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Side Hustles for Retirees


In the face of fluctuating economies and dwindling pensions, achieving financial stability in retirement can be challenging. As a result, some retirees end up working side hustles to supplement their retirement income. Luckily, there are more ways than ever for retirees to get a side hustle thanks to the gig economy and advancing technology. A financial advisor can help you create an income plan to meet your needs in retirement.  

Why Many Retirees May Benefit from a Side Hustle 

The financial backdrop for many retirees is increasingly uncertain, with savings and pensions often insufficient to cover living expenses and health care costs, let alone preserving one’s lifestyle. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 Consumer Expenditures Report, Americans who are 65 and older have an average pre-tax income of $55,335 per year but spend more than 94% of it, leaving little leftover for emergencies or other wants and needs. 

While side hustles are far from being a silver bullet, they present a viable way for retirees to supplement their income. Beyond financial gains, side hustles can also provide a sense of purpose, social interaction, and keep the mind engaged. This multifaceted return is reminiscent of wise investing, producing rewards in more ways than one.

An Array of Side Hustle Ideas for Retirees 

A retiree who does freelance blogging works at her computer.

Selecting a side hustle involves careful consideration of your health, skillset, energy level, time commitment, and of course, finances. Your choice doesn’t need to be confined to a single job title. Rather, it should reflect your unique strengths and passions. 

Here are some side hustles you may consider in retirement:


Freelancing opens doors to a wide variety of jobs, while offering flexibility and independence. If you’re a retired accountant, you might explore freelance bookkeeping opportunities, which can pay around $19 per hour, according to Payscale, a compensation software and data company. Freelance writing and consulting gigs are other side hustles that can help you earn extra income but with less commitment than a full-time job.

Driving With a Ride-Hailing Service

Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft offer another option for retirees. According to Tipalit, an accounting software company, the median hourly rate for Lyft drivers is $33, while median monthly wages approach $5,700. Just keep in mind that fuel and maintenance costs will eat into those earnings

Creating an Online Business

The digital landscape supplies a massive platform for retirees to start their own businesses. Although earnings can differ significantly between ventures, seniors can explore opportunities in blogging or selling crafts online. However, it’s advisable to thoroughly research any online business before investing your time and resources.

Working a Retail Job 

While retail jobs are a more traditional type of side hustle, they remain viable opportunities. for retirees. On average, retail works make approximately $15 per hour, according to Payscale. 

Tutoring or Teaching

Retirees with a penchant for sharing knowledge may consider tutoring or teaching. These side hustles not only tap into a person’s knowledge and skills but also their passion. This can lead to increased fulfillment and engagement in retirement. On average, tutors make approximately $19.50 per hour, according to Payscale.

Home Sharing

Lastly, you may also consider home sharing as a potential side hustle. Platforms like Airbnb and HomeAway allow you to offer up rooms in your home – or your home as a whole – as short-term rentals. This can be quite lucrative. For example, Airbnb hosts in the U.S. on average made over $44,000 in 2021, according to Tipalti.  

Bottom Line

A retiree who does freelance consulting works at his kitchen table.
Caucasian male working from home reading paper work and using laptop . High quality photo

The journey to a financially secure retirement can be less daunting with a well-chosen side hustle, as it can provide not just monetary benefits, but also a sense of purpose and structure in your golden years. However, rushing into decisions hardly ever yields the best results. Take your time to analyze your options and settle on a route that aligns best with your circumstances. Let this be an opportunity to harness your strengths and passions, and realize a fulfilling, financially secure retirement.

Retirement Planning Tips

  • A key component of the retirement planning process is saving as much as possible. Tax-advantaged retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs are great ways to do just that. In 2023, the IRS allows you to save up to $22,500 in a 401(k), plus an extra $7,500 if you’re 50 or older. If you have an IRA, you can save up to $6,500 per year, plus another $1,000 if you’re 50 or older. 
  • Forecasting how much your savings could be worth when it comes time to retire can be difficult. Luckily, SmartAsset’s retirement calculator can help you do just that. The free tool can help you estimate how your savings could grow over time and how much income it will provide you in retirement. 
  • A financial advisor can help you create a comprehensive plan for retirement, touching on your income needs, Social Security benefits, investment portfolio and more. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

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