You probably spent most of your adult life looking forward to retirement – imagining the day you could leave behind work and focus on resting, pursuing hobbies, and spending your days however you see fit. But some seniors find that retirement isn’t all they expected. You may find yourself feeling bored with all that free time.
It may feel strange to start missing work, but some retirees have actually found value in continuing some form of work after retiring. The good news is that you have more control over deciding what type of work you want to do and the level of commitment you’re willing to make. If you spent your life working for somebody else, these years are your chance to get entrepreneurial and develop a career on your own terms.
And with healthcare and senior care costs rising, any extra money you can bring in during retirement is likely to pay off in better care options as you age. If you’ve been pondering getting back to work in some capacity, these ten entrepreneurial options may be just for you.
- Become a consultant
The most obvious work option available to most retirees is to do something similar to the job you did in life, but as a consultant. You can set rates that make it worth your while and work whatever hours work best for you. This is often a practical choice since you already have the skills and experience, and you can use the contacts from your earlier career to help find clients. And having a lot of past experience in the field usually translates to being able to charge high rates.
But if you’re ready to be done with the work you spent so much of your life doing already, you have a number of other options as well.
The Rent a Grandma site helps match retirees (predominantly women, as the name suggests) with families that need help with various domestic tasks – such as nannying, cleaning, cooking, and household maintenance. If you enjoy doing those sorts of tasks and like the idea of meeting new families while making a little cash, it may be a good fit for you.
- Baby sit
If you love kids, this probably seems like an obvious choice. You get to spend time with children, develop relationships with them, and make some money as well. And many families will like the idea of hiring an older baby sitter with lots of life experience that’s raised kids before. There are a number of websites that help match potential baby sitters with families needing childcare, such as SitterCity and Urbansitter.
- Dog sit
If you’re an animal lover, then you can make money by providing dog sitting or walking services on a website like Rover. Create a profile that lists the services you’re interested in offering and make some money by playing with and caring for people’s pets.
This might not be a long-term work opportunity (well, it depends on how much stuff you have to sell), but one way to make some extra money during retirement is to start selling the items you’ve acquired over the years online. This can mean clothes, books, tools, and any collections you’ve amassed.
It takes some time and effort, but you can turn some of that clutter in your house into cash. And if you find you like the process of making money selling items online, you can start keeping an eye out for good deals at garage sales or flea markets and start re-selling items you buy at a profit.
- Sell crafts or other homemade items on Etsy
If you have a penchant for crafts or making homemade concoctions of the sort people might want to buy, then consider setting up an Etsy shop. The website is a popular place for people looking to buy and sell clothes, jewelry, homemade soap, crafty knick knacks, and just about anything else crafty or homemade you can think of.
- Become a mystery shopper
If you like shopping, you can make an hourly rate for doing so by being a mystery shopper. Granted, you have to shop at the stores the company sends you to rather than those you’d head to on your own, but you have an excuse to get out of house, check some new shops out, and get paid for it. Do be careful if you look into mystery shopping to steer clear of any scams, but if you sign on with a legitimate company, you can make decent money for your time.
- Become a city guide
If you’ve been living in your city for a long time, you may well know enough about the ins and outs of it to create an interesting tour experience for visitors. Consider becoming a guide with Vayable, which allows you to create a tour based on your particular knowledge and insights. Alternately, you can check if any museums or companies in your city that offer tours are hiring.
- Work in the parks system
If one of the things you were looking forward to in retirement was spending time in nature, then Older and Bolder can help hook you up with work opportunities in the park system that get you outside more, while also getting you paid.
- Run errands
Remember how frustrating it could be to have to fit running errands into a busy schedule? Now that you’re schedule’s not so busy, it’s probably not all that bad for you, but plenty of people still struggle with finding time to get groceries or pick up the dry cleaning. The site Task Rabbit can help you find people who need help with errands, as well as things like putting together furniture or unpacking after a move.
You can help people out with various needs they’re too busy to manage on their own for a reasonable fee as one more way to keep yourself busy during retirement.
If you want to take a few years to rest in retirement and have enough money saved, then that’s your choice. If you’re feeling restless though and want to find a way to feel productive and fill your retirement coffers in the meantime, then consider if any of these entrepreneurial options (or any others you come up with) may be right for you.