We always need money. That’s a given. While investors look for capital gains so they can live off their portfolios, the problem with that is they’re notoriously unreliable. Cash dividends are far more reliable – the 1973-74 decline saw US stocks fall over 50% while dividends increased by 17% during high inflation years – and income investors know that. Ensuring that the income stream never dies is critical to not hitting a financial wall when getting older.
Here are a few ways to make side money in your early (or late) retirement years.
CardPool online is an interesting way to get extra cash. For anyone who’s been building up gift cards that they don’t have much use for, this site lets people sell the card to someone else. There is a discount from the original face value – people would just buy the gift card directly from the retailer if there wasn’t – but it does provide an excellent way to turn gift cards into spendable money.
The following Cardpool review covers the ins and outs of how the service works. It will function with both paper and e-gift cards sent by email. The paper ones are mailed out to the buyer within a couple of days while the e-gift is just emailed over.
Baby Sitting for Local People
People who love babies or kids can act as babysitters. There are several established websites to connect local babysitters with people who need them. UrbanSitter and SitterCity are two of the better ones. Look for sites where the sitters are vetted. Sometimes this means monitoring their review system with comments from people who’ve previously had their baby or child with a specific sitter and had a good experience.
Investing for Higher Returns
While working full-time, it’s probably difficult to find free time in the schedule to manage investments well. However, in retirement, you can become a better investor by actively spending time:
- a) educate yourself about investing
- b) focusing on your portfolio return
When you consider the total value of your portfolio, a minor half percent or one percent extra return per year might not seem like much for the time invested, but when calculated on your portfolio value, it adds up to a meaningful extra bounty. Calculating the hours spent vs the extra return provides some measure of the hourly return on your time vs other activities to generate more money.
Depending on what you did for a living previously, there may be opportunities to do some freelancing online. Many jobs have now been broken down into their component tasks with companies looking for freelancers to complete some of those individual tasks for them. Whether that means writing new content for their website (but not designing the site) or creating a spreadsheet for a marketing plan (but not devising the marketing plan itself), there are plenty of opportunities to pick up tasks for a few hours a week. Look at sites like Craigslist and Freelancer.com to find gigs in the “Gig economy” that we now live in.
Unlike in times past where when you left your job and there were few ways to generate any new income other than to sell possessions, thankfully, with the online economy there are now more options for retirees to make life more comfortable.