Top 9 Side Hustles for Seniors

Top 9 Side Hustles for Seniors

Have you ever worked a side job, or side hustle, to make some extra cash? Or perhaps you picked up a part-time job or two over the years when you needed to make ends meet?

For many seniors, this kind of work can not only help make some extra money or prevent boredom, but it can also allow elderly adults to pursue their passions, try out new things they wish they’d done in their earlier years, and keep their minds sharp to boot.

How Many Elderly Adults Have Side Hustles?

You might be surprised to learn just how many of your elderly friends and neighbors are engaging in those extra work hours. According to Side Hustle Nation, about 45% of all Americans have a gig that’s outside of their usual job.1

About 24% of those who are into side hustling are over the age of 45 – and as you might expect, the number of hustlers goes down with advancing age. Only one out of every 25 side workers are aged 65 and older. That puts seniors in a unique category that provides lots of opportunities to use your wisdom, skills, and knowledge to make the most of the possibilities.

Are you ready for a new adventure? Here are the top 9 side hustles for seniors:

1.      Freelance Writer

As one of the more popular side hustles, this one taps into the desire to create. How many people have said they want to write a novel but never had the time? Well, guess what – during retirement, you just might have time to put that pen to paper and create something beautiful.

What can you write about? That depends on what you’re good at and where your passion lies. You can find a your place in a particular niche, such as home improvement, real estate, legal, medical, or all sorts of other topics.

And if you have very specialized knowledge that you can turn into informative articles, all the better. Who knows – you might write about pets, rocket-building, investing in cryptocurrency, or fun games with the grandkids. There’s no limit to what you can write. Look to job boards to see who may be hiring.

2.      Customer Service Representative

Do you have exceptional patience? Are you really good with people? Can you talk to individuals even if they are angry or frustrated and help them find a solution? If so, customer service work might be your cup of tea.

Many customer service positions today don’t even require you to leave your home – you simply need a computer and phone setup, which the hiring company should provide for you. You might even be able to choose your hours. Check out Indeed or LinkedIn for remote customer service work.

3.      Pet Sitter

If you absolutely love animals and have a knack for keeping them happy, this could be the dream job for you. What’s better than being trusted to cuddle with a loving cat or throwing a ball to a happy dog? Getting paid for that is an incredible bonus.

You can choose how you go about this. Perhaps you’re willing to visit someone’s house to take care of their pet, or you want them to drop the animal off to live with you while they’re away on vacation. It’s up to you! Start with places like Pet Sitters International or Rover.

But remember that when you are pet sitting, it’s a good idea to have a medical alert necklace or pendant with you. Look for one with both fall detection and GPS capability. It provides the peace of mind that will allow you to truly relax and enjoy this particular side hustle to the fullest.

4.      Bookkeeper

This is an excellent opportunity for those who are retired accountants, math teachers, or anyone else who happens to be very good with numbers and paying attention to detail. Bookkeeping for a small business likely is not going to be a full-time job but it can be a well-paying side hustle. There are even classes you can take that provide a crash-course on the most common bookkeeping software programs today, such as QuickBooks.

5.      Online Entrepreneur

Have you had an idea brewing in the back of your mind for years? Are you curious to try your hand at online sales of some sort? Do you have something to share with the world and know you can get paid for it? Creating an online business can allow you to do these things and more.

The online business you choose should be something that fulfills a passion yet also brings in enough cash to make it worth your time and energy. For instance, maybe you love creating jewelry. Why not create several dozen pieces and open up an Etsy or eBay shop? Perhaps you are into collectibles. Pick them up at antique auctions and yard sales, clean them up and “flip” them by selling them for a higher price online.

Or perhaps you have the ability to make pottery or artwork of all kinds. Maybe you’re an excellent seamstress who can embroider custom items. Or maybe you have a passion for the outdoors and love to build camping kits. Why not sell a few? The options for an online business are literally endless! Maybe that’s why Side Hustle Nation reports that opening an online business is by far the most popular hustle.2

6.      Consultant

Are you really good at something? Have you spent your whole life cultivating certain knowledge and skills? Did you work your way up over the years to become an expert in your field? Consulting might be the best gig for you.

There are individuals, organizations, and companies out there looking to learn from what you have known for years. Put out the word among your professional network that you are looking for such opportunities. You might even find yourself working in some capacity for your former employer as a consultant rather than as a salaried employee.

7.      Lawn Services/Gardening

Are you an active person who really loves the outdoors? Do you like to work up a sweat and be rewarded with a job well done that you can actually see and admire? Then working in lawn care might be an ideal side hustle for your golden years. From trimming or planting gorgeous flowers and plants to simply mowing a lawn, these essential services can bring in some good money.

You can choose how many clients you take on, and that determines how much you would work. And the start-up investment can match whatever it is you’re trying to do. For some, the equipment you already have in your garage for your own lawn care will be plenty.

Always consider a button alarm for safety, especially if you are working outside. In any situation where you need help, press the button on the medical alert device and connect to live help immediately. Remember, though these personal emergency response systems are usually marketed for fall detection, they are great for other things too, including any sort of accident or emergency you might encounter.

8.      Teacher/Tutor

There are plenty of ways to teach. If you hold a master’s degree or higher, you could work at a community college as an adjunct or assistant professor, perhaps teaching one or two classes in subjects that you are quite knowledgeable about. There might be some similar options for those who hold a bachelor’s degree.

You could also work with kids as a teacher’s aide or assistant. You could work with community organizations to teach classes in things that you love, such as pottery or painting. Whatever your skills are or your working background is, you can bring great value to something that someone else wants to learn about.

And why not take your skills online? According to Career Tuners, online tutoring is one of the highest paying side gigs, bringing in up to $100 per hour.

9.      Event Planner/Organizer

Do you enjoy organizing events? Are you in your element when you’re juggling the many demands of scheduling catering, flowers, entertainment, and more? Do you have a knack for finding a great venue and dressing it up in a way that wows the guests? Organizing events is a need for every community, no matter how small. Spread the word that you’re interested in doing this and start small with a baby shower or graduation party. Build your business from there. Ask for referrals. Create a Facebook page for your new business.

As you’re working the event, turn to senior alert systems to keep you safe. There could be times when you are checking out a venue alone or handling a multitude of tasks that leave you distracted. Suffering any sort of emergency calls for having medical alert technology at your fingertips, ready to summon help at a moment’s notice.

A Quick Note About Social Security and Side Hustles

Yes, as you might have guessed, there’s some “fine print” that goes along with your new gig. The Social Security Administration says that if you are older than your full retirement age, you can work as many hours as you want without it affecting your Social Security benefits. But if you aren’t quite at that age yet, there could be restrictions on how much you can make before your Social Security checks are reduced.

Though you are eligible for benefits at the age of 62, that is not considered full retirement age. The full retirement age is based on the year you were born:3

·        65 for those who were born in 1937 or earlier

·        66 for those born between 1943 and 1954

·        67 for those who were born in 1960 or later.

Those are the basic numbers, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. To be safe, always talk to your tax advisor and a Social Security representative to find out more before you embark on a side gig and enjoy this new chapter in your second act!