One of the biggest worries people have about retirement is outliving their money. When I worked for over a decade as a financial advisor, the worry over having enough income was tied to one of two kinds; earned or active and unearned or passive.
This article is about the massive power of leveraging your creativity, skills, and experience to find work that not only gives you income and satisfies your soul.
Retirement from a decades-long career can be a great relief, but it may mean less money every month than you expect. Deciding to embrace your retirement doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your financial dreams. The gig economy means that retirees can make money doing what they love while enjoying retirement, with far less pressure than a typical nine-to-five position.
What Is Freelancing and the Gig Economy?
Telecommunications have evolved tremendously over the past two decades. The internet and mobile technology empower virtually anyone to instantly communicate with others, shop for products and services, and complete their work remotely. In previous years, working from home was considered a luxury. It was reserved for individuals with specific skills who could also afford the technology available for reliable communications with partners and clients. Today, telecommuting is quickly becoming the norm, with many Americans of all age groups eschewing traditional career options in favor of the flexibility and freedom that comes with working from home.
Telecommuting doesn’t only apply to working from home, either. If you had travel plans for your retirement, all you may need to do is coordinate around time zone differences to complete work on your own time. The gig economy offers countless opportunities to anyone with a specialized skill set and a willingness to try and learn new things.
Many modern businesses offer telecommuting positions to independent contractors, full-time employees, and part-time employees. These positions may involve occasional visits to a home office or exist entirely remotely. Finding the right gig for you can be easier than you think. Harvard Business Review reported last year that more than 150 million people in the United States and Western Europe have embraced the gig economy, moving away from traditional nine-to-five positions to work as independent contractors. There is plenty of opportunity for you to make the gig economy work for you as supplemental income during retirement.
Freelancing to Supplement Your Retirement Savings and Income
Freelancing is a straightforward concept: instead of working on a time-based contract, such as full-time employment for a full year, you work single jobs. Your contract with the client extends only as far as each project, but there is always room to develop more extensive contracts with specific clients. For example, have you always enjoyed writing? Written content publication is a very lucrative type of freelancing, and you could cultivate a client base faster than you might expect. Over time, you may have clients that contact you frequently for work. Developing more detailed work contracts with these clients can be beneficial to all parties involved. They can also be some of your loudest proponents, giving you more and more business.
Some common freelancing gigs you can find online include:
- Content publication, ideal for experienced writers, editors, and proofreaders.
- Design. Do you have experience with graphic design, typography, or visual communications? Many companies are looking for new designers for short and long-term projects.
- Photography. Many marketers want original photos over stock photography, and your retirement job as a freelance photographer could be as fun as it is lucrative.
Consider your passions, past work experience and hobbies, then look at some of the freelance jobs posted online to begin seeing the opportunities. There’s no reason why you can’t marry your love of a hobby with positive financial earnings.
Consulting, Coaching, Teaching, and Mentoring As A Retiree
Did you have a long career in a specific sector or business? That type of experience is incredibly valuable, and consultancy jobs pay very well. You can leverage your career experience to help others succeed and charge virtually whatever you want for your services. Just be sure to make your rates reasonable so you can secure consistent work.
The primary way I make a living as a freelancer is leveraging my love for technologies that make building a small business while having a life. It’s never easy to build a small business. That’s why loving what you do as a freelancer, finding purpose and meaning in your work, can pay off big time.
If you love to help others get what they want, and you can convince them they can trust you to get them there with less time, money and stress, it’s possible to build a small part of full-time coaching or consulting practice. It’s also possible to host webinars and small local seminars, speak in front of groups, network online and in the real world, take courses that help you build skills and knowledge you can market.
Another way to make a great living part of full time is writing, editing, designing, integrating software applications, coding, managing projects, selling software and various technologies, fitness, nutrition, and any subject matter expertise that will appeal to a niche willing and able to pay you.
The bottom line is all of this is any business you choose to build as a side gig is yours. It’s You, Inc. You will wear many hats. You will hit speed bumps and hurdles. And you will grow in mind, body and spirit if you are powered by your purpose to serve others with your natural gifts.
Seasonal Work to Boost Savings
Many older adults still enjoy getting outside, and seasonal work can be ideal for retirees who want to earn extra income without returning to full-time work. Some seasonal positions offer work for specific times during the year while others may only entail weekend work or work on events. Some examples of fantastic seasonal positions you can likely find in your area include:
- Work at floral shops, nurseries, and garden supply stores.
- Service industry work.
- Seasonal amusement park work, such as working in a food truck or operating a ride.
- Retail positions as a cashier, store greeter, or stocker.
- Catering businesses that operate on event schedules.
- Working at a local sports complex as a ticket-taker or concession stand employee.
Some of these examples are fast-paced jobs, but some retirees may want a bit of fun and excitement in their side work during retirement. These positions can be very helpful for fresh retirees who feel the need to keep busy and have trouble adjusting to a more relaxed lifestyle.
These are just a few examples of how you can boost your income during retirement by capitalizing on your work history, professional skills, and even your hobbies. The gig economy offers unprecedented potential to make money doing something you love, so start exploring your options today.
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And stay tuned for new, live online webinars and training events to help you live, work and retire on purpose.