September 25, 2012 — The overwhelming majority of baby boomers are going to face a painful budget squeeze as their retirements start to become a reality. Used to the high life as many of us are, it will be a very big challenge to support that lifestyle without the income stream we are accustomed to.
This article was an idea from Linda, a member who asked us to try to get ideas from our members on different ways of raising cash in retirement. We’ve listed some ideas we’ve seen, including some nutty ones from a recent Wall Street Journal article. But we are really hoping that you, our members, will share what you are doing to bring in extra cash to support your retirement. Please add your ideas to the Comments section below, whether they are tried and true or just a wild idea that you think might work.
Best Ideas for Making Enough Money to Survive Your Retirement
1. Turn what you love to do into a business. So you like to make jewelery like Betty Fitterman, fool around with computers, fix bicycles, paint signs, decorate rooms, or give tours on topics like local history, biking, or nature. Perhaps you have good handyman skills or like to drive people to the airport. Does your area have part-time residents who need an on the spot person to help manage their properties? Maybe you like to go to tagsales – perhaps you could turn your finds into an eBay business? Getting paid for what you like to do can be a lot of fun. You can start by spending time searching online for businesses that have been created out of hobbies that interest you; you might find an idea that will work for you in your locale. With a little planning, simple website, and good networking you might be able to turn your hobbies and interests into a profitable side business.
2. Work in the tourist business. Most tourist oriented businesses are seasonal and need part-time help. Be a golf course starter or ranger (free golf usually!), work in the ticket office or gift shop. Hotels, restaurants, and caterers usually need part time staff as well.
3. Consult or work part time in your old field. Businesses are reluctant to add full time staff or invest in untrained employees. But they might hire you because you are flexible, already trained, and aren’t looking for a long term career.
4. Get trained in the health care field. Once we baby boomers start to get really old there won’t be enough workers to take care of all of us. So think about going back to school to get qualified for some type of position in healthcare, one of the few markets where there is a genuine labor shortage.
5. Check out your community college training programs. In most areas the community colleges are doing a great job of trying to figure out how they can prepare workers for the jobs employers need to fill. So check out their offerings and go and talk to them. There probably are several courses you could take that would help you walk into a new job.
6. Take in a boarder. Maybe you have an extra room. A divorcee, student, or young person might just need a place to live that doesn’t cost a fortune, but puts extra income in your pocket. The same goes for pets – lots of folks need a doggie or cat hotel they can trust.
7. Well beyond the usual. A recent Wall St. Journal article, “Beyond the Tried and True: Generating Cash in Later Life“, had a list of 5 really unusual ideas, some of which were a bit zany. One of them was the “rent out a room” idea we mentioned, the others were: Grow trees (lucrative, but have you thought about how long it takes to grow timber?), preferred stock, tutor students, and make loans to other people using sites like Prosper.com.
So Lets Hear Your Ideas!
The idea for this article came from a member who was looking for ideas on how she could make more money. Please share the wealth – of your ideas and experience – in the Comments section below.