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3 Unexpected Sources of Retirement Income

By Maurie Backman - May 10, 2020 at 5:18AM

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Worried you won't have enough money during your senior years? Here are some solutions worth pursuing.

Planning for retirement means taking steps to ensure that you'll have enough money to cover your living expenses when you're older. Now there are some income sources you probably know you can count on in retirement. First, there's Social Security. Though there's talk of benefits being cut in the future, the program is by no means in danger of completely going bankrupt, and so you should be set to receive some amount of income in your monthly benefit.

Next, there's your 401(k) or IRA. Though you'll need to manage your withdrawals carefully to ensure that you don't deplete your retirement savings prematurely, if you manage to amass a decent sum of money, you'll have some income to look forward to as a senior.

Older man and woman walking outdoors


But Social Security and personal savings aside, you may actually have a number of surprising income sources at your disposal during retirement. Here are a few that could make your senior years more comfortable.

1. Your home

Not everyone owns a home in retirement, but if you do, you have a number of income-generating options. First, you can always downsize to a smaller space and use the proceeds from the sale of your original home as income as needed. If you'd rather stay in your home, you can look into renting it out, whether on a partial or long-term basis. Granted, you may need to check your city's zoning laws to make sure you're allowed to offer up your space as a rental, but if you get the green light, you can look at getting a tenant, especially if your home has a finished basement, garage, or other separate area that's conducive to this type of setup.

2. Your car

You may think of your vehicle as a necessary expense, but if it's in good shape and you're the type who doesn't mind driving, you can use it to generate extra income during retirement. Ridesharing services have become extremely popular, and if you live in a city where there's lots of demand, you could supplement your retirement income quite nicely by driving people from place to place. And at that stage of life, you may find that you enjoy the social aspect of meeting new customers, and that having that gig helps you avoid excessive boredom that could lead to mental health issues.

3. A business you run yourself

It's not uncommon for seniors to hold down a part-time job during retirement, but after a lifetime of hard work, you may not want to have yet another boss to answer to or a rigid schedule to maintain. That's why starting your own business could be a better solution. That way, you get to call the shots and decide how much time you want to sink into that venture. Best of all, the money you earn from that business is yours to keep in full, minus taxes and expenses. The more you hustle, the more extra retirement income you get to enjoy.

Many seniors worry about living on a fixed income during retirement. If you share that concern, it pays to explore the ways you can supplement your Social Security benefits and 401(k) or IRA withdrawals. You may find that you have more options at your disposal than you initially imagined.

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