Money Making Ideas for Retirees

Last Updated August 17, 2020

So, here you are, considering, perhaps, supplementing your retirement income or creating a full-time online business. You will be pleased to know that there are a huge number of money-making ideas for retirees on the internet these days, and we would like to let you know about a few of them, including the one we personally use and recommend.

We have spent many years in businesses we have owned and the jobs we have done, that were very physical in nature. This is fine when you are in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and even 50’s. But there came a time for us when we realized we no longer had the energy and stamina to pump scuba tanks and load dive boats or train people all day in the gym or welcome hotel guests and cook breakfast for them, and so on. It was all great, but we were wiped out!

Now, this was our own, unique experience. You may have worked in a corporate setting in an office or had a more sedentary job that did not require a great deal of physical exertion. However, you probably still had a boss, right?

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Well, whether you had some kind of physical profession or more of a desk and chair job, the fact is, by working online, you can say goodbye to having anyone be your boss or micro-managing you to death, and you can consider taking on a new career that will generate income for you from the comfort of your own home, or wherever you decide to work. This work can be part-time if you just need to supplement your retirement income, or, if you are like us, you need to keep bringing in a full-time income.

Affiliate Marketing-Our First Choice

Affiliate Marketing is where one person (let’s say you) promotes the products of another person (let’s say us) and then, when a third person (the customer) buys one of those products, we would pay you a commission. In this example, you are the ‘Affiliate Marketer’ and we are an online ‘Merchant’.

For a more in-depth explanation of affiliate marketing, click here

We chose affiliate marketing as the best option for us because we were intrigued by the idea of it and we were lucky enough to find the best platform out there, Wealthy Affiliate.

To try Wealthy Affiliate for FREE click here.

What we love about affiliate marketing is that it gives you the opportunity to connect with people by writing about something that you really feel passionate about. You then share that passion with others who are also interested in what you have to say and help them learn more about it and recommend products or services that can help them in that shared passion. Doesn’t this sound fun? For us, it is.

For proof that you can make money with affiliate marketing and, more particularly, Wealthy Affiliate see Philip’s post It is Possible to Make Money with Wealthy Affiliate.

One of the great things about affiliate marketing is that we have found many, many other people from ‘our generation’ on the Wealthy Affiliate platform. We thought you had to be some kind of computer whiz with tons of knowledge and very young to be able to do this kind of work.

You don’t have to know anything about it to get started!

Wealthy Affiliate offers step by step training through absolutely everything from choosing a ‘niche’, which is a passion or hobby you really enjoy (for example, BBQ cooking), through setting up your very own website, hosting that site and giving you tons of information on everything to do with affiliate marketing. The icing on the cake is the great community support and 24/7 technical help you get there, too.

Best of all, you can become a starter member for free by clicking here now.

You can find our review here: Wealthy Affiliate Review for Retirees.

Suffice to say that we were searching desperately to find someplace authentic, credible and real where we could generate income online and we found it.

This is our number one recommendation for you to make money online.

Other ideas to make money online…

Freelance Writing

Did you do well in that creative writing class back in high school? Have you enjoyed writing in general or did you have to write in your profession in the past? Are there subjects that interest you or experiences you have had that you feel you could write about with authenticity?

If you answered yes, then freelance writing is a possibility for you. There are many companies out there that offer writing work on just about any subject you can think of. Some companies that offer this kind of work are:

There are many others out there but these are generally acknowledged to be the bigger players in the field.

It is worth noting that the platform, Fiverr, above, is a huge global network that you can join for free.

There are over 3,000,000 services offered in just about any category you can think of.  Once you have joined, you create a personal profile showcasing your particular skills and when buyers come to the marketplace looking for a freelancer, this is how they see what you have to offer.  You can read my review of Fiverr HERE.

Oh, and don’t be at all concerned if your keyboard skills are not what they used to be or even don’t exist at all.  Philip is improving his typing with an amazing little course we found that has taken him from using two fingers to all of them!  You may find it helpful and you can read about it HERE.

I have more information for you on remote writing opportunities in my article  Freelance Writing from Home.

Write Your Own E-Book

Have you always wanted to write a book and know that you have one in you but never had the time?

Older lady thinking at laptop
Is there a book in you?

Perhaps you had visions of a large desk somewhere in a shadowy, dusty office with cobwebs, piled high with aging manuscripts that nobody ever has the time to read…….the Publishing House!

Well, it’s all different now.

E-books are hugely popular and people are looking for them on any and every subject. Did you know that you can write your own e-book online, then go to Kindle Direct Publishing where it will be published for FREE on Amazon in less than 5 minutes? Your book would then reach millions of people.

Of course, you may be asking yourself where do I start if I wanted to write an e-book and publish it?  To provide a solution to that question for you, I suggest you read my review of How To Write and Publish Your Own E-Book V2.0.

Wouldn’t you feel great if you saw your ebook on Amazon?

Travel Blogging

This is a big business right now and growing!

By writing about your travel experiences in an engaging, authoritative way, you can attract a global audience of readers who follow your adventures on your website.   It is then possible to generate an income by promoting things such as travel insurance, tourism boards, and travel companies as well as selling products through affiliate links.

If you would like to set yourself apart from the competition and learn from someone who has been enormously successful, see my review of The Business of Travel Blogging.


At its fundamental level, transcription is when you listen to something that has been recorded and then you, the transcriptionist, type it up and return it to the client so that they have a written record of what was said on the recording.

This can be a good work-from-home job if you have good listening skills, excellent grammar, and can type well. How much you earn will depend on several factors such as the quality of the recording and the number of people speaking.

There are many types of transcription jobs out there in various fields such as:

  • Data entry – this is the easiest type and a good place for beginners
  • Legal Transcription – experience, and familiarity with legal terminology is very useful here
  • Financial/Corporate – requires a certain level of knowledge of the particular industry
  • Medical – this does require training which is available online

If you are new to transcription you will likely need some help getting started and there are a number of training programs available.  To see my review of my favorite training program, and in which I provide far more detail about working as a transcriptionist, I suggest you read this.


If you are excellent at spelling and grammar and are a detail-oriented person with an eagle eye for written mistakes, you might enjoy this.  

Proofreaders read transcripts and copy to check for accuracy.  They look for errors in formatting, spelling, punctuation, and capitalization.

This is a job that can be done from your home office, or in fact, anywhere you have a connection to the internet which makes it very attractive if you want to increase your income while you are, say traveling and enjoying new horizons in your retirement! For more information on what a proofreader is and how to get started proofreading yourself, you might be interested in reading What is a Proofreader.

NEW! I found a great course for learning how to become a proofreader. In fact, I loved it so much I purchased it myself. I am about halfway through and have written my review and thoughts on it so far. If you would like to see what it’s all about you can read The Becoming A Proofreader course review.

Happy older lady with cameraPhotography

Have friends and family told you that you take good pictures? Did you know that you can take photos of just about anything and sell these to stock photo websites?

You can even sell older digital photos that you may have because millions of people are looking for photos to use on websites and blogs.

Philip has written a very informative post on a beginner’s guide to stock photography which you can read here.

While not strictly online, as you would have to go out and take the photos, you would be putting them online and selling them once you have taken them.

We are always on the hunt for useful and genuinely helpful online photography products for you.  We do not recommend this one. 


This could be something really fun to try, especially if you have an unusual or unique voice. There are many voicework talent agencies and they are always looking for new voices. Even if you think your voice isn’t very good, you never know what a client may be looking for.

Just contact a ‘Voice Talent Agency’ in your area. Most likely, you can ‘audition’ by sending in a recording of your voice and the agent will decide if they want to represent you. The beauty of having an agent is that potential clients will contact them for voice samples for their product/service. It is worth it to pay commission to an agent to do this for you because then you don’t have to hunt down the jobs yourself. Alternatively, places like Upwork, mentioned above, do have voicework opportunities that you can bid on yourself.

If you love books, there is also something called an ‘Audiobook Narrator’. This does not require any special training in voice work. Thanks to new technology, you can record audiobooks from your own home.

If you have an interest in pursuing this path, there are many online courses you can take to learn how to develop and train your voice and learn how to set up your own in-home recording studio.  One that I recommend is VO Genesis and you can check out my review here.

Online Tutoring

You may be a retired teacher looking to create an income stream online. Virtual tutoring is a possibility for you. You can teach people anywhere in the world from the comfort of your own home.

You can teach children or adults. If you have language skills, this could also produce income for you. Many people want to learn English online, all over the world, and this has become a very popular way of teaching. There are specialty courses for teaching people English available on the internet should you choose to explore this possibility.

Online Chat Agent

If you enjoy engaging with people and have an upbeat personality, this 100% online job could be a possibility for you.

“Customer Service Chat” is an online service that allows a customer to communicate in real-time with a knowledgeable chat agent using what is called ‘instant messaging’.  You have probably seen those little chat boxes that pop up on websites when you visit them.  That is the chat agent standing by to assist you!

You need to be able to type quickly and accurately as well as have a very friendly and helpful attitude to assist customers with inquiries.  Chat agents can be found in many industries such as travel and hospitality, retail, legal and education, to name a few.  This work-from-home job is becoming more and more popular as companies strive to communicate instantly with their customers.  For more information, you can read Philip’s article Online Live Chat – A Good Income Opportunity?

If you are bi-lingual, additional opportunities can present themselves to you.

Virtual Assistant

A Virtual Assistant offers professional administrative, creative or technical assistance remotely to clients from their own home office. Skype and email are generally used and you are self-employed in this type of work. This could be a very good idea for you if you have some kind of background in administration, secretarial work, nursing, real estate or travel and hospitality.

For more information on what a Virtual Assistant is, you can read my post which tells you how you, too can Work as a Virtual Assistant.

You can help run someone’s company without even being there and get paid to do it!

There are huge opportunities in this profession.

If you would like to learn how to set up and run your own home-based business as a Virtual Assistant I found an outstanding program that you can read about in my Virtual Assistant Career Training Review.

Online Life Coaching

Life coaches are people who advise others on making decisions, setting and reaching goals, and even helping them to deal with problems. As retirees, we have a lot to offer in terms of life experience and we think that Life Coaching could be a good idea for the type of person that likes to help others and is nonjudgmental.

This profession is set to really expand since the global pandemic that has hit all of us and now is the perfect time to get trained and set up your own home-based business.  You can interact with, and coach your students from a remote setting using ZOOM, Skype, and phone calls.

There are many types of coaching including:

  • Relationship coaching
  • Retirement coaching
  • Health and Wellness coaching
  • Business Coaching
  • Parenting Coaching

Did you know that you do not need to have any formal qualifications to become a life coach!  You can read more about it in my article What Is An Online Life Coach?

You also don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on life coach certification programs.  I have found four excellent courses that I recommend and they are very affordable. Three of them are geared towards life coaching and one of them is specifically for those who are interested in becoming a certified business coach.  They were created by three authentic and well-known industry leaders.  Every coach is a little different and it bears taking a look at my reviews of each of them to see whose methodology appeals most to you.

If becoming a relationship coach is something that is interesting to you, I found a company that will offer you a full-time job (provided you meet their requirements) and they will pay you during your training period.  For more information, you may like to read about Relationship Hero.

Remote Hospitality Jobs

If you have had previous customer service experience, this could be a possibility for you.

African American man smiling with a laptop
Online Hospitality is fun!

There are ‘business in a box’ opportunities for you to work within the hospitality and travel industry. You can be an independent customer care representative, a travel agent or vacation specialist to name a few. You will earn commissions by selling cruises, tours and resort vacations. A perk to this kind of work is the travel discounts you can acquire from the company.

No experience is required for some of these low-cost start up’s and all your training and support are included. I found a great resource that can help you get started as a travel agent. They even offer a FREE 7-Day Setup that will guide you on starting your own home-based travel agency. No credit card required (I participated in this myself and it is very helpful and totally legit). You can read all about it and sign up here.

So, you can be in the Leisure/Hospitality world, be your own boss, and still work from home.


This family-owned company has a really fun and unique concept.   If you have any creativity in you at all (and come on, everyone does), this could be a good idea for you.

At its core, it is a marketplace for personalized gifts.

If you are an artist, designer or photographer, you can upload your ideas onto their site for free, then Zazzle makes their money by charging a base price for the product and you (the creator) choose how much of a percentage you would like as a commission.

The products can be anything from t-shirts to mugs to stationary to pillows to clothing.  The list is huge.  You can actually create quite a good side income from Zazzle if you stick with it and take the time to develop it.

If you would like more information about it, just visit their site at

Online Juror

If you live in the United States and you are over 18 you can make some money on the side by becoming an online juror.

When you sign up, you will need to give some basic demographic information about yourself so that you can participate in your County or for a Federal district case.

Then, attorneys post cases online for you to look at and review and receive feedback and answer questions about the case (if you are selected for that particular case based on your demographic information).

There are no wrong or right answers.  Just your honest feedback is requested. You then get paid each month.  Most companies typically pay anywhere from $10-$60 per case.  It might be good to sign up for several of these companies so that you have a greater chance of getting in on more cases.

Just as a word of caution, never offer your bank details or any other financial information to any online jury company.  Typically they will pay you through PayPal.  Please, don’t get scammed!

Two companies you can check out are:

Paid Surveys

While this is not a way to make any kind of substantial income, you may enjoy participating in online surveys.

By doing them you can be rewarded in many ways including cash, prizes, gift cards, and coupons.  Don’t expect to make more than pocket money each month but it might be something you would like to try.

If you would like to know more about paid surveys, please read my article, Earn Money Taking Surveys Online.

Whatever you do though, please do not buy into this product I have reviewed that I do not recommend.  Take Surveys for Cash.

Data Entry

This is potentially a very viable way to generate income from home.

If you have some basic typing skills and good command of the English language, you can get started.  You don’t need advanced degrees or additional training to do many of these types of jobs.

To learn more about it, go to my article Data Entry Jobs From Home – A Good Way To Make Income?


This is just a little sample of some of the vast number of opportunities out there for you, fellow retirees, to make some extra income online or even to generate a full-time income for yourself.

Are there any online jobs that you have tried and would like to share?  Please tell us about it.  You could be helping someone who needs a little more income.

We will be writing reviews about all the online work ideas mentioned above and many others, that we are continually researching for you. Our passion and our mission are to help you sift through the myriad of programs on the internet, some legitimate, some outright scams and many that are in-between so that you can make informed decisions on where to find online work.

If you have any questions, or you would like to know more about any of the things we listed above, please ask us in the comments section. We are always here to help anyone who, like us, maybe in need of additional income as we all move forward in this next stage of our lives, together.

We chose affiliate marketing because, to us, it represents the best option for creating a recurring, passive income over time. It is not a get-rich-quick scheme. There are many programs out there that claim just this, but to us, this did not seem realistic. Wealthy Affiliate is an authentic platform with founders that have vision and integrity and, after much research, we found the platform, tried it first for free, then joined as Premium Members. We have never looked back.

You can read our review of Wealthy Affiliate for Retirees here.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  If you have some other ideas that could help retirees generate income from home, won’t you please share that in the comments section below?

We are with you on the journey,

Colette and Philip

2 thoughts on “Money Making Ideas for Retirees”

  1. Hi Colette and Philip,
    I am Sanjeev from India
    Nice Article truely loved it. One should have brave heart to live expats life. Great, Motivational
    You have explored so many places, how do you manage all that
    I seriously want to learn Scuba diving from you
    Best of Luck
    If God wish we can meet some time

    • Hello Sanjeev!

      Thank you for your very nice comment. I am glad you found something of value in my article.

      We have lived as expats for many years and it is truly wonderful to experience the world. Living in other cultures, getting to know the people, eating the food…these are things that make our lives rich. One day we would love to visit your country, India. We have met many people from there (food is amazing) and we know it is a fascinating place.

      We no longer teach scuba diving but where we are living now, Cozumel Island, Mexico, has some of the best diving in the world. So do the Maldives, by the way, in the Indian Ocean. That is where we took our very first dive and decided to make it our jobs. The diving there is incredible. That is a little closer for you, so if you want to learn, the Maldives is a perfect place to go.

      We also practice Yoga daily, which also originates in your homeland. So, from my heart, I send you peace, love, and light.




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