I'll admit that the thought of retirement used to send chills down my spine. Like many of you, I have no point of reference to calm my fears. I have no 401(k) as I'm self-employed. My husband has a 401(k), but I can't imagine it's enough to supplement the minuscule amount of Social Security benefits we'll get. We've worked hard to pay off cars, credit cards, and other loans. All that's left is the house and we're working to get that paid off. Not sure how we'll manage that, but here's hoping! With all that being said … most of us are going to be looking for a way to bring in some extra income when we finally get to retire. Shoot … I'd love to find a way to retire early and still have time and health to spare. I can't remember ever hearing anyone say they want to just set in their recliner and go into a TV coma in their “golden years”. Let's take the bull by the horns and figure out how to get to the retirement we've dreamed of.
Some Retirement Facts
Every situation is different. There is no “one-size-fits-all” plan and retirement planning can be confusing and intimidating. Who do we trust to give us the facts and trustworthy advice? There are many factors, situations, circumstances, surprises, and options to consider.
Let's just start with some basic facts about retirement qualifications:
Retiring at age 66 – 69
- These individuals qualify for Medicare
- These individuals qualify for full Social Security benefits
- These individuals qualify to take withdrawals from retirement accounts without triggering early withdrawal penalties
- These individuals are not required to take withdrawals from their retirement accounts if they don't need the income
Retiring at age 62 – 65
- These individuals can retire, but they accept a reduced Social Security benefit
- Baby Boomers (born prior to 1960) agree to 25% decrease in monthly Social Security payments
- Individuals born 1960 or later agree to 30% decrease in monthly Social Security payments
- These individuals are not eligible for Medicare and will have to find another insurance source.
NOTE: People born in 1960 or later reach full retirement age at 67. People born prior to 1960 must be 66. You are eligible for Medicare at 65.
How Will We Make Ends Meet?
Short of a healthy retirement account, a fabulous pension or inheritance it's a bleak forecast for anyone looking forward to a well-financed retirement. Dreams of traveling and adventure are overshadowed by the realities of trying to make ends meet. This is what makes it necessary to find ways to plan for extra income during our retirement to supplement and still be able to enjoy the retirement we have been dreaming of.
What Can I Do to Supplement Retirement Income?
We've been around awhile if we are at the point of considering retiring. With all of that time we have gained a lot of knowledge, skills, training, and wisdom. Someone out there needs what we have to offer and if we just take a little time and effort we can use that to enrich their lives and add a little extra income to ours.
Here are a few ideas to help you jump-start your brainstorming and supplement your retirement income:
- Rent out your home on Airbnb or rent out a room in your home. Retirees living in tourist-rich areas have the flexibility to rent out their home and take an inexpensive trip while someone pays to use their home.
- Can you drive? Apply to be an Uber driver. If your vehicle is 2001 or newer, a 4-door sedan and can pass a vehicle inspection you probably qualify.
- Complete online surveys or do product testing. There are sites on the Internet that you can Google and sign up.
- Use your experience and knowledge to be a consultant. Help someone set up a new business, set up their QuickBooks account, do their taxes, get ready for an inspection or audit.
- Provide online services. Upwork, FlexJobs, and other online contractor sites have work available for individuals who have computer, marketing, accounting, administrative or graphic design skills.
- Set up online courses and teach people to do things they want to learn.
- Sell things online. Thousands of people sell collectibles, clothing, crafts, artwork, and yard sale items online with a little time and effort using Etsy or eBay.
- Blogging and Affiliate Marketing. Anyone with basic computer skills can learn to generate income online.
- Hire yourself out to neighbors. Gardening, preparing meals, watching kids after school, cleaning or home repairs. Your skills are needed by someone right next door.
Where Do I Go to Find Income Opportunities?
Here are a few links I have found that might be helpful to you. Feel free to leave your trusted sites in the comments below. I'll add them as I am able to verify the link and find feedback and reviews:
- Airbnb – Rent Out Your Home or a Room
- Uber – Become a Driver or Provide Delivery
- IPSOS I-Say – Paid Surveys
- Upwork.com Online Freelancer/Contractor Site
- FlexJobs.com Online/Flexible Positions
- Create and Sell Courses Online
- Sell Things Online – Ebay
- Sell Things Online – Etsy
- Learn to Create Income from Affiliate Marketing & Blogging
- Provide Services – Takl Providers
Get Started Now for a “Smooth Transition” to Retirement
Planning for retirement is something that needs to start now so that you have a smooth transition from a full, steady income to living on retirement benefits. It doesn't have to be scary if you are set up with income streams that will still allow some flexibility and opportunity for the retirement adventures everyone dreams of having. Planning and working towards having the methods for bringing in the extra money to supplement your retirement benefits might even allow you to retire a little earlier than you could if you had to depend on Social Security benefits and retirement accounts alone. Start that online blogging site. Begin searching freelance and contract opportunities that you can do from anywhere. Check out the opportunities to sell goods online and have fun with all of the possibilities. There's no limit to your potential, except for the limits you set for yourself. Open yourself up to new ideas and learning new things.
I'm here to answer questions and always value your comments and feedback that you can leave below.
Time to start planning and DO something!
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