Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean that you have no value.
Increasingly, retired people are finding that they appreciate getting a little extra income after finishing their main career.
Some of these opportunities put your current work experience to good use, and others mean branching out into new areas, which experts say will stimulate your brain and may contribute to a longer life.
Now, I have to say, some of the ideas mentioned here are not just senior-exclusive – You don’t have to be 50, 55, 60,… or over, to put these ideas to work for you.
They can bring in extra income for people of any age, young and old alike.
Let’s get started…
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What will I learn?
1. Encore Fellowships
First is an opportunity that seeks to use your extensive experience, even if not in the direction that you originally worked.
Encore Vision was set up to leverage the experience of retired business people. They offer fellowships, paying for 1000 hours of work which may be done either full time in six months or part-time over a year.
You would help in a nonprofit or a foundation, using your skills on a particular project.
For more details, go to http://encore.org/fellowships/fellow.
2. Nature Lover
If you’re a nature lover and a responsible person, you could consider applying to the Bold Earth company as a Leader.
Bold Earth organizes nature trips for youth, and always needs people to guide and mentor them.
They pay well for good Leaders, and you get to go on amazing trips around the world. So much better than staying at home and sitting on the couch!
3. Paid Searches
When you are looking for online jobs, you are right to be wary of things that seem too simple.
There are a lot of scams around, and generally you want to avoid anything that requires you to pay them first, before you’re allowed to do paid work for them. But you can get paid for doing searches online, with a company such as Swagbucks.com.
As you search, you build up points, or swag dollars, and when you have enough of them they can be redeemed for gift cards or even cash to your PayPal account.
Again, probably not enough to make a fortune, but definitely a useful sideline income.
4. Evaluate Search Engines
Another way to make money online with search engines is to be a search engine evaluator.
What about things you can do locally?
If you’ve lived in the area for a long time, and know all the history and landmarks, you are now an expert for people new to the area. You can sell your expertise on vayable.com.
It helps if you live in an area that is popular. Visit the website and see what is covered near you.
6. Customer Service Representative
Age is no bar to becoming a customer service agent, and many companies are using people working from their homes to provide this service.
You need to have high-speed Internet, a modern computer, usually a dedicated landline phone, and somewhere quiet to work.
There are several different jobs that you can do for a company.
For instance, you could answer incoming calls and take orders, and track orders for existing customers.
There are also customer support positions, where you would advise people on how to use the items they have bought. You may get involved in using chat windows and email.
Companies will usually pay you while you are being trained in their products. A pleasant telephone manner would be a good asset!
If you are interested, check out Amazon’s work from home CSA program.
7. Virtual Assistant
Another job which has become available by virtue of the Internet is that of Virtual Assistant.
This is not necessarily a technical job, but can be anything that someone requires to be done for them.
The “virtual” simply means that you do not have to be present with the person wanting the service.
Virtual assistants may help with answering emails, using social media on a company’s behalf, or composing basic documents, in other words most things that don’t require specialized knowledge or decision-making, and that the business will feel comfortable letting someone else handle.
8. Freelancing Online
You don’t have to stop at virtual assistant when looking for work online.
If you look at the jobs that are on offer at Upwork.com, you will see many other jobs such as writing and website design.
You can also look at TaskRabbit.com for more general jobs that people will pay you to do, such as picking up shopping.
Simply go to the website and browse, then pick the jobs that you are capable of and put in a bid.
9. Paid Surveys
Paid surveys have been around for time, and they are still a good way of earning some extra money.
You won’t make a fortune, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your answers may influence products of the future.
10. Answer Questions Online
You can use your accumulated expertise to offer your expert advice to others online.
There are sites which are set up just to provide answers to searches.
As these sites pride themselves on providing answers quickly, it helps if you are on the Internet a lot of the day.
11. Shopping with Cash Back
While not exactly an income producing opportunity, you should note that you can get cash back by shopping at certain online sites, such as eBates.
In fact, they are rebating to you part of the commission they get for sending you to the shop in the first place, but if you are buying a number of items online, you will get a check back. You can also check out this post for a list of top 10 cash back sites.
This is an interesting site, as you can find people prepared to do lots of different things for $5!
Take a look around and see the sort of thing that is on offer, and decide which of them you can do.
Don’t be put off by the amount, as the jobs are usually small and quick, provided you have the necessary equipment or expertise. And people can buy multiple jobs, which means you’re not limited to $5 per customer.
13. Secret Shopping
You have probably heard of secret shopping. It’s where you go to a store or a restaurant and spend money, just like a regular customer.
Stores use it to check up on how well they are serving customers, and the overall impression they give, and there are companies that sell this service to the stores, and in turn pay you to do it.
You can find out more at the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.
14. Sell your Textbooks
I know many folks how have a lot of textbooks and reference books when they were employed full-time, and perhaps you did too. Now that you are not doing that job, they are just cluttering the house.
Why not go to a site like BookScouter.com, and see if any of them are worth some money?
Bookscouter.com will let you know which of the many book buyers will give you the most money for them.
15. Sell on Etsy
If you have a talent for making small items and artistic goods, check into Etsy.com and see if you want to become a seller online.
This is ideal if you have a hobby craft, and already enjoy making things. You can build up your business on this or similar sites.
16. Write a Book
It is said that everyone has at least one book in them, so why not write it and sell it online?
It has never been easier to sell electronic books, or e-books, online.
You simply decide to do it, then do it. There is no need to write to publishers or anyone else, you can simply go to Amazon Kindle, login, and upload your manuscript.
You need to follow their guidelines, and you will need to provide a cover design.
Some people pay for professional cover designs and for editing of their books, but the truth is your book can be listed for sale on Kindle with no outlay at all.
If you don’t think you can write a book in one go, then try your hand at blogging.
Blogging is simply writing short pieces every day or two, and uploading them to a website.
Some bloggers don’t do anything to make money, as they just want to get their message out there.
Other bloggers get paid by putting links in their blogs, or selling advertising space alongside them.
The most successful bloggers earn a good income, although it’s safe to say the majority of bloggers don’t make a fortune.
Here is a good blogging guide if you are interested in getting started.
18. Make Money on YouTube
If your talent is more into speaking than writing, it can also be relatively simple to make short videos, discussing items of interest, and upload them to your own “channel” on YouTube. Provided you are entertaining and interesting, you may find you get a lot of followers.
You can monetize this process by reviewing items then providing affiliate links for people to buy them, by receiving ad revenue from others, and in several other ways.
YouTube even has its own partner program to help you make money.
19. Sell Photographs
As an alternative to writing or making videos, if you are a photographer you can consider putting your photos for sale online.
There are several sites that accept photos, and you can control whether the photos are free, for example to give you publicity, or whether people have to pay for them.
If you build up the number of photos in your library over time, then you might achieve a good residual income, which is an income that keeps coming in even when you are not sending in any more new photos.
As long as you took the photograph, you have the copyright. It’s best if you avoid taking pictures of people, unless you get them to sign a release.
20. Rent a Grandma
Here’s an idea. If you’re an older lady, why not become a grandma for hire?
Apparently people are looking for surrogate grandmas to care for and teach their children, and are prepared to pay for it.
You can create a profile for free on the website, and negotiate directly with the parents for terms on each job.
As it is a franchised opportunity, you could even open your own branch of Rent a Grandma if there’s not one in your locality.
On a more general level, if you can tolerate other people’s children or preferably like them, you could consider offering your services as a babysitter in your local area.
Either advertise on your own or go through a website such as Care.com.
22. Pet Sitting
If you get on with animals, then people are always looking for pet sitters who can help out.
There are different types of pet sitting jobs, so you can pick the one that works out with your schedule.
If you live in a commuter area, why not offer to come around in the middle of the day and let dogs out to relieve themselves?
Alternatively, you can look after pets while the family is on vacation, and this might include two visits a day.
If you don’t have any clients yet, you can use a site like Rover to find local pet owners who may need your service.
And if you get on with people in general, there is always AirBNB, where you can advertise a room or even the whole house to rent to tourists to your area.
Incidentally, this is also a great way to meet new and interesting people.
24. Clinical Trials
This income opportunity isn’t for everyone, but somebody has to do it.
If you go to the website clinicaltrials.gov you can find out about trials being done in your area.
You may find that you are the first to use a fantastic new drug that cures what ails you, or you may simply be on a placebo, in which case you are no worse off anyway.
Clinical trials are generally well monitored, assuring you of good medical attention while they are in progress. Just be clear what you’re signing up for, and discuss with your doctor if necessary what the risks may be.
25. Online Mock Juror
Another unusual income opportunity, but this time you don’t need to have a medical condition to qualify.
Ejury offers $5 to $10 per case, and OnlineVerdict $20 to $60.
As you are hearing actual cases, there are strict conditions on who can do it and on confidentiality.
Provided you’re prepared to abide by those conditions, this could be a fascinating sideline to earn some extra cash.
The bottom line
As you can see from these 25 opportunities, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to earn in retirement, and perhaps have some fun as well.
And don’t forget the side benefit that it’s good for you, both mentally and possibly physically.