21 Best Side Hustles For Retirees to Make Money

Retirement is often seen as a time for relaxation and leisure, but things are changing. When you retire, you might find that your living expenses are higher than expected. Even if you have a budget, factors like inflation and market changes can make it tough to cover costs.

Nowadays, more seniors are looking for side gigs to earn some extra cash. In fact, about 1 in 4 baby boomers already has a side hustle.

With a side hustle, not only can you boost your retirement income, but it’s also a good chance to stay active and connect with other people. If you’re past your full retirement age, you can work as much as you want without affecting your Social Security benefits. But if you’re not there yet, earning too much could temporarily reduce your benefits.

Here are the best side hustles for retirees to consider:

Best Side Hustles For Retirees

1. Blogging

Blogging is a great side gig for retirees. It allows you to share what you know and make some extra cash.

Starting a blog doesn’t cost much, and some people make big money from it. You can write about what you love and know about, and if people like it, you might attract sponsors.

Usually, blogs earn $3 to $25 for every 1,000 views from ads like Google AdSense. But if you have a niche audience and use affiliate marketing or sponsored content effectively, you could earn even more.

While it may take time to see significant returns, a blog offers long-term potential for passive income.

2. Become a Customer Service Representative

Are you good at interpersonal skills? If so, you might consider working as a customer service representative.

Many companies offer remote customer service positions, allowing you to earn money from the comfort of your own home during your retirement years.

Retirees often have excellent interpersonal skills, which are essential for customer service roles. If you enjoy helping people and are good at communicating, this could be the perfect fit for you.

Customer service jobs often offer flexible schedules, making it easier to balance work with other commitments or activities.

Websites like Monster Jobs, Glassdoor, Simply Hired, and ZipRecruiter list various customer service positions that you can apply for. 

3. Start a YouTube Channel

Starting a YouTube channel can be a fun and rewarding gig for retirees, giving them a chance to share their knowledge and feel purposeful again.

YouTubers can make money passively if people watch their videos. Popular topics like money tips, digital marketing, and learning stuff can bring in cash.

For example, YouTubers with 100,000 subscribers can earn around $1,800 per week from AdSense if every subscriber watches a new video each week.

Besides signing up for the YouTube Partner Program, you can also make money from sponsored content, affiliate links, or even selling your own online courses.

You can track which videos perform the best and create videos with a similar topic, as your video library and views grow, so will your income.

4. Sell Collectibles Online

If you’re retired and looking for a side gig, selling collectibles could be a great option.

Small businesses dealing in collectibles and antiques can sometimes bring in anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000 in revenue each year. 

To boost your earnings, you can cater to specific collector interests, like coins, stamps, or vintage toys. Selling at flea markets, yard sales, or online through auctions or eBay can all be lucrative options.

You can also try retail arbitrage, which involves buying items like antiques or vintage goods at a low price and selling them for a profit.

5. Become a Tutor

Tutoring is a good way for retirees to earn extra money while staying mentally active. It’s perfect for those who enjoy working with young people and have some free time.

Retirees often have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share, and they can be flexible with their tutoring schedules. They can help students understand challenging subjects and provide guidance on their homework.

It’s a flexible gig where you can set your own schedule and potentially earn a significant amount of money. Some top tutors can earn over $100,000 a year. Of course, it takes time to build a steady income from tutoring.

6. Part-time Consultant

Part-time consulting can be a great side gig for retirees. It lets you leverage your wealth of experience and knowledge as a trusted advisor without committing to a full-time job.

There are many perks to working as a retiree: earning extra income to cover expenses, staving off boredom, and fostering social connections.

Companies might value your insights and expertise enough to keep you on board as an independent consultant for a few years post-retirement, sometimes offering higher pay rates than your previous full-time role.

You could choose to return part-time to your previous workplace or provide mentorship to current employees.

7. Create an Online Course

Online courses offer retirees a lucrative opportunity to generate income. Whether you excel in culinary arts, coding, or photography, there’s a ready audience eager to learn from your expertise.

With a strategic marketing approach, online courses can provide you with steady passive income over the long term. You have the freedom to select your course topic, develop content, and invest in quality video equipment and production tools.

Platforms such as Udemy, Teachable, or Skillshare provide avenues to host your course and reach your desired audience at a low cost. 

As you engage in online teaching, you can enhance your technological proficiency, fostering a sense of connectivity, and independence well into retirement.

8. Grow and Sell Plants Online

Growing and selling plants online is a great side hustle for retirees, especially if you you love gardening and have a knack for growing plants.

Selling your produce locally not only provides fresh, healthy options to your community but also fosters connections and engagement with your neighbors.

Websites like Plantly, Ecwid, Shippy Pro, Etsy, and Pabbly offer convenient platforms to sell your plants online. This allows you to reach a wider audience beyond your local area.

Starting a plant-selling business typically requires minimal investment. You can choose to specialize in certain types of plants or offer a variety of options.

9. Become a Wildlife Photographer

Earning money as a wildlife photographer is not only fun but also lucrative for retirees.

Of course, you need to be patient when dealing with unpredictable creatures, but the payoff can be significant when you capture that perfect shot.

If wildlife photography isn’t your thing, portrait photography is another avenue to explore for earning income with your photography skills.

Websites like Nature Picture Library, Photographers Without Borders, Re: Wild, and Jooble offer opportunities to find photography jobs in the wildlife sector.

You can also sell your photos on platforms like Animals Animals, Nature Picture Library, and National Geographic Images to generate income.

10. Take Paid Surveys

Companies pay for market research, and your opinion matters. Taking online surveys or participating in focus groups allows you to earn money effortlessly.

You can participate in surveys and focus groups from the comfort of your home, fitting them into your schedule whenever it’s convenient for you.

Of course, you have to beware of some online scams that pretend to be survey sites but end up stealing your personal information. Always look for reviews before signing up.

If you’re short on time, just check out legitimate companies such as Survey Junkie, Branded Surveys, InboxDollars, Opinion Outpost, and Toluna, etc. 

11. Become an Event Organizer

If you’re detail-oriented and love planning, you might consider becoming an event organizer. Whether it’s birthday parties, conferences, or fairs, your attention to detail will shine.

Event organizing can be both enjoyable and profitable, especially if you’re good at it. With the right strategy, you can earn a substantial income while doing something you love.

This side gig covers a wide range of occasions, from children’s parties to corporate events, allowing you to choose the type of events that best suit your interests and skills.

Even better, event organizing provides plenty of opportunities for you to meet new people and build relationships.

To reach potential clients, you need to build a website to showcase your services. Platforms like Zyro, Wix, GoDaddy, Squarespace, and Strikingly offer easy-to-use tools for creating professional websites.

12. Become a Virtual Bookkeeper

For retirees who have bookkeeping skills and experience, they might consider working as a virtual bookkeeper.

As a bookkeeper, your tasks may include recording financial data and ensuring timely payments, playing a crucial role in keeping businesses organized and on track financially.

Keeping your brain active and engaged is important in retirement, and bookkeeping offers mental stimulation through tasks that require attention to detail and problem-solving.

Virtual bookkeeping also allows you to work from home and set your own hours, giving you the freedom to balance work with other activities and commitments.

You can find virtual bookkeeping jobs on websites like AccountingFly, Freelancer, Booming Bookkeeping, Bark.com, and Upwork.

13. Data Entry

Becoming a data entry clerk is a convenient way to earn money from home, especially for retirees. 

You can work from the comfort of your own home, eliminating the need for a commute and allowing you to set your own schedule with flexible hours.

To get started, sign up on platforms like SigTrack, Click Worker, Amazon MTurk, Virtual Vocations, and MicroWorkers is straightforward. After creating your profile, you can start taking on data entry projects.

Data entry typically requires basic computer skills, making it accessible for retirees with varying levels of experience.

14. Freelance Writing

Offering freelance writing services is an excellent side hustle, especially if you enjoy writing and have free time in retirement.

As a retiree, you likely have more flexibility with your time, making it easier to take on writing projects and meet deadlines.

Freelance writing covers a wide range of content, from reports to blog posts and even eBooks, providing plenty of options to showcase your skills.

You can find writing jobs and connect with clients on websites like ProBlogger Job Board, Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, and iWriter.

15. Become a Pet Sitter

If you adore pets, pet sitting allows you to spend time with furry friends while earning income in retirement. 

Pet owners are willing to pay for reliable care for their pets while they’re away, creating opportunities for pet sitters to provide valuable services.

Regularly walking dogs and interacting with pets keeps you physically active. This contributes to your overall health and well-being in retirement.

Even better, pet sitting offers flexibility in scheduling, allowing you to take on assignments that fit your availability and preferences.

With online platforms like Pet Sitters International, DogVacay, Rover, Fetch!, and Meowtel connect pet sitters with pet owners, it’s easy to find jobs and build a client base.

16. Offer Lawn Care Services

If you enjoy being outdoors and working in gardens, you might consider offering lawn care services in your neighborhood. 

You can advertise your services on local platforms like Craigslist or utilize online marketplaces such as GreenPal to find clients in your area.

Websites like Jobber, LawnMowingOnline.com, Simply Hired, Indeed, Home Advisor, and Pros also offer opportunities to find lawn care jobs and connect with potential clients.

As a lawn care service provider, you can set your own schedule, allowing you to work when it’s convenient for you and balance other activities in retirement.

Lawn care work also keeps you physically active and engaged, contributing to your overall health and well-being in retirement.

17. Offer Handyman Services

Doing odd jobs in your area is a practical way to earn money in retirement, especially if you’re skilled in various tasks. 

If you’re handy and have skills in areas like yard work, car repairs, or refurbishing, you can turn these skills into a profitable business.

Many young families lack these practical skills, creating opportunities for you to offer your services and fill a need in your community.

You can find odd jobs in your area by checking local buy/sell/trade groups, posting on bulletin boards, or word-of-mouth referrals from neighbors and friends.

You can also sign up on apps and online marketplaces like TaskRabbit, Thumbtack, Fiverr, and Craigslist can help you connect with clients and find a steady flow of work.

18. Become a Mystery Shopper

Mystery shopping allows retirees to earn extra income while enjoying the experience of shopping and providing valuable feedback to improve customer experiences.

As a mystery shopper, your job is to visit stores, online or physical, to evaluate the quality of sales, service, and overall performance, providing valuable feedback to brands.

Mystery shopping offers flexibility in scheduling, allowing you to choose assignments that fit your availability and preferences.

Websites like IntelliShop, BestMark, Elite CXS, Secret Shopper, and Market Force offer opportunities to find mystery shopping assignments and work with different brands.

19. Rent Out Space

If you have unused rooms, a garage, or attic space, renting it out can provide a steady stream of income without much effort during retirement. 

You can rent out space to regular tenants or offer storage solutions to people looking for a place to store their belongings.

Websites like StoreAtMyHouse, Neighbor.com, PeerSpace, Stache Storage, and LoopNet connect space owners with potential renters, making it easy to find tenants and manage arrangements.

Since renting out space requires minimal setup and can be done relatively quickly, it is a convenient side hustle for retirees to earn money without actively working for it once the rental agreement is in place.

20. Start a Home-Based Business

By starting a home-based business, retirees can turn their passions and skills into a profitable venture, all from the comfort of their own home.

Virtually any skill can be monetized, whether it’s offering lessons in music, dancing, art, or cooking, tutoring high school students, or starting a dog treats bakery or meal planning service.

Home-based businesses offer flexibility in scheduling and operations, allowing you to work around your own schedule and commitments.

To get stated, you need to create a website to showcase your business services or products. After that, you can advertise on social media platforms and search engines to reach potential customers.

With dedication and effort, you’ll see your online business grow over time. 

21. Rent Out Your Car

Renting out your car allows you to make money effortlessly, with no extra effort required on your part.

Apps like Turo and HyreCar make it easy to find renters for your car, providing a hassle-free way to connect with potential takers.

Your car will be fully insured, and car hire platforms often pre-screen drivers to ensure your vehicle is in good hands.

By renting out your car, you can turn your idle vehicle into a source of income, all while enjoying the convenience and peace of mind provided by car hire platforms.

What’s the Best Side Hustle for Retirees?

Well, it really depends on your personal goals, time availability, and skill levels. When choosing a side hustle, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you do well?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • How much time do you want to commit to your side hustle?
  • Do you have any startup capital?

I’d suggest trying a side hustle that is not physically demanding or incurs high financial risk. Since you’re already retired, you should focus on enjoying your life.

For more inspiration, check out our side hustle database.


1. What are the benefits of having a side hustle as a retiree?

Side hustles offer extra income, keep retirees active, and allow them to follow their passions. It’s a fulfilling way to stay engaged in work without the pressure of a traditional job.

2. What are common mistakes retirees make when starting a side hustle?

Common errors include not setting clear goals, investing heavily before making a penny, and struggling with time management. You can avoid these pitfalls by planning ahead and pacing yourself.

3. Can I make a full-time income with a side hustle?

It’s entirely possible to earn a full-time income with your side hustle, but it really depends on your commitment. If you can only set aside 1-2 hours every day, it’s unlikely that you can make thousands of dollars a month.

4. What legal considerations should I keep in mind when starting a side hustle?

You may need permits, licenses, or business registration, depending on your side hustle. Don’t forget insurance and tax obligations, which can vary by location and activity.

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