I was really struck by this article, written more than 10 years ago … how little seems to have changed … especially the attitude my fellow seniors have about empowering their retirement by learning new things and capitalizing on on-line opportunities. Enjoy.
How I Found This Article and Many Others
As I’ve mentioned before I make a lot of use of Google Alerts
(you should set some for yourself and see how valuable this service is)
in order to find information on things I want to learn about (like Make Money In Retirement) as well as general subjects for the blogs I operate.
This article is from a UK magazine a few summers back.
Still pretty much up to date … and still pretty much behind the times regarding the Internet.
Do they think our brains dry up at age 65 or something?
After 30-odd years of internet use, you’d think they would start to “get it” by now, wouldn’t you?
Read the Make Money In Retirement article if you haven’t already and then come back here and I’ll give you what I feel is the “rest of the story”.
These are the primary ways for seniors to earn in retirement taken from the article.
1. Bed & Breakfast
Can’t say I agree with the author much at all on this one.
Although a couple in retirement could turn their home into a B&B to Make Money In Retirement, given that everything else was favorable,
1. House in a suitable location
2. Local zoning laws and other regulations favorable
3. Enough rooms, off-street parking, etc.
4. Experience. I don’t think you can just throw open the doors of what amounts to a hotel and expect not to make a lot of business mistakes.
But even if you have the right answers to all these questions, this is not what all would call either “empowered retirement” nor would I think this suitable for the long term.
It’s Hard Work and Long Hours
A bed and breakfast is hard work costly in terms of licensing, insurance, and operating expenses and you become the slave of your business rather than the more ideal opposite.
But Perhaps Writing About B&B’s Would Work Better.
But I will say that capitalizing on the B&B popularity would be very easy with a blog about the B&B experience … you could consider slanting it toward a “how-to” dialogue with your readers or an idea which appeals to me … travel often, visit many B&B’s and write reviews and interviews with successful (or failed) B&B operators.
Every B&B has a story, successful, struggling or failing. And virtually every B&B owner would love to talk about their story.
Talk to your tax advisor, but I can assure you there are legal ways to make virtually all your travel, research and lodging tax deductible if you pick the proper way to Make Money In Retirement.
I see very good advertising and affiliate (partnership) programs in the travel business niche.
And think of all the days you wouldn’t have to unclog toilets, wash dishes or vacuum the house!
2. Home Handyman
Again, an excellent idea but I feel the recommend way to capitalize on the subject is horrible.
The last thing you want to do in retirement is to be running out at 2 AM to unclog a toilet.
But this niche itself is very popular … in fact, there are several retired handymen I’ve found who make a nice blogging income writing about their past experiences and helping readers who want to learn more.
Also an excellent opportunity for a forum-based website … people love the idea of having a place to go to discuss problems and nd recommendations.
Decent ad potential here too and affiliate income potential from services that list local tradesmen for a fee.
This would potentially help both “soon to retirees” as well as retirees Make Money In Retirement.
3. Tuition Service
Retired teachers, lecturers, and business training professionals are much in demand nowadays for the provision of part-time coaching services.
With the right skills, there are opportunities with both the general public and business to supplement your retirement plan and make money in retirement.
Chances are you trained people in your work, even if you weren’t a teaching professional.
In addition, you have likely raised and helped educate your children.
For example, just one particular niche in this area here I see as hot.
Living overseas myself, I know of thousands of other expats, many with school-age children who need advice, encouragement or even “for pay” tutorial services.
You don’t have to have a teaching degree to be a tutor or to assist with homework ad assignments.
“Canvassing” for business is what you are doing when you start a blog and build your audience.
And you do this sort of work up to any age you wish … suitable for shut-ins … and working with young people helps keep you young!
Can’t agree with the idea of operating a florist business as suggested here at all.
Too much like work, and a business that requires substantial investment.
But … If you know flowers, either professionally or as a lifetime avocation, blog about it. Tell people what you know and encourage them on their journey to learn more.
Good advertising opportunities and affiliate dollars in this niche too.
5. Retirement Coaching
This seems like a very broad area.
The very first of the “social” baby boomers just applied for her Social security retirement benefits a few years or so back. Talk about growth potential!
I saw a recent statistic that showed applications for Social Security would run at about 100,000 new ‘golden-agers’ per month.
That is a big market, folks.
And you know what a recent survey of retiring workers had to say about their needs?
About 80% said they did not have adequate information about how to earn, save or invest their retirement money.
Also, they are lost when it comes to knowing how to analyze their retirement plan or learn how to make money in retirement.
If you want to make money with a hot dog cart, find a hungry crowd.
Folks, that’s a hungry crowd!
Essentially, this is one of the businesses I am in. All you need here is to stay one step ahead of your audience. You can focus your coaching on almost any aspect of retirement.
Did you ever look at the US Social security website, as just one example?
Loaded with information yet confusing as all get out at first glance.
I could blog for a year just taking page after page of that site apart, explaining things, answering questions and making the links for SSA-supplied manuals and guides available to my readers.
(Remember, publications of the US government are not copyrighted, they belong to you and me as taxpayers. You can use them (unchanged, of course) as you wish)
Do you know the Income Tax Code … even as a business professional?
You don’t need to be an accountant or lawyer to our experienced layman’s personal experiences. You are merely offering a personal opinion and relating things that happened to you in planning and filing your taxes.
Wow, a lifetime of work there, trying to simplify the taxation mess.
And the IRS is distinctly way behind the power curve on items specific to online businesses and the way expats overseas earn money online as well … there is virtually NO ONE writing anywhere with any authority in this area.
There are dozens of writers and websites out there, parroting the same old information about regular employees (who get their salary reported on a W2), but writers who even begin to delve into the special areas needed by online entrepreneurs?
Almost crickets (yes. there are a few).
How about making money in retirement by helping others learn to keep more of their retirement money?
Veterans Administration Benefits? A huge market and, sadly, a huge growth potential, since the Iraq and Afghanistan War casualties just keep rolling home.
How many people can you help steer toward their proper benefits entitlements?
Ads in this arena pay well, by the way.
Lawyers, medical insurance, retirement investment plans … they all want a piece of the action and they need someone with an ounce of two of authority to write the materials.
You can write into a very profitable niche market here, and go to bed each night knowing you have helped people as well.
6. Garden Maintenance
Once again, in retirement, I am not taking on anyone’s garden except my own, and actually (one of the reasons I live in the Philippines), I hire that out too.
But the author is right that there is a huge interest in this area and if you have a green thumb, or are learning to attain one, you could blog about many aspects of plants and gardens.
I’ll give you a free tip that I have no time to deal with.
I’m interested in a method called “square foot gardening.” (Google is your friend, look it up). I see a website on the subject that sells a book and some ancillary items.
I’ve yet to see anyone independent of the book site itself who blogs about this with authority.
And this would be a very interesting technique to develop here in the Philippines where the population is huge and hungry and the arable land area is small and expensive.
I actually wrote the book publishing company and asked if they had any representatives here in the Philippines, or if they had tried to sell any of their classes and products here.
Know what their response was? “No. you could be the first”. Opportunity knocks.!
I think advertising potential in this niche is only moderate, but there should be lots of suppliers with affiliate deals … Amazon for sure, they will even provide a free online store to attach to your blog.
Gardening is a broad market that meets a lot of positive business criteria. Why?
There are about 200 countries in the world and people grow and eat food in every one of them.
If you, say, help a person to cure their acne, when the acne is gone, it’s gone and they are no longer interested in the acne med you are selling.
But gardening? It’s popular all year, every year, as sure as the change of the seasons.
It’s also a passion-driven activity. People who are not interested in anything but the cheapest basics of gardening don’t even bother with it … but people who once get ‘bitten by the bug’ are back, year after year, buying the latest and the greatest books, tools, seeds and so on.
Just like golfers who regularly lose their balls, new plants, materials, ideas and accessories are needed every year.
And it’s timeless. there are 8 and 10-year-old gardeners out there. School project gardens from elementary school through university. Community sponsored gardens, and for retirees … a hobby/income supplement that can last as long as a person lives. Gardening doesn’t get ‘outgrown’.
7. Desktop Publishing
According to research findings, this market had expanded globally from £1.8 million in annual sales in 1985 to almost £5.1 billion in 2005 – and there would appear to no end in sight to this growth.
Home-based desktop publishers are engaged in producing a welter of graphic materials; brochures, advertisements, newsletters, books, business proposals and forms.
I think this might have changed quite a bit since 2007, but there is still a great upside here.
I would focus again more on teaching, reviewing and helping others rather than trying to set up a desktop publishing service for myself.
You know I’ve advised you in the past to learn by reading blogs?
How many blogs (including this one which badly needs a make-over) could use assistance in their layout, typography and even editing.
You know how many errors I find to my embarrassment every time I review one of my articles? I don’t want to talk about it.
You could approach other blog owners directly or sell your services on one of the many online job marketplaces.
I consistently hear complaints from other bloggers that when they take the step to seek professional design/publishing help, they can’t nd folks who are any good.
Hungry crowd alert.
8. Start Your Own Online Business
If you choose it to be, a blog itself can be a viable online business.
Or you can start looking into using a blog for various opportunities:
Direct product sales … something you make or write, or paint, or craft … Commissioned sales … often called “Affiliate Marketing”.
Companies all over the world will pay you a commission just to do reviews and advertise their products and facilitate buyers.
You invest nothing,
do no customer service
or make no sales calls.
You just forward the buyer to the merchant and get paid (often handsomely) for the service.
Is There Money in Affiliate Marketing?
Believe me, there’s money in product reviews and steering people to affiliate offers out there.
You will recall I’ve written more than once about Darren Rowse.
14 years or so ago he was an assistant minister in a church with a passion for cameras.
Darren has been known for years for his www.problogger.net “how to” blog, but he makes a six-figure income from several camera blogs, where he writes about, tests equipment, comments, and critiques on aspects of his hobby.
This is no flash in a pan, he’s been at this and earning consistently for years now.
Not a bad way to make a buck.
His income is easily well into the six figures (US dollars) per year.
More Affiliate Marketing Proofs?
How about my blogging colleague Michelle Schroeder-Gardner?
Michelle started a blog called makingsenseofcents.com just ten or so years ago. She now routinely makes (clear, after taxes and expenses) more than $1,000,000 USD per year.
No that is not a typo. I carefully checked my source data as well as how many zeros I typed.
You can read more about Michelle’s story here.
She went to college for a degree in finance and got a job right out of college as a financial analyst for an investment firm.
She decided she didn’t like the 9 to 5 commuting to cubicle life. Also, something she doesn’t mention directly, but that I would sure hate, she was using all the knowledge and skill set she had invested years of study in to make money for other people.
Why work to get all that knowledge and then use it to make other people rich?
Her salary was basically fixed, while if she did her job well, rich people got richer fo the sweat of her brow.
Jobs are sucker bets, folks. Basically, government-approved licensed slavery (or maybe “indentured servitude”).
So Michelle started her blog, writing about diverse subjects such as how she paid off her student loans quickly, how by selling her house (which she had bought while still a college student) she and her new husband were able to buy a motor home and travel the USA, footloose and fancy-free.
Nothing esoteric of financial-guru nerdy, just first-person experiences sharing useful information that any reader could use for their own financial success.
There are many more examples of current high-earning bloggers I could share with you, let me know if you want more articles like this.
Bottom Line on Affiliate Marketing?
You absolutely can earn money, in fact, big money is within reach.
And by the way, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m not promoting anything here.
No scammy MLM (Multi-Level-Marketing) schemes, no selling soap to your friends and family, no sending o money and receiving instruction books telling you how to rope in other people in order to make back your investment.
Only honest reviews and recommendations for products you actually need, products that can solve problems for people
9. Make Money on eBay
An excellent way, especially for retired folks to set up a true, money-making business for virtually no investment.
One fascinating story of a couple making very nice money from selling products, mainly eBay (right now, in 2018), not years ago is here.
There are also a number of sales “platforms” similar to eBay on the ‘Net these days.
One is the ubiquitous Facebook with its Facebook Marketplace.
You can just sell items from around your home, you can find items to resell at thrift stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army Stores, or you can load up on items from garage sales and estate sales.
Practically impossible to fail at this if you put in the time and sell things at sensible prices.
With eBay, you literally can make money from the git-go (as we say in Colorado).
It’s easy, it’s fun and the risk is indeed very small.
I haven’t yet had time to start writing more on eBay but that is not because I don’t believe in it … opportunities there are large.
10. Write a Book on Your Know-How
As you know this is one I’d agree with, wholeheartedly.
You can write an eBook and market it yourself or via several commission selling services, or you can write a traditional paper book.
Here’s a fellow I’ve mentioned before, John T. Reed. He’s well into retirement age, he went to West Point the year I first went to SEA.
Among a number of other profit-making endeavors, he publishes his own “how-toselling” books .. real, traditional paper books, sells them himself and pays income tax on the prots, rather than moaning about how small the SS COLA is going to be next year.
You could do worse than read a lot of the materials at Jack’s site.
OK, That’s 10 Ideas, let’s wrap this up!
One thing I want to address before signing off.
Throughout the article, I based this listing on the original authors make frequent reference to “steep earning curves”, especially when discussing any sort of online venture
Downside: Steep learning curve
I saw this alleged “downside” a number of times in the articles.
I would submit that the author does not understand the meaning of the term “learning curve”.
He also doesn’t understand the value of time … especially to us who are already old.
A “learning curve” is knowledge gained on the vertical axis graphed over time spent learning on the horizontal axis.
You Should Be Watching For “Steep Learning Curves”.
You want a retirement opportunity with a steep learning curve.
You want to be able to learn quickly and get up to speed in minimal time … after all, we’re none of us getting any younger.
Becoming a concert pianist, as an example, has a very shallow learning curve. It takes years and years to master the instrument. Myself? I’ll take the steep curve any day.
Learning, like working with children, keeps you young
The great thing about most of the legitimate online ways to earn that I am familiar with is are not that hard at all, And certainly very few, if any, require any sort of demanding physical labor.
Although at your first introduction there may seem to be a lot to learn, you can usually be up and running as a beginner in minutes.
You can spend a lifetime learning details and ne points, but the initial eort in both time and money is tiny … low risk, high reward.
So What’s Your Own Next Step in Make Money In Retirement?
What will you do next year?
Spend a lot of time reconsidering your tax strategies to keep all that’s legal of the profits you are making?
Or whine about whichever political party is responsible for your paltry retirement handout?
Pretty counter-productive and negative thinking in my view.
Doesn’t much matter who is in Congress or the White House, they all try to balance the budget on the backs of the retiree.
After all, we won’t be around all that much longer, so they don’t need to think about us much.
And they’re mostly so arrogant they think they’ll be powerful people forever. You can’t change that.
Stop living in anger and rejection.
Do something proactive with your retirement years.
Myself, I’m doing business, paying taxes and grateful for the opportunity/necessity.
Oh, and I am very much alive and learning too … life is never boring, and that’s something a lot of retirees can’t truthfully say.
More Helpful Info Here:
What else can I write about Ways To Make Money In Retirement? Let me hear from you in the comments below.