5 Perfect Side Hustles for Retirees

by Maurie Backman | Published on Oct. 14, 2021

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Mature woman selling a box of baked goods

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It's often the case that retirees could use more cash. Here are some ways they can get it.

Retirement can be a stressful period of life from a financial standpoint. Many retirees go from earning a paycheck at work to living largely on Social Security, which only replaces about 40% of the average earner's pre-retirement wages.

Of course, some seniors kick off their golden years with money in an IRA, while others have a pension to fall back on. But still, a large number of retirees get the bulk of their income from Social Security, and that's often not enough to live comfortably.

If you're retired and money has been tight, you may want to capitalize on a trend that workers have been taking advantage of for years -- getting a side hustle. Now to be fair, in the context of retirement, a side hustle is really more like a part-time job (the "side hustle" part implies that it's work you're doing on top of a main job). But either way, the following gigs have the potential to not only be lucrative, but be flexible and fulfilling as well.

1. Driving for a ride-hailing service

If you're used to going to an office every day, you may find yourself getting lonely during retirement and craving social interaction. That's what makes driving for a ride-hailing service such a great gig. Not only can you earn extra money, but you can meet interesting people and keep busy.

2. Selling crafts

Crafting is something that can take up a lot of time -- time you may not have had when you were busy working. If you enjoy crafting, you can convert that hobby into an income stream. Just set up an online store using a site like Etsy, or see about getting a booth at local craft fairs.

3. Selling baked goods at farmers markets

If you love to bake, then you might enjoy selling your creations and boosting your income with the proceeds. If you live someplace with a lot of farmers markets, you may have an easy time selling your home-baked goods and padding your bank account in the process. Just be sure to research the laws in your state regarding the sale of food that's prepared in a non-commercial kitchen.

4. Providing childcare

Many retirees miss the days of having children around to care for. And if you have grandchildren who live far away, you may not get as much child interaction time as you'd like. A good bet for a side job could therefore be babysitting for local families, whether it's parents with infants who need help during the day or those who like to escape for an evening out.

Of course, one thing to keep in mind is that many young children cannot get a COVID-19 vaccine right now and face exposure at school. It could pay to consult with a medical professional before signing up to provide childcare.

5. Caring for pets

Love animals? If you're looking to earn a little extra money, providing pet care could be your ticket to it. Walking dogs during the day is a great way to get exercise and take care of your physical health, while spending time with cuddly kittens may work wonders for your mental health.

Working in some capacity as a retiree may not just benefit you financially. If you find that you're struggling to fill your days and keep busy, a part-time gig could be just the thing that prevents you from getting bored and feeling down. And that's reason enough to pursue one.

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