Unusual Ways to Create Money in Your Golden Years
By Contributing Author
You’ve made it—you’ve entered retirement, and now you’re set to enjoy your golden years. However, with the way the economy shifts and costs increase, you may find that your retirement savings simply aren’t enough to accommodate your plans. You don’t want to go back to a standard nine to five job, but you do need to generate a little extra income so you can fully enjoy your retirement. Here are a few unusual ways you can create money without going back to a full-time job.
Start an Online Store or Sign Up for Craft Fairs
If you sew, crochet, paint, or do any other arts and crafts that you could sell, you could start a store on a website such as Etsy. This can be a great way of covering the costs of your hobby and making a little extra money at the same time. Just be sure you do fully value your work—your time is worth something, so be sure your prices reflect that and your skills. If you aren’t comfortable doing online sales, you can always look for local craft fairs and markets. You may not necessarily be able to do one of these fairs every month (it depends on where you are and what opportunities are there), but you can still make a little extra money.
Consider a Reverse Mortgage
If you have a good amount of equity in your home, you could consider a reverse mortgage. This type of mortgage known as the “Home Equity Conversion Mortgage” (HECM), allows you immediate access to funds equal to the value of your home, though you can also take out a reverse mortgage that pays a set amount monthly. You don’t make any payments, but the entire amount does become due plus interest charged by the lender, as soon as you sell the property, permanently move, or die.
Typically, the borrower (or their estate) sells the home to repay the reverse mortgage. While there are many benefits to this, you do want to make certain you understand what you’re agreeing to. Some seniors have found reverse mortgages to be a lifeline during COVID-19, but be certain to get counseling so you know what to expect before you go this route.
Sell at a Farmer’s Market
Love growing vegetables? If you have a garden that produces more than you can eat in a year, you could take the rest of your produce to a local farmer’s market. These markets have become quite popular as more people have started putting an emphasis on eating organic. The downside, of course, is that these markets are seasonal.
Rent Out a Room
If you’re an empty-nester, you may have several rooms in your house that are not regularly used. You could consider renting them out to students, military personnel, or anyone else who is in need of a place to stay. If you have a garage apartment or other space with its own entrance and bathroom, it will be even easier to find tenants. You will want to learn about your state’s landlord/tenant laws, of course, and you may want to consult a lawyer when drawing up your rental agreement.
Because this person will be living in your house (or at least on your property), you will want to be very careful with who you select. You will want to do background checks and ask for references. This is why you may want to stick with college students or military personnel who are in your area for training. These individuals are typically short-term renters, too.
Start a Cannabis Business
Cannabis is now legal in many states, and it has become a huge industry almost overnight in some places. If you love growing plants and want something that will be a year-round source of income instead of a seasonal option like vegetables, cannabis can be a great investment. You can set up a small farm for a small investment, so you’ll be up and growing in no time.
You don’t necessarily need to invest in a storefront or other costs associated with a public business, either. While you will need to make certain you have the correct licenses and follow all regulations in your state, you can keep your cannabis business strictly B2B. Many distributors do not grow their own cannabis. Instead, they purchase them from growers who only sell to businesses. You can operate such a growing business, selling to local distributors without ever dealing with the general public.
Become a Consultant
You have decades of knowledge about your industry, so why not share that knowledge for a price? As a consultant, you can set your own hours, determine your own payrate, and decide what clients you want to take on. Consulting can take several forms, but typically, these professionals come in to give their expert opinion on decisions or potential projects. They also typically get paid quite well since they have years of knowledge.
Similarly, you could parley your experience into a lecturing or teaching gig. If you are well-regarded in your industry, you may find that colleges are interested in having you teach a seminar or two each semester. Likewise, you may get offers to speak at conferences. Speakers are typically paid an honorarium that can be substantial, depending on your standing and the conference.
Write a Book
Many people think that they’re simply too old to become a published author, but that’s not true at all. If you feel like you have a book inside you, sit down and write it. You don’t necessarily need to worry about a publisher, either. Instead, you can self-publish your novel as an ebook through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and a number of other platforms. You set the price, and you keep all of the profits minus the cut the platform takes.
This is another road for those who are experts in their field. If you don’t want to consult, you can share your knowledge and experiences by writing about them. Often, these books will find publishers and reach the shelves faster than novels because there are fewer authors in this niche. It all depends on the industry and what knowledge you have to offer.
While you may have your retirement fund set and ready to cover your golden years, you never know what the future will hold. By looking at some of these ways of creating extra money and even combining a few of them, you can finance any traveling or other hobbies you want to engage in without going back to work full-time.