Supplementing Retirement Income with a Side Hustle

Written by Anne Papmehl

Thursday, January 30th, 2020

Igor Morin, 71, trekked around the world for many years as a global sales rep, until he retired in his late fifties.

Six years ago, he and his wife moved to the Town of Stratford to be closer to their daughter, son-in-law and their growing family, and Morin got a job as a part-time usher at one of the major theatres in town.

Morin is one of a growing number of seniors in partial retirement: meaning they either have part-time jobs or side hustles. Seniors get side hustles for various reasons—to cover living expenses, reduce debt, add to their savings and investment portfolio, support a family member, fund a hobby or vacation, earn extra spending money or to simply enjoy some social interaction.

Supplementing Retirement Income and Hobbies

For Morin, it's a combination. “The extra income helps cover some of our living expenses as well as support my music hobby," he says. He's an avid player and collector of guitars and mandolins.

With his passion for the performing arts, Morin revels in one of the job's major perks—being able to see world-class performances free of charge. He's also inspired by the elderly audience members he helps. “Seeing their dedication to live theatre as they struggle with their canes, walkers and wheelchairs really hits home and takes you away from your own problems and concerns for a while," he says.

Vacation Savings, Free Wine and Learning New Skills

Seventy-one-year old Marjorie Raaff recently got a part-time job as a wine consultant at a large grocery chain.

“It gets me out of the house, meeting new people and learning new skills," she says. Plus, she gets to take home and sample one free bottle of wine per week during her training and probation period, because part of her training requires that she complete tasting notes and food pairing suggestions.

Raaff and her husband were planning to go on an extended winter vacation to Cape Town, South Africa at the beginning of 2019—after they both officially retired—but her husband had an unexpected and serious health crisis that caused them to postpone their trip to January 2020. With some extra time on her hands, Raaff needed to feel productive. She spotted an ad for the wine consultant job, applied for it and got it. Her job earnings were put towards their trip so their retirement savings wouldn't need to fund it.

Former Senior Manager Now Travel Agent

Brian Murphy, 57, is using his retirement side hustle as a travel agent to help support his twin hobbies of personal travel and running marathons.

After retiring from his job as a senior manager with a large, international tech company, Murphy took the first six months to completely decompress, and reflect on what he wanted to do. “One of those things is travel and the other is running, so I figured if I could turn my hobbies into some area of money making, that would be the best of both worlds," he says.

Becoming a certified travel agent, which he did last November, lets him do just that. It gives him some pocket change and the chance to identify sales and promotions for both his family vacations and marathon runs.

And by combining his running experience with his travel industry resources, Murphy is able to cultivate a niche clientele—other marathon runners.

“Last year I gave a seminar to a small group of people who I knew would be running the Berlin marathon this year," says Murphy. “Because I ran it last year, I was able to explain a bit about what the course was like and share some helpful hints and tips about Berlin, and a couple of them booked their travel through me," he says.

On a Personal Note

Though I'm not yet retired, I recently got a small side gig of my own—playing guitar and singing once a month at a retirement home. Aside from earning some extra income, which goes into my emergency fund, I get to play for a super appreciative audience and have some fun. I can see myself building on this sideline when I retire.

Whether you're retired or close to it, there are all sorts of creative, novel and fun ways to earn extra money—and enjoy some side perks—with a side hustle.

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