“Don’t act your age in retirement. Act like the inner young person you have always been.”

– J.A. West

If you’re one of the millions of Americans gradually passing through their 50s and into their early 60s, retirement isn’t some far-off fantasy—it’s the next step in life.

Which means right now is the time to ask yourself an important question:

“How am I going to make a little extra money in retirement?”

It is a question most soon-to-be retirees have never even considered, but they should—even if you’ve prepared for 30 years of retirement, it may not be enough. Incredible advances in medicine and biotechnology are on the cusp of dramatically extending human longevity.

By 2030, turning 100 may be as common as turning 80 is today, which means retiring at 60 with a 30-year plan will leave you with a 10-year retirement gap to cover.

So how can you make a little extra cash? The answer may lie in a sector of the economy that many consider to be only for the ‘young people’.

It’s called the Gig Economy, and it could be your ticket to a retirement that rocks.


Uber, Lyft, and Other Forms of Ridesharing


For adventurous retirees—and those who don’t mind spending time in the car—driving for a company like Lyft or Uber can be an easy to way to make an additional $20-$40 per hour. Even if you only drive for 4 hours a day, 3 times a week, that’s an extra $240 to $540 in your pocket every week.

Per year, that’s $12,480 to $28,080 of extra cash—a nice little sum to supplement the costs of everyday living.

Plus you can use your own car, make your own schedule, and best of all, it’s a creative fix to one of the retirement challenges that no one warns you about: getting out of the house and meeting interesting people along the way.

If delivering people from point A to point B isn’t for you, never fear. Food delivery services Postmates, Grubhub and Doordash give people the opportunity to order food from restaurants online and brought right to their door.

Like ridesharing apps you usually get to set your own schedule, not to mention that you can often earn tips along the way. It’s also a great way to scope out the new restaurants in town.

And you thought your days of delivering pizza were behind you!


Go Grocery Shopping


Home-delivery grocery services are becoming extremely popular amongst today’s young urban professionals, with many not having the time or desire to take care of simple, everyday tasks like grocery shopping.

Companies like Instacart and Shipt are capitalizing on this budding market demand, and are constantly hiring “shoppers” to handle the purchase and delivery of said groceries. It’s a stress-free way to monetize a lifetime’s worth of grocery shopping knowledge.

Minimum hourly pay for a company like Instacart is $10, and that can surge to $20 or more an hour during busy periods.

One more idea while we’re on the topic of deliveries. Amazon offers a program called Amazon Flex that allows you to make $18-$25 per hour delivering Amazon packages. All you need is a smartphone, a car, and you’re ready to go.


Rent Extra Space


Do you plan to travel a lot during retirement? Or even split your time during the year between a main house and a vacation house? If so, you could be sitting on a retirement income stream without even realizing it.

Many retirees have empty rooms, even empty houses—why not turn that vacant space into a small, money-generating enterprise?

Platforms like Airbnb and VRBO give homeowners the freedom to rent out part or all of their property to interested occupants.

The platforms give homeowners incredible flexibility to determine price, duration of stay, and the type of guest they will rent to. They also encourage you to create experiences for your guests, like showing them how to cook a local delicacy or taking them to your favorite tourist attraction, which can make your rental offering more fun and more lucrative.

As far as security is concerned, platforms like Airbnb offer a number of host protections (including the $1,000,000 Host Guarantee), and make it incredibly easy for you to set ground rules for guests staying on the property. 

Like ridesharing apps, Airbnb and VRBO can also be wonderful ways to meet new people and inject a little variety to your life, all from the comfort of your own home.


Sell Your Brainpower


If you’re a creative type—someone who loves carpentry, knitting, embroidery, painting, etc.—why not turn your passion into an income stream?

Etsy and ArtFire are online marketplaces entirely dedicated to creative types who want to sell their handmade goods to the world. From picture frames to crocheted teddy-bears to woodwork, almost any craft or hobby product can be sold.

Best of all, sites like these require the absolute minimum amount of tech-savvy to operate. If you can turn on a computer and check your email, you likely have all the technical prowess necessary to sell.

If you’re not a creative type, don’t write yourself off. My guess is that in the many decades of your career, you’ve picked up some tips, tricks, and wisdom that many younger professionals in your field will find extremely useful—and valuable.

Several of my clients have retired from their ‘real job’ only to start an official consulting gig the next day. But if you’re looking to slow down and work at a more leisurely pace, consider websites like Upwork and Thumbtack.

These are places for retirees (or freelancers of any kind) to connect with professionals who need help on specific projects; projects that might need the expertise you’ve gained over many years.

Or, if you’re the handy type who wants to earn a little extra cash by changing a light bulb or fixing a leaky sink, sites like Handy are also a great and easy option.


“Contrary to popular opinion, the hustle is not a new dance step – it is an old business procedure.”

– Fran Lebowitz


Remember, planning for retirement isn’t what it used to be. As lifespans increase, retirement plans need to evolve in order to keep pace.

A healthy, modern retirement plan should account for your increased longevity by including alternative income streams or part-time employment options as means for supplementing what you have already put away for retirement.

If you want to discuss more creative ways to make money in retirement, let’s talk!



CLICK HERE to become an Insider! Join my Email Insider Group to receive weekly tips and tricks on finance, education, home buying, insurance, Social Security and everything in between. Byron W. Ellis, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CRPC®, is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and Managing Director United Capital Financial Advisers, LLC, a Financial Life Management firm. The information contained in this article is intended for information only is not a recommendation, and should not be considered investment advice. Please contact your financial advisor with questions about your specific needs and circumstances.

© Byron Ellis