As we reach our 60s, many of us are looking for creative ways to make money in retirement. Some of us are looking to earn some extra cash for luxuries, like travel and entertainment. Others are focused simply on surviving in a low interest rate environment in which it feels like we are paying the bank to hold our money.
Since most of us are reluctant to talk about our financial situation, I wanted to open this up for discussion here. By sharing our own experiences with making money in retirement, I hope that we can inspire each other to take positive steps to improve our lives.
First, I’ll share a few of my own experiences. Then, I’ll open this up for discussion.
When, in my early 60s, I left my corporate job at Siemens to start Sixty and Me, I was terrified. I know that it would be years before Sixty and Me made any money. In fact, I wasn’t sure that I would ever see a penny from the work that I was doing in establishing the community.
All I knew was that I wanted to help women my age to get more from life after 60. If I made a little extra money along the way, so much the better.
Since Social Security was still several years away, I had to find a way to support myself, while I built Sixty and Me. So, I did an inventory of my skills and decided to work as a freelance writer.
I created a profile on Elance (now Upwork) and contacted everyone who I had every worked with to see if they needed help with article writing, community management or marketing.
Over the next few years, I wrote about everything from breastpumps and computers to honey and travel. I didn’t make a lot of money. But, I made enough to keep me going.
What did I learn from this experience? A few things. First, I learned that simply posting your profile on a site like Upwork won’t get you anywhere. There are literally thousands of people ready to apply for every job.
If you want to make money as a freelance writer (or any freelancer for that matter), you will need to take matters into your own hands. This could involve starting your own blog and becoming recognized as an expert on the topic that you want to write about. It will almost certainly require you to touch base with everyone who you have worked with in the past. You may even need to write a few articles for free until you have established yourself.
Second, I learned that “doing what you love” doesn’t always give you “the life that you deserve.” If you want to make money in retirement, you need to find the sweet-spot between what you love and what people need. As a freelancer, I had to write about topics that I had absolutely no interest in. It wasn’t always fun, but, it gave me the freedom to keep working on what I did love – Sixty and Me.
Over the last few years, I have had the opportunity to talk with hundreds of women in the community about how they are making money in retirement. Some women are renting out a spare room in their house. Others are doing freelance writing. Still others are selling their jewelry, paintings or other craft-related items. I even know one women who is working as a mystery shopper! Now that’s a job that I could get into!
Since we have 350,000 women over 60 in our community, I’m sure that we have many amazing ideas to share. Please take a few minutes to share your ideas. The other women in our community want to hear from you!
What are you doing to make a little extra money in retirement? What have you learned about making money since you reached your 60s? What advice would you like to offer to the other women in our community who may be struggling a bit financially? Please join the conversation!