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Need Extra Income? Five Options After Retirement

jobs for retirees

Retirement isn’t what is used to be. The death of most corporate pensions, Social Security that hasn’t kept pace with inflation, and an increasingly tight economy mean that fewer people have access to comfortable retirements. A 2015 survey found that more than half of retirees intend to continue working after they leave their careers. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, you’re not alone, but the good news is that there are plenty of potentially lucrative options—none of which require you to return to work full-time.


For many employees it’s the boss, not the work, who is the problem. If you want complete control over your schedule, consider freelancing. You can take on as many or as few clients as you want, offering years of hard-earned wisdom to businesses, individuals, and nonprofits. If you’ve accumulated in-demand experience in a specific niche, consider becoming a consultant. Consultants command premium rates for their hard-won experience and insight, and since you’re providing a service rather than a product, the work is fairly low-stress.

 Part-Time Jobs

Many retirees are surprised by how isolating it is not to go to an office every day. If you’re a social butterfly, you may miss your routine, even if you don’t miss working full-time. Part-time work offers a bit of extra socialization alongside a paycheck. From lower-end jobs such as retail sales to part-time work in your field, you’re bound to find something that appeals to your schedule, interests, and financial goals.

 Hobby Jobs

When you’re retired, you don’t have to worry about making a decent living on your hobbies. Instead, you can take income as it comes, all while enjoying the experience of finally working in a field you love. Consider cultivating skills in an area you’ve long been interested in. If you love the piano, you might offer lessons to neighborhood children. Always wanted to be a writer? Consider selling short stories to a local newspaper. The options are as limitless as your hobbies themselves, so don’t shy away from thinking outside the box to find a hobby that will get you paid.

Online Sales

Every day, 700 million items are listed on Ebay alone. Online marketplaces have turned into giant cash cows for some sellers. Even if your shop doesn’t take off, you can earn some extra cash. Just make sure you choose the right market for your products. Want to sell old vintage clothes? Try Etsy. Burgeoning artists or crafter extraordinaire? Many hobbyists have excellent luck on Artfire and Etsy. And if you have access to in-demand electronics or retail goods, Ebay is definitely your best bet. If you get really good at online selling, you might even consider setting up your own website—a fine recipe for making money, keeping your mind active, and possibly even making new friends.

 Home Equity Loans

If you own your home, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is one of the safest and lowest-risk loans available. Of course, a HELOC won’t provide you with limitless funds, so it’s best to use this income for a specific purpose, such as funding a home remodel or paying for your child’s college. If you’re hoping for a steady stream of income rather than a one-off fund to cover expenses, consider a reverse mortgage instead. Safer than traditional loans, reverse mortgages offer reliable income to retirees, and you get to continue living in your home.

Author Bio: Annie Doisy is a reverse mortgage expert who helps seniors enhance their lives by taking advantage of the equity in their homes. Annie writes for ReverseMortgages.com where her goal is to educate consumers on a wide range of topics around mortgages and other financial services.


About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Selling some items you are going to downsize is what I am doing. I have sold a few things, and even gotten rid of some things for free.

  2. My grandmother retired two years ago at the age of 62 years, but she didn’t stop working as she has still been working as a consultant and editor for academic books. I am amazed with her skills because the company asked her to still work for them. Extra income!

  3. I don’t think I would recommend Home Equity Loans as a post-retirement income source. Without a job, you might find it difficult to pay back a $50,000+ loan, even at a lower interest rate. Plus, do you want debt hanging over your head after retirement? That’s supposed to be your time to relax.

    Plus, you might have trouble getting approved without the income that comes with having a full time job. Depends on the person, obviously.

    I like the hobby idea, though. One of the side income projects I’ve been considering is a Twitch or Youtube “Let’s Play” gamer, which is where you film yourself playing video games and put it on Youtube. Some people, such as Pewdiepie (ugh!) and Markiplier (Hell yeah!) have made tons of money doing that. For me, of course, that wouldn’t be an after-retirement income source; I want to start doing that soon.

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

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