Creative Ways to Make Money as a Senior

A recent post on the Retired Brains website (highly recommended for Boomers) discusses the "gig economy." Entitled "5 New Ways to Own Your Own Business," the post listed some creative ways to make money on your own, primarily through the new "sharing economy." Among the ideas were becoming a driver for Uber or Lyft, renting your home through Airbnb or HomeAway, and becoming a pet sitter through Dogvacay.

Non-traditional work opportunities like these never even existed a few years ago. Now, through a combination of our online-enabled world and the concept of taking on "gigs," options are opening up to Boomers to replace the the more typical part-time work with a former employer or in retail, fast food, or hospitality. Gigs can provide a means to generate income to supplement Social Security and retirement savings while also giving a Boomer the chance to enjoy greater flexibility and be self-employed. Boomers who have been pursuing professions or careers on a full-time basis for most of their adult lives may find this novel type of work to be different and maybe even invigorating.

So when you consider what to do next and you still want to make some money, you might find an opportunity among the many services that use independent contractors as part of the sharing economy.

By the way, have you considered another creative way to make money: starting a business with your spouse? My wife and I started a service business together and generated pre-retirement income for seven years. Then we sold the business. Learn how you can do this too in our book, Let's Make Money, Honey: The Couple's Guide to Starting a Service Business. For the month of July only, the eBook version is available from for half price -- just $3.50! To get your copy in any eBook format, including PDF, visit: When you check out, enter the code SSW50 to get the eBook for just $3.50. This special offer is only good at through July, so order today!

July Sale: Get the eBook Edition of Let's Make Money, Honey at Half Price!

During the month of July, take advantage of a special half-price sale! The eBook edition of Let's Make Money, Honey: The Couple's Guide to Starting a Service Business is available this month only at for just $3.50, half the regular price. You can download the eBook in a format for any device, including a PDF if you prefer.

To get your copy at half-price, simply go to:  When you place your order, enter the code SSW50 and you'll pay just $3.50 instead of the regular price of $6.99. This offer is only good at through July 31, 2016, so order today!

Ideas for Starting a Business After Age 50

Entrepreneurship is alive and well in America -- and not just among the young 'uns. More and more Boomers are striking out on their own for the first time, many after successful careers working for someone else. In fact, the 55 to 64 age group actually has a higher percentage of people starting businesses than the 20 to 34 age group.

A recent article by Benjamin Pimentel of NerdWallet in USA Today offers some good ideas for starting a service business after the age of 50. Consulting is an option that could make sense if you have a special expertise and depth of knowledge in a field that is something people or businesses need. Another option you may not have thought of is taking advantage of an aging population and starting a business that serves the needs of people who are older than you. One example, writes Pimentel: "Patient advocacy services for seniors who need assistance with health care-related issues, such as tackling billing mistakes or sorting out insurance coverage. There’s also a need for home-modification professionals, fitness trainers for seniors and personal finance planners."

Pimentel has other good suggestions; check them out in his article.

I can tell you from personal experience that creating a service business after 50 can be very rewarding. My wife and I started a business together in our 50s, ran it successfully for seven years, and got an unexpected bonus -- we were able to sell it. You can read about how we did it in our book, Let's Make Money, Honey: The Couple's Guide to Starting a Service Business.

Resources for Boomers Looking for Work

It's no surprise that Boomers want to or need to work -- but as I've written in this blog before, finding work at 50-plus can be a challenge.

The following is a good list of a variety of resources that could be just what you need to point you in the right direction, as well as understand the implications of work over 50. This list is provided courtesy of Lisa Gonzalez at Eldercorps (

Re-Entering the Workforce - Marketable Skills After 50

An Aging Workforce: New Opportunities for Older Executives

5 Part-Time Jobs for Retirees

The Senior's Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Agent in Their Golden Years

Recruitment and Retention of Older Workers: Considerations for Employers

Aging and Mental Health: Workplace Considerations

Spotlight on Seniors: 10 Ways Employers Can Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance for Senior Employees

And here's one more idea. If you think you might want to start your own business with your spouse, check this out:

Working After 65 is a Must for Many

A more frequent story in the media these days is about people age 65 and older who are in the workforce. A recent example is an article on that begins this way: "Almost 20 percent of Americans 65 and older are now working, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the most older people with a job since the early 1960s, before the U.S. enacted Medicare."

In the story, Ben Steverman cites five reasons for people putting off retirement:

  1. "They need the money"
  2. "They like their jobs"
  3. "Employers want (some) older workers to stick around"
  4. "Older Americans are healthier and living longer"
  5. "Or maybe retirement just isn't as much fun"

Steverman quotes an economist who says it "has become increasingly normal to be over 65 and working." I noticed just the other day how many seniors seem to be working at such retailers as Lowe's and The Home Depot. As a frequent visitor to the Biltmore in my home town of Asheville, I see many seniors there greeting guests, driving vans, taking tickets, leading tours, and serving in restaurants. Still, a big challenge for silver-hairs (of which I am one) is finding employment that is stimulating, rewarding, and allows the flexibility most older workers want.

New Book: The Retirement Rescue Plan

A new book called The Retirement Rescue Plan by Melissa Phipps is an all-in-one survival kit for retirement planning. 

In this smart, useful book, Melissa Phipps guides pre-retirees through engaging self-evaluation exercises, explains financial matters simply and clearly, and discusses key aspects of today’s retirement challenge, including strategies to find the right kind of work. Phipps’ expert advice is sure to assist anyone in planning and executing a successful retirement.

The Retirement Rescue Plan will be helpful if you are considering retirement or even if you are already retired. I highly recommend it. You can purchase it directly from Amazon below. 

Start a Home Business in a Month


Boomers searching for a way to earn income may find it right in their own home. A home business is a viable alternative for many Boomers who are looking for part-time work and are just as happy being their own boss as working for someone else.

Leslie Truex, a home business expert on, has a step-by-step plan that will help you set up a home business in just one month. "During this first week," writes Leslie, "you’ll be researching, planning and beginning the initial steps to launching your business. During the second week, you’ll be putting your business foundation in place. The last two weeks will be about marketing and delivering great products and services."

Leslie breaks her plan into four easy-to-read sections, with every action item divided into daily to-do's. Each action item comes with a helpful description. This is a great way to segment the process of starting a business into manageable steps so it doesn't seem so overwhelming.

Check out the first installment of Leslie's four-part series here.

Another home business option for Boomers is working together as a couple. While some couples can't envision working together, it does have significant advantages --in fact, the best business partner you could have might be your spouse. My wife and I started and ran a service business together for over six years and then sold it. We tell how we did it in our book, Let's Make Money, Honey: The Couple's Guide to Starting a Service Business. It will help any couple evaluate whether starting a business together is the right thing to do and give you tips for making your business more successful. 


Unexpected Retirement Costs can Surprise You

No one likes to live with uncertainty, but many Boomers cannot be certain their retirement will be smooth and uneventful. Other than health, the largest concern of Boomers is whether they will have enough money to retire. It's one thing to know what your anticipated expenses will be in retirement -- but what about those costs you didn't expect?

In an article posted on, Alaina Tweddale details six specific unexpected retirement costs that should be on your radar screen. Some may be more obvious, such as emergencies, but others, including market volatility, ongoing maintenance, and underlying investment fees, could catch you by surprise. Alaina discusses all six, with helpful detail about each.

This article is definitely worth reading.

By the way, is an excellent PBS-sponsored source of valuable information for Boomers. I highly recommend it.