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Turn Your Hobbies into Cash/Retirement Income

Longer life expectancy, especially among women, inflation erosion, the current JDX programme’s effect on pension plan investments and increasing day to day expenses all contribute to many retirees having to think of a way to earn extra income. 


For some people, retiring early or at normal retirement age is already planned and they have already made provisions for this stage of their lives. Unfortunately, when that particular day starts, it suddenly dawns on them that what they previously thought would be sufficient to maintain them is no longer applicable. What’s the solution?


Don’t underestimate your natural talents and abilities such as cooking, gardening, writing, painting, to name a few. Any of them could possibly be your avenue to becoming an income earner. Always focus on doing something that you love and look forward to spending your time on, otherwise the project may not be as fulfilling as you would like.


So let’s look at how you could take advantage of your hobbies for financial rewards.


·        If you consider yourself a good cook, enter your dishes into a cooking competition to win cash prizes or teach cooking classes in your community.  Take pride in using your mother’s cooking recipes that you enjoyed and then add some extra spice to it.  Do you remember the name Colonel Saunders and the business called Kentucky Fried Chicken now KFC?  This renowned international successful business started with Colonel Saunders when he retired and looked at his paycheck.  Will you be the next colonel Saunders and leave a rich legacy for your heirs.


·        Is writing poems, short stories or more up your street? Look into competitions where you can submit articles or stories that will reward you for your creativity and who knows, maybe even publish your work. If you do go the publishing route, it would be advisable to do it yourself online versus going through a publishing house as you get to keep 100% of the profit and can profit from retaining control over the marketing of the books/stories as long as enough viable buyers exist. Check out, which is a great tool for authors and creative artists to publish their work and receive royalties.


·        Have a knack for giving good advice or have any unused skill? Like information technology, engineering even medical technology or education. With the global recession forcing many to rethink how and what they focus on to compete with the other players, these skills could be beneficial as a consultant to some companies especially small and medium sized ones.


·        Collecting Antiques is a hobby that many people find therapeutic while earning some income on the side. You could utilize craft fairs or garage sales to pick up some antiques or even sell them yourself. Using E-Bay as another sales channel option can also prove worthwhile, as it will open your antiques to a much wider niche market.


·        Jewelry Making - if you have a love for jewelry, precious stones or shells, maybe using them to make jewelry for resale is just what you need to do in order to make some extra money. This pastime doesn’t require a big financial outlay for tools or materials and it can be confined to a relatively small space to start with.


·        Photography - Do you have a digital camera sitting at home hardly being used? Do you love the outdoors? Do you love to travel? Turn that camera and innate love for the above into a residual income earner by taking some quality pictures of the sights and images that you come across which people would be interested in buying and create a mini-exhibition of them online; enter photography competitions or at art/craft exhibitions. A picture says a thousand words! Start clicking!


·        Freelancing - If you were a good writer, teacher, designer, researcher, child minder, etc, you could look at selling your service online by creating samples of your work and talking to friends and family who can refer you to potential clients who have an interest in what you do. Your talents and skills that you learned during your lifetime can be vital to those who are in need of them.


·        Use your home as an income earner - Remember that the extra room/s in your home is/are cash cows for earning residual income on a monthly or weekly basis, especially with the present seller’s market out there. If you live near to a university or college, call them and find out the options for renting your room/s to a student. Maybe look at the option of renting to tourists who are looking to experience living with a local as opposed to a hotel-type setting.


·        Teaching - Your business, technical, vocational skills and/or knowledge can be a source of retirement income as an e-distance tutor even without a teaching degree. Once you have access to a computer, your vast experience can be utilized to teach what you know to the next generation. There is also the possibility of being an external examiner if you are familiar with the subject to be examined and have a Master’s or PHD.


Earning an extra income in retirement is as easy as turning your hobbies into cash rich business.  Running a business is not only about income for yourself but also paying your taxes.  So find an accountant who can organize your business in a professional manner, who will look at your revenues, expenses and profits.  At this stage of your life earning an income continues to have the same objective: to provide an income for yourself and your heirs.  If you have no heirs you could consider being a donor to a non-profit organization or even setting up a charitable organization.


     You should not do a business that is stressful and will not allow you to spend time to be with your family and friends.       Enjoy it all and give thanks.

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