If you’re already in your 50s or 60s, you’ve probably got a wealth of skills and knowledge to capitalize on plus, your children don’t need 24 hour supervision so a second, part-time job, changing jobs or a side business are more doable.
Consider which of these options will work for you:
Get out of your comfort job – look for a new employer who will pay more for your skill set.
It’s a well documented fact that changing employers, even in a lateral move, can increase your salary by 15, 20 even 25 percent or more.
If you have skills that can transfer to a variety of businesses (human resource management, finance, marketing), seek out employers in growing sectors. For example, if the oil business is a down cycle with prices and production falling, the car manufactures and sellers tend to benefit because drivers buy bigger more expensive and profitable vehicles.
Shopping around while holding down a full-time job isn’t always easy but it’s a whole lot less stressful than job hunting when you really need a job. Make a list of requirements and of perks you’d like to acquire and be sure you brush up on your negotiation skills to get the most bang for your job change. When you get up-to-speed on social media and online networking in your field, you may find a great new job comes knocking at your in-box!
In addition, you may have a sizable 401k you can roll over into an IRA and reduce the fees you’re paying the custodian so you keep more of what you’ve already saved.
Ask your current employer for a raise.
If you have an offer from your job search, or your research reveals that you’re severely underpaid, you may be able to leverage that into more money (as salary or deferred compensation) at your current employer.
You’ll want to prepare a convincing presentation based on your productivity and your market research. By boning up on your negotiating skills, you may be able to take home a bigger paycheck without making a drastic change.
Add freelancing to your routine.
Here’s another way to use your existing skills without changing your day job. Use your off hours to help other businesses or individuals (but avoid direct competitors of your employer) and increase your earnings.
Freelance opportunities, online and off, are almost endless. You can work through an established site like upwork.com (formerly odesk) or elance or directly with clients you find via networking online at sites like LinkedIn or in-person at industry events and associations.
Remember that you will receive a 1099 Misc. Income form and will be responsible for paying all the taxes including the employer portion of social security and medicare taxes. A good rule-of-thumb is your freelance rates need to be at least 25% higher than your salaried rates to cover the taxes.
You’ll also want a simple contract to clarify what your duties are and how you’ll be paid.
Start a side business.
Are you free on the weekends or evenings?
- If you like animals, start a pet sitting business.
- If you prefer young children, start a nanny (babysitting) business.
- Like to garden? Offer to design and set-up a backyard garden for your brown-thumbed neighbors!
These are just a couple possibilities. Almost any skill or aptitude you have developed over your lifetime can be parlayed into a small side business.
Teach what you know.
- Maybe you’ve successfully obtained a certification or entry into a prestigious program.
- Maybe you successfully negotiated a tricky personal or career transition.
- Maybe you know how to teach people to trim a poodle. Or,
- Maybe you are an expert at handmade arts?
These are all things others will pay you to show them how to do!
You can leverage your knowledge by becoming a coach, a tutor or by producing informational products (books, videos, courses) to sell. Sites such as Udemy, Linda.com and Skillshare host and sell hundreds of training programs for independent instructors. Publishing a Kindle ebook on Amazon is quick and almost free.
You can also sell finished products without spending your weekends at craft fairs. Sites like Etsy.com and Amazon’s Craft Marketplace get your handmade items in front of a worldwide audience at reasonable cost.
Become part of the Gig economy.
If you’ve got more time, you can set yourself up to lead tours of local tourist attractions, or become a driver for hire via Uber or Lyft.
You can do seasonal work at businesses that experience big surges during certain times of year (i.e. the end-of-year holidays for retailers and etailers), do household chores through sites like taskrabbit.com or run your own classified ads on Craigslist.
Do you know how to cook? Start a personal chef business or do the cooking for working families via www.kitchensurfing.com.
There must be something in this list that could help you increase your income to supplement your retirement accounts. Give one or two a try and see how much extra you can add to your savings now so you can enjoy your golden years even more later.