Welcome to our special Forum where you can share your extra income ideas for retirees and seniors. (And for that matter, anyone else who’d like to participate!)

We’ve had a lot of interest in working after retirement over the many months, so we did write a main article about that topic (see our main page at Work After Retirement – Creative Options). But we knew our visitors would have lots more ideas too, so we decided to create a Forum in which you could share your thoughts and experiences (or those of people you know).

The purpose of this Forum is for our readers to submit extra income ideas that they have actually done, or people they know have actually done. These can include both things that did or did not work out! And if it didn’t work out, we’d love to know a little about why and what happened. The same for successes. Perhaps you have recommendations, or pitfalls to avoid.

For instance, you may know there are lots of online working from home ideas – for companies that are both bona fide and scams. We’d love to know if anyone has had real-life experience with any of these, or know of anyone who has! 

Many of our readers definitely have talents and skills that could make them money from home, but don’t know exactly how to get the word out. Any suggestions for that? After all, “marketing” is part of success. And also ways family members may be able to pitch in and help.

It’s easy to participate
First, click on the “Working After Retirement” link below, to enter Forum.
Then, just jump write in and enter your ideas in the Comment area. They don’t need to be long, but they certainly can be! (All submissions do get reviewed first before they’re posted). We’re looking for all kinds of ideas and help… We hope to hear from you!

Ideas From Our Visitors

Click below to see what others have shared…

Working After Retirement 
A SHARE FORUM – See what our readers share, with lots of interesting ideas about working after retirement, and some money-making activities for …

Be sure to also read our original main page on work after retirement, where you’ll get lots more ideas. Just click the link below. It may help you remember something that you can then post on this page!

to Work After Retirement – Creative Options

Part-time or full-time work after retirement is something many folks are looking to do (and not necessarily the same thing they were doing when in the working world). Others are looking for ways to earn extra money, yet may be having a hard time coming up with new ideas. Some people want to work out of the home; but there is a growing trend to figure out what we can do that is home-based.

A Great Book

I want to first start out by sharing about possibly one of the most valuable books I’ve come across about extra income ideas – Put More Cash In Your Pocket, by Loral Langemeier. And it fits right in with the idea of work after retirement.

The specific goal of the book is to make extra money fast — to launch your idea and get the first payment, all within 30 days. The goal in the book is to make $500 to $1000 extra per month in new cash. If you can put in more than part time hours for work after retirement, your income of course goes up. And you use skills, knowledge or hobbies you already have, “with a twist,” as she says. (We have a page at Finding A Hobby that may give you ideas too). And even provides a couple pages full of ideas in the book. I first wondered, What? Is that really possible?

But this small, easy-to read book is complete with very specific to-do steps, charts, worksheets, etc. The author shows in precise detail how four very different people made new income doing very different things (including power washing) within the 30 days.. Plus she has other ideas that are excellent for work after retirement, such as a dog walking business.

For instance, at $15 an hour for dog walking, if you walk three dogs a day Monday through Friday, you’d make an extra $1000 per month. Cut that in about half if you want to work less and make $500.

Other miscellaneous work she details include tutoring, computer fixing, reading tarot cards (!), catering, cooking lessons, teaching music, desktop publishing, bookkeeping, fitness instruction, foreign language lessons, handyman, and more.

How To Plan

First, of course, you have to decide how much you need in extra income per month when you work after retirement. Divide it by four weeks, and you’ll know how much you need to make per week. You’ll figure out how much you’d charge per hour, and then you’ll know how many hours you’d be putting in per week. How to duplicate something similar that is out there instead of reinventing the wheel; yet be unique.  And you may actually find you can work a bit more than you thought, bringing in more money.

If you want to work from home — In a nutshell, besides deciding how much money you want to make, how much time you can put in with work after retirement, and which skills and interests to utilize…
You also need to know about:

•    What others with similar work are doing
•    How much they charge
•    Pretend you’re a customer, or research online
•    How to just duplicate what’s already successful
•    How much you will charge
•    What you can do to improve or stand apart
•    How to then charge a little more
•    Who your market really is
•    What start-up costs you may have, if any
•    How to organize and schedule
•    How you are going to get customers/clients
•    Keep it simple; don’t overwhelm yourself or you won’t start

These are some of the specifics that all work involves, and that is addressed in the book. I’ve recommended this book to dozens of people who want to work after retirement.

Work Ideas

The following are different types of extra income ideas done by people I know. And they’re all doing what they know how to do. (The book mentioned above also specifically helps you to get the word out, also known as marketing). I hope some of these ideas can trigger brainstorms for you too!

I have a friend who is a hair stylist. She works at the salon part time, and decided to get her license to do hair in-home. Now she also styles at the nursing homes and assisted living nearby, plus goes to people’s homes. She’s making as much as she does in the salon.

A retired guy in town has been doing metal detecting for several years and gave a talk on it, which I went to because I was so fascinated. He told about how he made all kinds of money (finding actual money, but also items he could sell including jewelry). He always took it while traveling too, and made quite a nice little income on the side. Plus got outside and got some exercise. I even had a guest write a page about how to do this, at Treasure Hunting With Metal Detectors.

Someone I know is a retired farmer who wanted to work after retirement, and specifically with animals. So he got a job at a local zoo working at their baby animal barn and teaching visiting kids (and adults) all about them. In fact, he talked the zoo into expanding their program to accommodate what he wanted to do!

A former boss got laid off, but instead of panicking, she decided to do what she’d always wanted to – have a dog walking service. She has a steady clientele, walking their dogs and doing pet sitting, and has never been happier.

Years ago I knew a gentleman who retired from the Air Force. He also had basic bookkeeping skills, so his work after retirement involved doing bookkeeping and taxes for several steady clients. He brought in a very lucrative additional income.

I’ve noticed that people who have had a professional background in accounting, finance, business, teaching, nursing, and even law, have a fairly easy time extending the same work into part-time retirement jobs, including from their own home.

Another friend is a nurse. She realized the great need for seniors especially, to receive basic foot care; but many needed it in their homes. (I have her visit us regularly to do my Dad’s feet). Her routine service entails toenail and fingernail cutting, a basic foot check, plus a bubbly foot bath (in a small electric model that she carries with her), and a foot, leg, and hand massage with lotion. A session takes 35 to 40 minutes of her time.

Since Medicare no longer covers this service with a podiatrist, her business has virtually exploded. She can make one visit to one senior building, and do several people in one day without traveling elsewhere. Now her mother, also a nurse, is helping her do the same work after retirement.

A local woman in our town began a miscellaneous and errand service business — doing errands, organizing, house cleaning, even help with moving. She soon had a thriving business, expanding services as people inquired. Her husband joined her, doing basic repair work, painting, and small construction projects.

I knew a retired lady years ago who loved babies and began taking care of infants in her home, just one at a time. She began to work after retirement for someone she knew, and when that child was ready for pre-school, word spread that she did infant care and had an opening. She was never without a client. A real need!

A fella I’ve known for decades got laid off from his management job, and wasn’t ready to “retire” yet. He was really good at painting the interiors of houses, as well as basic construction and handymanwork. Job hunting in his field was almost pointless and he needed to dosomething. He launched his new business and now makes more than he did before. Andis happier. To get the word out, he did a couple freebies for friends, got somereferrals and gave a discount, got more referrals, and also passed aroundflyers in the neighborhood. He was good, efficient, and cost less thancompetitors.

We have a couple colleges where I live. A friend who retiredfrom her office job placed an ad in both college papers and hung notices ontheir bulletin boards about her typing,editing and proofreading skills. Her work after retirement is making her a nice little income on the side.

Likewise, a woman I know who had a background in workingwith seniors began her own business doing homeservices for the elderly. She did their errands and shopping, took them toappointments, did a little housekeeping. She served as a companion as well, reading,baking with them, watching movies, doing activities and/or crafts, helping witha little exercise, having coffee, etc. She was a certified aid, but with manyof these activities, no certification would be necessary. Just a little loveand a helping hand. For many, their work after retirement involves helping those who are retired.

One of my neighbors had been in the corporate world forever.Upon retirement, he set up a smallengine repair business out of his garage. I regularly brought my lawnmower, snow blower and weed whacker for service and repairs. He usually had complimentarycoffee there, and lots of good conversation too. During certain seasons, his work after retirement became pretty much full time.

Similarly, another friend who was already familiar with appliance repair, took a course tofurther enhance his skills and set up a thriving business. He coupled this witha little handyman work on the side.

Another woman in town who I met set up a small business as a seamstress in her home. She did alterations and specialty sewing and always stayed busy. Eventually she also ended up doing some costume design and sewing work for the colleges in town.

For years I had a retired neighbor who had a small yard service business come over and mow my lawn once a week, do a little extra yard work, and rake my leaves in the fall (I had a ton of trees and no time). His rates were so reasonable, and he loved being in the outdoors and getting exercise. In the winter he also did a little snow blowing. His wife also did seasonal gardening. (She also started working in the local gardening nursery). They’d decided they needed some kind of work after retirement that would keep them active.

When I was doing property management in a predominantly over-50s building, I knew several people who had some good ways to earn extra money. One man drove the activities bus for the local middle school and high school. He was the bus driver on field trips and for sporting events with the teams. He loved it, got see the games, and became good friends with many of the kids and their families.

Another person became a tutor for children after school, especially in reading. She was excellent with a particular learn-to-read program based on phonics that really worked. Word spread because the parents were so thrilled with the outcome, so that her work after retirement was making her much more money than anticipated. Math is another much-needed subject for tutoring .

I know two musically talented people who have put their skills to work after retirement. One teaches music lessons (piano) in his home, but sometimes in the client’s home too. He also made arrangements with the local music store to be their piano instructor as well. If one of his students ends up buying a piano, he gets a commission.

He also plays at weddings and has a steady gig in one of the fine restaurants in his town. When I was growing up my piano teacher was also retired and teaching lessons on the side. This works for any kind of instrument. Teaching music can be really good work after retirement, usually bringing in about $25 per lesson.

The other guy, who’d been in an unrelated sales job for many years before retirement, joined a band afterwards. Now he and his friends have steady gigs around town. He can play drums or guitar, and has also been asked to be a substitute player for others bands when they need someone.

Speaking of creative, if you know anyone with a daughter wholoves American Girl (or other) dolls, you’ll know their wardrobes can be a bitexpensive.  Making doll clothes and accessories can be very successful.

Ibought all of my daughter’s doll clothes from a local lady I’d met at a craftshow. She always added just a little something extra to the outfit to makeshers stand out, at little additional cost to her. I could even tell her what Iwanted, pick out fabric, and go over to her house later to pick it up. She hada little room set up as her designated sewing and display area. Andnaturally, a selection of “impulse” items which customers (like myself) just couldnot resist.

Along the same line, at another craft show there was a husband and wife team. He built the American Girl-sized doll furniture, and she painted it. I got a beautiful chest and doll bed for my daughter from them. They also make doll house items. Now they have an online business through their web site.

If you’re an artist or crafter, doing the craft shows can provide some really fun work after retirement. I know a woman who specialized in making stuffed snowmen out of (used) white chenille bedspread fabric. She made many at a time, assembly-line style. Soon she had a following. After about three years (with a new collectible snowman or woman character each year, she was making thousands of dollars in profit… for a few months of work and shows. Eventually her husband started helping her. They got a business name and tax ID number, so were able to buy all supplies wholesale.

If you don’t want to do the craft shows, consider selling your creations online at etsy.com — specializing only in hand-made items of all kinds by artists and crafters. People do very well selling on this site.

My sister is a nurse, and when she “retired” she became a geriatric caseworker in her town, and kept as busy as she wanted to be. Her husband for awhile installed the home set-up for the medical alert pendants that many seniors now use.

A Few More In A Nutshell

A woman skilled at sewing at home began working in a fabric store and also taught beginner sewing classes.

The local craft store, a large chain, hires retired people to teach a variety of classes. Including cake decorating.

Speaking of which, I have a friend who’s been an amateur cake decorator for years, and now does some catering out of her home, as well as working on the side for the bakery in a grocery store – her decorating really stands out.

Teach computer skills (to any age group, including seniors) at a local community ed center. Community ed provides great opportunities for work after retirement, and classes run in cycles throughout the year.

Likewise, teach a foreign language (or any other skill or craft you may have). I know a lady who teaches a type of yoga, including classes for seniors, and her classes are always full. When one season at the center ends, another begins; so she’s never without income.

Another acquaintance has taken up taxidermy. He took some classes to learn what to do, and now has a waiting list of customers.

How To Get The Word Out

How did all of these people start their work after retirement? When I chat with them, they almost all say the same thing…
It’s a combination doing a few freebies or generously discounted services for friends to get the ball rolling, and the friend gives referrals who get a nice discount. Their referrals also get a discount (but not as big).

They also handing out business cards or half-sheet announcements (which are bigger than cards so they don’t get lost) wherever they go. Hanging flyers and passing them out door-to-door (grandkids can do this too). And just plain approaching who they want to work for.

If you’re serious about doing some work after retirement, be sure to read the book I mentioned above, Put More Cash In Your Pocket, because you’ll get very specific steps. And according to the author, there is no need for anyone to penny pinch during retirement. As long as a person can do something, including from home, and is willing to put in a little effort, there is tons of potential out there.

Other Employment For Seniors

There are, of course, employment agencies who do specifically work with seniors. But perhaps you still are interested in working from home, but don’t want to start anything yourself.

Online call center work – You may have heard of working from your computer for an online company, such as those who offer call center services to clients (and you’d be a member of the call center staff from home) do your research.

The companies are indeed bona fide. But if you search the company name online first, you’ll be able to access reviews from real at-home employees (such as at glassdoor.com ). And those reviews can be very eye-opening. Some good, some bad. It will depend on what you’re willing to try. For those who just want part-time work after retirement, these set-ups may work out fine.

Typical companies that do have good Better Business Bureau ratings are Alpine Access, Convergys, Liveops, and Arise, and there are others. You really can work for them from home. But do the research first. You can do a BBB search at search.bbb.org. But remember, getting a good BBB rating is not the same as getting a good employee rating!

There are a lot of work-at-home scams out there. Some pay very little, have stressful methods of rating employee work, and little management support.

Other companies require you to put money down for “training,” and then you get very little work. Or no work — they’ve taken your money. Others just want you to fill out an application, so they can get all your personal information. So be careful.

Freelance computer work — There are reputable opportunities available in which you get to choose the jobs you want to bid for and do, such as typing, web site design, graphic design, writing, editing, sometimes even accounting.  I know several people who have needed projects done, placed work orders on these web sites, and gotten really good help; so the work is real. Some of the companies I am familiar with are:
•    mturk.com, (Mechanical Turk) which is part of Amazon
•    odesk,com 
•    elance.com
•    freelance.com
•    guru.com

You bid on projects that people need expertise with, and you usually need references to prove your ability. And you can sign up at several of the web sites simultaneously.

At-home assembly work – I’ve been asked about this a couple times. I’m familiar with the Magical Gift Company (a.k.a .New England Crafters).  See magicalgift.com . It’s real work from home making crafts. However, from the feedback I’ve seen, when you boil down to time vs. pay, you make about $3 to $4 per item, but it equals about $1 an hour. So you’d really need to love what you’re doing, see it as strictly a part-time sort of hobby, be patient, and read reviews about working for the company! This can be relaxing work after retirement that you can do in front of the TV or while listening to the radio.

SeniorJobBank – See http://www.seniorjobbank.org .This isone of the most well-know job search sites particularly for seniors. You cansearch out senior-friendly companies in your area, with all types of employmentand pay scales. These are not at-home jobs.

It’s a known fact that when we keep busy after retirement doing something interesting and fulfilling, we keep our mental faculties sharp. Working is good for the brain! And it’s good for the pocketbook.

(P.S. — If you have concerns about debt, do see our page all about the inside scoop in the world of collections, and why they may go after seniors. It can be confusing and shocking. I know. I was the “insider,” at a collection law office/debt buyer. And I give some important tips on our page about paying off debt.)

Be sure to also read:

Crafts and Gifts You Can Make – Our craft books with lots of gift ideas that you can also sell. I used many of these to sell in local gift and florist shops, and also craft shows.

Check out our Share Forum and see what our readers say about extra income ideas.


Paying off debt can become scary.
And there is a little-known world in debt collections…

I know. I worked in it.
Paying off debt is one of the big pieces to overall estate planning. Living debt free brings peace of mind. For various reasons, you or your loved one might be in debt. For the older generation, debt also brings with it many other elderly issues.

If you have debt, the inside world of debt collections is something you must understand. I worked in some capacity within the field of debt collections management for over ten years. I have the “inside scoop,” so to speak. Many of the “debtors” were baby boomers and elderly. And many do not know the details of the debt collection laws that control what collectors can do or say to you, about scare tactics, subtle threats, and illegal approaches. This page is a must-read.

The information on this page offers a general guideline in very simplified terms — a peek into the world of debt collections. It is really much more complex. But it will give you a basic idea about this sometimes very startling world.

When paying off debt becomes unmanageable, you need to take debt assistance steps soon. Debt can become one of the very serious elderly stress issues. Or some elderly think they are too old to care about their credit report or collectors hassling them. They may get into the “You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip” mentality. They may ignore their debt or refuse to answer the phone, and hope it will just go away. Probably not.

Or that they are too old for anyone to bother for long.
Not true!

If you own a home or property…beware!

PLEASE NOTE: We are not attorneys. This information should not be construed as giving legal advice, but only as helpful information through personal experience. There are professional organizations that can assist you.

A True Story

Here is a true story that I personally witnessed (and, sadly, one of many). Joseph was 93 years old and in a nursing home with dementia and other illnesses. He kept getting letters from a collection attorney about his outstanding credit card debt that was by now about 6 years old. He, of course, did not even know he was receiving the letters. Joseph’s son finally called the collection office to let them know the situation and to please not bother him. T

he office did not care. And they would not talk to the son unless Joseph gave permission, which he could not do since he had dementia and was not aware. They were told they must produce Power of Attorney, which the son was finally able to do.

However, the collection office would not let the debt go. Why? Joseph owned property. So they sued 93-year-old Joseph in a nursing home, and took him to court. He could not attend, naturally, nor could his family. The collection office obtained a default judgment against Joseph and got a lien against his home.

They also succeeded in garnishing his bank account, because Joseph had income other than Social Security, disability, etc. Some of this income was not “exempt.” The credit card account is still in arrears with interest constantly accruing, constantly increasing the debt balance. When Joseph dies the lien against his property must be satisfied and the collection office paid off.

They would not write off a debt even for a 93-year-old man with dementia in a nursing home, because he had property. This whole scenario, and dealing with the lien after his death, caused great stress to the family.

What Can You Do?

With credit card debt the clock is always ticking, and interest is building up (accruing), making paying off debt more difficult. If you miss a payment with credit card debt, your interest rate can automatically increase, per the terms of the contract. And your debt total then increases.

If your debt feels overwhelming, call the credit card company and explain your situation. You might ask for a new payment plan and request lowering the interest rate. If you are elderly and trying to work something out, there is a good chance they will cooperate. Even a small effort at paying off debt helps.

And if you are being called by collectors, especially if you feel you are being harassed, there are federal laws that govern collection activities to protect you, called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

If you ignore paying off debt, various events will be set in motion. Welcome to the world of debt collections.

What Can They Do?

This is what can happen…The original creditor (the credit card company, a bank, medical facility, etc.) will try to collect on the debt first through their internal collection process. If that does not work, then they may send it to an outside collection agency. They work on commission and want their money – they can be aggressive. These are the guys that most often give debt collection a bad reputation.

Some, though, may help you with a debt reduction plan. If they can’t succeed with getting you to cooperate, they’ll send your account back to the original creditor, who will probably do a “charge off” — they close your account. I

t may be closed out with them, but I can almost guarantee it is not totally forgotten. It may must be getting ready to go into the next phase. This all, of course, can be reported to the credit bureaus and show up on your credit report.

If you’re still not paying off debt
your account can then be sent to a collection attorney who also gets a commission. They will first try to collect by letter and phone, but then may sue you and take you to court. Their goal is to get a judgment against you, and a lien against your property, if you have any, and garnish your bank account or paycheck, if possible. A judgment also goes on your credit report and will cause big problems for you.

Or they may give up and return your account to the original creditor. It can then be sold to a debt buyer. This is a very different level of debt collections. They now own your account and can be quite aggressive to get you paying off debt to them.

Remember, all this time interest is building up (accruing). All of these steps can take years and by the time you hear from a debt buyer you may have thought everyone gave up on you and you’re safe. And you’d sort of forgotten about that old debt. So you may not put two and two together, realizing this is that old debt. It will now have ballooned, sometimes far beyond the original amount, so you may think they are scamming you. But it is perfectly legal.

Sure, there may be some scammers out there, but most are very careful about federal and state debt collections laws.

If you’re still not paying off debt, the debt buyer also can sue you and get a judgment, and lien against your property, if any. Any of this can cause problems with your estate should you die, and will leave a mess for your heirs to deal with.

Getting out of debt seem overwhelming?

As you can see, paying off debt, even if in small amounts, can save a lot of future headaches.

Before you decide to shrug if off and take your chances, check out options. There are debt reduction plans that can help you. Talk to an expert in the field of debt assistance — perhaps an attorney who is familiar with debt collections, or Legal Aid.

You can ask a financial advisor about debt settlement programs or a consolidation loan. Federal and especially state laws regarding debt and collections can change, and an expert in the field will stay up to date with this.

When considering a debt consolidation review, always make sure you check credentials. If you prefer, there are many Christian debt relief companies that can help.

The sooner you take steps for paying off debt in this process, the better. Seek help and enjoy debt free living.

To Work After Retirement