More than 1 in 4 retirees say they spend more than they can afford, according to a recent survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute. With an inflation rate of 7.1% in November, it is not surprising that savings have not reached the extent they once were. But there are ways to bring in extra cash without taking on a full-time job. Part-time gigs such as teaching, pet sitting, or helping with tax preparation allow retirees to work a few hours at a time, and the extra income can make all the difference. Here are some income opportunities to consider.
More than 1 in 4 retirees say they spend more than they can afford, according to an October 2022 survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute. With an inflation rate of 7.1% in November, it’s no surprise that savings haven’t reached the extent they once did. But there are ways to bring in extra income without taking on a full-time job.
Some part-time gigs—such as teaching, pet care, or helping with tax preparation—allow retirees to work a few hours at a time, and the extra income can make all the difference.
Here are some ideas to consider.
Pet sitting and dog walking
If you have a fenced yard and have the ability to care for someone else’s furry family members, pet services can be both profitable and flexible. According to data analyzed by e-learning platform Preply, dog walking is the best paid side activity by average hourly wage.
“Not to mention, having a canine companion offers many health benefits,” says consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch. “So pet sitting is a great way to get that without the high costs of owning your dog.”
One of the few perks of the pandemic is the boom in online teaching and tutoring. You can set up shop on an online education site like Preply or Wyzant, or an online education site like Udemy. “Set aside two hours on weekend nights to teach students online,” says Woroch.
If you have the credentials, consider creating a college-level course that you can teach as an assistant professor.
“I created and teach veterans’ issues at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy,” says Paul Dillon, owner of Dillon Advisory Services, which helps veterans who want to start a business. “When the course is offered, I spend about five to 10 hours per week on course-related work.”
Consultation / freedom
Retirees often have decades of valuable experience. Project work can help you stay in the game on your schedule.
“Consulting is a great way to stay relevant in your industry and offer your insight and advice without having to go back to the office full time,” says Jacques Fami Jr., managing partner and chief marketing officer at trade finance firm AdvancePoint Capital. . “You can either provide services through a company or start a side business.”
Meet the needs of the community
Depending on where you live, there may be ample opportunities to pick up a side business with your town or city. Your local school may need substitute teachers occasionally (or frequent – flu season!), for example.
“Many elementary and secondary schools could use the talents of retirees,” says Janet Heller, president of the Michigan College English Language Association. Heller points to the need for jumper guards, assistant coaches for sports teams, and breakout supervisors, among others. Contact your local school district to see what part-time locations may be available.
Do you have lots of extra homes, and do you live in an area that attracts visitors?
“Instead of letting that newly renovated basement or spare room go to waste, rent it out on Airbnb,” says Brian DeChesare, founder of Breaking Into Wall Street, a financial modeling training platform. “You can set your ideal availability, so you’ll never be stuck with guests at the wrong times.”
One tip: If you’re spending the winter (or summer) elsewhere, consider hiring a property manager to manage the rentals for your space.
Taxes / reservation
Got tax preparation skills? You can find work helping with tax returns for the first few months of the year—and then take time off for the rest of the year. This is a great opportunity for anyone with tax experience, but it is also possible to take a tax preparation course that will prepare you for places at large tax firms.
The same goes for bookkeeping if you have a finance or accounting background. You can put your previous financial skills to work independently or take a bookkeeping skills course to qualify for project work.
“If you are looking to do additional work, or build your skills – which could mean getting a certificate or taking another course to help make yourself more competitive in a particular role – we definitely encourage our clients to consider doing so,” Tony Vrana, Principal FlexJobs Professional Services. “For something that requires some knowledge of financial areas… you need a little bit of experience in those areas.”
Kate Ashford is a writer for NerdWallet. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @kateashford.