtual learning has become the way of the future. If you enjoy teaching, this is something worth considering after you retire. One of the most popular ways you can do this is by teaching English online. Many websites will require you to have a Bachelor’s degree and an ESL certificate will increase your chances of landing a higher-paying teaching job. Previous teaching experience is a plus but it’s not mandatory. If you’re interested in tutoring, you can sign up on websites like VIPKid or Preply and find flexible tutoring opportunities that fit your skillset. It’s a great way to make extra money in retirement without having to leave your home!

📘 Interested in teaching English with VIPKid? Teacher Michael shares everything you need to know to start teaching English online: Teaching English With VIPKid: How to Earn Full Time Pay Without Ever Changing Out of Your PJ’s

If you prefer to teach or tutor face to face, you can do this too. Advertise your services or respond to job postings on websites like Indeed or Monster. Tutoring children of friends, neighbors, or relatives can give you a start, and word of mouth can bring in new clients.

💵 Earning Potential:

Online English teacher Shannon Fernandez compiled a list of the top online teaching companies[4] to work for and according to their average pay, you can expect to earn anywhere from $15–$26/hour. Similarly, Chegg reports a starting salary of $20/hour, with tutors earning over $1000/month. 

4. Freelance 

If you have a skill you’d like to monetize in retirement, now is the time. An estimated 57 million Americans worked as freelancers in 2019, with skilled freelancers making more than 70% of the “traditional” American workforce[5]. Better yet, 29% of those workers are baby boomers[6]

Some of the highest paying freelance gigs are copywriting, graphic design, law, marketing, and e-commerce. You can join popular freelance websites Upwork and Fiverr to land clients, or you can independently market your services. Many popular freelance niches have job boards dedicated specifically to that specialty. These often contain higher-quality postings than the more general work exchange sites.

💵 Earning Potential:

According to the 2019 Freelancing in America Study[7], many freelancers earn around $20/hour, while those doing skilled services earn $28/hour.

5. Pet Care 

Being around animals and staying active are proven to release endorphins that make you happier. You can get paid for doing both those things by signing up to popular websites like Rover and Wag!. Rover is the largest network for pet sitters and walkers. You can easily create an account and offer services like dog walking, pet sitting, drop-in visits, and more. You can set your rates, choose how much you want to work, and pick the type of animals you want to care for. 

💵 Earning Potential:

Dog walkers on Rover earn an average of $15–$20/walk in most areas, while in some metropolitan areas like New York City you can earn even $30 for a walk! If you’re looking to earn more, dog sitting or boarding can get you upwards of $35/night. Even if you decide to do this as a part-time gig you can make over $600/month.

6. Selling Items Online 

Selling online can be a steady, easy way to earn some money on the side. You can sell items you already own or things that you make because you want to flex your creative muscles. I’ve made hundreds of dollars by selling old items on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. This can be anything (and I mean anything) from furniture, old jewelry, tools, clothes, or even cars. You can join countless “buy and sell” groups in your area on Facebook, list your items, and accept cash (most popular) or a bank transfer. 

Retirement is a perfect time to explore your talents and hobbies. If you‘re crafty and enjoy making things like paintings, portraits, or pottery, consider selling them online on websites like Etsy or Shopify. Etsy explains how to set up your shop and reach millions of people that may want to buy your creations. 

💵 Earning Potential:

You can potentially make a few hundred a week selling goods you already own, depending on what they are. The best selling items in my experience are furniture, electronics (check out Decluttr for that), and items that you refurbish. If you’ve got an online store, you can learn what it takes to be successful on Etsy to make a good profit. 

7. Child or Elderly Care 

One of the most rewarding ways to earn extra income in retirement is by offering your services to care for children or elders who need assistance. If you’ve had kids or grandchildren of your own (and you’re not tired of it yet) then consider joining websites like Rent A Grandma, UrbanSitter or Sittercity.

If babysitting days are behind you, many of these websites are also looking for people to take care of seniors. One website that solely specializes in caregiving is Seniors Helping Seniors. Just like all the other jobs I’ve listed here, they have a flexible schedule so you can set your own hours. 

💵 Earning Potential:

According to Business Insider[8], UrbanSitter nannies earn $11-$16/hour on average and get to keep 100% of their earnings. Indeed reports that Seniors Helping Seniors have a similar earning potential, with caregivers earning $11/hour, while a caregiver and companion can earn even $23/hour[9]

8. Customer Service (Virtual or Retail)

Do you enjoy speaking to people, or did you have had a client-facing role in your previous career? Working as a customer service representative is another way to make extra money in retirement. You can choose to do it from the comfort of your home, or in a retail environment. Customer service jobs are constantly in demand especially during the holidays, so there are countless opportunities for you. Websites like FlexJobs are a great resource to find and apply for these types of jobs. 

But a word of advice from someone who used to work with customers: you must have patience and be empathetic. As long as you keep that in mind, this is a great way to socialize and make extra money. 

💵 Earning Potential:

According to Glassdoor, the average hourly salaries for CSR roles in the United States range from $9–$17. The average yearly base pay is $27,834. 

9. Temping 

Temping is a genuinely great way to make extra money in retirement. It’s flexible, you can try new things, and you can choose between jobs that are more or less physically demanding. Some examples of common temping jobs include secretary, administrative assistant, and sales. You can join a temp agency or look for opportunities yourself on job boards like FlexJobs or websites specifically helping seniors find work like RetiredBrains or Seniors4Hire

💵 Earning Potential:

This depends on the job you choose. Most start at a minimum of $15/hour and many can be done from the comfort of your home. 

A Final Word of Advice 

You may see articles online about things like doing surveys, transcribing videos, or writing an e-book to earn extra income. You can make some money from those activities, but most either pay below minimum wage or are not a realistic source of stable income. So when you decide to supplement your retirement nest egg choose wisely, because your time is valuable. Don’t be discouraged if the first method you try isn’t the right one for you. There are many ways to make extra money in retirement, and you’ll find the one that fits!

Do you have any other tips on how to make money in retirement? Please share them with our readers in the comments below!

📘 Read more about how start making extra income: Extra Income Ideas