8 (Almost) Mindless (But Fun) Ways to Make Money, Especially During Retirement

Retirement…it sounded so relaxing. But now, days stretch out endlessly, and that nagging sense of boredom won’t leave you alone. According to the Pew analysis, the percentage of Americans 65 and older who were employed increased from 11% in 1987 to 19% in 2023. (source) But why this significant jump? The answer isn’t just financial necessity; it’s also about fighting off boredom and staying connected to the community. Many retirees find that sitting still doesn’t suit them—they crave engagement, purpose, and a little extra cash. Whether it’s leveraging decades of expertise as consultants, greeting guests at national parks, or simply walking a neighbor’s dog, modern retirees are redefining what it means to step back from full-time work. Here is a thorough section on how retired individuals can supplement their income, with an emphasis on the factors that influence their decision to work after retirement:

1. Retail Greeter

Working as a greeter at large retail stores like Walmart or Target is a popular choice among retirees.  Standing at the store’s entrance, grinning and offering assistance to guests, this position comprises answering simple inquiries about the store’s layout and occasionally helping them with directions.  It’s perfect for retirees who enjoy social interaction and want a job that doesn’t require heavy lifting or high stress. This role provides a stable, part-time income while allowing retirees to maintain a social lifestyle, and meet new people every day.

2. Theme Park Employee

Retirees can bring a touch of magic to theme parks like Disneyland or Disney World, working in various roles that may include operating attractions, selling tickets, or handling food services.  These positions are particularly appealing because of their dynamic environment and the joy of interacting with families and children from around the globe. Flexible scheduling is a major plus, enabling retirees to work when they choose, especially during peak seasons when parks are busiest and the atmosphere is most vibrant.

3. Consulting

Leveraging decades of professional experience, many retirees opt to consult within their former industries. This option allows them to stay connected to the professional world without the demands of a full-time job.  Consultants may work on a project basis, providing advice, designing business strategies, or helping to troubleshoot specific problems.  Depending on the industry and demand, such employment might significantly increase their income in addition to keeping their minds active.

4. Tutoring or Substitute Teaching

Retired educators often find fulfillment and financial benefit in tutoring students or stepping in as substitute teachers.  Whether helping a high school student prepare for college entrance exams or teaching a small class in a local school, these roles allow retirees to continue imparting knowledge and values.  It’s a flexible job choice that can be deeply rewarding, offering a sense of purpose and connection to the younger generation.

5. Freelance Work

The freelance market offers a plethora of opportunities for retirees with specific skill sets such as writing, graphic design, or even accounting.  Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr simplify the process of finding work that can be done from the comfort of home.  This flexibility is ideal for retirees looking to balance work with leisure or family time. The variety of projects available can provide stimulating challenges and rewarding outcomes.

6. Rideshare Driving

For retirees who enjoy driving and meeting new people, working with rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft offers an excellent source of income with a very flexible schedule.  Drivers can choose their hours and are their bosses, which appeals to many who want to work on their terms.  In addition to providing a means of income, the position offers the chance to travel throughout the city and socialize with a diverse range of individuals.

7. Event Staff

Working as event staff at venues hosting concerts, sports events, or conferences can be an exciting option for retirees.  They may be involved in various capacities, from ticket taking and seat guidance to managing vendor areas or overseeing part of the event logistics.  A job such as this keeps retirees at the forefront of exciting developments and cultural happenings, providing a fresh perspective on retirement life.

8. Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

For animal lovers, pet sitting or dog walking is a rewarding way to earn extra money. This job not only involves caring for pets but also provides physical activity and outdoor time, which are beneficial for health.  Many retirees enjoy the flexibility to set their schedules and the joy of bonding with pets, making it a fulfilling way to stay active and engaged within their community.