You have retired. Or about to. How is your financial situation? Will you be able to pay all your recurring monthly bills? How about having a little disposable income? Are you prepared to handle emergency bills? Do you know that according to a survey reported by Yahoo Finance about 37% of retirees say they have no retirement savings, up from 30% in 2022, and only about 12% have at least the recommended $555,000 in savings? If you happen to be financially stressed, check out these 7 income ideas for seniors that will give you hope.
I had a 6 figure a year job when I was “let go” at the age of 60. My Social Security and pensions wouldn’t kick in for several more years. Hence my monthly income went from almost $10K to zero. I had a mortgage to maintain as well as a mountain of credit card debt. My wife and I spent like there was no tomorrow. We had to bite into our savings which dwindled fast. Looking for a new job was futile, mainly because of my age. Hence, had to think of new ways to earn money. Some of these will be in the ideas below.
Sell Items You Can Part With On eBay
Over our lifetime many of us collect items that were important to us at that time. This can include collectibles like comic books, baseball cards, Pokemon Cards, Beanie Babies, dolls, and even VHS Cassettes.
If you have accumulated Disney VHS cassettes that are still in their original sealed packages, you could be sitting on a treasure trove that you were unaware of. Do some research on Google or ChatGPT and even eBay itself to find out more.
Once you have an idea of the estimated value of the items you have, create an eBay account and periodically put these up for auction. You can either use sets of items if you have them or individual pieces.
It may be a good idea to start slowly to test the market. Once you find out that there is a demand for what you have, take full advantage of profiting from your collections.
Take On A New Profession
When you are looking forward to a comfortable retirement life, the last thing you want to do is start a new career. I learned how to sell life insurance and solar electric systems. These were not hourly paid jobs but commission based. Each sale resulted in over a thousand dollars in commissions.
Eventually, my pensions and Social Security kicked in. I didn’t like the idea of making and driving to appointments to sell insurance. Neither did I like knocking door to door selling solar electric systems. With my guaranteed monthly income, the additional money I needed each month was much less now. Guess what I did.
I became a cashier at Walmart! The pay was a fraction of what I earned in my profession but the income it provided helped add disposable income. Mama Walmart guaranteed me an hourly pay rate. Plus, I was able to buy Walmart stock that had a matching program. When I decided to resign from Walmart, I accumulated significant savings after the company stock appreciated in value. The bonuses every three months were also a nice chunk of change. Best of all, we got discounts on purchases we made at the company.
Frankly, I found working at Walmart fun. It was great getting to know my co-workers as well as the customers. Working the Black Friday sales was a hoot. I also had a huge choice of what to eat for meals.
After five years I resigned from Walmart and gravitated towards building my online business.
Sell Your Life Insurance Policy
What is the main reason people buy life insurance policies? To protect their families in case they die prematurely. If your kids are grown up and looking after themselves, a life insurance policy is not as meaningful anymore.
Some companies, have plans where you can sell some or all of your policies. And they will also take care of the premiums. You can get a healthy cash settlement that can be more useful to you while you are living instead of after you have died. Makes sense. Right? You can see TV ads on plans like this every day.
Get A Reverse Mortgage For Your Home
This is a good alternative if you own a home and have it paid in full, or are pretty near to doing that. Just think about this for a moment. You bought your home as a place to bring up your family assuming you have kids. Now that they are grown up you may not need the space that your home provides. In fact, the cost of maintaining your home can put a dent in your budget.
The good news is you own real estate. Why not leverage that to help you now? There are many options such as selling and moving into a less expensive home and using the profit to boost your savings. You also can get a Home Equity Loan. But this means increasing your debt and adding monthly loan payments.
An attractive alternative is a reverse mortgage. This is a creative way to tap into the equity in your home and at the same time relieve your financial burden. If you are still paying a monthly mortgage, the loan company will take over making these payments. You can still make mortgage payments when you can afford to do so.
The loan company will also give you a cash distribution from the equity in your home. All of these options can be negotiated when you discuss the Reverse Mortgage plan with them.
You will continue to own your home while having a reverse mortgage. However, if you sell your home, you will not get the full profit as you will have to share it with the loan company per your agreement.
I strongly recommend talking to a knowledgeable professional apart from the loan company before you enter into a reverse mortgage agreement. This is not for everyone. But it could be the answer to your financial crunch.
Converting A Section Of Your Home Into A Private Suite For Rental
Let’s assume you do not have to use all the space in your home, Why not convert a section of your home into a private suite with its own entrance? This will require some investment upfront. If you live in an area that is popular with tourists, this makes sense.
You can either apply for a Home Equity Loan for this purpose or use some of the funds from your reverse mortgage to modify your home. Airbnb has become very popular these days, hence it should not be difficult to get your newly minted suite rented.
Alternatively, you can lease this suite to a long-term renter. Since you will be living in the same building, the chances are whoever rents the suite will be mindful about not damaging the property.
If you go this route, make sure you satisfy the zoning laws of the area you live in.
If you do not want to alter the structure of your home, and you have a room with an ensuite bathroom, you can rent that room out too. You will have to sacrifice some privacy. Therefore you will need to do a tradeoff between the advantages and disadvantages before you go down this path.
You will need to hire the services of a lawyer to make sure you have an agreement document that protects you for your renters to sign.
Become A Consultant Using The Skills You Have Learned In Your Profession
Although you may be retired, that does not mean retiring your professional skills too. The Internet opens up your reach geographically either nationally, or internationally to provide a service to others for a fee. It depends on what your profession is.
For example, you can use your skills and experience to offer freelance services, such as writing, editing, graphic design, or consulting.
You will need a computer and a fast and reliable Internet connection to operate your consultant business reliably. Do you know how to create and run a website to promote your consultancy business? You will also need to promote your services online.
These are new skills you will have to learn if you do not have them already. No worries, if you do not know how to do all of this I will show you how you can do this quite easily further down.
Start A Home Based Business
- Freelance Work: I discussed this above.
- Online Teaching/Tutoring: You can teach or tutor others online, either through a website or a video conferencing platform.
- E-Commerce: You can sell products online through platforms like Etsy or Amazon. This could involve selling products that you make or reselling products that you source from wholesalers or manufacturers.
- Affiliate Marketing: You can earn commissions by promoting other people’s products or services online through their website or social media channels.
- Pet Care: If you love animals you can offer pet care services, such as dog walking, pet sitting, or grooming.
- Home Cleaning/Organizing: You can offer home cleaning or organizing services to people in your local area.
- Gardening/Landscaping: If you enjoy gardening, you can offer landscaping or gardening services to homeowners in your local area.
- Home-based Caregiving: Do you have caregiving experience? If so, you can offer home-based care services to elderly or disabled individuals. Of course, this assumes you are healthy and fit enough to provide such services.
- Personal Shopping: You can offer personal shopping services, either online or in-person, to help others find the right products or services.
When people think of starting a business, they immediately see dollars flowing out of their bank account big time. These funds are typically necessary for the equipment, inventory, advertising, services, shipping, and a whole bunch of other things before a single dollar starts to come in.
Notice that all the above opportunities will not need any big investment. The bulk of any expenditure will be in marketing your services. And in some cases, gas for your car.
If you need money sooner rather than later, your main action should be to choose any category above, except 3 and 4. In other words, you will be exchanging your hours for dollars to earn money sooner rather than later. This is no different from a job, except you are in control.
Your other option is to use your time to build an asset that will pay you later whether you work at it or not. Items Categories 3 and 4 fall into this slot. Out of these two, my recommendation would be affiliate marketing. I’d like to share 5 BIG reasons why I recommend this.
- You sell products you do not own
- The purchasing transaction is handled for you
- Someone else ships the products to the customer
- You earn a commission
- You can conduct your business on your own time on your computer anywhere you have an Internet connection
The best part is you can create such a business through a website in your spare time even while you are doing any of the other activities. How is this done?
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