It’s possible to have fun working during your senior years and get paid. You may find that you’re tired of trying to find ways to fill your days, or would rather get paid to be busy than just volunteering. This is perfectly acceptable and applaudable. Plus, for many seniors, that little bit of extra cash can really help retirement and pension funds last longer. There are a wide variety of jobs that you can take on and enjoy doing from working at home as a pet sitter to becoming an usher at your local theater.
SECTION I: Introduction
SECTION II: Why Do You Need Money?
SECTION III: Ways to Make Money
SECTION IV: Finances and Taxes
SECTION V: Helpful Resources
SECTION VI: Scams
SECTION VII: Conclusion
It can be wonderful to have extra money, and the joys of being able to work a fun and interesting job are always better while getting paid. One of the best things about working as a senior today is that there are a lot of options for getting back into the workforce sector that fits your personality. You can find things to do that will earn you a paycheck and involve with things you love to do anyways.
One worry that seniors have to deal with after retirement is money. You may ask yourself if you saved enough money while you were working before retiring. You may ask yourself how far your social security or pension will stretch. You may even see holes in your budget today. You may be wondering if you can work and make money even though you’re a senior. You may find that retirement is a little more boring than you thought it would be, but this is one way that you can keep busy while bringing in some extra cash. Yes, your age may seem like a stumbling block at first glance, but you as a senior have a lot to still offer society, so why not get paid for it? Employers are often pretty grateful to hire seniors because it can be an economically smart thing to do. Most seniors enjoy working a more flexible work schedule, have plenty of work and life experience, and bring a lot to the workplace.
It can be helpful to understand what you are looking to get out of a job and why you need the money. This can help you to decide whether or not you need to find something that offers more hours or better stability.
As a senior, you’re probably familiar with at least one or more of the common bill struggles. Seniors often have trouble with healthcare costs such as insurance or medications, housing costs, grocery costs, or any number of bills that come up. A study in 2012 found that most seniors are facing a gap between the amount of money they have coming in and the amount of money that they need to pay out in a month. There are more than 25 million Americans over the age of 60 living at or below the poverty line. Planning for retirement is a complex process, and no one can plan for every circumstance that comes up in life.
There are plenty of ways that you can make money in today’s economy that can be fun and pay a nice chunk of change. Here are just a few ideas to get you started. Be creative and keep your hobbies and personality in mind when deciding what you want to do.
Tutoring can be a great way for seniors to make some extra money. You’re able to put the knowledge that you’ve learned over the years to good use helping others while making a tidy sum. Math, reading, and other skills are in high demand for tutors. There are some tutoring companies available online that are always on the lookout for tutors to work for them with their clients. In most instances, you’d be an independent contractor rather than an employee. You can also think about starting your own tutoring business. There is relatively little money needed to start this type of business, especially since there are ways to advertise for free online, so this may be the right choice for you.
Many of the typical mentoring programs that can be found online are looking more for mentors that are willing to donate their time as a volunteer rather than a way for seniors to make some additional money. There is nothing wrong with volunteering your time if you think that this is a worthwhile cause, and you’re not worried about your budget. There are a few organizations, such as the Senior Corps, that have some programs that provide a stipend to volunteers. Look around locally. There may be some places that offer payment in exchange for your knowledge.
Blogs are an inspired approach to earning money. They can be on any topic you choose, and allow you to put your voice out there. If you enjoy gardening, you can start a blog on gardening. If you enjoy owning fish, that’s another idea for a blog. Most blogging platforms offer a free blog to get started like Google’s Blogger or WordPress. You think of a name, and then write posts to add to your blog that are interesting to read. You can monetize your blog by putting advertisements up on your blog site that earns you money every time a visitor clicks on them through Google AdSense. You can also become an affiliate of a retail store like Amazon where you can use their ads on your blog, and you can even refer your readers to your favorite products. When a reader purchases a product using your link to it, you get paid. There are a lot of beginners guides available online to starting your own blog, or you can find a book from your library.
Plus, there are some businesses out there looking for reviews and bloggers to spotlight their items. You can earn yourself some free perks through your blog. Some companies want you to dedicate a blog post to one of their items, and will provide you with a sample to help you write it to get more attention to their brand. Prolific reviewers on Amazon are invited to join their review service where they are sent free or discounted items to try out and write a detailed review about for others. There are other programs out there that also send you free items through Amazon in exchange for a review. This is all legal, and you just have to mention that you received the item for free or for a discount in your review. These companies with new products want people to buy them, and often, people wait until there are reviews before taking a chance on a new company or manufacturer. This is a catch-22 for them, so it’s easier to give away a few to start creating some buzz, and then the sales process should be a little more fair for them.
Maybe blogging doesn’t interest you because you’d have to do your own marketing and other tasks to try to monetize your blog. That’s okay, as you can still put your expertise to work for you as a writer. You can think about writing fiction books, nonfiction books, your memoirs, or short stories, and try your hand at getting published. There is still a big market for books and, even better, the Internet has made it easier than ever to self-publish. There has never been a better time to be a writer because of the options available to you in case a publisher isn’t interested in what your manuscript has to say.
Not sure if you’re up to writing the next Great American Novel? That’s okay, too. There are plenty of companies that are hiring writers to create their website copy, product descriptions, catalogs, articles and more. Check out job boards like Freelancer or Guru for freelance writing opportunities. Look at magazines that you read or your local circulars to see if they are looking for writers. Check out Craigslist or other forums for writers. You never know what kinds of jobs might show up. Be aware that competition can be steep for writing opportunities because there are a lot of people interested in them, but just keep trying.
The Internet is a great source of inspiration for finding things to do online. One type of opportunity that works for people with a flexible schedule is crowdsourcing websites. These sites often allow you to log on, complete as many or as few tasks as you’d like during your session, and get paid. mTurk is one popular option for these because it’s Amazon’s service. Some of the kinds of tasks you can expect to find here are things like typing up the information on scanned business cards, answering survey questions, writing tasks, and more. The great thing about these types of sites is that you can work as much or as little as you’d like to work when you want to work. Although, there is never a guarantee that there will always be work available depending on the site you use.
You can also think about offering your skills as a freelancer. Think about what skills you have from the job you retired from, what hobbies you’re skilled at, and things you’d like to do to come up with ideas of what you can do as a freelancer. Starting your own freelance business has never been easier with the Internet, so it’s a good time to get started. Some potential ideas may be helping people organize their homes, building websites, being a business consultant, and being a motivational speaker. The sky's the limit when it comes to what you have to offer others as a freelancer.
You can think outside of the box when it comes to finding ways to make money and have fun at the same time. Live in an area with a local theater? Ushers are often paid money to help individuals find their seats, and get a chance to watch a live performance while working. This can be a great idea for those with a love of the theater and people. Other ideas in the same vein include becoming a docent or tour guide. Check out your local museums, zoo, historical places, or historical society to see if they are hiring and put your love for history or nature to good use. These are typically part-time, volunteer, or seasonal opportunities.
Don’t forget your local library. This can be a great opportunity for a senior. Most libraries don’t require a special degree to work as a page or checkout desk clerk. Book lovers will enjoy the chance to work in a library surrounded by books and other people that share their passion for the written word.
You can even become a sitter for people’s babies, two-legged and four. Being a babysitter or a pet sitter can be a lot of fun. There are websites for babysitters and pet sitters that help you find clients that fit your needs. Working with other seniors might be a good idea if that interests you. There are meal programs, community centers, and more that may have open positions for part-time individuals that would welcome hiring a senior. The key here is to check out their job openings and even call them to find out what they offer to their volunteers.
Working as a senior can be a lot of fun if you find something to do that you’re passionate about, but you should also be aware of finances and tax issues that can come from working as a senior. It’s a good idea to look into this before starting your search to find the perfect money making opportunity to ensure that you won’t cause any problems with your benefits or services that you’re receiving as a senior. You may find out that you need to work under a certain number of hours a week or make a certain amount of money before it impacts your benefits. Knowing this information in advance can help you plan.
You’re probably pretty familiar with your current finances, the amount of money you have coming in from your benefits, and how much your bills are each month. If you don’t already write out a budget, it may be a good idea to do so now. This will help you with the earlier section about why you need money. It can give you a clear picture of your money situation as-is, and help you see how a new money-making opportunity will impact your future finances. You can see how much you need to make your life more comfortable.
It may be helpful to speak with a professional about your finances. This may be your attorney, accountant, or other financial experts. Are you worried that you can’t afford to speak with these types of professionals? That’s okay, as you may be able to get in touch with financial experts that work through organizations, such as the National Council on Aging, your community, or other local senior organizations. The great thing about using all of the resources available to you is that you may be put in touch with organizations that can help you to improve your finances, even before starting your new endeavor of working after retirement. Check out the section on helpful resources for more places to look towards for help.
No one likes thinking about taxes, but there can be some tax consequences for you when you start working again. The Internal Revenue Service has created a booklet that is specifically for seniors. This can be a great starting point for answering your senior tax questions. Any questions you’re still wondering about should be addressed by talking with your accountant or other tax professional.
There are some great resources available to seniors that want to work in fun positions and get paid to do it. You may not even realize how powerful these resources can be until you look into what they have to offer you.
Your local library is probably one of the best resources for you to tap. Your retirement community may have a great library, but your local library is worth a second glance. You are probably aware already that your library is full of books, DVDs, and magazines, but many libraries offer so much more. Your local library may have computers with the Internet if you don’t have access to them anywhere else. Even better, your local library may offer a variety of classes that are free or low cost to take. These classes usually cover things like resumes, using computers, and other skills that can help you with your idea of finding ways to make money in your senior years. These classes can be a great way to brush off your skills if you haven’t used a computer in a while, or gain some new ones if you’re not as computer savvy as you’d like to be. Computer skills can be helpful because the Internet is your next helpful resource.
The Internet is a vast source of information when it comes to finding interesting and unique ways to make money. In the past, most of what you could’ve found online for money making opportunities were scams, but today more companies realize the benefits of using employees and contractors that telecommute. While other companies have realized that they can make money by becoming a middleman that helps businesses or people looking to make money find clients, such as some of the dog sitting companies available today. Plus, you can do job searches online if you’re looking for something that will get you out of the house while you work.
Not only is the Internet a great source for finding companies to work for, but it’s also a great resource for information on just about any topic imaginable. There are websites devoted to just about anything you’re looking for, including classes on computer skills if they aren’t available through your local library. If you’re able to access the Internet at your library, you can ask for assistance with your first few searches. Most librarians are versed with helping computer newbies, and some may even know of a few websites to check out based on your topic or can point you in the direction of a few books that can get you up to speed. The key here is being willing to ask for help when you need it.
A final way that the Internet is a perfect source for you is that if you’ve decided to go into business for yourself or run a blog, you can use it for marketing your services or monetizing your blog. Most people today don’t reach for the yellow pages when they’re doing a search for a product or service they need; they turn to the Internet. It can be your ally in finding customers or readers that are interested in your blog.
You may also have some great resources at Sunshine Retirement Living Communities. The community programs that are offered are something that you may not have been interested in before, but you should check them out. For instance, the Body Wellness Program is probably worth checking out as it may help you with adjusting to going back to work. Be sure to ask if there are any additional programs or activities that you can take advantage of that can be beneficial to you finding a way to make some money during your senior years. The staff is always ready to help in any way that they can.
You’ve probably already worried about the threat of scams. There are people out there that are looking to take advantage of people that want to work, especially those that want to use the Internet as a primary source of employment or are going through the process of seeking a job. Knowing how to spot these scams can help you to feel more comfortable with your efforts.
The main thing to remember here is that you should do your research before giving out your personal information or clicking on links in emails that seem suspicious. The adage of something being too good to be true is a good phrase to keep in mind while evaluating your options. Be skeptical until you can find reason to put your faith into a company. If a website is offering you a way to earn a high dollar amount in exchange for very little work, then it’s probably a scam.
If a company is requiring you to pay to work for them, there is a chance that it’s a legitimate company, but more than likely it’s a scam. It can be helpful to evaluate what the company says the payment is for, and the overall evidence about the company. For instance, there are some companies that hire people to work in their telecommute call centers and require a background check. Some ask that you pay for this yourself, and you may get the money back after being hired. If you’re not comfortable with giving out your credit card number, skip the company and move on. There are plenty available out there that don’t require payment upfront.
A company that contacts you that wants you to cash a check or act as their shipper is also a red flag. These companies are pretty well-known scams, but keep popping up. The only time you should give out your bank information for direct deposit or cash a check is when it comes from a known source, and you’ve already done work for them. These companies may try to trick you by using a real company name, but often there will be grammar errors and misspellings in the email, the email addresses don’t match between who sent it and whom they want you to reply to, the name on the email account may not match the email address, and so on. When in doubt, do a search. If nothing comes up good or bad, you should probably skip it.
The key here is to be vigilant. It can be easy to be taken in by a scam if you’re not careful with your search to find ways to make money. Do your homework about any company you’re interested in working with before applying or replying to an email. When in doubt, ask someone else their opinion on it.
Seniors are able to enjoy their golden years by having fun and getting paid to do so. Why not find ways that you can add to your income doing something that you enjoy doing?
Now’s the time to start putting this all together to create the perfect plan for you. Think about what types of jobs you’d like to be involved with now that you’re trying to bring in some extra cash. What are you passionate about and what interests you? This will help you in your search to find something fun to make some money. Be sure to take advantage of any resources available to you to help you on your way. Most of all, have fun with it.
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*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living