While the concept of retirement means you get to quit your job and do what you love all day, many retirees would love to earn a little income to ease their cash flow. One of the best ways to both feel retired and bring in some money is to find a way to generate cash from your hobbies. It may take a little extra effort to move something from a hobby to a small business, but with a measure of entrepreneurial spirit you can turn fun into profit. How much you can make depends a lot on the level of time you are willing to put into participating in your hobby and marketing your services or products. Here are some examples of potentially profitable hobbies.
Selling Items on eBay
If you have a vast collection of antique toys, record albums or clothing that you no longer want, you can sell them on eBay to the highest bidder to turn a profit. Some entrepreneurial types turn eBay skills into a business by buying low and selling high. If you have special expertise in a particular area or simply want to gamble a bit on something like sports tickets, you can spend hours making bids and then reselling items on other websites.
Selling Books and CDs on Amazon
Another option for people with the storage space for books and CDs is to sell your own collection through Amazon.com. You can haunt flea markets and thrift stores for bargain priced books and CDs and then resell them, but you'll have to take into account shipping costs and the hassle factor of storing and sending the items.
Selling Handmade Items on Etsy
If you love to quilt, sew or make jewelry, Etsy.com can be your marketplace. The website makes it simple to market your crafts. You can even sell vintage clothing. So, if you have a trunk full of clothes in the attic this could be a goldmine and help you clean out your closet.
Sell at Flea Markets and Yard Sales
Plenty of people love to spend their time looking for treasures and unique items at flea markets and yard sales. If this is your hobby, you can turn it into a business by snapping up bargain items and reselling them. You can also sell your handmade items, including jewelry, quilts and clothes at flea markets.
SEE: Amazing Yard Sale Finds
Teach or Tutor
One of the fastest ways to earn money on your own schedule is to become a tutor or a teacher. Whether you excel at math or English, you can offer tutoring services through your own website or with advertising at local schools. If you speak a foreign language or want to help others learn English, you can also earn money by tutoring. Other skills that can bring in plenty of students include teaching voice lessons, art or a musical instrument. Be sure to think about whether you want students to come to you or if you want to meet at a library or in their homes.
An unusual option for tutoring is eduFire.com, a website that puts students and tutors together for one-on-one sessions or group classes via computer. You'll need basic computer skills and some credentials for marketing yourself to teach any subject you want.
SEE: 6 Careers You Can Do From Home
If you've always wanted to write, look into the possibility of freelance writing for your local newspaper or for websites that specialize in something that interests you. Fiction writing is less lucrative, but if you are prolific and dedicated to submitting your work, you can make a little money with your poetry and prose.
If you are the one everyone turns to when they're looking for a suggestion for a party theme or an interesting way to entertain guests, set up a party planning website and start charging for your advice.
If you love to organize your home, you may want to offer your services to others. Just be sure you can physically handle hauling papers around or clearing out someone's closet. You can start your own business or offer to assist someone who already has a thriving business as an organizer.
Gardening and Baking
Farmers' markets have become more popular than ever and offer a great venue for selling your baked goods, plants and vegetables. Find out how much it costs to set up a stand at your local market.
Searching for Gold
If you live near a beach or a lake and enjoy being outdoors, you may want to invest in a metal detector. Now that gold and silver prices have skyrocketed, you can search for lost treasures and sell them to add cash to your pocket.
SEE: Retirement Jobs You Can Do From The Beach
The Bottom Line
The key to making money while still enjoying your retirement is to do something you already enjoy so that the hours you spend seem less like work and more like play.