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Many people at mid-career discover that they are interested in entrepreneurship and want to look into starting a side hustle after 50. If you’ve made it to age 50, you’ve definitely learned a thing or two about life. Although you may be well invested in your career, starting a side hustle can be both lucrative and entertaining.
Lucrative side hustles for people over 50 allow you to get paid for doing something you’re great at or passionate about. Side hustles are best known for their flexibility; you decide when and where you want to work your side hustle. If you’ve always dreamed of trying something new, a side hustle is the perfect place to test the waters of starting a business — at any age.
To get you started, here are 10 lucrative side hustles for people over 50 that can help you share the wealth of knowledge you’ve gained over the years.
If your career has been focused in education, or you are particularly well versed on an academic subject, becoming a tutor could be the perfect side hustle for you. Tutoring as a side hustle allows you to choose the age range you want to work with as well as the subject matter. Algebra, geometry, spelling, Spanish, English, chemistry — you name it, there is a market out there with someone needing to be tutored in it.
On average, private tutoring can range in cost from approximately $25–$50/hour depending on your level of expertise and where you live. With little to no startup costs involved other than your knowledge, this low-cost side hustle can be especially attractive if you are looking to augment your income with side hustle profits.
Love pets? Consider becoming a pet sitter. You have a few different options here. Some pet sitters will stay overnight at a client’s house with the pet(s). You’ll take care of the pets as you go about your day, walk them if such a thing has been requested and be in the house for the duration of time the client is away. Some pet sitters stop in throughout the day, but sleep and live their own life at their own home. Generally speaking, you would be making one to three visits per day to feed/water/relieve/walk/entertain the pet(s) and lock up on your way out.
Most pet sitters charge either an hourly or daily fee: on average $10–$25/hour or $40–$75/day if staying on-site overnight. The fee charged will vary based on the number and type of pets, age of the pets and any special needs of the pet. If you aren’t taking pets into your own home, you won’t need much cash upfront for this side hustle, which means you can realize a more immediate profit once you get started.
You’ve been around the block a few times and likely learned some things while doing it. Becoming a life coach is an excellent way to pass that knowledge along. As a life coach, you can help people improve their lives. You can help your client clarify and become accountable to their goals, find a fulfilling career, form better relationships or generally find more meaning in life. If you’re the go-to person in your group for therapy sessions, this could be the side hustle for you!
Investment is minimal unless you decide to get certifications to further your brand and build your credibility as a professional. Most life coaches charge between $75–$200/hour, depending on expertise, location and regularity of sessions. Expect to coach a client once a week for 30 minutes to an hour.
That piano in the corner gathering dust could be your next income source! Becoming a music teacher is a flexible side hustle that can be built around your schedule. Decide if you want to use your own instruments and offer sessions in-home, or if you are open to doing virtual/online lessons or meeting with the client at their home. You can charge a little more if you’re mobile, but it also puts you on the move instead of the client, and you may prefer to have a fixed location with all of your equipment.
The cost of music lessons vary based on your expertise, location, style, lesson length and even the expertise level of the student. Depending on your answer to these criteria, you can plan on charging between $15–$100/hour.
Becoming a business consultant is an excellent opportunity to pass down the knowledge you have gained over the years in your chosen field. As a business consultant, you will offer your expertise and knowledge to help businesses solve internal problems, enhance a product or service, make decisions about business strategy and marketing and more.
Consulting can take on many forms, depending on the needs of the business. Take some time to determine where your greatest strengths lay and then advertise! LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing this type of information and putting out feelers for companies looking to hire consultants in your area. Talk to people you know and fire up your networking skills to get your name out there. Again, this side hustle isn’t going to require much in the way of startup costs unless you invest in heavy advertising or other marketing, but the opportunities for profit are significant.
Business consultants charge up to hundreds of dollars per hour depending on experience, industry and other factors. Do the research in your area to determine what the going rate is and decide how competitive you want to be.
Uber/Lyft/Other Rideshare Driver
This side hustle speaks for itself. If you enjoy being around people and don’t mind putting some miles on your car, this is an awesome way to make some money on the side. This is a flexible side hustle for those working daytime hours as some of the busiest times for rideshare are evenings and weekends. You’ll need to have a car to get started, which can be a significant expense. Maintenance on the car and fuel should also go into cost planning.
Depending on your vehicle and location, you will average between $10–$20/hour after you take out expenses and the rideshare apps’ cut of your income.
Many small businesses don’t have an accountant or bookkeeper on staff and need someone to keep their books up to date. If you have experience in QuickBooks, or other related accounting software, this could be an easy win for your side hustle dreams.
Depending on your level of expertise, location and complexity of the work, you can anticipate between $15–$50/hour. Some bookkeepers will charge a minimum monthly contract amount to ensure a minimum number of work hours. Your startup costs here will be a computer and the accounting software you will be using, although it’s very likely that the company you contract with will have software of their own that you will log in to.
Rent Your Home on VRBO/Airbnb
Consider putting your home to work for you when you’re away and list it as a rental on VRBO or Airbnb. Special event coming to town? Rent out your house for the weekend and staycation at a nearby hotel. Before committing to this side hustle, check any potential HOA or mortgage rules, as well as state and local laws for renting your home as a short-term rental; make sure you’re in compliance with any laws or regulations and be prepared to pay any necessary taxes or fees. Make sure you do your research with the company you choose to understand all the obligations and costs of renting your home on their platform.
Special Event/Concert/Sports Venue Worker
Who doesn’t love a great excuse to get out of the house? As the country continues to open its doors to public events, sports and concert venues will be getting back to their regularly scheduled programming, and many will be hiring people for seasonal jobs or one-time special events work. What’s a great way to get to see an event for free? Work it! Working concessions, ticketing and other venue jobs often comes with the added perk of getting to see some or most of the event for free!
Since this is an event-specific gig, you won’t have to commit a large portion of your schedule to it, and most venues are flexible with you being able to choose which events you are available to. Startup costs for this side hustle are basically zero as long as you can get yourself to and from the venue. Wages for these types of jobs are likely to be in the $10–20/hour range, depending on location, venue and experience.
Make Your Special Skill Into a Side Hustle
Is there something you find yourself doing for family and friends because you love doing it? Are you the go-to person for that one “thing” that everybody knows you for? Do you love to cook? Bake? Maybe you are great at building and creating. Are you great at home organizing or lawn care? Perhaps your master gardener green thumb is the envy of the neighborhood and you love nothing better than to spend the day with your hands in the dirt. These are all perfect niche side hustles to start in your 50s! Take that talent that you love and share it.
Post it on social media, tell your friends, add a note to your neighborhood Nextdoor app and get the word out there that you are available for side jobs. Having a side hustle that is based in something you love to do can be both fun and productive. If you are already doing the activity you are side hustling, it’s fair to say you’ve already invested the bulk of what you need to get started. At this point, it’s just getting the word out there. As for what you can charge, it depends on what it is! Research what people are charging in your area and determine a rate that works for you.
Don’t assume that millennials are the only people who can start a fun, lucrative side hustle. There are many opportunities for lucrative side hustles for people over 50, especially if you’re willing to think creatively and be flexible about how you can work and add value for your customers.
Ben Gran is a freelance writer from Des Moines, Iowa. Ben has written for Fortune 500 companies, the Governor of Iowa (who now serves as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), the U.S. Secretary of the Navy, and many corporate clients. He writes about entrepreneurship, technology, food and other areas of great personal interest.
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