Retirement doesn’t mean you have to stop working completely. In fact, I think a little work is good for your soul. This is especially true for early retirement. I’m 43 years old and I don’t want to watch TV and play video games all day. That would be relaxing for a day or two, but I’d be very dissatisfied with life over the long term. It’s not good for your physical or mental health to shut down that much when you’re young. As long as I’m relatively healthy, I’d like to keep working part time on my own terms. I’m sure most retirees would have a better quality of life with this mentality. Today, I’m going to share 10 enjoyable side jobs after early retirement. I hope you enjoy the list and share your side hustle idea in the comment section below.
Work is good
Work by itself isn’t bad. It’s just all the BS that comes along with it that makes the majority of U.S. workers dissatisfied with their jobs. The great thing about financial independence is that you can work on anything you want. Imagine having a fun and enjoyable job that is devoid of BS. Wouldn’t that be the life? What are some ingredients that help make work enjoyable? Here is my take.
- Flexible schedule – Employers are demanding way too much from their workers today. A lot of people feel like they are on the clock all the time. Work would be much more enjoyable if you can work when you want.
- NO traffic jam! – This one is my pet peeves. I can’t stand the rush hour traffic jam. It turns me into an angry person. The ideal work situation for me is to work from home or very close to home.
- Intellectually stimulating – When you’re learning something interesting, it doesn’t feel like work. This is really important for retirees because human brains stagnate with no stimulation. It’s never too early to start protecting your brain power.
- Success – Personally, I think you need to see some success from your side jobs. It’s got to change lives, make money, produce something cool, or help you feel good about yourself. If you’re not successful, then the work would eventually become dissatisfying. Everyone has their own definition of success so this one is very broad.
- Social interaction – Social connection is the thing retirees miss the most about work. Early retirement can be a lonely journey if you let it because all your friends are probably still working. A side job can help alleviate that by adding new social connections.
- No micromanagement – Actually, I prefer no management at all. I never want another boss again. That might not be realistic for everyone, though. Most people probably will be pretty happy with no micromanagement.
Okay, that’s enough stalling. Let’s get to those enjoyable side jobs.
Enjoyable Side Jobs After Early retirement
This is number 1 for me because I’m having some success at it. Blogging fulfills every one of the requirements above. I can work on my blog whenever and wherever I want. Usually, I work from home or go the library so I don’t have to deal with rush hours traffic. Writing a blog post takes a lot of research so I learn something new all the time. Interacting with readers and other bloggers is a lot of fun too. Lastly, no boss! It’s a perfect side job for after retirement if you can become successful at it. Starting a blog is easy and anyone can do it. See my tutorial on How to Start Blogging if you needs help. It takes a lot of effort in the beginning, but it can be really enjoyable, too.
Check out Frugal Asian Finance. She only started a few months ago, but she threw herself into it. I think her blog is great and it’s going to be a big success.
Making podcasts and YouTube videos count here as well. I don’t know much about these side gigs, but it’s the same idea as blogging.
2. Pet sitting and dog walking
If you like pets, then this would be a great side job. Everyone is so busy these days and they need help with their pets. Once you’ve got a good reputation, you can charge quite a bit for a pet sitting gig. I think the going rate is $30/day or something like that. This can grow into a bigger operation if you have the space. Dog boarding and doggy daycare are thriving businesses. In 2016, U.S. pet owners spent over $60 billion on their furry friends. That’s pretty crazy to me, but it’s true. (You can end world hunger with that kind of money…)
3. House sitting
If I was a single early retiree, I’d become a house sitter. I could travel the world and get paid to stay in someone’s home. This sounds awesome to me. One of my friends is a professional house-sitter and I’m a little jealous. She gave up her apartment and has very low cost of living. Our former tenant also house sit and she’s been to many U.S. cities since she left Portland 2 years ago.
You’d have to be good with pets, though. It seems most home owners are worried about their pets and plants while they’re on vacation.
4. Wood working
I think wood working would be a lot of fun. Our dining table is wearing down and I can’t find an affordable one I like. I’m done with laminate tables and I’d like a nice solid hardwood table that will last forever. Of course, an “artisan” table costs a ridiculous amount. Here is a nice table from a local shop that I like. It costs $3,705! That’s a bit too expensive for me. I might as well artisan it myself. Someday…
5. Personal coaching, tutoring, and teaching lessons
This one would be good if you like helping others. Some personal finance bloggers have a coaching business on the side and I think it’s a great idea. You can share your knowledge and help others with their finance. It’s a win-win situation.
This one works very well for kids too. You can teach piano, coach soccer, or do whatever you’re good at. I’m not sure if I can do this one, though. Mrs. RB40 thinks I’m a terrible teacher because I’m a bit impatient.
6. Yoga or Tai Chi instructors
I have no idea about the logistic for this one. I just think it would be a lot of fun. Yoga and tai chi are great moving meditation exercises. They help calm the mind reduce stress. It’s too bad I haven’t done them in a while.
Here is an old guest post from my old Yoga instructor – Do What You Love.
7. Host tourists
If you enjoy interacting with visitors, then hosting tourists might be a great side gig. This is easy now with AirBnb. You can rent out a room to tourists and tell them about your town. Mrs. RB40 dreams about running a small bed & breakfast. That would be cool too, but probably involve a lot of work. It’d be ideal if we could get a property in Hawaii for that.
Being a campground host sounds good too. You don’t get paid, but the stay is free. The Forest Service is always looking for campground hosts.
8. Drone pilot
I recently heard that you can get paid for this. You can use the drone to take pictures for real estate agencies, make movies, deliver packages, or even enter in a race for prize money. To become a legitimate drone pilot, you’d need to pass a test to get a drone pilot license from the FAA.
Retired early? Here is your chance to become an artist. You can paint, sculpt, build huge hanging mobile installations, start a band, or whatever you want. The possibilities are limitless. It’s probably pretty tough to make money as an artist. This one is more like a hobby unless you have some talent.
Busking might be fun if you don’t need the money and you enjoy performing. I don’t know how much money you’d make, though. Probably not much unless you live in a metro area with a lot of foot traffic. My 14 year-old cousin raised $2,000 for Doctors Without Borders with her violin. That’s a very impressive accomplishment.
What’s your dream side job?
So that’s my list of enjoyable side jobs post early retirement. What do you think? Have you considered any of the side jobs above? I’m sure there are many more enjoyable side jobs out there. Money wouldn’t be a big consideration assuming you’ve reached FI. You’ll have to freedom to try different gigs out and see what you really enjoy. Wouldn’t that be great?
What would you like to work on if you don’t have to worry about money?