8 smart ways to earn extra cash in retirement

Looking to fill your time – and your wallet – during retirement? Check out these 8 ways to earn some extra cash without sacrificing your freedom.

If you’re like many people in or near retirement, you’d love to have some extra cash in your pocket. Maybe you want an added financial buffer, some more spending money or simply a paid activity that aligns with your interests.

These eight ways to supplement your income can help fill your time – and your wallet – during retirement:

1. Pick up a few hours of work.
One of the most popular ways for retirees to earn a steady flow of extra cash is to find a part-time or temp job. You might fill in at an office for a worker who’s on vacation. Or you could take up some seasonal work at a retail store.

Think outside the box, and try a role whose duties pique your interest. If you’re a history buff, apply to be a tour guide at your local museum. For book worms, some afternoons spent working at the library may be just your thing.

2. Sell your unwanted belongings.

Retirement provides an excellent opportunity to sift through the property you’ve acquired over the years. And the new or gently used items you own can translate to big bucks. Look for clothing, toys, books, movies, music, electronics, tools, furniture and more to unload.

  • Set up your own weekend yard sale or join in a community-wide sale.
  • Sell your gently used clothing through an app like Poshmark.
  • Put your clothes, household goods, and more on consignment at a nearby store.
  • Try Craigslist, Letgo, OfferUp, or a Facebook group like My Virtual Garage Sale to sell locally.
  • Advertise, sell, and ship just about anything on eBay.

3. Share your knowledge.

Your job skills and hobbies are just the resources you need to coach, teach or tutor others who would benefit from the bounty of your experience. Consider . . .

  • Becoming a substitute teacher.
  • Providing tutoring services to students.
  • Giving music lessons.
  • Teaching a community class on computers, foreign language or interview skills.
  • Offering services as a business coach.

4. Take on consulting work.

If you’ve spent decades working in a particular industry, then there is a good chance you’ve got the two big things you need in order to tackle contract work in your chosen field. You have valuable years of experience and a sizable list of potential clients. And consulting on a part-time or project basis can be an ideal means of leveraging your professional skills during retirement.

To get started, check in with your business connections. You might chat up your past or present employers, coworkers, business partners and industry colleagues. See if they have untouched projects you’re qualified to tackle or if they’re looking for a knowledgeable strategist.

As a consultant, you’ll be in a unique position to negotiate contract terms that work for your retirement goals – maybe a flexible schedule, a series of short-term projects or a work-from-home arrangement.

5. Become a solopreneur.

If you’re still itching to work – whether in the same field or a totally new arena – consider freelancing or starting a small business. Here are just a few of the services you can offer on your own schedule to pick up extra money:

  • Writing or editing articles, stories, advertisements and books.
  • Offering handyman services. 
  • Baby-sitting or house-sitting.
  • Pet-sitting or dog-walking.
  • Driving for a transportation company like Uber or Lyft.
  • Providing translation services.
  • Running errands or doing house cleaning.

Once you choose a service to offer, spread the word! Advertise your availability to friends and neighbors, in your local paper or on flyers. Or market yourself online with your own website or an app like Nextdoor.

6. Make it. Then sell it.

Do you have a hands-on skill, or are you known for artistic creations? Selling your wares can be a fun path to extra income.

If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, market your baked goods, sauces or heat-and-eat meals. If you thrive in the garden, sell your produce, herbs or flowers. Transform your knitting, woodworking or photography hobby into a marketable skill.

Not sure where to sell? You could set up a fair booth, advertise locally, spend a few dollars on Facebook ads or set up an Etsy shop.

7. Go online.

If you think that you need to leave your house and punch a clock to supplement your income, think again. These days, there are countless, legitimate jobs you can handle from the comfort of your home computer:

  • Customer service or call center.
  • Paid online surveys and focus groups.
  • Virtual Assistant work.
  • Advertising, affiliate sales or product sales through your own blog.

8. Clean up your finances.

The quickest way to boost your savings in retirement? Making sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck with the money that you already have.

First, review your spending to ensure that you’re not overpaying for the lifestyle you want. Shop around for better insurance rates and utilities costs. Minimize financial charges and ask your credit card company to lower your interest rate. Scour your home for money leaks in the form of inefficient appliances, drafty windows and unchecked property issues.

Second, see where you can amp up your available assets. If you have a financial advisor, sit down with him or her to ensure that your investments are performing up to par. And confirm that your portfolio allocation is in line with your current financial goals.

Whether you need to increase your income or you simply want to keep your toe in the workforce, you have an abundance of options as you head into or live in retirement. Best of all, you can choose a path that allows you to enjoy your freedom and savor your retirement.