11 Ways Retirees Can Earn Passive Income
These simple ways of earning income without a lot of active, ongoing effort can stretch your retirement dollars.
These days, “retired” doesn’t always mean “not working.”
According to a study of U.S. retirees from the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, “nineteen percent… are currently working for pay, including five percent who are employed part-time, two percent who are employed full-time, and twelve percent who are self-employed.”
More than half — 56% — of those surveyed said their top reason to keep working was “wanting the income.” The good news: You might be able to make some extra dollars via passive income — money that comes in without you doing much work, or any work at all.
Passive income is often synonymous with a large upfront investment, such as buying rental properties or dividend-producing stocks. But the following passive-income strategies can bring in extra bucks without investing a bunch of money or time.
1. Rent Out a Room in Your Home
Got an empty nest? Someone may be willing to pay to roost there. You can advertise your spare space on your own or list it on a vacation rental website such as:
- VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner)
Yes, it takes some work: You might have to keep the room tidy and wash a load of sheets and towels once the guests depart. But in some parts of the country, you can earn enough money in just a few days to cover a mortgage payment, as we will find detailed in this Airbnb course.
If you like the idea of renting a spare room in your home, we can not recommend this course enough if you are looking for a course to get you started on how to benefit immensely from your own short term rental business, Airbnb sets you out on a path to learn and discover the step by step processes needed to start up a short term rental business and make a profit.
If you’re the gregarious type, you can have fun talking up your town or even showing visitors around. If not, advertise it as a “Here’s your key, we won’t bother you” arrangement.
Some people simply want an inexpensive place to sleep and don’t care about sitting around chatting with the host.
2. Rent Out Your Vehicle or Gear
Your spare bedroom is just one of many things you could rent to others to bring in extra money. Use your imagination. Maybe you have a ladder, stroller, surfboard, bicycle, boat, camera equipment or a great selection of power tools.
Peer-to-peer rental sites like the following will help you find folks who occasionally need such things but don’t want to own them:
- RVshare (recreational vehicles)
- Turo (cars)
- Boatsetter (boats)
- Spinlister (bicycles, surfboards and snowboards)
- ShareGrid (camera equipment)
- Zilok (just about anything)
Whatever you’re renting, keep in mind that ordinary insurance might not cover the commercial use of your property. An insurance rider may cover some items, but you may need a separate policy, so consult your insurance agent.
3. Become a Peer-to-Peer Lender
What is peer-to-peer lending? In short, P2P lending sites such as Prosper accept loan applications from borrowers. Investors like you can put some of your money toward loans to those borrowers. When loans get paid back, so do you — with interest.
Overall, P2P investments “can provide solid returns that are really hard to beat,” according to financial guru Clark Howard.
As with any loan, however, there’s the possibility of default. You may not earn anything or may even lose money. Sound too complicated? Maybe this simpler form of P2P is for you: Worthy sells 36-month bonds for $10 each. The money that comes in is loaned to U.S. businesses, with lenders who have purchased these bonds getting 5% interest on their investment.
To learn more about peer-to-peer lending you can check out the detailed article we have for you here on Save Your Bucks. PEER TO PEER LENDING
4. Get Rewards for Credit-Card Spending
If you’re going to shop with plastic, make sure you’re rewarded. The form that the reward takes is up to you. Some people covet airline miles. Others take their rewards as cash or a credit against their monthly statement.
The number of rewards credit cards — and their pros and cons — can be a little dizzying. An app called Ibotta lets you earn cash rebates on purchases from retailers, restaurants or movie theaters. Or you can do your online shopping through cash-back portals like:
- Rakuten (previously known as Ebates)
- SwagBucks Shop
These websites enable you to earn cashback on purchases from thousands of online retailers. To learn more about them, check out 17 APPS THAT PAY YOU.
5. Sell Your Photos
Smartphones have made decent photography possible for just about anyone. The next time you capture a killer sunset or an adorable kid-and-dog situation, don’t keep the image to yourself. Apps like Foap — which is available for Android and Apple devices — will help you sell it.
You can do even better if you have a good digital SLR camera, a tripod and other equipment. Stock photo companies like Shutterstock and iStockphoto, which favor high-definition, high-quality images, are venues for selling images on just about any subject you can find.
6. Write an ebook
It’s possible to bring in cash without a high-powered book contract, thanks to self-publishing platforms. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, for example, allows you to write, upload and sell your words fairly easily. My two personal finance books are for sale on Kindle, and they provide a steady stream of passive income.
I also sell PDFs of the books through my website. I use a payment platform called E-junkie to handle payments and deliver the book downloads — and this brings me more money per book than Amazon does, even when I offer readers a discount.
If you’re fond of a particular fiction genre, write the kind of stuff you’d like to read.
Nonfiction sells, too: cookbooks, travel guides, history, memoirs and how-tos are a few examples. Or maybe you have a specific skill to teach — job-hunting or food preservation or raising chinchillas.
This is a huge market. You don’t need to write like a college professor-level writer to make money writing. Article writers, blog writers, review writers and more are in huge demand. Here is a course that you will find very beneficial.
7. Create an Online Course
If you’ve got useful knowledge, why not monetize it? Sites like Teachable and Thinkific will help you build a course that could change someone’s life, either professionally or personally.
Note that online courses are not limited to computer-based topics. A quick search turns up classes on:
- Digital scrapbooking
- Drone cinematography
- Novel writing
- Job hunting
- Building a pet-care business
And that’s just for starters. Like writing an ebook, creating a course will take some work. But again: Once it’s up, the work is done.
Click Here to Learn How to Make Money as a Writer
8. Join Rewards Programs
Rewards sites like Swagbucks reward you with points for activities such as searching the internet, watching short videos and taking surveys. You can cash in your points for gift cards or PayPal cash.
Maybe you didn’t retire to spend hours taking surveys. But if you’re going to search the internet anyway, why not use Swagbucks’ search engine and earn some points?
To learn more about Swagbucks, check out the article here
Another very popular website is InBox Dollars and right now they deposit $5.00 in your account when you register your free account. You register in 60 seconds and get your $5.00 deposit now.
9. Wrap Your Car with Advertising
Turn your vehicle into a rolling billboard with companies like Carvertise. They’ll pay you for the privilege of putting removable advertising decals for a business on your automobile.
Writer Kat Tretina describes the process at Student Loan Hero. You can expect to earn $100 to $400 a month, depending on how much and where you drive, she says. Requirements include having a good driving record and a vehicle that has its factory paint job.
Pro tip: Car-advertising scams make the rounds regularly. Tretina offers these tips to avoid being victimized.
Legitimate companies don’t charge an application fee, and they’ll have a customer service phone line that lets you talk with a real person. The car-wrapping cost should be covered by the company. Take a hard pass on any company that doesn’t ask questions about your driving record, auto insurance, driving routes and type of vehicle.
10. Create an App
Maybe yours is one of those minds that says, “There should be an easier way to do (whatever)— and I think I know what it is!” If so, creating an app could bring in extra income.
It could also bring in zero dollars. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? For example, personal finance writer Jackie Beck — who cleared $147,000 of debt — used her expertise to create an app called “Pay Off Debt.”
Not a coder? App-builder services exist. The WikiHow.com article “How to Create a Mobile App” tells how to get started. It’s a time-consuming process. But that’s one of the beauties of retirement:
You set your own hours.
11. Become a Package ‘Receiver’
OK, this idea is unproven — so far. But it’s a solution whose time has come. The boom in online shopping has been a boon for thieves who find it easy to swipe packages left outside front doors before intended recipients get home from work.
You might be able to do your part to thwart those lowdown thieves by marketing yourself as a “professional package receiver.”
Try this: Put the word out — through friends, social media, places of worship — that you are available to accept deliveries. If a package is for someone in your neighborhood, you could watch the shipping company’s tracking info to be at the home to take the package in. Or you could specify that packages be shipped to Original Recipient, c/o Professional Package Receiver — that’s you.
Before asking a fee of, for example, $1 per package, ask the person who wants to hire you what it’s worth to them. You might be surprised by a response like, “I’ll give you $5.” Decide, too, whether you’ll be charging per package or per order, and whether you’ll set a weight limit, such as no packages over 30 pounds.
Have you used any of these (or any other) passive income strategies? Tell us all about it in the comments.
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