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What can a baby boomer do in retirement?

If, like me, you are looking forward to retirement but are wondering just how retired you want to be or can afford to be, you may be looking at ways to use your time.  There are lots of volunteer options and I am sure you can find them on your own, but what about if you want to earn a little money for your efforts?

There are lots of websites that offer baby boomers or stay at home folk a way to make money.  The thing is, it’s usually ‘a’ way, one way. So to find a good cross section of ideas is going to take you quite a while.  If you search the internet – one website at a time – you will find many ideas and opportunities.  I’m just not sure that they’re opportunities, at least, they are, but for the person selling the deal, not for you. So, since I have thought about this a lot, and researched a few things too, I thought I’d share my musings with you in the hope that you will share your musing with me.

The latest advice to baby boomers on how to make money in retirement usually centres around the internet.  There is ebay, blogging, affiliate marketing, your own website, selling information products including courses and e books and/or advice.  (On another of these pages you will find my adventures on ebay.)

I’m sure you you’ve read about or seen items on tv about fabulous fortunes made on ebay  – without any experience.  You read the same sorts of stories about internet entrepreneurs who have made fabulous sums in 1 month selling pre-written ebooks, or who use ghost writers to write books and reports to sell for $19.95 and make a fortune.  These people exist, I have even met one, but the chances of you or me being that successful, that quickly are remote.  I do intend it to happen for me, I just don’t expect it to happen in a month or two.

For instance, I read about someone who made a fabulous living buying and selling oriental rugs on ebay – buying them from people who don’t know much and reselling them on ebay – it’s called “arbitrage” and is perfectly legal.  But the thing is, he knew heaps about the rug market.  So, the story was something like “ new to ebay but made thousands in his first month” – yes he did, but he already had stuff to sell, he knew about his product, and he knew how to buy and sell and he probably already had a list to sell to.  The only thing he was learning was ebay.  If you’re an ordinary bod, like me, you will have to learn all about your market and about ebay.  You probably won’t be making thousands per month for quite a while.

I’ve also read a lot things starting with “ how to get going on ebay in 3 minutes or less” or “How I made $50,000 in my first month” or “How to buy 5 properties in under 2 years” or “Property Development that you can do too” or “we fired the banks and now we’re millionaires”.

You can get going on ebay in 3 minutes or less if you already have an ebay account, know a lot about ebay, your computer, the internet generally, have that sort of mind set and know the jargon.  It will take you more than 3 minutes to sign up for an account.  And if you list your stuff in haste – you will repent at leisure.

You can buy 5 properties by firing the banks, you can learn share trading, you can become a property developer.  What I found out however – through first hand experience – is that the most important thing in being successful at any of these things is – do you have the mindset?  Are you that sort of a person?  I suspect that if you are you would have done it before now.

I don’t want to discourage you – I just want to save you $5, $6, $7 thousand or so – which is what many of those programs cost.  And please consider this – the program you buy will not make the money for you.  The program will give you the tools but YOU still have to do the work, you have to search for properties, you have to research the shares, you have to buy and sell the product and take the risk, you have to learn how to use the internet – thoroughly.

Anyway, I wanted to list out some ways you could earn money in retirement while you’re learning how to make a fortune on the internet – or perhaps instead of :

  • 1.            Do the job you’ve been doing, but only do it one day a week.  I’m a bus driver, I do it half a day a week, not enough to live on but gives me spending money.
  • If you were an accountant, be a bookkeeper for one business – a small one that only needs you occasionally.
  • If you were a barber or hairdresser, cut a little hair on the side (excuse the pun).
  • If you were an electrician – fix small appliances in your garage.
  • And so on.
  • 2.            Hobbies – growing plant cuttings, carving wooden animals, embroidering things, crocheting things, knitting things.  You can sell them at stalls, do them as orders for people, teach people how to do it themselves.
  • 3.            Markets – occasional stalls at trash and treasure markets.
  • 4.            Run classes in something you know about – vegie gardening, writing articles, painting …….
  • 5.            Tutor or mentor some-one in something you know about.  There are lots of students who need help with their English, or their grammar or their comprehension.
  • 6.            Rent out your spare room to a student.
  • 7.            Rent out your garage for storage.
  • 8.            Rent out your driveway if you live near a congested area where people need to park all day.
  • 9.            Babysit.
  • 10.            Handyman – odd jobs and/or gardening.
  • 11.            Handywoman – sewing, mending, cooking, ironing.
  • 12.            Pet sit or pet walk.
  • 13.            Be some-one’s driver for a day.
  • 14.            Start to sell things you have been collecting – coins, stamps, Lladro ornaments.  Perhaps you’re thinking that they’re the kids’ inheritance – but ask the kids if they want them.  Also ask yourself why you should do it tough so that your kids can inherit something they may not want, may not know what to do with, may not value at all and may not even deserve.  If you’re sitting on an asset and you need the money to make you more comfortable – sell it.
  • 15.            I just got an email from a friend who suggested phone sex.  Yecccch you go!  And she may not have been serious, but think about it for a bit.  It may just suit you.  And you can do it from home in your flannel pyjamas!  And to hell with the wrinkles and saggy bits.
  • 16.            See my story about the Two old Ladies Tea Shop.
  • 17.            Join a reputable MLM company – there are some, and if you like people and social interaction this may be an ideal way to make a little extra (or a lot, depending on how hard you want to work).  I have joined one such company.  If you are interested, click here.

I have also come across a coach who offers to help people sort themselves out regarding retirement.  You can find her here.

Let me know how you go and what you do,I’m sure others would be interested too.

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