So, I’ll just say it up front: my husband and I have been terrible at saving or investing for retirement. Terrible with a capital T. So my husband is 63 and still working for somebody else selling cars. I’m 10 years younger and I’ve been thinking for a while–how long is he going to have to work? I spent most of the past 26 years raising and homeschooling my kids. I’ve been working part-time since they were in their teens. Will I have to find a full-time job to somehow try to replace my husband’s income to support us? We have been asking ourselves for years, how will we make money for retirement income?!
We’ve always wanted to have our own business, but so many require a large amount of money for start-up and carry a lot of risk! That’s money we don’t have and risk we can’t afford to take. In researching ideas for making money for our retirement, I found some really good ideas that I’ll share with you. I’ll also tell you what we have chosen to do and why, too, so read to the bottom to find that.
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Rent out a room or your whole house
I have several friends who have started doing the Airbnb thing. It’s where you rent out your house or a part of your house for people instead of them renting a hotel room. We live close to Virginia Tech University and we have bazillions of fans come here to stay the weekend during football season and this area doesn’t have enough hotels for them all. So my friends can make quite a bit of money renting out their whole house and a decent amount renting out a bed and bath or small apartment they’ve made in their basements. You don’t have to be in a college town, though, to rent your home or room. People come to town for lots of reasons: business, vacation, visiting relatives, college tours, concerts, and more. You can list your space for rent on Airbnb for a small fee. Your accommodations can be as simple or as swanky as you’d like. You let the customer know in your description on the website just what they’re getting and you price accordingly.
Also, if your family has moved out and you have an extra bedroom, consider renting the room on a more permanent basis. Another friend rents out a room to a college grad student. They generally spend a lot of time at the university or quietly studying. Renting out a room might not bring in a lot of income, but with the right tenant, it can be a steady income to help pay the bills.
Sell your handmade items online.
Do you like to make stuff? Selling handmade items is only limited by your imagination, skill and time. It’s pretty simple to offer your items online. Etsy is perhaps the biggest online site for selling arts and crafts-type items. Take a look there to get ideas. You can also sell your things online at eBay, Amazon, Craiglist, to name a few site. If you’re not into online selling and enjoy interaction with people, you can also sell your wares at arts and crafts fairs. Find out where they are located near you here.
Sell used items
So this may just be a way to bring in a little extra cash and help you downsize while you’re at it. Lighten your load by selling your used items or collectibles on eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Of course, you can sell your stuff at a yard sale, but I’ve found that it’s a lot more work and you make way less money than selling online. The good part of a garage sale is it’s all over within about a week and the remainder can be hauled off to Salvation Army. It just depends on what your objective is.
There are some people who buy things at garage sales or thrift stores and sell them online for a profit. It’s very doable. My brother-in-law has sold used designer clothes online that he buys at thrift shops and consignment shops and does well with it. You just need to know your niche. You need to do research to see how much those items are going for online. There is risk involved here as you may end up with a room full of stuff no one wants. If you know your products and what is selling, however, it’s possible to make some serious cash.
Start a Money Making Blog
If you like to write and like to spend time online, blogging may be for you. To get started, I highly recommend the free course I took, Start Your Money Making Blog Free Email Crash Course. Pete and Heather take you through the steps to get your blog started from finding your niche, your blog name, blog hosting site, and more. After that, you can choose to take their 30 Day Blogging Fast Track Course for a reasonable fee. It’s everything you need to know to start making money on your blog. Both of these courses offer a free online very supportive community that is so helpful. I was amazed at the amount of information they offered during the course. They shared literally everything they have learned over the years to build a money making blog. You can read more about my review of the course at Start a Money Making Blog FREE 5 Day Email Crash Course. There are many ways to make money on a blog and this course will teach you how to do all of them.
Become an Uber Driver
Uber is a growing business and all you need is time, a decent car and insurance on your car. You download the Uber app, upload your information and times you’re available and wait for the requests. Lots of people are using this means of transportation instead of car rentals, taxis, buses or airport shuttles when they visit a city or don’t want to be a designated driver when out on the town. I have friends who have boosted their income by uber driving nights during weekends, but if you’re already retired, you can choose daytime hours as well. This nice thing about this is that you can choose your own hours.
Work Security for Events
I ran into my kids’ favorite retired librarian a few months back at a craft show. She and her husband were working security for the show. She said that they love it. It gets them out of the house, they get to see people and they make some money. My dad checked into it and I think they paid $9/hour. It’s not a lot, but you get to choose your events and weeks/weekends that you want to work. Depending on the company, you could be working sporting events, concerts and shows like the craft show I mentioned.
Pet-sitting is a true work from home venture and depending on how many animals you’re able or willing to take in, you can do quite well. Many people hate the idea of locking their pets up in a kennel when they go away, so they are willing to pay well for a person to care for them in their home. Word-of-mouth or a Facebook status is probably all you would need in advertising, however, Care.com has a place to list your pet-sitting service as does Rover and others. Look through the listings to see what other people in your area are offering.
So this one will take some time, but it can be very worth it. One popular example of a family who made millions off a simple invention is the crew from Duck Dynasty. Their invention, if you recall, was a duck call. Be sure to do a lot of research before partnering with any company to market your invention. I found some good info at Entrepeneur, IP Watch Dog, and Free Inventor’s Help.
Another friend I know is teaching English as Second Language classes online. The good news is that you don’t have to be a certified teacher to do this. Some sites offer training for teaching ESL on their sites and the more training you do, the higher your pay is. Here again, you can set the hours that you are available to teach and choose the ages of students you are interested in. You will have students in a virtual classroom from all over the world. The main requirement is that you have high-speed internet. The site my friend teaches on is English Town. On this site, you need to get your 40-hour training before you begin. My friend got her training at TEFLEN online.
Grow specialty items like greens or mushrooms
Buying local and using specialty items is not just for the fancy restaurants in big cities anymore. It’s a trend that is likely here to stay and even the smallest towns have chefs and cooks who are buying these items when they can. It takes just a little investment and know how to turn your garage, shed, or extra room into a growing facility. For growing mushrooms, I have learned so much from the Facebook group, Growing Mushrooms. They are a friendly bunch and offer suggestions for books, courses or groups in your area to learn about mushroom growing. If you’d like to grow food crops for farmer’s markets or restaurants, you may find some valuable information on the Facebook group, Planting for Retirement. It’s another friendly group where you will pick up lots of ideas and information.
Tutor Locally, Teach a class
Consider sharing your knowledge or skill by teaching a class at your local recreation or community center. Pick up a catalog and see what classes are being offered now or what is missing. They are always looking for interesting classes and capable instructors. Many years ago when my grandpa retired, I remember him getting into rock polishing. He ended up teaching a rock polishing class in town among other things. My son got into swing dancing and had fun teaching a swing dance class with a friend at the local rec center. The topics to be taught are endless!
Become a local tour guide
If you like to meet people and can tell them about your area, what better way to do so than to become a local tour guide. It can enrich a person’s experience to learn about the area they’re visiting by a local person. I found a very cool site that connects travelers with independent tour guides at Tours By Locals. Watch the video here.
Did you know that in most areas in the U.S. you don’t have to have a degree to be a substitute teacher? That’s right. In our area, you can fill out an application for subbing right on the school system website. The days are flexible and the pay is decent.
And Drum Roll Please!
This is How We are will Make Money for Retirement:
Begin a Shopping Annuity and Get Paid for Shopping
This is not about being a personal shopper! Though that could be the 15th option for this list. Instead, this way to make money for retirement is the one that I’m most excited about right now. Over the years I have done several of the ways to make money on this list, and each one was really just creating a job for myself. If I didn’t show up to tutor or substitute teach, I didn’t make money. If I didn’t guess on the right items to sell on eBay, I didn’t create income.
When I first heard about a business, I thought that it was just a great way to save money by earning cash back on everything I already buy from the stores I already buy from. And we all know that wise saying that a penny saved is a penny earned. What I found is that I could actually get paid to shop! So my husband and I now have our own online store where we make money by shopping and showing our customers and partners how to make money shopping, too.