One of the most intimidating things about retiring is the thought that you are starting to expend the financial resources you’ve been storing up, as opposed to adding to them. As long as you were working, you lived off your paycheck and watched your retirement assets grow.
But after you get the proverbial gold watch, the tide turns. The paychecks and retirement contributions end and the withdrawals begin. It can be a little unnerving to watch your fund balances start working their way down.
For some people, it’s unnerving enough that they want to investigate other options for making money. Since financial security is the ultimate reason for working, it makes sense that the feeling of security should be shored up in whatever way each person feels is necessary. If you want a higher comfort level with your personal finances in retirement, there are some ways you can help yourself without returning to the 9-to-5.
As you start thinking about some of the money making options that exist for you, start with these ideas.
You don’t have to become a high-rolling realtor or own a bunch of property, but you can earn some money with real estate. Many retirees have acquired other property along the way, often through inheritance. They are often content simply to hold the property without actually managing it.
For people who’d like to reduce their dependence on retirement funds, though, activating that property could be very helpful. They don’t have to liquidate it to get money from it; instead, they could develop it for rental, or simply rent it as it stands for residential or commercial use.
Another option for earning some money through real estate is with tax write-offs. For example, if you own an old family storefront building, you could offer it rent-free to a deserving (and qualifying) charity, then deduct that as a charitable donation. Just be sure to check with a tax advisor before making any commitments.
Starting A Business
Don’t get the wrong image of this idea. You don’t have to take on a demanding, stressful career in order to be successful in business. Instead, you could stick with simpler, episodic work that you can largely schedule on your own.
This would include things like wedding photography and videography. If you have an artistic eye and the money for the equipment, you could do wedding photos and videos, booking only as often as you feel like working. Love to cook? You could cater special events. Then there’s woodworking, home renovation, landscaping, and countless other options, all utilizing skills and equipment that you may already possess.
Don’t let this one frighten you. It’s not necessary to have a fire sale and let go of all the luxuries you’ve worked all your life to accumulate. It’s not even about living “simpler” (read that as “poorer”). It’s just a simple economic strategy to free up money that you no longer wish to have tied up.
Collectible items are a good example. You may have antiques, sports memorabilia, or old vinyl records that hold significant value. By the time you have reached retirement age, you know if you wish to keep them. If you don’t–if you simply don’t want them anymore–research their value and sell them.
It’s important not to rely on this as a cash flow. You’ll get lump sums sporadically, a few hundred here and a few hundred there. Never bank on this type of money for a mortgage or car payment, but it can put some cash in your hand for a weekend getaway or an anniversary party.
Many people are crystal clear on their risk tolerance for investments. But when the time comes to start cashing them in, most people don’t really know how comfortable they’ll be. Sometimes one of these moneymaking strategies will simply help you to ease the transition into retirement by using a limited amount of your retirement money at first, then gradually shifting your finances to a higher rate of use.
It’s all about comfort and sustainability. If you have that, you are in good shape. If you’re shaky or unsure about either, look into some other options for income as you clear things up.