Turning Passion into Paychecks in Retirement

By on October 17, 2019

Retirement is a great accomplishment! You should not feel ashamed to enjoy it fully and freely. However, some retirees find themselves going mad with idle hands. Others just want extra paychecks on top of their monthly stipend.

Whatever the reason, there is no shame in seeking a little side hustle. And what better way to do that than to take something you already love doing for free? That’s right: we’re talking about turning hobbies into hustle in retirement.

Here are 4 ways to squeeze a little cash out of your hobbies.

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Almost Anything: Teaching (Part-Time)

Whether you were a plumber or a lawyer or a stage magician, there is a class out there that you can teach. Have you been in an improv group for a long time? Teach a class at the club you perform at. Did you build your own business from home? Have you been woodworking since you were ten? 

The list goes on, but the point is: if you’re good at something, there is someone out there who will pay you to learn how to be good, too. Offer to teach a class at the local community college. 

There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing the light of understanding glow in someone’s eyes—while knowing that you were the one who caused it! Plus, it’s a great way to get to know others in your community with similar interests. There are a wide variety of people who take these classes—not just recent high school graduates.

Adjunct professors make about $20,000 a year, but you don’t need to commit as fully as they do. You can teach classes with a seasonal contract or in more casual settings. Just find a place that works for you and approach with a curriculum plan.

Writing: Self-Publishing

Recently retired people tend to take up writing memoirs and fiction to pass the time. It’s a great way to channel your creativity into something productive, and it also preserves the person you were at the time of writing.

There is nothing quite like it. But there is a roadblock in most people’s minds, preventing them from taking the plunge from a creative writer into a published author. It’s unreasonable to think that there is a million-dollar payday waiting for you as an amateur writer.

However, plenty of people make money writing. Why shouldn’t you?

Self-publishing has taken off in recent years. There is such a wide swath of genres on self-publishing sites like Amazon. Further, a lot of genres come in with a built-in community of dedicated fans.

“Amazon is a great way to access a huge audience,” says the Caribbean Yogi, author of children’s books like “Raven Maeghus and The Lost Temple of Toth” and “The Draken Guard of Orion”.  Self-publishing on Amazon takes this a step further. The overhead is basically non-existent, and there are minimal barriers to entry. You won’t see a huge return unless you’re churning out three to four novels a month, but the casual, hobbyist writer has nothing to lose by slapping their work on the site.

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Gardening or Baking: Farmers Markets

Do you grow killer chrysanthemums? Are your radishes to die for? Do you put your own, homegrown apples into your homemade apple pies? Do your neighbors go coo-coo when they hear you’re cooking up something good?

You should be showing these wares off! And not just to your freeloading neighborhood audience, either. Turning the soil into fresh fruit and veggies or those fruits and veggies into something even better is not a skill to shake a stick at.

If you grow gorgeous flowers at home, try bringing premade flower arrangements to your local market. It’s one thing to see a bushel of petunias; it’s another thing entirely to see a carefully curated selection of a wide swath of flowers arranged as appealingly as possible.

Similarly, try turning homegrown fruits and veggies into delicious baked goods and hawk them at the market, too. (Just be sure that your home kitchen abides by any applicable statutes concerning food safety and consumers!)

Photography: Stock Photography

There are millions and millions of blogs and websites on the internet churning out content. They all need pictures, and they need them yesterday! Stock photography sites are always looking for new and particular photos to fill their clients’ needs.

Those with an eye for aesthetics and a good camera will find a fulfilling payday at the end of this rainbow. If you’re trying to make a living off of photography, I wouldn’t recommend pursuing stock photo development as the ultimate career goal. For those just trying to make beer money, however, making stock photography is a great way to take a cool hobby and earn some cash doing it.


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Turning Passion into Paychecks in Retirement