If you're looking for fun ways to earn extra cash in your retirement, you should consider leveraging a hobby you may have already been enjoying for decades. Beats finding a boring, tedious part-time job, right? You're probably at a point where you've perfected your ability to knit or paint, write poetry, or do gardening, woodworking or scrapbooking. So why not boost your bank account by doing it for money?
Hobbies represent ideal ways to remain active while pursuing a pastime that's already your lifelong passion, so they're good for your mental and physical health, benefit others who are interested or seeking to purchase the fruits of your industriousness, and could provide you with a little extra income.
Here's a good example: You've enjoyed traveling your entire life and have had many exciting adventures while doing so. Think about doing some travel writing for magazines or online travel publications. You might be able to become a specialized tour guide where you live too, if you have a special bent — perhaps local history or nature or wine and food. You could combine that with a specialized blog or website with possible advertising revenue.
Maybe you've become an exceptional photographer. You may be able to find work at a studio, or just work on your own doing portrait or wedding photography. Proud of your reputation as the baker in the family? Select a couple of your best baked goods to tempt the sweet-toothed buying public. Your handcrafted artwork has won numerous awards and recognition? See if you can sell it on consignment at a local gallery, set up shop at craft shows or feature it on Etsy.
Other approaches you can take
In addition to your hobbies, you have many years' worth of experience in your chosen profession. Technology, communication, marketing and sales skills never lose their value.
You could also contribute to the community by teaching or sharing your hobby with young people who are interested in learning and benefiting from an experienced instructor. So think about developing a formal youth business or entrepreneurial mentoring program on weekends or during the summer as a potential income opportunity.
The wise way to get started
Depending on what activity you choose to pursue as a retirement business, you'll want to consider taking the following steps:
- Thoroughly investigate the viability of your business idea, and evaluate the competition, possible costs or expenses involved, and any legal considerations for running the business.
- Devise a business plan to give yourself a guide to keep you focused on the steps necessary to create and grow the business.
- Determine whether your business can be operated out of your home or you will need to rent or purchase a property.
- Develop a detailed budget that includes all these considerations.
- Decide whether you can finance the startup costs from your personal resources or you need to apply for grants or loans for more substantial costs.
The slightly less serious option
Of course, if that all sounds way too hard-core professional and laden with potential headaches for your retirement, you can also look for short-term gigs. Today, there are a number of websites such as Freelancer.com, LocalSolo.com, HourlyNerd.com or VirtualVocations.com that offer part-time, seasonal or work-from-home opportunities for freelancers and professionals.
All you really need to launch your "golden years" career is a pastime, a passion and a plan. Then go out and have fun boosting your bank account!