If you’re currently retired and find yourself with more time than you know what to do with, why not look into a side job, one that is custom-made for your talents and interests?
If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’d like to share how I turned my real estate interests into a second career.
You see, I’ve always loved real estate—I’ve bought and sold numerous properties. And since I was a young woman, I have spent many weekends visiting open houses—to get design/decorating ideas, as well as to learn of new building and technology innovations that I might want in my next home.
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When I was in the process of interviewing Realtors to sell my mother’s house after she passed away, the agent asked me if I had considered a real estate career. I thought that was funny, as I had long had many friends in the real estate business, but never really considered it for myself. I was a securities analyst and an investment newsletter writer! What did I want with a real estate career?
But I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. And after careful consideration, I thought, “well, if nothing else, I can save myself some money on commissions when I’m buying and selling my own properties.” And it was an opportunity to learn something new, which I’m always ready to do.
So, I went to real estate school and got my license. That was in 2005; the market was great, and I thought “boy, this is an easy way to make money.” Of course, you can guess what happened when the real estate market crashed in 2007 and we entered a two-year recession. However, that, too, was a great learning experience. I survived, went on to get my broker’s license, managed a real estate company, and then opened my own. Today, real estate is still my side job.
Now, I pretty much fell into that job. But millions of people are making money from their hobbies and special interests. I know several real estate photographers who started out snapping photos with a Polaroid instant camera and who now own cameras, lenses, tripods, and fancy screens that cost in the tens of thousands of dollars—the tools of the trade for a very lucrative career.
A good friend began collecting antiques back in the early ‘70s. Once he retired from his day job as a graphics artist, he opened an antique store. That led to estate sales, and now, he and his wife own one of the busiest—and most profitable—eBay sites for reselling antiques.
A work colleague who is a successful Home Warranty salesperson is now also driving for Uber and pulls in a couple of thousand dollars per month.
A neighbor’s daughter was a pet groomer for years. Then, she invented a “hoodie” for animals that made the grooming process less terrifying to animals. She now sells that product to companies around the world.
The point is, your hobbies or interests can help lead you into—at the very least—a side job that is fun and earns money—and maybe offers a new career direction.
Here are some other ideas for side hustles:
Deliver food for someone like Grubhub, DoorDash, or Uber Eats.
Are you a savvy social media user? Lots of companies need help with that. Websites like Fiverr can help you market those skills.
Clean houses. Busy people appreciate a good house cleaner and will pay handsomely for one.
Design logos for someone like 99designs.com. In this world, new small businesses will be popping up, and most people don’t have a clue how to design a logo.
Develop a dog walking service or a mobile pet grooming service.
If you like to cook and have an awesome specialty, why not start a food truck?
Wash and detail cars. This is a much-wanted service, and pretty lucrative.
Just about every website is looking for content, so if you can write, you can probably find a side job with one that needs your services.
Do you have organizational skills? Consider becoming a virtual assistant. Lots of small businesses need help with administrative tasks but can’t afford a full-time employee. Fiverr.com or upwork.com are just two of the companies that market virtual assistants.
The best part about retirement is that you get to fill your time the way you’ve always dreamed. It could be travel, spending time with family, or working with charities you value, but don’t overlook picking up a side job as a way to earn extra income and learn new skills.
How have you chosen to fill your time in retirement? Is a side job part of your plans?