Senior side hustles: money-making ideas for retirees

Senior side hustles: money-making ideas for retirees

Need to make some extra cash in retirement? We explore seven hassle-free ways to do so.

Piper Terrett

Saving and Making Money

Piper Terrett
Updated on 10 August 2022

Enjoying retirement but looking to top up your pension pot?

There are many ways to do so and stay active in retirement.

With many of us now living longer, retirement can stretch for 20 years or more, meaning that our money has to work even harder for us.

Obviously, you will have to check the tax implications of doing so but, as long as you stay within the rules, you can still supplement your pension with these money-making ideas.

Don’t need the money? Tips for keeping busy in retirement

Rent out a room

If you don’t fancy a return to the world of work quite yet, there are still other ways to generate extra income.

If you’ve got a spare room going free and are comfortable doing so during the pandemic, why not rent out a room to a paying lodger?

If you live near a big city you might find a roomie who only wants a crash pad during the week when he or she is working, meaning you get the place back to yourself at the weekends.

Or, if you don’t like the idea of having someone else in your home overnight, you could hire out a room during the day for business purposes.

You may, for example, find that local entrepreneurs need cheap, flexible office space or simply an ‘inspirational place to think’, while websites such as Beewake enable owners to rent out their room space easily.

Alternatively, if you live near a station and have a driveway, you could hire out a parking space to commuters.

What’s more, if your home is in a popular holiday destination you could also rent it out via a website such as Airbnb when you are yourself away.

Now read: the most expensive places to stay on Airbnb

Working in a shop

If working from home doesn’t appeal and you’d prefer to get out and about, you could consider a position in retail.

Many supermarkets and other chains offer flexible shift patterns and the ability to work part-time.

Unlike with a home-based business, you’ll be getting out of the house and will benefit from socialising with other people, as well as having extra cash in your pocket.

However, you may need to be physically fit, especially if the work involves standing on your feet in-store for several hours a day or delivering groceries. 

Your old job, part-time

Missing your former career? Why not go back to it part-time?

If you’re still fit and healthy enough to do so, why not contact your former employer or other companies in the same sector to see if they are interested in hiring you back for fewer hours.

It may be possible to work as a consultant for a few hours a week or on a freelance basis to give you flexibility.

Just make sure that it doesn’t adversely affect your pension or tax status.

Dog-walking or pet-sitting

Like animals and want to keep active in retirement? Why not become a dog-walker or pet-sitter?

You can keep it low key and just take on a few clients, working around your existing commitments.

The fact that most clients will want their dogs walked at the same times during the week, which should help generate regular income.

If you don’t relish handling wayward German shepherds or Rottweilers, you could look after smaller pets, such as cats, guinea pigs or rabbits in people’s homes.

Many people now prefer to have their animals cared for in a familiar environment by a pet-sitter who pops in, tops up the food and makes a fuss of them, rather than putting their small pets in kennels or a cattery.

That said, you will most likely need insurance, especially if you are holding clients’ keys, and it’s also wise to undertake some pet first aid training.

Now read: the pets earning their owners a fortune

Online seller

Man working on a laptop outside (Image: Shutterstock)

Adept at finding a bargain in thrift shops and car boot sales? Got a loft full of your finds?

Why not become a part-time dealer and sell your wares on eBay or one of the other myriad websites enabling people to set up shop online?

Local Facebook selling sites can also be a good alternative as, unlike eBay, they often don’t charge selling fees.

If you have a talent for arts and crafts, such as making jewellery or other items, you could sell these on websites such as Etsy.

Make sure that you charge enough for your items, however.

A good rule of thumb is to work out the production cost – materials plus labour – and multiply this figure by at least two, as well as researching what the competition is charging.

Now read: easiest ways to get an Amazon refund


Good at fixing things around the home and still in good health? Why not set up as a local handyman or woman?

If you’ve already got the necessary tools, your start-up costs are likely to be low and you can work from home, although you may need a van to transport your tools.

What’s more, if you’ve lived in the area for a while and know lots of people, you may already have a set of potential customers you could tap into with a little marketing.

It’s vital to get insurance in case of an accident and, if necessary, it might also be worth doing some training courses to refresh your skills.  

Turn a hobby into a business

Have a talent for something? Always fancied turning it into a career? Then why not take the opportunity to do so now?  

Many retirees prefer to do something new instead of going back to their old job.

You could train as a driving instructor, masseur, beautician or even a counsellor – something that you can easily do from home and that fits around your other interests.  

Now read: the new companies tipped to be worth billions


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