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What Are the Best Retirement Side Hustles?

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    Continuing to earn money in retirement is important for a lot of individuals, whether it be to maintain their lifestyle or have extra spending money. A retirement side hustle is a great way to bring in extra income. 

    Let's take a look at some of the best ones below and glean some great ideas from business experts. 

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    Why Start a Retirement Side Hustle?

    There are many benefits to a retirement side hustle, including staying active and social, keeping your mind sharp and adding extra income. But it’s the latter that often has the biggest influence. 

    One of the main reasons that people start a side hustle later in their career or after retirement is to boost savings. A report by the U.S. Federal Reserve found that, on average, around a quarter of Americans don’t have any retirement savings. So, a side hustle can help add extra income to prepare for the day you retire.

    Chart showing what businesses are the highest earning side hustlers involved in. Online business, freelancing, investing, e-commerce, local services, self-publishing, YouTube, gig economy


    And it’s becoming more popular. In fact, the percentage of the U.S. population that starts a new business is highest in the 45 to 55 age group at 39 percent, with the 55 to 65 age group following closely behind at 38 percent, according to Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship. And with a little bit of effort, you can turn your retirement side hustle into a successful business. 

    What Is the Best Way to Start a Retirement Side Hustle?

    If you're nearing retirement age, you may be thinking about ways to supplement your income. But with many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a retirement side hustle:

    • Think about your interests and skills. What are you passionate about? What do you do well? Do you have any special talents or knowledge that others might find valuable? Consider what kinds of businesses or services you could provide based on your interests and skills.
    • Consider your schedule. How much time do you want to commit to your side hustle? If you're only looking for a part-time gig, make sure to choose something that won't require too much time and energy. On the other hand, if you're hoping to build a full-time business, you'll need to be prepared to invest a significant amount of time.
    • Prepare your finances. Do you have any startup capital or will you need to finance your own business? Make sure you have a clear understanding of the costs involved before getting started, as the long-term aim of a side hustle is to make extra income, not drain your bank account.
    • Come up with goals. What are you hoping to achieve? Are you looking to supplement your income or replace it entirely? Do you want to build something that can be passed down to future generations? Keep your goals in mind as you choose your side hustle and make sure it's something that aligns with what you're hoping to achieve. 
    • Build a client base. Once you establish what kind of side hustle you want to start, you can start reaching out to potential customers. “You’ll need to start building a client base. This can be done by networking, online marketing or even word of mouth,” suggests Samantha Hawrylack, co-founder of How to FIRE.

    What Are Good Retirement Side Hustles to Start?

    If you’re trying to brainstorm some side hustle ideas, here are some successful options as suggested by business experts.

    1. Start a Blog

    One of the best retirement side hustles is starting a blog. This can be a great way to share your knowledge and experience with others while also earning some extra income. There are a number of ways to monetize a blog, such as through advertising, affiliate marketing or selling products and services to your readers. 

    However, you should be aware that it can take months or years to grow traffic, so it’s definitely a longer-term business idea than a get-rich-quick scheme. But, blogs can be profitable once you have a dedicated reader base who have gained your trust in your chosen niche.

    2. Become a Consultant

    Another great option for retirees is to become a consultant. This can be a worthwhile way to utilize your skills and experience to help others, and it can also be a particularly lucrative business, too. According to Nick Loper, founder of Side Hustle Nation, “Depending on the field, this could mean charging day rates of up to $1000 or more.”

    There are many industries in which you could consult, such as business, finance or healthcare. It helps if you maintain your contacts in your relevant industry, as this then means far less marketing effort on your part.

    “If you stay in touch with your former coworkers and colleagues, you’ll find they often come asking you for help — rather than you having to go out and solicit business,” says Loper.

    3. Start a Home-Based Business

    If you’re sick of commuting, you could even start a home-based business. This can be a convenient way to earn some extra money while also being able to work from the comfort of your own home. There are a number of different businesses you could start, such as an online store, pet-sitting business or home-based daycare.

    “On sites like, you can set up shop as a pet sitter and dog walker, with rates usually ranging from $25-$65 a night. This can be a great way to get some fresh air and exercise, as well as some loving companionship,” says Loper.

    4. Teach Classes Online

    Another retirement side hustle that is both rewarding and flexible is teaching online classes. “Whether it is woodwork, photography, calligraphy, knitting or anything else, there will be a target audience that will be interested in learning,” says Derek Sall, founder of Life And My Finances

    There are a number of different platforms where you can teach classes, such as YouTube, Udemy or Skillshare. “These could take so many forms — live streams, ready-written material, pre-recorded videos or even 1 on 1s in the form of online tutoring,” suggests Sall.

    5. Transcription Work

    A simple job you can do at home or virtually is transcription work. For anyone with extensive office experience, it can be a relatively effortless way to make some extra cash. “This is where they can listen to an audio or video file and type word for word what they are hearing,” explains Deacon Hayes, founder and CEO of Well Kept Wallet

    It surprisingly pays relatively well and can be a relatively flexible job that can either be done as a freelancer or for a particular company. “Businesses will pay $20-$30 per hour for transcriptionist work,” says Hayes.

    Get a Side Hustle Checklist

    With a little thought and planning, starting a retirement side hustle can be a great way to supplement your income and give yourself something new and exciting to focus on in retirement. 

    We’ve put together a free Start a Side Hustle Checklist to help get you started. The checklist includes tips on choosing the right side hustle for you, setting up your business and marketing your new venture. Download it now and get started on your path to retirement success.

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    Jenna Scatena

    Jenna Scatena

    Jenna Scatena is a writer and content strategist with a love for stories that have never been told before. More than a decade of working with prominent magazines and brands informs her approach to impactful storytelling. Her stories have reached more than 30 million readers, won multiple awards and been anthologized in books. Jenna's work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Vogue, Marie Claire, The San Francisco, BBC and The Atlantic. She's the founder of the editorial consultancy, Lede Studio.


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