Retirement can be a tricky time for many people as they age. After years of working, you finally have the chance to relax and enjoy more of your life, but it can be challenging to decide what to do with all that extra time. Many retirees still crave purpose and productivity and oftentimes end up going back to work or picking up a small job to suffice this desire. Others fear running out of money, so not having income doesn’t make retirement seem all that relaxing.
That’s why you need to foster a healthy retirement transition to stave off mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. According to a 2022 study headed by Linh Dang, retirement actually improves mental health for over 70% of aging adults who don’t have any of the risk factors associated with retirement (changes in lifestyle, age-related illness, loss of social role, etc.).
If the thought of retirement stresses you out, there are ways to keep busy and keep your mental health in check. You don’t have to jump back into the workforce or succumb to retirement obstacles. When you’re ready to start getting the best out of your golden years by doing something you love, try these five retirement hobbies you can make money off of:
1. Coin Collecting and Selling
One hobby that has been around since the 14th century and is still very lucrative is coin collecting. The sheer explorative nature of the hobby increases its popularity and sustainability as a viable source of income. You can make as little as $10 or even thousands for a single coin! Coin collecting can also help you stay active as you scour the globe for those historical coins that’ll attract the right coin enthusiasts.
Before you begin your coin collection, you’ll want to first do your research. The coin-collecting business comes with its own set of terminology and jargon that you’ll need to familiarize yourself with before you can consider yourself an authority. Be sure to learn about the different types of coins, from Barber coins to Lincoln cents, and how they are graded and minted. Learn how to negotiate a fair price for a coin based on strike, composition, variety, and key date. Once you have a good understanding of the basics, you can dive into the collection process. Here are some ideas on how to find quality coins:
- Use a metal detector in your yard, schoolyards, vacant lands, historic lands, beaches, parks, and the like
- Keep your eyes peeled for coins to trade in change bins at local grocery stores and shops
- Attend coin shows and auctions to find rare coins and learn from industry experts
- Buy coins online from a reputable dealer, as these types of coins are worth a great deal and move fast
Once you have a large selection of coins, you can start selling them for a profit. You can do this online or at neighboring coin shows. You can keep an inventory of coins that are likely to be purchased quickly or ones that are expected to increase in value further down the road. Either way, coin collecting and selling can be a fun and rewarding experience that’ll put extra funds in your pocket.
2. Crafting and DIY Projects
If you’re the creative type or enjoy working with your hands, crafting and DIY (do-it-yourself) projects are great hobbies to pursue in retirement. There’s no limit to what you can do here as you let your imagination and talents flourish. Whether you want to pick up something entirely new or expound on a lifelong hobby, retirement provides endless possibilities to explore.
Before jumping into a creative business venture, it’s important to know the trends in the market, like what sorts of products people like buying and what type of competition there is. Many creatives don’t like this step in the process, but it can still be stress-free if done right. Consider having a clear business plan, some financial projections, a marketing strategy, and a plan for affording materials and supplies.
If you have a strong skill set in your chosen craft, not only will the result be high quality, but the joy you get from enhancing others’ lives while earning money makes it worthwhile. Here are some crafting and DIY project ideas to think about:
- Knitting or crocheting clothing
- Woodworking and furniture building
- Painting, pottery, or recycled art pieces
- Candle or soap making
- Découpage or epoxy resin household products
- Designing printed fashions like t-shirts, shoes, and handbags.
After finding your creative direction, you can start making money by selling the finished product online on your website or in marketplaces like Etsy. You can even sell them at craft shows or host craft parties at your home. Once you’ve built up a great customer base, consider teaching classes and leading workshops so others can learn how to do what you do. This is an excellent way to share your knowledge and generate more funds for your crafting business.
Photography is another hobby that can be incredibly creative and profitable. If you have a good eye for detail and enjoy capturing moments, photography may be the perfect activity for you during retirement. Even though tripod selfies are displacing traditional picture-taking methods, you can still make yourself useful by providing an experience one can’t create on their own.
To build a portfolio you can be proud of, you may want to invest in a good camera, lighting, and professional photo editing software. Learn the basic concepts of photography to enhance your composition like exposure, aperture, focal length, depth of field, shutter speed, etc. Then you can start taking pictures that interest you. Popular photographed subjects can include:
- Portraits (family, business)
- Events (weddings, nightlife)
- eCommerce products.
You can sell these as prints, stock photography, or sell your photography services directly to consumers. What’s great is that this hobby can be as physically intensive or light as you’d like, depending on the subject and how much gear you want to carry. When done right, photography is a hobby that’ll create passive income while memorializing your experiences with the world around you.
4. Pet Sitting and Dog Walking
Animal lovers might not know that pet sitting and dog walking can be satisfying ways to earn money during retirement. Many pet owners need someone to care for their pets while on vacation or during busy hours of the day. You can use your free time to help pet families out and put money in your pocket — not bad for such a simple task that’ll also keep you on your feet!
It’s important to draw the line between a full-on business and a hobby. If you still want to spend most of your retirement in comfort, you could offer pet-sitting and dog-walking services to family members, friends, and neighbors. This way, you won’t overexert yourself; it can be physically demanding and time-consuming with a full roster.
If you prefer to push it up a notch, start advertising your services online, in local newspapers, or in pet stores. You may get busy pretty quickly, but it’s a fantastic way to give yourself your sense of purpose.
The outdoors is an ideal place for retirees. Taking in nature can be a relaxing way to stay healthy and happy. This is why turning a gardening hobby into a flourishing side hustle is a smart choice. You can protect your pockets while preserving nature by learning how to garden. Start small with a few potted plants or jump head first with a full garden.
As with any other hobby, take your time to learn the basics:
- Decide whether you want an indoor or outdoor garden
- Choose the right seeds, soil, lighting, and other growing conditions
- Come up with a plan to deter pests and rodents.
Once you’ve perfected your green thumb, it’s time to monetize your efforts. You can start selling your produce to neighbors, local restaurants, or at farmers’ markets. You can even sell your plants, and seeds from your plants, online to other gardeners. If you want to pick up the pace, consider starting a landscaping business to offer services to others who need help with their greenery.
Tips For Marketing Your Retirement Hobby Business
No matter which hobby you wish to pursue, getting the word out about what you do is key to making it a success. Here are some tips to help you market effectively:
- Build a website to showcase your work, attract potential customers, and process orders.
- Don’t skimp on social media. Your social media presence is going to help you reach more people much faster.
- Stay active, engaged, and knowledgeable by attending local events and trade shows. Networking with other professionals and potential clients is a great way to expand.
- Learn how to increase your revenue streams like the pros with marketing strategies.
- Offer promotions and discounts to build your client base.
Retirement doesn’t have to be a time of boredom or financial strain. By pursuing a retirement hobby you enjoy, you can not only keep yourself on your toes and mentally healthy, but you can also earn some extra income. Whether you are the creative type, more outdoorsy, an animal lover, or a collecting connoisseur, start using your gifts to reinvigorate your retirement years!