How to Make Money in Retirement: 9 Ways to Find Financial Stability

Active and passive income streams for seniors

How to Make Money in Retirement: 9 Ways to Find Financial Stability
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If your bank account doesn't quite match your dream retirement, you're in the same boat as millions of other people. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more than a quarter of retirees felt the same way in 2022. But before you give up hope, there ARE ways to start earning income from home!

The key to financial success in retirement is finding income streams that cater to your interests and existing skills. You've also probably heard the age-old adage about diversifying your income streams, which is true! Diversifying your income streams maximizes your earning potential and provides a safety net in the event that one of your other income sources is no longer viable.

In this article, we'll explore nine ways to make money in retirement based on your ideal lifestyle. Whether you're considering entrepreneurship, part-time work, or maximizing your assets, these flexible opportunities offer the potential for both active and passive income.

Jump straight to the passive income opportunity that's allowing people to retire in their 40s. See how people all over the world with zero finance or accounting background are making thousands of dollars in passive income every month from self-publishing royalties at our free passive income webinar!

What is the Best Source of Income in Retirement?

Selecting the best source of income in retirement depends on your individual circumstances, preferences, and financial situation. Do you want to travel the globe, or are you more of a homebody? How would you describe your risk tolerance? Are you looking for jobs to make a small fortune while having fun in retirement?

Most finance blogs will rattle off things about retirement accounts, investments, annuities, dividend stocks, and pensions, but they also fail to mention just how risky the stock market can be. You can lose your entire retirement savings in a single night in a crash, and then what? 

Besides, who wants to let someone else determine your retirement age for you?

Ultimately, the best source of income in retirement lets you live your life on your terms NOW rather than waiting around for an uncertain future.

How Can I Generate Income in Retirement?

There are generally three ways to make extra money in retirement outside of investing:

  • Part-time work
  • Freelance or consulting work
  • Starting an online business

And there's a BIG difference between the two types of income you can earn.

Active income is the type of income that requires constant focus and attention to keep bringing in money, while passive income is the type of income that pays you while you sleep.

A lot of business ventures will masquerade as active income, but a good litmus test to figure out the truth is to ask yourself what would happen if you stepped away from the business for a couple of weeks. If the business would stop making money or take a dip in income, it's most likely not truly passive income.

Truly passive income shouldn't take any extra effort or work on your part to keep coming in.

Top 9 Ways to Earn Money in Retirement

Here you have it! 9 ways to make extra money in retirement.

#1: Self-Publish Books on Amazon

Alright, so maybe we're a bit biased here, but we have the data and proof to back up why self-publishing on Amazon is the best-paid side hustle on the market for all ages.

Amazon created Kindle Direct Publishing so anyone can upload and sell books right from the KDP dashboard for free, with no experience or fees required. Sure, some indie authors and publishers only make a few hundred dollars per month, but think of it this way: The only work they had to put in to start making that money was all one-time. They only had to create, format, and publish one manuscript, which can now bring in book sales and royalties for all of eternity.

THAT is what we mean by virtually passive income.

How Does It Work?

Long story short, you come up with an idea and decide whether to bring it to life on your own or collaborate with other creative professionals. The idea becomes a manuscript, which gets edited and polished and eventually turns into a fully published book with a front cover, back cover, and spine. Every book sold then turns over a profit, and the royalties get paid straight to your bank account every month.

We could tell you how it all works, or we can show you. This handy dandy little webinar will introduce you to real self-publishers who reveal exactly how they got started and how much extra cash they're bringing in.

If you think of it like going to the movie theater, the webinar is the preview that plays right before the featured film, and our AI Publishing Academy is like a full-blown award-winning movie marathon that makes sure there are no loose ends or plot holes. We'll show you why self-publishing is the best business to start over 60.

AIA Course Overview

The Mikkelsen Twins created the AI Publishing Academy after trying dozens of their own side hustle business ideas, which ultimately fell completely flat. They tried everything you could think of to bring in some extra cash, including delivering Chinese food and dropshipping, but none of these side hustles even came close to what they experienced with self-publishing.

And sure, they made some mistakes on their publishing journeys, but Amazon brought them more money in a single month than all of their other side hustles combined. They knew they were onto something when that side hustle turned into a steady income that they could make on their own schedule and their own timeline. For Christian, self-publishing even led him to meet the love of his life unexpectedly. 

Now, you can see our course making headlines with Forbes and Inc 5000.

And here's a look at the course outline:

Module 1: Developing a Millionaire Mindset

This module isn't everyone's cup of tea online, but it takes a certain mindset to build a publishing business or follow through with ANY retirement business ideas. Christian and Rasmus studied business psychology to equip our students with the evidence-based mental tools they'll need to stop dreaming about their dream income and start making it.  

Module 2: Choosing a Profitable Topic

We're really big on "Proof of Concept" around here, which means we don't want our students wasting their time creating books on topics that won't directly translate to profits. We have an entire system for spying the best opportunities hidden on Amazon, which has directly helped our students earn millions of dollars in collective royalties.

Module 3: Creating Your Book 

Module 3 covers how to earn money on Amazon KDP without writing for our students who are too busy to take on the writing and editing themselves. We show you exactly how to scout the best ghostwriters and collaborate to make the best book possible.

Module 4: Adding the Finishing Touches 

This module is all about the quality checks that make sure readers will LOVE your book.

Module 5: Planning a Successful Book Launch 

This module has a video walkthrough of creating a KDP account, preparing to launch your book on Amazon, and also touches on how to copyright your book. It goes through the three phases of any good book launch and how to use pricing psychology to your advantage. There’s even an entire lesson dedicated to running Amazon ads by a verified Amazon specialist who has made over half a million dollars on his ads.

Module 6: All About Audiobooks

Module 6 walks you through converting your paperback and hardcover books into audiobooks to increase your book sales. We show you everything you need to connect with professional narrators and craft an audiobook launch strategy. 

Module 7: Multiplying Income Streams

This module includes an expert recorded interview with Juan Born, who followed the AIA methods and sold his publishing business for over $100k. 

Course Bonuses 

Our team is working on improving AIA every single day, and our students have lifetime access to constant updates. Some of these recent updates and bonuses include: 

  • Tax-prep skills and advice for maximizing your write-offs
  • A masterclass for publishing on a tight budget
  • Lessons on creating low-content and no-content books, like coloring books
  • Access to previous live coaching calls covering every Q&A you can imagine

Benefits Of Signing Up

These might not be Social Security benefits, but our students think they're pretty great.

Expert Publishing Coaching

Every publishing coach has gone through this process and taken this exact course. In fact, many of them started off as students themselves! The truth is, many of them have had so much success from their own books that they don't even need a part-time job. They WANT to tutor students online and give others the same gift of that freedom that self-publishing brought their own families (Meet Mel here!)

Facebook Community Support

Our private Facebook community officially passed 36k members from all over the world and comes with more than a few perks. Students often swap book covers, sales tips, and motivational quotes to keep each other going, and there have even been some in-person meet-ups across various towns and cities. 

Student Testimonials

Wanna know what being an AIA student is like? 

Self-publishing allowed this couple to retire in their 40's:

After getting bit by the publishing bug, Koorosh went from being a retired professor to a full-time publisher:

We also have tons of super moms like Lesley, who knows what it's like to juggle a LOT:

#2: Pet Sitting or Dog Walking

Many pet owners need help during work hours, vacations, or while they are away from home, and caring for someone else's furry family members can be especially rewarding.

  • Pet Sitting: Potential earnings can be higher as it involves more responsibilities, like feeding, managing medications, and even overnight stays. It also presents opportunities to care for a variety of pets, like cats or birds.
  • Dog Walking: Allows you to work with fewer commitments on a daily basis, giving you more control over your schedule. Walking in groups can increase earnings per hour, and the exercise is an added bonus.

Rover and are great places to attract potential clients.

Downsides: Behavioral issues and moderate risk for relatively low reward

#3: Freelance and Work from Home Gigs

Popular fields for freelancers include:

  • Writing: articles, blogs, and technical content
  • Graphic design: logos, illustrations, and web design
  • Web development: front-end, back-end, and full-stack programming
  • Consulting: marketing, business strategy, and finance
  • Tutoring and Teaching: Math, Science, English, Test Prep (SAT, ACT, etc.)

Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr,, Teachable, and are great places to find clients and gigs. Job search websites like Indeed,, and LinkedIn also frequently list work-from-home opportunities. Just be sure to vet them before handing over your personal details because there are TONS of scams out there.

Downsides: You'll be competing with thousands and thousands of other people, and searching for your next gig could take weeks or months

#4: Sell Handmade Products Online

If you're skilled at creating handmade products, consider selling them online to make money during your retirement. Depending on where you list your products, you can reach a global customer base right from the comfort of your own home.

Popular platforms include:

  • Etsy
  • Handmade by Amazon
  • Craft fairs

Downsides: These platforms will all take a cut of your sales, and branding can be a lot of work

#5: Hosting Guests

Hosting guests in your home can be another great opportunity to earn income during retirement.

Here are some options:

Rent a Room on a Short-Term Basis

Platforms like Airbnb and Vrbo offer a convenient way to rent out your spare room or entire home to travelers. You set the nightly rate and control the booking process, while these services handle the marketing and transactions. Remember to check local regulations—not every state or town allows this!

Offer Long-Term Stays

If you're open to having guests for longer periods, you can rent your rooms to students, interns, or professionals like travel nurses looking for temporary housing. Make sure you screen potential tenants and have a written agreement in place to protect both parties.

Provide a Unique Experience

Differentiate yourself by offering your guests unique amenities or experiences. You could host themed events, provide customized tours of your city, or even offer home-cooked meals. It's like publishing a quality book---if you put enough love into your work, people will WANT to give you positive reviews and tell everyone about their experience.

Downsides: You'll be responsible for cleaning, and guests might not always respect your property

#6: Sell Your Skills Online

You can package your knowledge into online courses and sell them at a premium for either a one-time fee or on a subscription basis. You might have seen an online teaching site like Gumroad, Udemy, or Coursera, which are filled with courses and guides for every budget, from $20 to $1,500+.

Here are some ideas:

  • A bookkeeping skills course for new parents
  • A course on how to become a freelance writer
  • A foreign language course for beginners
  • A tax prep course
  • A course on the health benefits of yoga or mindfulness

Downsides: You'll need to be pretty comfortable with tech, copywriting, and design

#7: Sell Items Online or In Person

Selling items online is a practical way to make money in retirement without much hassle. With the internet at your fingertips, you can turn your unwanted items into cash or even start a side business with sites like eBay, Poshmark, FB Marketplace, and Depop.

Some popular categories include:

  • Collectibles
  • Antiques
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Handcrafted items

Of course, you can always go the traditional route and gather your neighbors to host a day of garage sales, too.

Downsides: You'll need high-quality photos and be responsible for all the fulfillment. You'll also have to deal with people who try to haggle you for a lower price or stop responding.

#8: Get Paid for Online Surveys

Several companies are willing to pay for your opinion on various products, services, or demographic information.

Here's a list of pros and cons when considering participating in online surveys:


  • Can be done at your own pace and on your own schedule
  • Easy to sign up and start making money
  • Allows for multitasking (e.g., watching TV while taking surveys)


  • Earnings per survey might be low
  • Getting screened out of surveys is common
  • Potentially high competition for survey spots

Downsides: There are TONS of scammers out there trying to get your Social Security number and bank account number who will pose as legitimate survey sites

#9: Check Out the AARP Job Board

Everyone knows about the discounts that AARP offers seniors, but a lot of people don't know that it also has a job board with a variety of opportunities, including:

  • Full-time work
  • Part-time work
  • Contract work

One of the benefits of using a job bank specifically designed for seniors is that they focus on providing age-friendly job opportunities. This means that employers on the platform are often more understanding of the unique needs and lifestyle considerations of retirees (and you're less likely to face age discrimination).

Downsides: No one likes endlessly searching and scrolling, looking for the perfect job opportunity while competing with thousands of others doing the same exact thing

What Strategies Can Seniors Employ to Earn Additional Income Online?

We've pretty much summed it up here. Seniors can explore several strategies for earning additional income online, including freelance writing, virtual tutoring or teaching, graphic design work, offering consulting or coaching services, and more. You could also look into joining a remote customer service or technical support team or explore passive income sources in retirement, such as blogging or creating an online course...and of course, there's always self-publishing.

It might sound cheesy, but you can pursue anything that you set your mind to. Don't let anyone tell you any different! The internet has made SO many new opportunities possible that we couldn't have dreamed of a decade ago. It changed our lives, our students' lives, and it can change yours too, even if you don't consider yourself all that tech savvy.

Can You Make $1,000 a Month in Retirement from Self-Publishing Books?

Absolutely! Our Student Success Hub is filled with personal stories about how self-publishing has made teachers, single parents, and even scuba divers three, four, or even five figures from a single book in a single month. These figures might not be the norm, but you can definitely outearn a part-time job and make way more than the average hourly wage as long as you take producing good content seriously.

A Retirement Income with No Age Requirements and No Earnings Cap

You asked how to make money in retirement, and we answered. None of the ideas on this list are bad per se, but some definitely require more time and effort than others.

Unlike Social Security benefits which come with all sorts of rules about when and how much you can access, you can make as much extra income as you'd like from self-publishing. And your retirement age becomes whatever you say it is.

Publishing becomes your own business, so you get to decide what to do with it. You can work on it when you have the time and energy, then take a month off to sail around Spain and STILL bring in a monthly income.

Retirement planning stress is REAL, but it doesn't have to affect your life any longer. 

Stop by our webinar today and take one step closer to the retirement you deserve!

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