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The Best Side Hustles for Seniors

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You may be retired or nearing the season of retirement and still feel vibrant. You have energy, ideas, and a desire to continue making a meaningful contribution to society. Perhaps you’d also like to earn income to maintain your lifestyle or have a little extra spending money. Starting a side hustle is a great way to support all of the above! 

The term ‘side hustle’ refers to a flexible job you have on the side of your primary job, which can include retirement. While millennials made the concept wildly popular, plenty of baby boomers are getting their hustle on - and at all stages of retirement. According to a gig platform called Wonolo, they’re seeing a trend in boomers being more active in this space. One out of every three boomers completes 3+ gigs a week compared to only one in five millennials. And it doesn’t stop at ‘gigs’ here and there.

According to Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship, when it comes to the biggest age group starting businesses in the U.S. today, the 45 to 55 age group is the highest at 39 percent, with the 55 to 65 age group following closely behind at 38 percent. All of that to say, if you’re feeling inspired to start a side hustle as a senior, you’re in good company!

Getting Started with a Side Hustle

With so many options available, which we’ll dive into in a moment, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are three specific areas to journal about when choosing a retirement side hustle:

  1. Your interests and skills. What are you passionate about? Do you have special talents or knowledge that others might find valuable? Consider what kinds of businesses or services you could provide based on these specific interests and skills.

  1. Your time & money. How much are you able to commit to your side hustle? If you're only looking for a part-time job, choose something that won't require too much time and energy. On the other hand, if you're hoping to build a business, be prepared to invest more of these resources. Depending on your idea, you may need startup capital. The goal of a side hustle is to make extra income, so ensure you have a clear understanding of the costs involved, so it’s a profitable endeavor.

  1. Your overall goals. Take a moment to ask what you’re hoping to achieve. Are you looking to supplement your income or replace it entirely? Do you want to build something that can be passed down to future generations? Be sure you’re choosing a side hustle that aligns with your goals.

Once you have a clear understanding of your skills, resources, and desires, it’s time to get to work. Decide on the best side hustle for you. It may be helpful to start by brainstorming the most lucrative ideas that line up with your specific talents. 

Here’s a list of fantastic side hustles to consider!

  • Tutor: The interesting thing about becoming a tutor, or even an online instructor, is that you don’t have to have a teaching background. As long as you’re knowledgeable in the subject you choose and can break it down to help others learn, you could be instrumental as a teacher. There are several different platforms where you can teach classes online, such as YouTube, Udemy, or Skillshare. Instruction comes in many forms, too. You can host a live stream, provide pre-written material and pre-recorded videos, or even provide 1:1 tutoring in person or online. To get started, register with one of these services or start by networking with people you know.

  • Music teacher: Similar to the idea above, why not turn a talent for playing a musical instrument into income? You can offer one-on-one instruction or facilitate group sessions for various age groups. The only requirement to be a successful music teacher is to be able to plan appropriate lessons and give good feedback. You may also want to host music recitals.

  • Pet sitter or dog walker: If you adore animals, you can offer your time as a beloved pet sitter or dog walker. On sites like Rover.com, Fetch, and Care.com (select ‘pet care’), you can set up shop as offering these services with rates usually ranging from $25-$65 a night. You’ll want to verify with each service on the pay as well as any terms and conditions. Overall, pet sitting or walking can be a great way to get some fresh air, exercise, and some loving companionship.

  • Online seller: Do you have items you no longer need or want? Sell them online as a side job! Marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, or Facebook are great places to start. If you enjoy making things, you can sell these items as well! Whether your craft is knitting colorful scarves, crafting unique party favors, or baking wholesome goodies, it can be lucrative to turn your passion into a side hustle. Sell to friends or neighbors, or hop online and check out Etsy. It's free to join and set up a shop. Note that you must pay small fees for listing, transactions, and payment processing.

  • Life coach: People hire life coaches to help them grow personally and professionally. As a senior, you have decades of life experience under your belt. As a life coach, you'd be instrumental in helping others move toward their goals. Simply by facilitating helpful exercises and holding people accountable for completing actions necessary to change their life, you could make a significant impact. It could be a gratifying experience, both personally and financially.

  • Consultant: If you have a wealth of experience in a particular industry or field, don’t take that for granted! You can offer consulting services directly to businesses or serve as a coach or consultant to individuals within an organization. Outside of being a rewarding experience, having a side hustle like this allows you to charge a premium, and the hours are highly flexible. 

  • Photographer: Do you have a great eye for taking great pictures? Have people always told you you’re a great photographer? Why not offer your services for special events like birthday parties and retirement celebrations, or sell special photos online? The pay, hours, and events you choose to attend are all at your discretion. The main thing to consider is the initial cost and upkeep of equipment, and the cost of prints, if you choose to offer those as a service. Set your prices accordingly, so you’re able to truly make a profit.

  • Greeting Card Writer: If you have a witty writing style that makes people laugh or can express sentimental thoughts in words, becoming a greeting card writer could be the perfect side hustle. For example, Snafu Designs pays up to $100 for each accepted idea that's considered laugh-out-loud funny as well as clever and concise. Blue Mountain Arts pays up to $300 for each piece of accepted contemporary prose for its greeting cards and products.

  • Gardener: Gardening can be more than a hobby! f you have a green thumb and absolutely love gardening, consider offering this as a service to those around you. Help maintain gardens by pulling weeds or planting fresh blooms each season. Maybe you have a knack for which plants are best in a certain zone or landscape. You could offer garden consulting for a flat fee. If you have a rather large, productive garden, maybe sell your harvest at a local farmers market or on your neighborhood Facebook page.

  • Seamstress: If one of your talents is making alterations, and you own a sewing machine, offering alteration services can be a great side hustle with low overhead. You can work out of your home, and your clients can come to you. Or, if you want to be more competitive, you can offer free pickup and delivery. Print up business cards and ask the owners or managers of bridal shops, drapery studios, dry cleaners, and clothing boutiques in your area to refer you to their customers if possible. As you work with different clients, you might even gain additional business, such as making garments.

  • Personal trainer: Are you physically fit and love sharing your wellness journey with others? Consider becoming a personal trainer for your peers - or any age group, really. If you have experience in fitness training, that’s a bonus but not mandatory to help people set and achieve their fitness goals. Sometimes people just need an accountability partner to help them stay motivated to exercise. You can be that person for them!

  • Translator: If you’re a bilingual boomer, you can turn your language skills into cash. Professional translators convert communications from one language into another in a way that preserves its context, content, and intent. These can be written or verbal communications, depending on the gig. And, thanks to sites like Rev, it’s a job you can do from home, and you can work on your terms. Depending on the language, the site pays $1.50 to $3 per audio/video minute. If you are a professional translator, you can register and get gigs on One Hour Translation.

As you can see, there are a wealth of ideas. With a little thought and planning, starting a side hustle can be a fun and easy way to supplement your income and give yourself something new and exciting to focus on in retirement. Your golden years should be filled with joy and adventure, and all of us at Resort Lifestyle Communities wish you the best as you make this a reality.


Written By

Resort Lifestyle Communities

Resort Lifestyle Communities (RLC) develops all-inclusive resort-style communities to provide a relaxing and worry-free retirement lifestyle for residents. The comfort, safety, and enjoyment of our residents are our top priorities. For this reason, every community is staffed with live-in managers, a 24/7 emergency alert system and concierge service, gourmet chefs, housekeepers, maintenance staff, a full-time lifestyle director, and more. For more information about RLC, visit RLCommunities.com.


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