3 Easy Ways to Make Money from any Hobby in Retirement

May 22, 2018

If you think that retirement means kissing your earning power goodbye, think again. There are numerous, diverse ways to maintain an income stream and have fun at the same time. You have the added luxury of setting your own hours and vacationing whenever you like. When you get tired of one job, you can take up another.

Consider all those hobbies and interests you never seemed to have time for when you were working. What activities are so enjoyable to you that you’d do them for free? What would have been your second career choice? What talents or skills make your friends and family members envious? Is there a subject in which you have extensive knowledge?

Putting your special gifts to work for you is not only lucrative, but it’s highly fulfilling. Here are three ways to turn your golden years into pure gold.


Teach Digitally or Traditionally

The digital age has created countless opportunities for thought leaders who want to make money. There’s no better time to capitalize on your knowledge, and you can do that without ever leaving your home.

Here are just a few online opportunities for good teachers:

  • Academic tutoring via live video chat
  • Standardized test prepping and scoring
  • English as a second language or foreign language tutoring
  • Educational consulting
  • Educational writing

Webinar series, which are seminars taught over the internet, can be highly lucrative if they attract followers and advertisers. There’s an endless list of topics that you may have firsthand experience with:

  • Personal financial management or retirement planning
  • Starting a business
  • Event planning
  • Public speaking
  • Specialized skills such as calligraphy, old-fashioned photo development, graphic arts or sign language
  • Chess, bridge, poker or blackjack
  • Interpersonal relations
  • Parenting
  • Personal growth strategies such as time management, organization, positive thinking or memory improvement
  • Health and lifestyle topics like nutrition, exercise, kitchen remodeling or entertaining at home

If you were a teacher by profession, you can always return to a traditional classroom setting with more flexible hours and less commitment. Substitute teaching and assisting teachers with planning and grading school work are possibilities.

retirement hobby - teaching

If you handle stress well, you could become a certified driving instructor or teach defensive driving.

Consider teaching in your own home or a rented space. Have you mastered a musical instrument such as piano or guitar? Lessons are always in demand. Cooking, art, photography and computer technology are also popular pursuits.

If you’re athletic or like being outdoors, apply to be a school coach or personal trainer at the gym. Stay fit by teaching aerobics or swimming lessons.

Do you like working with animals? People are always looking for qualified dog trainers. Put your equestrian skills to use and teach horseback riding.

There never seem to be enough teachers for yoga, Pilates, Zumba and ballroom dancing classes, and no, you’re not too old for those.


Build and Restore

This is a great time to be skilled with your hands. The home renovation business is booming. People love owning one-of-a-kind items and giving customized gifts. Online craft sites like Etsy, Handmade Artist’s Shop and Folksy draw heavy traffic.


Rare skills are in hot demand:

Car restoration or mechanics

Classic cars are all the rage, but fewer and fewer people have the know-how to restore them these days. Ongoing maintenance and repair work could keep you busy for years to come.



If you can restore old pieces or build custom furniture with reclaimed wood, you could turn your own garage into a gold mine. Customized dining sets, bookshelves, rocking chairs, baby cribs, workbenches and picture frames never go out of style. If you’re not up to big projects, you could always teach classes.

There’s an additional perk to making money. Woodworkers are known for their low levels of stress.


Arts and Crafts

If you create truly unique items and market them well, an e-commerce effort will pay off handsomely. Distinctive handmade clothing, flip-flops, hair accessories, jewelry, candles, soap, dishes, pillows, quilts, scrapbooks and toys sell briskly.

Cooking, baking and catering are always profitable if you have special talent. Customized goods like golf clubs or chess sets sell for top dollar. Leatherworking, upholstering, garden planning, landscaping, designing closets, wiring home entertainment systems and staging homes for real estate agents are other ideas to spark your imagination.



Brush up on your grammar. If you’re not especially people-oriented and like working in your pajamas, this is the career for you.

Even as traditional newspapers and magazines are bowing to digital publications, there seem to be more opportunities for wordsmiths than ever before. Blogging, for instance, can be very fruitful if you develop a large enough following and attract a lot of advertisers.

Here’s an example: In 2002, a social worker and accomplished cook named Julie Powell challenged herself to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Not only that, but Powell set a time limit of one year to master Child’s 524 recipes. It was a stroke of genius to write a daily blog about her adventure.

It took a while, but the blog’s popularity eventually exploded. Advertisers sponsored the project, and readers sent spices, unusual food products and even monetary support. Powell’s book about the whirlwind year was a best-seller, and the subsequent film starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep was a hit.

It’s rare for a blogger to enjoy that degree of success, but a few make a decent income. The most successful blogs address just one topic or category of interest. Examples of narrow topics include extreme winter sports, travel in Singapore and debunked conspiracy theories. Nursing, antique collecting and home decorating are broad categories with many directions to take.

Your blog may generate revenue through advertising or promoting your goods and services.

Check out other terrific opportunities:

  • Writing guest blogs on specialized subjects, such as genealogy, in which you have knowledge and experience
  • Submitting articles or lifestyle columns to newspapers and magazines
  • Writing newsletters
  • Writing technical manuals or training materials for companies or schools
  • Writing personal or business website content
  • Writing internet content
  • Authoring an e-book or conventionally published novel
  • Doing medical transcription
  • Writing for greeting card companies

There is also plenty of work for copy editors and proofreaders.

Be sure to search industry websites and testimonials to verify that online writing platforms are legitimate. Reputable sites don't typically charge you to join or require you to buy expensive training materials.

Retirement opens a world of possibilities. What are you waiting for? Discover your next livelihood and start laughing all the way to the bank.


Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC is a federally registered investment adviser. The information, statements and opinions expressed in this material are provided for general information only, are based on data we believe to be accurate at the time of writing, and are subject to change without notice. This material does not take into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs, is not intended as a recommendation to purchase or sell any security, and is not intended as individual or specific advice. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC unless a client service agreement is in place.

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