The number of senior American entrepreneurs is increasing. A study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the self-employment rate among people over the age of 65 is 15.5%, which is higher than any other age group. Retired seniors are still working and many work for themselves.
Seniors still have the same entrepreneurial drive and skills as any other age group. Many are eager to learn how to make money in retirement and leverage their hobbies as jump-off spots for launching a small business. If you match the right interest or hobby with the right business plan, you can become a successful entrepreneur.
Here are seven hobbies and interests that seniors can turn into money:
1. Pet Grooming, Sitting or Walking
Are you an animal lover? If so, there are many ways you can turn this interest into an income. You can walk dogs, pet sit or offer pet grooming services. Many pet owners, especially those who travel regularly, enjoy having someone take care of their fur babies.
Sometimes, clients may want you to bathe and feed their pet, clean the litter box or cage, or give their pet medicine. If you love taking care of pets or have experience, you’re qualified!
However, you’ll need to make sure you have the strength to handle larger animals. Also, you should be able to walk long distances. And the more reviews you get, the more work you’re likely to get.
2. Taking Care of Children
Most working parents would love to work with someone who has tons of experience with children.
Do you have children and grandchildren? If so, you already know the ropes. You can offer temporary relief to parents by picking up their kids from school, or helping them with homework.
First, decide which tasks you’ll help families with. Bear in mind that you can charge more if you help kids with homework or tutor them rather than simply babysitting.
Babysitters earn $12 an hour on average; however, the rate may vary depending on the area. If your neighborhood has many families with young kids, you’ll easily find work.
There are many opportunities online; however, Rent a Grandma is specifically for senior women.
With all your experience and knowledge, you have skills you can teach, even if you didn’t work as a teacher. Teaching is one of the best money-making activities for seniors because you can tap into many of your talents.
Can you fix electronics, sew, or do your own plumbing? If so, you can teach young people these practical skills. Actually, many of the skills you may take for granted are now in high demand.
Reach out to youth groups and community colleges to see if they’re willing to pay you to teach what you know.
Depending on where and what you want to teach, you may need a college degree or other credentials, but this isn’t always the case. And, if there are no opportunities near you, you can teach online and earn some extra cash.
Do you have skills in event planning, personal finance management, or even painting?
4. Baking or Cooking
Do you love spending your time alone in the kitchen cooking your favorite recipes? If so, you can make money from this hobby.
Instead of cooking for yourself and your family, you can bake extra cakes and sell them.
Try asking a coffee shop, or getting a stand at a neighborhood farmers’ market to sell your items.
Do you love reading? Can you spot even the smallest error in a paragraph? Are you a pro at the English language? Are you detail-oriented? Then, copyediting could be the thing you should do when you retire.
Here, you’re responsible for fact-checking and correcting grammar and spelling.
You must be familiar with style guides and check to make sure the material meets the guidelines.
Are you familiar with AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style? If so, it’ll be easier for you to get a job. Many entities need copyeditors and proofreaders – including book publishers, news agencies, online content creators, and non-profit organizations.
Have you been writing as a hobby? This is one of the easiest ways to earn an extra income.
You can easily start a monetized blog, take extra copywriting work from local advertising firms, or apply for online freelance writing gigs. Also, you can do freelance writing for a newspaper or a magazine in your hometown.
If you have a good command of the language, creativity and the ability to follow instructions, then you’ll be successful. There’s always a demand for writers so there’ll be no shortage of opportunities.
Driving for Uber or Lyft is another great way to make money in the sharing economy.
Do you enjoy driving? Then, you can work on your time and earn some extra cash. Also, this is a great opportunity to get out of the house and meet new people.
Any of these seven ideas is a great way to turn a hobby or interest into an income and become a successful senior entrepreneur.