It’s hard to enjoy life when you’re worried about making ends meet now, or down the road. Here are ways to empower your retirement and earn some extra cash.
You may have discovered that your retirement fund check isn’t stretching as far as it used to. Or even as far as you had hoped. With more of us leaving the workforce by plan or of necessity, it helps to empower your retirement with alternative income streams. After all, you may not want to jump back on the corporate treadmill … And being a Walmart greeter may not be your style. These options are flexible, and who knows? Some of these may lead to a second career.
First Steps to Earning Extra Cash
Before lining up at the employment office, assess your needs and your skills realistically. You may be able to make enough extra money to fund your projects without signing over the rest of your life to an employer.
- Assess your needs. Make a realistic budget to find out how much you need to fill the gaps in your retirement income. Remember to budget enough for those special perks to fully enjoy your retirement.
- Consider your assets. Take a look at everything you have of worth and think about ways to leverage your property to earn money. Are you still getting joy out of that baseball card collection? Would that roadster you were planning to restore be better off in the hands of someone else? Are you living the RV lifestyle and still paying taxes and maintenance on a home?
- Write down your skills and talents. Do you possess a natural ability for something you’ve never considered as a career? Do you have years of experience in a field that you could do part-time on a freelance basis?
One of the best things about working for yourself is the ability to set your own terms. One way to empower your retirement is to use it for work you love at your own pace.
If you’re creative and smart, you can find a lot of ways to add to the kitty to help pay for some of the extras that make retirement such a pleasure. Want to travel? Do a tour of the local restaurants? Even catch a concert or two by one of your life-long favorite bands? Try these ideas for picking up some extra cash and holding on to more of what you already have.
Save Money on Your Expenses
Once you have a realistic budget, try trimming with these cool tools that offer discounts and refunds.
Ibotta: Ibotta lets you know when there are cash-back offers where you live. Just purchase the item, scan your receipt, and they send you the cash back. Once you reach $20, they’ll send you the balance by PayPal.
Walmart Savings Catcher: This program lets you scan all your receipts from this big box retailer. If there are cheaper prices in nearby stores for the same products, Walmart will refund the difference to a gift card.
Empower Your Retirement by Making Money Online
People of all ages are picking up “side gigs” online. There’s no reason that you can’t empower your retirement by fueling it with cash from online sources. Young people are using these online “side gigs” to get work experience. And some older people are using it to supplement their retirement.
Many people are concerned that some of these money-making opportunities are scams. And some of them are. But there are a number of opportunities from reputable platforms worth checking out.
Sell Your Data
Marketing executives pay lots of money to test the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns, and you can plug into this need for data. Sign up with one of the many paid survey companies. Or let their data collection tools track your phone or laptop. We already know how far companies like Amazon and Facebook go to track our online shopping data. Why not make them pay for it? Here are a few apps and programs you can try.
This is an app that collects your online shopping data. They pay $3 a month for every month you have it installed. The company also guarantees that all personal and financial data is removed before they see your shopping history.
Drop offers reward points for your purchases. Once you provide your credit and debit card information, you’ll earn points whenever you shop with stores like Safeway, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Amazon. You can exchange your points for a gift card for these same stores.
Get paid for taking surveys. Yes, many of these are legit ways to make some extra folding clams. PointClub says they have the best, and if you’re just sitting around scrolling through your inbox spam, why not earn some money for it? Take their surveys and cash in your points for cash.
Sell Your Stuff
If you’re of retirement age, you may have accumulated some extra baggage along the way. Selling your excess can help empower your retirement with less stuff to hold you down. If you need cash right away, it’s also how to make money fast.
Vintage items are particularly valuable to the right collector. And second-hand tools and appliances go fast. Check each item for its value, find the right platform to sell it, take good pictures, and write an engaging listing.
This iconic auction site has fallen out of favor, but it may still be worth listing hard-to-find items. It seems to have filled up with cheap dropship junk from China over the last few years. But it’s still a good place to sell seasonal and holiday items, as well as rare collectibles.
If you don’t feel like messing with bidding and shipping, sell your items on Facebook Marketplace. Join any of your local “yard sale” groups on Facebook to list your items. This is a good platform for large items that you don’t want to ship. Lawn equipment, furniture, and appliances sell quickly. Anything that still works secondhand is a good candidate.
This sales platform started out as a way to sell handmade items, but now you can list a variety of vintage items. As long as it’s at least 20 years old, you can sell jewelry, art, books, and more.
If you’ve been hoarding old CDs and DVDs, you can sell them on the Decluttr app. Get a few bucks for that DVD of Saving Private Ryan that you’ve already watched 20 times. Scan the barcode on your book, game, CD, or DVD, and get an instant offer.
This online garage sale app is great for selling your old stuff to your local market. You can sell just about anything on OfferUp, too. Many are concerned about selling on Craigslist because of the number of scams. But OfferUp requires membership, and buyers and sellers can rate each other. They can also get verified by providing a real ID card. So, it’s safer than Craigslist, and no one has to bother with shipping.
You can do more than just sell off your old clutter, too. If you have a great charity or thrift shop nearby, you can sometimes make a profit when you buy vintage items and resell them online. If you’re organized and love the idea of “thrifting,” you can often pick up deals at local second-hand stores, flea markets, and yard sales. Clean it up and sell it for a profit online.
With all these great options for selling stuff, it’s easy to forget good old Craig’s List. In many cases, it’s still the best option. You can meet the person who’s buying in person and they get to see what you’re selling. This is especially good with heavy or high-end items because you don’t have to deal with shipping.
Rent Your Stuff
If you’ve got an RV, you can rent it out by the night to the not-so-lucky ones. People love the idea of hitting the road in a camper, but not everyone can afford it. Many young families have more immediate priorities, and an RV remains a “someday” thing. But savvy folks know they can rent one for their next road trip, and it could be yours. List your RV for rent for extra cash.
And if you’re out on the road enjoying your RV, why not rent out your permanent residence as a vacation home. Check out HomeAway to see how much you could make renting out your house.
This website comes up nearly every time someone plans a vacation online. TripAdvisor also lets you list your property as a vacation rental, and charges a small fee for each booking.
This is the one that everyone is talking about. The advantage of Airbnb is that you can rent out your entire house or just a spare bedroom. If you don’t have extra room, you can still make money as a co-host, working with a neighbor. Help your neighbor ready their guest rooms or greet visitors.
Not only that, you can also host an experience. This is a great option for those involved with important causes who want to share their work with others. If you’ve empowered your retirement years to dedicate them to a non-profit cause, earn extra cash by sharing it with others. It’s a way to get involved in voluntourism and raise money for your cause.
Empower Your Retirement by Selling Your Time and Skills
If you’ve spent most of your life pursuing a career, retirement doesn’t have to mean never enjoying your skills again. You may even decide to empower your retirement by trying a new career but on your own schedule. If you’ve always wanted to learn a new skill, you can turn it into a part-time gig that earns that extra cash you need.
Help attorneys get feedback for important cases by signing up as a “fake” juror. There are several firms looking for help. Some offer in-person opportunities that pay as much as $100 a day. Others offer online mock trials, which pay as little as $5, but take less time and no travel.
There are a number of part-time jobs for good drivers with vehicles in good working order. The best part is, you can set your own hours. Deliver meals, packages, even people, and get paid for your time and gas. If you enjoy driving and need some extra cash, consider signing up for one or all of the following programs.
Writing, Editing, and Proofreading
Former teachers and English majors can earn money by proofreading for a wide range of clients. With the big self-publishing boom that has taken off, many first-time authors need help polishing their manuscripts. You can find work at a number of freelance platforms online.
If you’re good with numbers, consider doing tax returns for H&R Block during tax season (January-April). Monster.com reports they hire 80,000 people to handle the extra workload and you could be one of them. First, you take an 11-week course starting in September. It’s a total of 69 hours and costs $149.00 in most states. The hours are flexible and they pay $11.00 an hour and up. For more information about H&R Block’s tax prep course, click here.
Fiverr is a freelancer platform where you can sell nearly any kind of service, from graphic design to copywriting. Got skills? Sell them on Fiverr. Musicians can sell custom jingles and commercials. Consultants can offer quick assessments of business or marketing plans. You can even sell online classes and fortune telling sessions.
Transcription, Captioning, and Translating
If you’re a good listener and type fast, Rev.Com hires freelance transcriptionists, captioners, and translators. Pay is 40-65 cents per minute for transcriptionists, 40-75 cents per minute for captioners, and 5 to 7 cents per word for translators. Pay is weekly via PayPal. For more information and to apply, click here.
Childcare, Eldercare, Tutoring, and Housekeeping with Care.Com.
Not only can you pick up some extra money, you can also connect with people of all ages and species when you sign up to work as a caregiver. Care.com helps you find jobs providing care to seniors, children, and pets. You can find tutoring jobs, too. Families looking for extra help with a wheelchair-bound member or housekeeping list jobs on Care.com. Truly empower your retirement by spending it helping others. Experienced grandparents make great babysitters. Retired teachers can find jobs tutoring in their specialties. You can look for nearby jobs, or list your services.
If your retirement fund isn’t stretching as far as you’d like, try one of these ideas to make money from home, on your own schedule. Make better use of your belongings by selling the excess or renting unused rooms. Spend less on what you do need, and save for that once-in-a-lifetime trip abroad. The best thing about retirement is being able to live to your highest purpose. And being able to enjoy the view on the way.
Featured Image: CC 2.0 Gonzalo Baeza via Flickr.