For many people, the thought of retirement elicits happy feelings of not having to spend their days in thrall to their jobs and the monotony of the 9-5. But be warned. The days of retiring with a signed company watch and golden handshake are long gone as current economic realities and shrinking pensions mean that many people approach their retirement with stress and anxiety.
For many, the worry is that they may not have enough savings to enjoy their retirement and will be forced to continue working, in one way or another, for longer than expected in order to continue generating income.
You may also want to read my private pension advice guide
Fortunately, it’s not all bad news as there are ways you can go about generating incomes. And, with a little bit of creativity and outside-the-box thinking, retirees can make money and still enjoy a retirement that is free from the stress of the 9-5.
Discover how to approach your retirement feeling confident that you’ll be able to generate a passive income without having to work, allowing you to enjoy well-deserved rest for many years to come. From renting your assets, to investing, to buying property abroad, there’s truly an option for everyone.
1. Rent What You Already Own
One incredibly easy and straightforward way of generating income, but one that’s often overlooked, is by renting what you already own. And if you do not have the luxury of having a property portfolio in your old age, you need not worry as it’s not just real estate that you can rent out. If you have an extra room, now that the kids have flown the coop, then you can rent that out.
Although renting is becoming an increasing popular option for retirees, the majority own their home when they decide to stop working. In fact, 76.2 percent of households aged 50 and over—and 78.7 percent of households aged 65 and over—own their homes. That means that there are many retirees with a passive income source just waiting to be tapped.
If you own your own home (and even if you’re still paying off your mortgage), renting out your space is a great option to generate income. If you enjoy traveling or find yourself going out of town to visit family or friends for months at a time, consider renting out your house while you’re away. Especially if you live in a geographically desirable area, there’s a lot of money to be made by offering your house as a vacation rental. And there’s a great deal of vacation rental software out there that will help you manage and rent out your property.
If you prefer staying closer to home or don’t like the idea of renting your entire home out to others, you can still consider renting parts of your space. Do you have a basement you can turn into a rental suite? A garage that could be rented as a rehearsal space, studio, or even storage? An extra room that you wouldn’t mind renting on Airbnb or Guesty from time to time? The sky’s the limit.
If renting out real estate doesn’t work for you, you still have options. You can also rent out parking spaces, vehicles, or equipment and power tools, compressors, and generators. Check out:
- RVshare (recreational vehicles)
- SpotHero (parking spaces)
- Turo (cars)
- FriendWithA (power tools)
Of course, setting yourself up on these platforms will take time and effort, as will managing your bookings and profile. It’s also important to do your research, establish systems that work for you, and determine what your insurance will cover and what it won’t if you find yourself in a sticky situation. Nevertheless, it’s a great option to generate passive income for your retirement or pay off any outstanding debts you may still have.
2. Get Serious About Investing
For many recently retired individuals, the thought of investing a large sum of money can be intimidating, especially as, for many retirees, these savings are not only their nest egg for the future but also represent years of hard work and saving. Nevertheless, getting serious about investing is a great way of ensuring you always have an active revenue source (as well as using your money to make money) when you stop working.
Making the first step into investment is a lot less daunting now as there is a wide range of extremely useful resources and tools available online that will help you make the first steps in your investment journey.
In fact, the wealth of tools available nowadays can be a little overwhelming. But if you’re interested in investing in general, you’ll likely enjoy taking advantage of your extra time and learning about all the different investment opportunities out there, as well as checking out our useful breakdown of some great investment plans and platforms.
Those looking to use their money wisely should try to ensure that they are building a diverse investment portfolio. At the same time, avoid ventures that seem to be overly risky or are in sectors that you know nothing about. Ideally, your investments should be safe enough to protect your income and savings, but still profitable enough to continue to generate income throughout your retirement. Many retirees choose to break their retirement down into five-year segments rather than trying to develop an investment strategy for their entire retirement at once.
If you want to start familiarizing yourself with your options, check out these popular, relatively low-risk investment options:
- Robo-advisors: Digital platforms that invest your money for you based on algorithms rather than financial advisors. Robo-advisors are great for beginners as they’re cheap and there’s little to no effort or special knowledge required on your part. Check out platforms like SoFi and Vanguard.
- Index funds: Investment funds based on a group of securities, also known as an index. Rather than depending on individual stocks, your returns depend on the overall movement of your index. For this reason, index funds are considered relatively safe, low-risk investments with reliable returns in the long-term. Some of the most popular index funds in 2022 are Fidelity ZERO Large Cap Index (FNILX), Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO), and Schwab S&P 500 Index Fund (SWPPX), but there are countless options to choose from.
- Real estate: We’ve already talked about renting your spaces, but there are other ways to make money with real estate. For example, real estate crowdfunding allows you to buy a share in a large piece of real estate. Then, you’ll get a percentage of the income it generates in return. This is a great option if you’re interested in the more tangible nature of real estate investments, but don’t want the administrative hassle associated with being a landlord. Browse these real estate crowdfunding platforms for more information.
3. Buy Real Estate Abroad
We know what you’re thinking. How can I make more money by buying something? Well, it’s not as contradictory as it might seem and is yet another great way of generating passive income during your retirement, especially if you take into consideration the strong value of the dollar abroad.
If you’re up to the challenge of managing a property outside of the US and being a landlord, buying property abroad is a great investment. First, you’ll need to do your research about what kind of property you’d like to buy and where you’d like to own property. Of course, this process is easier when looking to buy property in a place you’ve visited before or have some kind of personal connection to. It also makes the most sense to buy property somewhere that you see yourself wanting to visit over and over again throughout your retirement as even the most hands-off of landlords will occasionally need to check on a property every now and then.
Many people also view real estate as a great investment because it’s a safe, tangible investment that’s less volatile than the stock market and reliably accrues value over time.
When you own a property abroad, you’ll be able to rent it out when you’re not staying there yourself, which produces a regular and reliable source of income when managed well and can even come with tax benefits.
Thanks to the large choice of vacation rental property management software available on the market, managing properties has become easier than ever. If your property is in a popular tourist location, not only will you be giving yourself and your family the chance to take vacations abroad and enjoy making memories together, but you are also sure to enjoy strong demand from those wanting to make a booking.
Depending on your personal interests, some retirees enjoy making projects out of buying real estate and trying their hand at house flipping. That means buying property, improving it, and then selling it at a profit. This is a particularly good option if you have previous experience house flipping, enjoy home improvements, or just want to take on a new challenge in your retirement years.
That said, before committing, and as with any major financial decision, do your research and consult with a lawyer. Even if the country you’re interested in allows foreigners to buy homes, you may be required to obtain special residence permits or have other requirements you will need to fulfil. This is where a local lawyer who has experience in the sector will prove invaluable to you.
4. Learn to Delegate
The secret to success, be it in the world of business, politics, or family life, is learning to trust and delegate successfully. This last tip is just as important in your retirement as it is in your working life. Successful people have a team and structure in place that lets them focus on excelling and just because you’re retiring it doesn’t mean that you are disconnecting from the world. You just have to learn to delegate.
If you are a business owner, then you must learn to step back and find the right people to fill the leadership roles in your company—to ensure it will continue to produce reliable income and grow. That way, the day-to-day operation is set on solid foundations and you are free to actually enjoy your retirement. Depending on the nature of your business, you can still play a role, whether that means attending important meetings (even via video conference from your foreign holiday home), or provide guidance for the company’s long-term strategy.
This can also function as a transitional strategy, regardless of whether you plan to hand over the business to your children or eventually sell up.
Whatever path you choose, if you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t have to totally abandon your business if you’re ready to retire. It can still provide a steady source of income for years to come.
Your retirement years should be viewed as a new opportunity; the thought of retiring should not fill you with anxiety and stress. But in order to ensure your retirement is free of stress, it is important that you plan now and look at the many options available to you in order to secure a reliable, passive income as a retiree. Doing the legwork now means that when you retire you won’t be short of cash and worry about going into the office, getting a part-time job, or otherwise actively working.
We’ve outlined four of our favorite strategies, so if any of them align with you we’d encourage you to give it a shot. Even if you don’t have prior experience, the extra time you’ll have during your retirement provides you with the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with something new and take on a new project that will benefit you and your family for years to come.