It’s a good thing I’m not relying on Social Security for my income right now, in light of the news that retirees will receive a whopping cost of living adjustment that will amount to less than $4 a month for most people. What would that buy me – a lunch off the Value Menu at my local fast-food joint once a month? A gallon of gas for the car?
So I started thinking about retirement and realized I have two choices to make if I don’t want to subsist on dog food during my nonworking years. I can save more money now or I can figure out ways to earn some extra bucks after I retire. OK, there’s a third choice and that’s spending less money to begin with but I figure that’s a blog topic for another time.
How to pick up some extra cash in retirement…hmm. Here are some ideas that came to mind.
Dog walker. I live in a neighborhood filled with dog owners. Most of them work during the day. I could take care of their dogs! The added bonus would be the opportunity to spend time getting some fresh air and exercise outdoors.
Baby-sitter. My neighborhood is also filled with young children. I could put some of my parental experience to work and provide a break to some of the moms and dads who live near me.
Lemonade stand. There’s not much overhead involved in making lemonade. But I would need to find a good high-traffic area and steer clear of any licensing ordinances.
Paper route. I don’t know if traditional “dead tree” journalism will still be around by the time I retire. The downside of a paper route is having to drive around in the wee hours of the morning. Who knows what my night vision will be like by the time I’m retired?
News stringer. Back to journalism again. The weekly newspaper in my community is always looking for people to cover school news and township supervisor meetings.
Retail. There are a lot of options here. Wal-Mart greeter, person who gives out food samples at Sam’s Club on the weekend, cashier at my neighborhood convenience store. It seems as if all of those jobs go to retirees. Could be a possibility if I’m healthy enough to be on my feet for hours at a time.
Airbnb. When my son was away at college, I used to threaten (jokingly) to rent out his room. Now thanks to Airbnb, I can turn that threat into reality. I live a couple of miles from a major tourist attraction, so I think this could be a good income source provided that my condominium association doesn’t have a problem with it.
Taskrabbit. I have to run errands anyway, so why not get paid for them? Taskrabbit matches people who need to outsource household tasks with people who are willing and able to do them.
So you can see that there are numerous options for people to earn more money in retirement. But wait a minute. What do I do if my health gives out, if I can no longer drive or walk or even stand for any length of time?
There may be numerous ways to earn extra money in retirement, but none is as reliable as coming up with a savings plan early on and sticking with it. So I think that’s the best route for me to pursue if I don’t want to spend retirement waiting for my measly $4 monthly COLA raise.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected].
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