Best Side Hustle for Retirees to Make More Money

5 ideas to get paid and make the best of your golden years

Best Side Hustle for Retirees to Make More Money
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For every person you ask about the state of the economy, it seems you'll get a totally different answer, but one thing we can all agree on is that most side hustles totally suck. Let's be honest! The majority of them just aren't worth the time/effort/money they take to see such small returns. And how are you supposed to save for retirement if your side hustle isn't even paying the doubling grocery bill each month?

Get ready to learn the truth about five side hustles for retirees and why self-publishing takes the cake every time (with proof). 

Too busy to keep reading? Skip straight to the free webinar to see how building an online business and self-publishing can make you an extra income, no matter how close you are to retirement age and no matter what experience you bring to the table.

Why Start a Retirement Side Hustle?

Living expenses have gone up for most of us over the past few years—that's just the unfortunate reality. And relying on social security benefits just isn't going to cut it for most people. Retirement side hustles can offer the peace of mind that you can earn extra spending money without holding down a full-time job, working ridiculous hours, or wasting your golden years on something uninspiring.

You should be able to enjoy your retirement, and you can, too!

What Side Hustles Are Good for Retirees?

The gig economy has been booming, but delivering food through Uber or Doordash isn’t necessarily the most practical side gig for baby boomers. Oftentimes, the pay is low, the hours are long, and all the gas/wear and tear on the car starts to add up pretty quickly.

The best side hustles for retirees allow you to stay active and earn money in retirement with a flexible schedule without putting undue strain on your physical well-being or infringing on your well-deserved retirement leisure time.

We’ll go through some of the most common side hustles in the next section. 

5 Best Side Hustles for Retirees

This list isn't exhaustive, but here are five side hustle ideas to get you thinking about practical ways to supplement or even replace your retirement income.

#1: Self-Publishing Books on Amazon

Look, we might be a little biased here, but it's because we have the data to back it up. When you compare self-publishing to all the other Amazon side hustles or side jobs on the internet, the returns are astronomically higher, and the labor is astronomically lower (once you get over the initial hump).

Self-publishing is the top business to start over 60 for a reason. Let's break it down.



  • Outsourcing parts of the process (like writing or cover design) will cost you
  • You need to pick up basic tech skills
  • You can outsource 90% of the work, but you still need to put in the 10%

Is Publishing on Amazon Profitable?

The extra income potential of self-publishing can reach upwards of five figures per month for just one book, but results will always vary based on what you put into it (just like any other new business).

Listen to Koorosh talk about how he decided to go from being a retired professor to publishing his first book and making $1,100 in just one month:

Wanna know what it's like to retire in your 40s? Ask this couple:

How's that for extra cash that you make right from the comfort of your own home?

AIA Course: What Is It and What's Inside

The AI Publishing Academy was founded to help everyday people make extra income online without any degree or experience requirements. More specifically, the course helps retirees and people of all ages make meaningful income streams through self-publishing on Amazon. The entire course is broken down into bite-sized modules with full walkthroughs, checklists, and cheat sheets for every step of the publishing process, from finding a profitable idea to promoting a finished book.

Wanna hear directly from our students? Visit the Student Success Portal to hear how self-publishing fits in with even the busiest lifestyles and see how others have overcome their fears, self-doubt, and procrastination to bring in thousands of dollars per month. 

Try Our Free Webinar to See How It All Works

The course is like the all-you-can-eat buffet, but we also have an appetizer on the menu. Drop by our free webinar to see firsthand how to build a profitable business and side hustle with publishing on Amazon, even as a total beginner.

#2: Renting Out a Space You Already Have

Heading on vacation, or have a spare room to share? You can make pretty good money renting out spare rooms or your entire house to strangers through websites like Vrbo and Airbnb. 


  • You can make money from extra space in your home that you're not using
  • You can list your room/house at a higher price if you have amenities like a hot tub
  • You make a flat rate rather than an hourly rate


  • You'll want to carry extra insurance, which can get expensive
  • Cleaning between visits can get overwhelming
  • Putting your trust in strangers to respect your belongings and home might not be for everyone

#3: Pet Sitting

Pet owners are usually willing to pay a premium to ensure their furry friends get a five-star treatment, but working with others' animals also comes with certain risks. As a pet owner, you could earn anywhere between a few extra hundred bucks per month up to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on your schedule and the type of services you offer.


  • If you're an animal lover, you can get paid to do what you love
  • You might get to travel more 

You can charge extra for things like

  • Overnight stays
  • House calls
  • Walks and exercise
  • Medication management
  • Dog training or socialization


  • You might need special insurance
  • You might only get paid an hourly rate
  • Some dogs may have difficult behavioral needs 

You can get started with Rover.

#4: Starting a Blog

Freelance writing is a solid business venture, but it's also increasingly competitive. Depending on your niche, you'll find that writers are in high demand. The thing is, blogs typically take months or even years to pick up traffic, and it's never a guarantee you’ll ever actually make a profit.


  • You can branch out and sell affiliate products on your blog
  • You can partner with other businesses and get sponsors


  • It can take a really long time to build up your client base and readership
  • The extra money from this side hustle might significantly vary per month
  • You'll need A+ writing and editing skills

#5: Transcription Work or Data Entry

Transcription and data jobs can help you stay busy, but they might not always bring you the most fulfilling work. These jobs require skills like typing, communicating through email, and mastering spreadsheets.


  • Low start-up costs
  • Many industries are hiring
  • Usually no degree requirements


  • The hourly rate might be lower than you'd like
  • There isn’t a ton of opportunity for growth
  • These types of jobs might be good for an empty nester trying to make the transition to their new phase of life rather than something long-term.

Other Rapid-Fire Ideas

Here are some other skills you might be able to monetize during your golden years:

  • Freelance Consulting: Use your years of industry experience to consult in your field. This is one of the retiree or senior jobs that can be done remotely, offering flexibility and the opportunity to share your expertise.
  • Online Tutoring or Teaching: If you have a knack for teaching, online platforms let you tutor students all over the world in subjects you're passionate about, from math to music, at your convenience.
  • Selling Handcrafted Goods: Platforms like Etsy provide a marketplace for selling handmade crafts, art, or vintage items. It’s a great way to monetize a hobby.
  • Virtual Assistant Gigs: Offering services as a virtual assistant can include everything from email management to scheduling, all of which can be done from the comfort of your home.
  • Gardening or Landscaping Services: If you have a green thumb, offering gardening or landscaping services can be both physically engaging and financially rewarding.
  • Teaching Fitness Classes: For fitness enthusiasts, teaching classes like yoga, Pilates, or even dance can keep you active and help you earn extra money by sharing your passion for health and wellness.

Social and Personal Benefits of Side Hustles

It's not all about the money. Side hustle jobs for seniors and retirees can also significantly enhance your quality of life beyond financial gains. These benefits touch on various aspects, from growing your social circles to satisfying a thirst for learning and personal growth.

Fostering a Sense of Community

Engaging in a side hustle can be a great way to meet new people and build meaningful connections with your community through networking. You might even gain a new support system for both professional and personal needs.

Enhancing Personal Fulfillment

A side hustle can be a source of personal achievement, providing you with meaningful work that resonates with your interests and values. Whether it's through creating art or providing advice, the fulfillment you attain can build up your self-esteem and sense of purpose.

Remaining Active and Engaged

Staying active through a side hustle keeps your mind and body in motion. For example, mentoring younger entrepreneurs can help you tap into your wealth of knowledge and keep you intellectually stimulated.

Contributing to Society

Whether it's through volunteer work or a paid position, your contributions can make a difference in the lives of others and the community at large.

Listen to Stephanie talk about her dream of inspiring young teenage girls and how self-publishing helped make that dream a profitable reality: 

Encouraging Lifelong Learning

A well-chosen side hustle can serve as a learning channel to acquire new skills and stay open to new ideas and knowledge.

Listen to Jeff talk about how self-publishing funds his (very expensive) sailing hobby: 

Challenges and Solutions for Senior Side Hustlers

Embarking on any new side hustle can be equal parts exciting and frustrating when you run into roadblocks, but preparing for them ahead of time can make sure these roadblocks don't stop you from moving forward.

Adapting to New Technology

Challenge: You may find that keeping pace with digital platforms and online business technologies like Facebook can be daunting.

Solution: Start with basics and consider taking short, online courses tailored for baby boomers that focus on one platform at a time. Many local community colleges offer age-friendly technology classes, and YouTube is filled with free videos. You can also find accountability partners in local or online community groups.

Managing Limited Energy and Health Constraints

Challenge: Health issues or energy levels might limit the time and effort you can put into a side hustle.

Solution: Choose a side hustle that matches your pace and energy. Schedule work for when you feel most alert and take regular breaks to avoid burnout.

Overcoming Age-Related Barriers

Challenge: Ageism may present barriers, leading some people to underestimate your capabilities.

Solution: Remember that you don’t need anyone else’s permission to follow what fuels you!

Listen to Robyn talk about how she got over her self-doubt here:

Retire and Earn Extra Money on Your Own Terms

And that's a wrap! You've heard about the most popular retirement side hustles on the market right now, and you get to decide which path to pursue.

Here's some final food for thought:

Most side hustles for retirees don't produce true passive income. They take constant work to keep bringing in additional income each month, and the second you stop working on the business, you'll stop seeing the rewards.

Self-publishing, on the other hand? Once you put in the work to polish a manuscript and share it with the world, that same book can go on to earn royalties indefinitely. Yes, even if you're on vacation, spending time with family, or just need a break. That's true freedom.

See your new retirement plan in action—drop by our free webinar today!

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