5 Ways to Earn Money in Retirement

Mary Hohn, Writer

If you’ve officially retired, or retirement is on the horizon, and you’re looking to pursue a new business venture, you’re in good company. More and more, retirees are using their newfound freedom to launch their own businesses. And, thanks to the digital economy, starting your own business is more accessible — and flexible — than ever.

Whether you want to build a new income stream, explore a lifelong passion, or take on a new challenge, here are five business ideas worth considering in retirement.

Monetize a hobby.

Retirement affords you the free time to pursue your hobbies, so why not profit from them if you can? While it’s true you can’t profit from just any pastime, there are plenty of options when it comes to money-making hobbies. Think about what you love and what you’re good at, and see if it provides an avenue for boosting your income. For example, if you love photography, look into stock photography sites where you can sell and license your photos online. Or, if you enjoy a certain art or craft, sell your finished products online — either through your own eCommerce website or a community website like Etsy.

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Provide consulting services.

By the time you’re ready to retire, chances are you have a specialized area of expertise. Take advantage of that and see if you can land consulting gigs, either with your current company or other companies in your industry. By leveraging your years of experience and connections, you can build a consulting business that allows you to work on your own terms. And even better, companies are often willing to pay consultants higher rates because they don’t have to worry about providing benefits.

Build a service-based business.

The beauty of a service-based business is that you can turn a wide variety of skills into a service people are willing to pay for. And in today’s on-demand society, consumers value convenience. If you provide a service that people need, you can build a loyal customer base. But you can’t sell just any skill, so do your research before getting started to ensure there’s a demand for what you’re planning to offer. Whether you want to provide landscaping, childcare, or handyman services, make sure you market yourself effectively. Use a multichannel approach, including social media, local ads, and in-person networking, to build your business.

Start blogging.

Whether you want to start your own blog or contribute to existing ones, you can generate income by creating content. If you start a blog based on your niche expertise, you can build a consistent following by promoting it on social media. And if you gain enough followers, affiliate marketers will pay to advertise their products or services on your website. However, if you don’t want to go to the trouble of starting your own blog, you can find paid blogging opportunities on freelance writing sites. Freelance writing gigs typically pay you per blog post or per word, and if they like your work, they may ask you to be a regular contributor.

Buy and sell products online.

Over the years, you’ve probably acquired a lot of items that you no longer need. Or perhaps you enjoy scouring flea markets and antique stores for collectibles so you can sell them and make a profit. Either way, there are many outlets for selling secondhand items online. Try sites like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. Setting up shop on one of these existing marketplaces is fairly easy. And since they already have regular traffic, you can ensure your products are seen, which can increase your sales volume.

Streamline your business with the right technology.

Regardless of the business venture you pursue, make sure you take advantage of time-saving technology to streamline your operations. With Square Invoices, for example, you can create invoices, send detailed estimates, and accept payments from the same app. It makes payment transparent and convenient for your customers. It also improves efficiency so you have more time to grow your business.

Mary writes for Square, where she covers topics that affect business owners — from starting a business to growing a business — and the tools and technology that help them succeed.