Updated April 13, 2020

19 Retirement Hobbies That Make Money: A Guide

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Even if you are retired, you may not want to stop working completely.  It is a good idea to look for retirement hobbies that make money. They allow you to supplement your retirement income without having to work long hours. No matter what your profession was, your skillset and life experiences can help you to make some extra cash.

If you don’t want to do anything taxing, there are side gigs you can pick up. In fact, there are job sites tailored specifically to older people and you should check them out. Take a look at Seniors4Hire, RetiredBrains, Workforce50.com, and RetireeWorkforce.

The Benefits of Working After Retirement

If you’re second-guessing whether you should put effort into making money after retirement, there are several benefits you should know about.

  • Working after retirement gives you the extra income you need to be more comfortable.
  • You can keep your savings and make more money which can help you to meet your daily expenses.
  • This can put you in a better position to manage inflation, rising medical costs and eventually, long-term care.
  • Taking advantage of one of the many money-making hobbies for retirees can also allow you to delay your Social Security benefits.
  • If you can wait until the age of 70, you are likely to get the maximum monthly pension.
  • There are also social and health benefits of working even when it’s part-time.
  • It helps you to stay connected to others and remain mentally and physically active.

Here are 19 retirement hobbies that can make money which you can try.

1. Pet Grooming, Sitting or Walking

If you love animals, there are many ways in which you can earn money. You can walk dogs, pet sit or offer grooming services. Many pet owners who have to travel enjoy having someone to take care of their fur babies.

Sometimes clients may want you to feed and bathe the animal, clean their litter box or cage or give them medicine. If you have experience taking care of pets, you’re qualified.

You just need to make sure you have the strength to deal with larger animals and the ability to walk a reasonable distance. The more good reviews you can get, the more work you’re likely to get.

Pro Tip:

Post flyers around the neighborhood and at local pet stores and veterinary offices to market your services. You can also create an online profile on sites like PetSitter and Rover.

2. Showing People Around Your City

If you really know your city and you enjoy showing it off, why not work as a tour guide? You can focus on history, food, art, music, architecture or whatever is your specialty.

Being a part-time tour guide allows you to share your knowledge while interacting with both locals and visitors. You can apply for seasonal jobs at museums or monuments or apply to private tour companies.

Pro Tip:

Looking for jobs on sites like Craigslist, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter can also prove fruitful.

3. Sharing Your Opinion

Do you just love telling others what you think? You can make easy money doing just that. One option is to participate in surveys or online/in-person focus groups.

There are many companies which are willing to pay you for your feedback. You won’t make large sums from doing online surveys, but the work is easy, and you can do it whenever you have a little spare time.

Focus groups can take a few hours but you can make a few hundred dollars. You can also find work as a website or app tester using sites like UserTest and Startuplift.

Pro Tip:

You can make $10 on average for completing a test which takes 10 to 15 minutes. One of our favorite survey sites is SurveyJunkie.

4. Gardening

Gardening is another of those retirement hobbies that make money. If you love working in your garden, you can use your skills to help others with their lawns, trees, and bushes.

This is a physical job so it’s best for retirees who are still very active. Gardening is mainly a seasonal job, but it depends on where you live.

You can work at private homes, in community gardens, or botanical gardens. If you’re known for your green thumb and you want to remain physically active, this is the perfect job for you.

Good to Know:

Care, Hortjobs and SimplyHired are three job sites you can use to find a part-time gardening gig.

5. Taking Care of Children

Many working parents would love to engage someone who has lots of experience with children.

If you have children and grandchildren of your own, you already know the ropes. You can provide temporary relief to parents by picking up their little ones from school, helping them with homework or making dinner.

It is up to you to decide which tasks you want to help families with. However, you can charge more if you tutor or help with homework instead of just babysitting.

Babysitters tend to make around $12 an hour but the rate may be different in your area. If your neighborhood has lots of families, you should be able to easily find work.

Pro Tip:

There are lots of opportunities online but Rent a Grandma is specifically for mature women.

6. Teaching

With all your life experience, you definitely have skills you can teach, even if you didn’t work as a teacher. Teaching is one of the best money-making hobbies for retirees because you can draw on many of your talents.

If you can do your own plumbing, fix electronics or sew, you can teach these practical skills to younger people. In fact, many of the skills you take for granted are now in demand.

Reach out to community colleges and youth groups to see if they would be willing to pay you to teach what you know. Depending on what and where you want to teach, you may need a degree or other credentials, but this isn’t always the case. If you can’t find opportunities near you, you can teach online to make some extra cash.

Pro Tip:

You may have skills in event planning, personal finance management or even art appreciation. These all lend themselves to online courses and platforms like Skillshare and Uscreen are great for this.

7. Cooking and Baking

If you’d rather spend time alone in your kitchen whipping up your favorite recipes, you can still earn money. Instead of just making goodies for yourself or your family, make some extras and sell them.

Try getting a stand at a neighborhood farmers’ market or asking a coffee shop or restaurant to sell your items.

If you’re technologically savvy, you can use apps like eatwith or Feastly, and Cookapp so you can be matched with visitors and locals looking for home-cooked meals.

Pro Tip:

Did you know you can get cashback on your grocery purchases when you use Ibotta? Signing up might be worth a try.

8. Mystery Shopping

If shopping is more your speed, you can make some extra money giving companies feedback on the shopping experience in their stores. What could be better than getting paid to shop? Your role would be to let the stores know what they’re doing right and what they need to improve on.

Mystery shoppers typically make minimum wage when they’re starting out. However, if you stick with it, you’ll be able to make more.

If you enjoy shopping, this can be a fun thing to do while earning some cash after retirement.

Bonus Tip:

Look for jobs on the Mystery Shopper Providers Association website and general job sites like FlexJobs.

9. Personal Shopping

If you absolutely love fashion and you have an eye for creating outfits, why not make some money from it? Personal shopping is a great choice if you planned to spend some of your downtime browsing in stores or shopping.

You can either work for a department store or take on private clients who don’t have the time or skills to shop for flattering outfits. The good thing about retirement hobbies that make money is that you have the freedom to choose when you want to work and exactly what you want to do.

Good to Know:

Personal shoppers start around $15 to $20 per hour but as you gain experience, you may make 10 to 15 percent of the total purchase.

10. Copyediting

Do you love reading? Can you spot even the smallest error in a text? If you are a pro at the English language and you are detail-oriented, copyediting may be just the thing to do when you retire.

You’ll be responsible for fact-checking and correcting spelling and grammar. You may also have to be familiar with a style guide and check to ensure the material meets the guidelines.

If you already know the AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style, you’ll find it a lot easier to get a job. Several entities require copyeditors and proofreaders including news agencies, book publishers, online content providers, and non-profit organizations.

Pro Tip:

If you need to brush up on your skills, you can seek training from entities like MediaBistro or the Poynter News University.  There are several sites which you can check to find freelance editing work including Fiverr, FreelanceWritingGigs and FlexJobs.

11. Writing

If you’ve already been writing as a hobby, you already know one of the easiest ways to earn extra cash. You can write a novel if you want but there’s no pressure to do so.

Instead, you can start a monetized blog, apply for online freelance writing gigs, or take extra copywriting work from a local advertising firm. Another option is to do freelance writing for a magazine or newspaper in your hometown.

Once you have a good command of language, creativity and the ability to follow instructions, you can be successful. There will always be a demand for writers so there will be no shortage of opportunities.

Good to Know:

Did you know that our blogging tips website can provide all the tools you need to start a blogging business?

12. Taking Photos

If you used photography to unwind while you were still working, you can use this hobby to earn some money in retirement. You can work as a photographer now or sell some of the photos you have taken over the years. Local galleries may be willing to take your work, or you can submit your photos to competitions.

You can also provide images to some of the many stock photo companies. If you don’t want to have to do too much work, selling images you’ve already created is a good idea.

If you ever feel like creating new content, you can get back in the studio or out on the road.

We have more ways for you to get some extra cash. Here are 30+ ideas for passive income generation.

13. Knitting and Crocheting

Here’s another option for the creative older person looking for retirement hobbies that make money. If you can knit or crochet, you could be sitting on a gold mine. Many people will be interested in your creations.

You can make clothing, accessories or home décor and likely find a ready audience. Feel free to start by marketing your items to relatives and neighbors but don’t limit yourself to people you know.

Pro Tip:

Use eBay, Amazon.com, and Etsy to reach more people who love handcrafted, one-of-a-kind items. There are many craft hobbies that make money, so if you like to create things using a different technique, you can also make money.

14. Sports Coaching

If you love sports but no longer have the ability to play, why not coach a team of youngsters? You get to be around the game, but you don’t have to compete, and you get paid for your time.

Whether baseball, football or tennis is your sport, you can get a good boost in income. Reach out to schools and community groups to see if they want to make use of your skills.

Coaching is an excellent way to keep your mind and body engaged. It also gives you an opportunity to meet influence young people and share some of the life lessons you’ve learned.

15. Exercising

Maybe you’re trying to get into the best shape of your life now that you’ve retired. If you’ve been enjoying exercising but you need a little extra motivation to lose a couple pounds, there’s an app for that. This app can also help you to make money.

HealthyWage pushes you to meet your fitness goals through cash-based challenges. You can use the app alone or get a group of friends together for a competition.

Pro Tip:

If you’ve always enjoyed physical activity, adding this extra dimension may be just the thing you need to get you moving even more. If you want to earn even more cash when you meet your savings goals,  you can always sign up for Long Game.

16. Hosting Guests in Your Home

Seniors who love meeting new people and who have a spare room or apartment should consider listing on Airbnb. This is a great way to earn extra income and make a good impression on a visitor to your area.

It’s also an opportunity to swap stories if you’re also a travel lover. If you have a luxury home, you can charge more but guests will also enjoy an authentic experience in a simple home once it’s clean and well taken care of. Provide an exceptional experience and you’ll reach Super Host status in no time.

17. Driving for Lyft or Uber

Another way to make money in the sharing economy is to drive for Uber or Lyft.

If you enjoy driving and miss going to work each day, you can work on your own time and make some extra cash. You can work every day if you wish or just a few days per week.

Good to Know:

Driving for a rideshare company and earning money while driving is a great way to get out of the house and meet new characters. To a large extent, you can determine how much you make.

18. Making Deliveries

Maybe you enjoy driving but you don’t want to pick up passengers. Making deliveries is a viable option. If you sign up with a company like DoorDash, you can deliver food and other items from local businesses to customers.

In most cases, all you need is a valid driver’s license, a vehicle in good condition, and a smartphone. If you want to spend some time moving around while earning an income, this may be the job for you.

19. Selling Products

Are you great at sales? If so, you can make some extra cash selling products you love. 

If you used to sell Avon products back in the day, now is a great time to do it again. You can make money on your own terms while meeting new people all the time.

Pro Tip:

If you don’t want to sell Avon, there are other direct sales companies you can look into including Amway, Chloe + Isabel, and Mary Kay. Whether you want to sell food, clothing or health products, you can find something which aligns with your interests.

If you have lots of time or energy, you can combine a couple of these suggestions for retirement hobbies that make money. Which hobbies do you plan to make money from when you retire?

Logan Allec, CPA

Logan is a practicing CPA, Certified Student Loan Professional, and founder of Money Done Right, which he launched in July 2017. After spending nearly a decade in the corporate world helping big businesses save money, he launched his blog with the goal of helping everyday Americans earn, save, and invest more money. Learn more about Logan.

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