Senior man walking a dog in a park

If you're looking to make some money in retirement but not stray too far from home, walking your neighbors' dogs could be a viable options.

More often than not, retirees still want to do everything they can to make a little extra cash. Having a side job in retirement could help you make payments, buy everyday necessities, or help you to continue doing the things you love.

Active adults who don’t want to work too far from home might even be able to get work within their community, especially if they start their own side business.

Those of you asking how this might be possible should consider some of the apps that have played a part in the recent boom of the gig economy as well as the roles listed below.

What Should I Do Before Starting a Side Gig?

Active adults interested in setting up their services in a formal way can do so more easily than you might think. Those who are interested in advertising their driving services, pet or house sitting, tutoring, or babysitting might consider using a sole proprietorship model for their business. This means that you are an individual who runs a business or service on your own.

One appeal of a sole proprietorship is the way you can do taxes every year. Income and expenses from the business are included on your personal income tax return, a 1040 Form. This element of running your own business is especially attractive because the losses you may suffer may be offset by income earned from other sources.

The one downfall to a sole proprietorship is that you are personally liable for your business and your personal assets are put on the line. This option does, however, make the most sense for someone wanting to start a small service or business on their own.

Those who are seeking guidance on setting up a sole proprietorship can utilize services like LegalZoom who help entrepreneurs start a business whether is it big or small.

What Side Gigs Should I Consider?   

Now that you have an idea of what steps to take before setting up your side gig, what options should you consider? It is important to take some time to evaluate your skills as well as the time you are willing to put into the side gig.

For example, if you are looking for something that is only occasional it might be better to consider pet sitting rather than being a personal driver which might require you to work for a few hours every day. Once you’ve thought about what you are looking for from a side gig, it’s time to start working! What will you do to help boost your income?

Personal Driver

Not everyone wants to drive themselves everywhere, and this is especially true in a 55+ community. Many retirees want to enjoy their freedom and not have to worry about how they will get from point A to point B. If you are living within a 55+ community and don’t mind driving, you should consider becoming a driver for your fellow active adults.

It is no secret that Uber is a way for those with a drivers license and a reliable vehicle to make some extra cash, but Uber has its restrictions. Uber doesn’t allow their drivers to wait for their customers to finish their errands in one location or to pick them up when they are done. If you were to start your own driving business in which you cater to your fellow neighbors, this would allow you to stay close to home and charge your own rate.

Dog Walker/Pet-Sitter

Active adults who have pets will likely need someone to care for them at some point. Whether it's because they are working 9 to 5 and their pet requires a walk during these hours or if they go on vacation and leave their pet at home.

If you enjoy caring for animals, you may consider advertising yourself as a dog walker/pet sitter. This is another role in which you could easily form your own rate and could do in your free time.

Closely related to pet sitting, some might prefer the role of being a house sitter. Often times when homeowners are gone for long periods of time, they might not only need someone to watch over their pets but their house as well. Whether you are watering plants or simply keeping an eye on their home, a house sitter is someone that many people are willing to pay for.

At-Home Tutor

Whether active adults have grandchildren or are going back to school themselves, becoming a tutor could be a valuable side job which allows you to utilize your own set of skills while also helping others.

Many active adults may seek the services of a tutor for themselves or a family member. If you are someone who has a specialized skill set in mathematics, science, or English you might consider tutoring.

Another valuable skill that would make you a desirable tutor is a foreign language. Languages like Spanish and French are often something people are eager to learn, but any second language has immense value. If you are fluent in a second language and interested in giving lessons to others, it might be as simple as posting a flyer at your community’s clubhouse with your contact information on it.

After-School Care/Babysitter

Babysitting is one of the most common side gigs out there, so of course, this is something to consider. Though it might not seem like babysitting would be a need in a 55+ community, it is quite likely that your neighbors might have visiting relatives or family in the nearby area who need services for child care. This is especially possible if you have had previous experience with child care or are CPR certified.

Child care can be both a fun and rewarding side gig, so if you are someone who enjoys children and has experience in the field, you might consider putting the word out that you are willing to babysit for those within the community or nearby families.