Friday, April 30, 2021

Part Time Work, Side Gigs and Side Hustles

 I read recently that 2 out of 3 retirees do not plan to return to work. That means 1 out of 3 do plan to return to work. Many return to work for monetary reasons and some return to work due to boredom or missing the work environment. Retirees often monetize their hobby in someway by selling their paintings or crafts. I don't think I would count this as returning to work. If you are selling your latest crocheted sweater or handmade wooden bench, I would say this fits more in the category of side gig or hustle. If your hobby brings you great joy and you can make a little money off of it, why not? Any sales could offset supply costs for your personal projects.

Shortly before I retired, my wife and I dabbled in reselling items on Poshmark. We would purchase name brand items at thrift stores and then post them on our store in the Poshmark app. We were successful and got to the point of making $100-150 profit per month. To me it was more fun than it was a money making side gig. I got excited when we got an offer of $5 on something we paid 75 cents for. Shipping was paid for by the buyer and all we had to do was print the label, place it on the box and send it off with our mail carrier or take it to the post office. After a couple of months that whole thing just got old to me and I quit it due to a full closet of "inventory" and having to interrupt my busy retirement schedule. I can see how you could make some decent money by reselling items on places like Poshmark, Facebook Market, eBay, etc. 

Another side hustle I have not really explored is reselling books on Amazon. I often see guys at the thrift stores scanning the barcode on books with a little device. When it beeps he pulls the book off the shelf for purchase. I asked one guy if he was reselling on Amazon. He said he did and that he made about $400 on his last load of books. My understanding is that you ship your box of books to Amazon to store until they sell. When I inquired online, I found that there are storage fees, shipping fees and handling fees. I don't know what the gadget was that I've seen the guys using to scan the books. I'm assuming it gives them some type of info on what the book is selling for but I just don't know. All of the reselling side hustles require a lot of time in locating your items, listing them for sale and shipping. You would have to get it streamlined or do a large volume to make it worth your time.

I have been retired now for a year and ten months. About two months ago I began doing a little contract work. With this contract, I can take as many hours as come available. So far, I have only worked about 28 hours and I'm not sure how often I will take on work. I currently have no plans to seek other employment opportunities and certainly don't want a full time job of any kind. I have considered getting a notary license and offering some mobile notary service. I'm not sure this would be worth my time or not but I'm sure some make a little money at it. 

I have a hobby of metal detecting. I cashed in about $185 worth of coins at the end of last year. That amount probably didn't cover my battery and gasoline costs for the year, so I don't consider it a hobby that I have monetized yet. I'm sure there are many hobbies that could result in some extra cash. I would suspect a woodworker, quilt maker, gardener and many other hobbyist could generate a side income if one wanted to.

There are many ways to supplement retirement income through part time work, side gigs and side hustles. Have you gone back to work in some form or fashion? If so, what are you doing and how often are you doing it? If you haven't retired yet, are you doing any outside work for extra cash? Do you have a unique hobby that also provides a little income? If you do have outside income, what do you use it for? Do you use it to pay your monthly expenses or does it go into a jar for that dream trip to Europe?   


  1. When I retired from 30+ years of teaching, I was done and haven’t earned a cent since. Paul, however, continues to do freelance writing and will never retire. (He’d drive us both nuts if he did!) It does add significantly to our income and allows us to travel more than we otherwise could. It also allows us to keep up the repairs on our aging house, which have been sadly significant as of late. I’ve been curious about some of the jobs you mentioned but the only thing I’ve thought seriously about is proofreading/editing. Maybe I’ll get around to exploring that one of these days, maybe not.

    1. Awesome use of the extra income to do a little travel! You should look into the proofreading/editing, surely there is a need out there.