Retirement can be an exciting time. You’re happily giving up the 9 to 5 grind, the long commutes and the all-too-early alarm clocks. It’s the start of a new chapter in life, a time when you pursue long awaited goals and dreams, and sleep in as late as you want.
However, retirement can also be a worrisome time. Will I have enough money once I’m no longer working full-time? Will Social Security be enough? What will I do to fill my days? Will I feel cut off from the world and be lonely?
If you’re retired—or thinking about retiring soon—some of your fears about not having enough money to live comfortably or not feeling connected to the world around you can be alleviated by continuing to work in some capacity. Just now it’s on YOUR terms and YOU set your schedule.
Here are 16 ways—side hustles as your grandkids would say—to make extra money in retirement.
1. Dog walking and pet sitting. Are you an animal lover? Now that you’re retired, you’ll have more free time during the day when many pet owners are away at work. Dog walkers make money by taking a few dogs out for a stroll each day. The exercise and fresh air is an added bonus!
If you have a pet-friendly home, you can also pet sit for people who are traveling or on vacation, either at your home or in theirs. Websites like Rover are good for connecting you with this type of work.
2. Rent out a room. Once the kids are gone, you may have an extra room or basement in the house. You can put your empty rooms to work for you by renting them out, either to a leased tenant or maybe a college student who needs a place to stay for a semester.
Also consider renting out a room—or even your whole house—for people on vacation. Maybe take a vacation of your own that week! Websites like Airbnb, Homestay and VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner) are all good options.
3. Become a driver or rent out your car. Gone is your daily commute, so after you retire, your car may be sitting in the driveway a lot. Many retirees make extra money by driving for ride services like Lyft or Uber. You can also rent out your vehicle to others through websites like Turo.
4. Sewing and fixing clothing. You may have learned to sew on buttons and hem pants at your grandma’s knee, but there are many people who do not even know how to thread a needle. If you have a skill with clothes alteration and mending, you can make extra money from those who are too busy, or don’t know how to, do so.
Websites like Tackl, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and even your local dry cleaners or laundry business are good places to start.
5. Cooking and baking. People love a home-cooked meal, but many are too busy to cook, travel extensively or don’t know their way around the kitchen. If you enjoy cooking and baking, there are many websites that match people like you with locals or travelers looking for a good meal that doesn’t come in a bag. Websites like Eatwith and Cookapp are good places to explore.
6. Tutoring. Use the extensive knowledge you’ve acquired over a lifetime to help others to learn. Maybe you speak fluent French or are a whiz at algebra. If you have expertise in a particular field, you can make extra money tutoring students. There’s also a need for people who can simply help kids who are struggling with their homework.
Check out online tutor placement services like Wyzant and Tutors.com, and you can also post a note in your local library, community newsletter or school.
7. Teaching EASL. Similar to tutoring, consider teaching English as second language. You can even do this from the comfort of home and in your slippers as long as you have access to the Internet. Websites like Lingoda and iTutorGroup can help connect teachers and students.
8. De-cluttering and reselling online. Years of living can also add up to a lot of extra clutter. Maybe it’s time to go through your attic and closets, and see what you have that you could resell online.
Love to go to flea markets and yard sales? Take your love of treasure hunting and use it to find items you can resell for a nice profit on websites like eBay, Etsy, Mercari, LetGo and Poshmark.
9. Teach music lessons. Maybe you’ve dreamed that in retirement you’d have lots of free time to tickle the ivories more. Put your talents to work and share your love of music through offering music lessons.
Check out websites like Tackl and Thumbtack, or put a note up in your local music store, senior center, church or school.
10. House sitting. Maybe pet-sitting is not your thing, but there are many people—especially those who travel often—that need someone mature and trustworthy to watch over their house while they’re away. Rover is a good place to look (it’s not just for pets!), or spread the word to friends and family through social media or word-of-mouth that you’re available to house sit.
11. Start a business. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of having a pottery studio or a bakery, but didn’t have the time when you were working full-time or raising your family. Retirement may be the ideal time to start a small business, especially if you have a passion for something you weren’t able to pursue before.
Local advertising and social media are good ways to get the word out about your new venture. Also check with your local community college and senior center. They may offer free or low-cost classes in writing a business plan, marketing, sales and other business skills. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and attend events to help you network with other business owners.
12. Handyman services. Maybe you’re good at putting up cabinets, hanging TVs or fixing leaky faucets. Many people don’t know how to do these jobs or don’t have the time. You can use all the tips and tricks you’ve learned over the years to help put money in your pocket.
Good websites for landing handyman jobs are Thumbtack, Tackl, and Craigslist. You may also be able to put a flyer up in your local hardware store, church, gym or community center.
13. Running errands. You probably recall the days when there weren’t enough hours in the day to get things done. Now that you have more free time, consider running errands for people who work long hours and need help with run of the mill tasks like picking up dry cleaning or going grocery shopping. The elderly and those who are home-bound are also often in need of this service.
Good websites to check out are InstaCart, DoorDash and TaskRabbit.
14. Get a part-time job you enjoy. Maybe you love golf, or riding horses, or going to the movies. Consider a part-time job where you can work a few hours to make a little extra money doing something you love. An added bonus may be that you get a discount where you work, and who wouldn’t want to save money on movie tickets or green fees?
Check out job sites like Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, and CareerBuilder. And look into your local mall and department stores; many need workers for seasonal work or to fill part-time hours. Your availability during the week is a plus; many people looking for part-time work as a second job are only available on weekends.
15. Get a freelance gig. Maybe you don’t want to have set hours like with a part-time job, and freelance may be a better fit for you. Are you a retired accountant? How about freelance tax preparation services during tax season. Do you love the written word? Skilled copywriters are always in demand. Maybe you’re a whiz at decorating and could help local real estate agents stage homes for sale.
16. Gardening. Most of us want a beautiful garden and yard, but many don’t have the time or energy to create and maintain it. If you have a green thumb, you can make extra money taking care of people’s lawns and gardens and making sure their yards are well-cared for throughout the year. Websites like Tackl, Thumbtack and MeetAGardener.com are some good places for your money to bloom.
Resources: Money Talks News, Tackl, Rover, HomeAdvisor, Inc.