Top Side Hustles To Supplement Your Social Security

The senior adult woman waits nervously as the unrecognizable male manager reviews her resume.
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Side hustles are often used by workers to help pay for their kids’ education or to save more for retirement. But they can also be quite useful for retirees, in more ways than one.

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For starters, having a side hustle in retirement can be a way to keep your mental focus sharp and fend off the boredom that many retirees experience after a lifetime of work. But perhaps even more importantly, side hustles can generate extra income to supplement Social Security, which isn’t usually enough to cover retirement expenses in and of itself.

Here’s a look at some side hustles that can be easy for retirees to pick up. 

Lecture at a Local School or Community College

By the time you’re retired, you’re likely an expert in one or more fields, through either your work or your lifelong hobbies. This type of experience is valuable for those who are just starting out in life and looking to learn. Although some schools will require certifications to teach, others, particularly local schools and some community colleges, welcome guest lecturers with no greater qualifications than knowledge. Working a side gig in a school environment can also provide intellectual stimulation and a social environment.

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Teach Online Courses

If you enjoy the thought of teaching others but aren’t too keen on working at an actual school, online courses can be a great alternative. You can teach online in one of two ways, either via prerecorded lessons that others can access on their own time online or via direct videoconferencing. Teaching live courses via a local school or community college is the most direct way to connect with students, but managing your own website can end up being lucrative if you find a way to attract enough followers. 

Write a Blog

Some retirees just aren’t cut out for full-blown teaching jobs. If you’re interested in sharing your life experience or talents with others but don’t want the formality of actually becoming a lecturer, writing a blog might be another option. In terms of flexibility, a blog ranks high on the list, as you can write as much or as little as you’d like on your own schedule. However, if you go down this route you’ll have to understand that you won’t likely be getting paid much, if anything, for some period of time. You’ll have to develop a following for your blog and then earn money from referral sites and/or advertising on your blog. Ultimately, this can prove to be lucrative, but it can be a long road before you see any reward for your efforts — and many blogs never end up earning any money at all.

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Drive a Ride-Share

The ride-share industry may not have even existed when you were working your full-time job, but it’s a booming industry that nearly anyone can get into. One of the many advantages of working with a company like Lyft or Uber is that you can work as much or as little as you want. When you sign up for the service, those companies will even bring customers to you, all via a mobile app. 

House or Pet Set

If you’re a responsible individual who doesn’t mind staying at home, house or pet sitting can be a great side gig. One of the big obstacles many individuals and families have with taking a vacation is that no one is available to take care of their pets, watch their houses, water their plants and so on. As a retiree, you’ve likely got plenty of free time to take on these tasks for others, and that can prove to be a lucrative side gig. You can get jobs through simple word of mouth in your neighborhood or through formal websites that try to match customers with service providers. 

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Be a Life Coach

The occupation of “life coach” didn’t really exist before the 1980s, and it didn’t gain in popularity until the 1990s and 2000s. But now, life coaches are in the mainstream, with many companies actually providing life coaching services to their executives and workers alike. As a retiree with a lifetime’s worth of wisdom and insight, life coaching may come naturally to you. Whether it’s talking someone through reaching their financial goals or learning how to successfully balance their work, health and interpersonal relationships, life coaching can be an invaluable service. It also makes for a great side gig for knowledgeable retirees.

Sell Your Special Skills

While as a retiree you no doubt have a wide array of life experiences that can benefit others, sometimes people are simply looking to learn a simple, specific skill. If you had a full-time job as an artist, photographer, computer technician, chef or any other occupation that requires specialized skills, you can market those skills and talents to those in need. Homeowners looking to renovate, for example, will often pay top dollar to those who know how to drywall or paint or perform electrical work. 

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Be a Notary

A notary is a witness who validates the identity and signature of people filing official documents, like closing documents for a mortgage. In most states, you’ll need to take a certification class and pass an exam to become a notary. However, demand for notaries is typically high, particularly during the current housing boom. Working as an independent notary also allows you to set your own schedule.

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