How to Make Money for Retirement Income

Maybe you’re getting close to retirement age and you wonder how you will make it on your retirement income. Or perhaps you are already retired and either need something else to do or want some additional cash to supplement your retirement income.

Or maybe you’ve always wanted your own business as we have. The problem is that so many businesses–even “small” businesses–require a large amount of money for start-up and carry a lot of risks! That’s money we don’t have and risk we can’t afford to take.

In researching ideas for making money for our own retirement years, I found some really good ideas that I’ll share with you. These ideas take very little up-front cash and most have flexible hours. Some are good for getting out and meeting new people and others you can do from the comfort of your home.

Ways to Supplement your retirement income and make extra money on the side.

Please note that this article contains affiliate links, and that means that I may earn a commission if you buy something. Opinions about the products are fully my own.

Ways You Can Make Extra Money During Retirement

1. 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.

2. 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 sites. 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.

3. 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.

4. Make Money Blogging

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 Blogging Blastoff 2.0 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 pretty much all of them.

5. Be 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. The nice thing about this is that you can choose your own hours.

6. Deliver Food from Restaurants or Groceries

My daughter has discovered the fun of food delivery with DoorDash. The hours are flexible and it only requires that you have a car, a valid driver’s license with a good driving record, and your own car insurance. It works much like Uber where you download the app and then sign in when you’re ready to deliver. In fact, you could drive for UberEats, too.

Another mother of kids in college that I know has started delivering groceries to make some extra cash. Most of the stores are offering grocery delivery these days, and they are always needing drivers. If you have a car and like to drive, this could be the job for you. Check with your local grocery stores like Kroger and Wal-Mart. For those that do have their own delivery service, many, like Aldi and others, have teamed up with services like Instacart. Here you would actually shop for the groceries and deliver them to the customer. Check out or your local grocery store websites for information.

7. 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 pay $9/hour. It’s not a lot, but you get to choose the 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.

“Dog” by Dcanim is licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0

8. Pet-sitting

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, 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.

9. Develop Inventions

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.

If you like this article, you will love:

Guide to Remote Jobs and Businesses–Where to Find Work and How Much You Can Earn

10. Teach Online

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.

“America Reads Tutor and student” by Monrovia Public Library is licensed under CC BY 2.0

11. Teach a Class or Tutor Locally

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!

If you’re more of a one-on-one kind of person, you could offer tutoring services. Several websites help connect tutors with students these days including Wyzant, and Tutor Me.

Mushroom Growing 4 You

12. Grow Specialty 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.

You can learn to grow mushrooms for fun and profit at home with the step-by-step videos in this Mushroom Growing program. All the research and trial and error are done for you so you can succeed from the beginning.  

“Tony the Tour Guide” by Brad Greenlee is licensed under CC BY 2.0

13. Be 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.

14. Be a Substitute Teacher

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.

There are so many ways to make extra income–or even turn it into a full-time job or business! I hope some of these ideas gave you hope and realistic ways to make money while you are “retired” or just want to make some extra money on the side.

15. Elder Care

We are as a whole living longer, but with the majority of adults working full-time, we can’t always give the attention we would like to for our aging parents and relatives. Depending on your skills or interest, you could offer to take them shopping, order clothes or groceries online, cook for them, check in on them daily, run errands for or with them, take them to physical therapy or the doctor, or just spend time with them.  Advertise your services on, on Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace and so the people in need can find you.

16. Errand Runner or Home Helper

Busy families often need an extra pair of hands or wheels! Offer to run errands, shuttle kids, cook supper, do laundry, etc. Again, advertise your services online or by word-of-mouth.

Want to Focus on Making Money Online? Check out my article:

10 Legit Ways to Make Money Online

42 thoughts on “How to Make Money for Retirement Income”

  • I love the air b n b idea! Our town just made a rule that we can’t do that! 🙁

    • Oh, wow. Some people need to get together and petition to remove that ban! Thankfully there are lots of other ways to make money on the side!

  • Thanks so much for sharing your tips on making money, im sure these are not only for retirement but for anyone looking for that extra cash.
    You`ve explained things so well and in an easy way to understand that even a beginner will undertand how making mney online works.Brilliant

    • Thank you for the kind remarks, Roamy!

  • These are some great ideas! I have some friends who drive for Uber and love it. I’m a big fan of air b&b. If you have the space, it’s a fantastic idea to rent out a room!

    • Yes, you can make some serious cash with Airbnb, and Uber is so flexible.

  • We love Airbnb. We’ve been renting out our basement for a year on it now 🙂 Great tips!

    • That’s awesome, Natalie! And thank you!

  • You really have some great ideas here! I think I’m gonna be a tour guide when I get older. Who’s better to be a tour guide than someone who’s spent their whole lives in the town, right? 😀

    • Thank you, and right! I think that’s the idea with the site I mentioned–offering tours by locals who really know the area. Have fun! 😀

  • This are great tips! Thanks for sharing. I guess my method for trying to make more money for retirement, and just make more money in general, is by starting a blog. I’m not sure how much money I’ll make from that, but it’s worth a shot!

    • That’s one of mine, too, Tierra. It’s good to diversify, though! That’s why we’ve added the Shopping Annuity to our income earning endeavors.

  • Great tips for making side income! I am currently working towards monetizing my blog, but once that system is up and running efficiently, I will be moving on to the next! It’s all about multiple income streams 🙂

    • That’s right, Kara! Having Multiple streams of income is so important. And that doesn’t just mean two people working different jobs. That’s why we love our Shopping Franchise business. There are actually multiple streams right within the same business.

  • Some really creative ideas here! I have been substitute teaching for a few years now, in our local school districts all you need is any degree, not a teaching degree necessarily. The pay is really good!

    • Thanks, Melissa! Yes, I’m sure it depends on the school district as to requirements for subbing. And they generally pay quite well.

  • I didn’t know that growing and selling mushrooms was a thing. That surprised me. Very interesting.

    • Yes, I want to try. I’ve been researching but haven’t started yet. Maybe when my kitchen reno is finished… lol

  • Laura Belle says:

    I have considered renting my spare room out. I just haven’t been able to get comfortable with the idea of a stranger living here. I will probably do it at some point though.

    • I know what you mean. It’s not for everyone but could really help with cash flow. Especially if you did Airbnb!

  • Awesome ideas here. I love them. Thanks for sharing.

  • These are great tips! These would work for anyone needing some extra money to put away!

    • Thanks! Yes, they really are good for lots of people at any stage of life.

  • My husband teaches with VIPKid! He loves it and it has been a huge blessing and God’s provision for our family’s needs. These are great suggestions, Carmen!

    • Oh, cool. I hadn’t heard about that one. I wanted to do that but they require that you have dsl internet.

  • You have some great ideas here for earning money. I’m a teacher, so I don’t usually think too much about retirement since I pay hundreds into the pension each month. But lately I have been thinking “what if I left teaching,; what would I do for retirement?” I really love blogging, and I wish it could be my “real” job. These ideas give me some more to think about.

    • Yes, it’s nice that you have that retirement plan. But what if you could retire early??! That would be cool! 🙂

  • Such great ideas and I love how proactive you are!

  • I love all of these ideas, especially the specialty garden idea! I had no idea that was a thing 🙂 And the idea of selling used items is great way to declutter at the same time!

    • Thank you, Kiersten! There are so many ways to make money if we want to!

  • Great post full of a variety of ways to create your own little side hustle 🙂

    I am from Canada, and surprised to read that many places in the US don’t require a degree for substitute teaching!

    • Thank you! I’m sure it depends on the school district for requirements for substitute teaching.

  • This is great info! I actually do a few of these already! 🙂

  • Great gig ideas. I am having so much fun blogging and hope to make it a sustainable income soon. Thanks for posting this!

    • Thanks, Maggie! I wish you well!

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