last updated 06/01/2023

17 Retirement Hobbies – That Make Money (2023)

retirement hobbies that make money

These days, people are living longer. 

With the advancements in medicine and increasing awareness of the importance of healthy living and good nutrition, those who reach retirement age are still relatively young. 

Most are too young to just sit and be old when they retire.

Did you know? Aging expert, Dr. Aubrey de Grey has predicted that the first person to live to 1,000 has already been born! 

He sees aging as a problem that will be solved through technology.

Whether this will actually become a reality or not, many people who retire today are too young and healthy to stop living a full life.

Whether you are a retiree looking for something to occupy your time or need an extra income to get by, we have a list of retirement hobbies for you to consider.

Given that humans are living longer, we all need to reconsider what retirement means. 

Does it mean a time for sitting around doing nothing much, or could it be a second productive phase of a person’s life?

At any rate, here is a list of retirement pastimes that can keep you busy productively. 

Here’s a list of 17 retirement hobbies that make money!

1.   Dog and cat sitting

dog and cat sitting

If you love dogs and cats and are good with them, pet sitting might be the ideal option for you. 

You can create a free ‘pet sitter’ profile on any number of online sites where you can find gigs or pet owners can find you.

This is the ideal hobby for a retiree who loves animals. 

You can spend time outside with furry friends that give you a lot of pleasure and other added benefits. 

Research shows that the pet-sitting market is growing because pet owners are spending more money to have their pets taken care of, including hiring someone to look after them while the owners are at work.

Millions of pet owners leave their pets alone at home while they are at work. 

This situation has created an opportunity for retirees and other animal lovers to earn money taking care of other people’s pets. 

In fact, in some cities, dog walking has become a viable business opportunity, generating quite a bit of cash for pet sitters.

2.   Make your expertise work for you

1. Create and sell courses online

After many years of working in your field, you have become an expert in what you do. Or you may have had the opportunity to practice other skills you and now are an accomplished seamstress, musician, or handwriting analyst. 

Whatever the case may be, you can make money from the knowledge and skills you have developed over the years by creating online courses and selling them on a platform like Teachable. 

You can offer classes online and charge students money for them.

Skills in event planning, creative writing, photography, marketing, productivity, personal finance management, and art appreciation all lend themselves to online courses. You can look into a platform like Skillshare, where creatives and professionals share their knowledge, skills, and experience with eager learners.

2. Write an Ebook

Writing one or more Ebooks that you can market and sell on various platforms could earn you a decent income and keep you happily occupied for hours every day. This is a great option for introverts who have a talent for writing.  Keep in mind, you can write fiction or nonfiction.

There are many writing courses online that will teach you how to put a book together and how to come up with a subject that will sell.

You can consult any of the publishing and distribution platforms online that help writers get their work published and sold. The obvious choice is Amazon, where writers are known to earn considerable amounts.

3. Do a podcast

The same subjects that you write about, you can talk about. Many individuals prefer to listen to experts talk rather than read their writings. 

You can benefit from this by creating your own podcast. It will take a while to earn a regular income, but you are sure to have fun in the process.

3.   Making extra income from your property

You could Airbnb a room or your entire home. 

Running an Airbnb is quite a lot of work and can keep you quite busy depending on how long your rentals are and how many places/spaces you have available to let. 

For example, if you live in a holiday destination, the rentals might change every few weeks, in which case you’ll have to inspect the place and get it ready for the next lot of tourists.

On the other hand, if you live in an urban area where there are many young professionals, you may have rentals that last a few months.

If you have the energy for it, you could rent out your entire home for a season when rental prices are high, while you live in alternative accommodation.

4.   Get rid of your stuff and add to your bank account

Did you know there’s money to be made in the stuff that has been gathering dust in your attic? 

You will be surprised at what consumers will pay for something they see as a vintage piece and you see as junk.

Vintage clothing is a big trend these days. In case you didn’t know, an item is regarded as vintage if it’s 20 years and older. 

Scour your attic, garage, and other odd spaces in your home for stuff you don’t use anymore and sell them. You can even sell furniture you no longer need or like.

Once you have sold all your stuff, you can move on to  flea markets and yard sales for more treasures and unique items that you can sell.

It is possible to turn this hobby into a business that can make you money for your retirement.

5.   Show people around your town or city

This is a great way to earn extra cash in your retirement. 

If you have lived in your local area for many years and know it well, and if you have an outgoing personality, acting as a tour guide could be an ideal way for you to earn extra money.

There are so many possibilities open to tour guides; you can do all sorts of tours, including historical tours, culinary tours, and tours introducing the local food, art, music, architecture, and natural beauty spots.

There are different employment opportunities, including working for the local council, museums, national parks, monuments, and private tour companies. 

You could even consider starting your own tour company, but you will probably have to earn some certification before you will be allowed to operate as an independent tour guide.

Visitors will pay good money when you become known for providing a good service.

6.   Make money for your retirement on Etsy

If you are creative, having a store on Etsy is one of the ways to turn your hobby into a business. 

Etsy is the biggest online marketplace for handmade products, vintage goods, and craft supplies.

Selling on Etsy is a sure way to get your handmade products in front of millions. In case you are wondering, the products that sell best on Etsy are items made for the home, art, and jewelry.

So, if you are good with your hands and can make furniture, picture frames, quilts or other items for the home, you can have a successful store on Etsy.

7.   Become a tutor in your retirement

Tutoring is an ideal way for retired teachers to keep on making money when their career has come to an end. However, tutoring isn’t only for teachers

Many people who retire have a wealth of life and professional experience that is worth sharing. One way to make more money in your retirement is to consider online tutoring.

As a tutor, you will work online from the comfort of your home. You will be teaching classes to students of all ages in subjects like English, Spanish, writing, accounting, science, and more.

You can find online tutoring opportunities by doing a Google search. 

You will find so many options you might find it a bit overwhelming at first. An obvious choice to consider is, which has a simple application process. 

When you apply, you will be required to do a subject exam and teach a demo class. will also do a background check on you.

If you can’t be bothered to deal with the online setup, you could visit local schools to offer your services.

8.  Teach classes at a Senior Center

This is another position that leverages your life and professional experience. We are not talking only about craft and cooking classes here. In reality, many senior citizens still have sharp minds and a lively interest in many diverse subjects.

They are attending classes in all manner of fascinating subjects like ancient and modern China, current affairs, the blues, detective fiction, social science theory, you name it, there’s probably someone teaching it somewhere. 

The point is, these classes are taught by people who are experts in their fields.

You can find out more about teaching programs at local senior centers, community colleges, and libraries throughout the US. 

You can also find an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute near you by visiting the website at

You will benefit from the social interaction and mental stimulation, and remember, you can also attend a class!

9.   Share your culinary skills

Of all the hobbies that can make money, cooking and baking are one of the best choices for retirees. 

If you love cooking and baking, the next natural step is to use your time to start making an income from your culinary skills.

There is no shortage of places where you can sell. Consider

  • Your own shop
  • Retirement villages
  • Local schools
  • Car boot sales
  • Local stores
  • Farmers markets
  • School fairs
  • Online shop
  • Selling to local stores

When you start out, take time to find out what people want. Don’t just indulge in what you feel like doing; otherwise, you might be stuck with mountains of food that will go to waste.

Note: If you limit your operations to selling informally at a local market, or in your immediate community, you don’t need to register your kitchen with the local authority. 

However, if you plan to make serious money, be prepared to adhere formally to local food safety standards.

One gap in the market that you can consider, is cooking meals for families. 

There is a significant need for healthy, cooked meals where both parents work and come home late every day. They will be happy to part with their cash for a wholesome home-cooked meal.

You will not only make money; you’ll help them to live healthier lives.

You can also turn your cooking or baking hobby into a business by teaching others to do it or by writing recipe books. 

There are loads of opportunities online for people who can develop recipes for different diet requirements.

10.   Financial advice – one of the most rewarding retirement hobbies

Most people have no idea how to manage their money. 

In fact, money is the main source of stress for 44 percent of Americans, who avoid taking a closer look at their finances for fear of what they might find.

Most people (65 percent) don’t know how much they spent the previous month. This means that most people don’t budget and are not able to save money.

Wherever you might be living in the country, you can be sure there will be people who will be prepared to attend a class on how to set financial goals.

In addition, most people don’t plan adequately for their retirement and don’t understand the value of insurance. 

They can benefit immensely from someone who can be a life insurance guide and a retirement planning guide for them, teaching about life insurance annuities and similar financial vehicles.

If you have had your own successful company and have a financial background, or have worked for a life insurance company,  you can deliver an invaluable service in your retirement years, and make extra income for yourself at the same time.

11.   Turn your copyediting skills into a hobby that earns money

Grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors don’t bother many readers who don’t necessarily spot them. However, these basic mistakes seriously undermine the credibility of a piece of make writing.

All writing needs copyediting.  

If you have been responsible for company agendas and minutes, an in-house magazine, or worked in any capacity as a writer, copyediting is one of the ways you can earn an income in your retirement.

You know from experience as a writer that once you have written the piece, you need to go back and revise it. 

Writers can do that themselves, but it’s well-known that it’s nearly impossible for writers to spot all their own mistakes. That is where someone like you can deliver an invaluable service by providing a much-needed second pair of eyes.

Bonus? With this hobby, you can earn extra income working from home. 

In fact, you can make quite a lot of money if you deliver a professional service. You can find copyediting work at publishers and online platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

If you would like to do copyediting of academic papers in your field, brush up on the AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style,

12.   Join SilverSneakers and teach a class

If you have been fit throughout your life, you might find deep satisfaction from teaching a fitness class or two to your peers. Teaching a few fitness classes is one of those hobbies that can make money for retirees who enjoy exercise.

SilverSneakers is a fitness program for adults aged 65 years and older. The program gives members access to thousands of gyms, offering a variety of classes and access to gym equipment. 

If you are a lifelong gym goer, you will have the skills to help other seniors use gym equipment such as treadmills.

Teaching at SilverSneakers gives you an opportunity to spend time doing something you love while earning extra income. 

You can teach yoga, water aerobics, cardio and strength classes, and tai chi, to mention a few.

This is one of the best ideas for retirees who want to be productive and healthy in their retirement and want to help others reach their health goals too.

13.   Start growing mushrooms

growing mushrooms

If you live in an urban environment near coffee shops and have a basement in your home, you are basically set up to start a mushroom-growing business. Really – there is money to be made in growing mushrooms in the city.

Growing mushrooms has become a flourishing pastime in many urban environments dotted with trendy coffee shops. 

Why coffee shops? 

Freshly discarded coffee grounds offer the perfect substrate for mushrooms to grow on. The grower doesn’t have to innoculate the coffee grounds because through making coffee, they are sterile.

And why do you need a basement? Mushrooms need dark and humid conditions to grow. 

Many people love mushrooms, so you won’t struggle to sell your crop. Local restaurants will also give you money for freshly grown Shiitake, Oyster, Portobello, and white button mushrooms.

Mushrooms are a high-yielding crop that you can grow in a small space and don’t require a lot of your time. These factors make growing them the ideal hobby for your retirement. They are also a profitable crop that will make money for you.

14.   What about some gardening?

Of all the hobbies that can make money for you, gardening is one of the most ideal for retired people. 

If you own a small piece of land and the soil is fertile, gardening may be a good money-making pastime for you to earn an income in your retirement.

Don’t worry that you will need big farm equipment or laborers to help you. We are not talking about farming. You can focus on growing one type of plant or just on a small scale.

You can earn cash from your hobby in the following ways:

  • Growing plants in a nursery and selling them to flower shops.
  • Growing high-value mircro herbs and selling them to restaurants.
  • Growing fresh produce and selling them to friends and family.

If you live in a city, you could share your gardening expertise with people establishing roof gardens and community gardens on empty lots in the city you live in. 

If you help to establish a vegetable garden, you can make extra cash from the sale of fresh produce.

Of all the retirement hobbies that make money, gardening is one of the most popular for seniors;

15.   Photography

Photography is another hobby that you can turn into a business. It is one of the best retirement hobbies if it is something you love to do and if you have the right equipment.

There are many ways to make money from photography. Here are some ideas.

  • Upload and sell your photos to microstock sites like Shutterstock.
  • Take photos of children at daycare facilities.
  • Photograph small firms.
  • Teach photography.
  • Sell digital or printed copies of your work.
  • Start a photography blog.
  • Conduct photography tours and workshops.

If you are doing photography more for the love of it than the money, posting your photos on Microstock sites can be a good option for you. 

If you upload an extensive portfolio of excellent photos you can earn an average of $500 per month. If you link from there to your photography website you can earn extra from selling photo licenses directly from your website.

Businesses, writers, and publishing enterprises are always looking for good photographs. 

You could also decide on a subject to specialize in and sell those photos to specific clients. Photography offers many opportunities to make money when you retire.

15.   Earn cash by doing odd jobs

Another great way to make an extra few bucks a day is doing odd jobs for other people. To find work, you can join TaskRabbit as a “Tasker” and step into a variety of tasks to choose from. You earn money doing odd jobs for people who can’t do them or are not interested in doing them.

This kind of work doesn’t require special qualifications or experience, only skills. When you sign up with TaskRabbit you will receive jobs in your area, but you can choose which ones you want to take on. 

If you can’t lift heavy furniture, you don’t have to take on a job to help people to move.

The tasks available vary quite a lot –  from deliveries and home repairs to general cleaning, yard work, and closet organizing.

This is a great option for retirement because the work is flexible and a good way to make money.

16.   Start a senior concierge service to help other seniors

Providing a senior concierge service is the perfect retirement business. 

If you want to earn extra income, but still have a flexible schedule, you can become a concierge for older people. We are more familiar with them as people employed at hotels to assist guests. 

These days, concierges help busy people or seniors do many things they don’t want to do or don’t have the time to do.

This is hard work, but you can earn a lot of extra cash. You may be asked to pay the bills, help with computer tasks, do grocery shopping, organize the home, run errands, act as chauffeur, organize meals, take the dog for its walks, do general house organizing, etc.

Offering a senior concierge service is a great way for seniors to help other seniors. If you live in a high-income area and word about your services spread, you’ll soon have enough work.

17.   Start a senior transportation service

Many seniors in America don’t own a private car. 

This means they depend on other people to take them shopping, make dentist and doctor appointments and meet up with friends as public transport services are not available everywhere.

You can put your private vehicle to use to help seniors get where they need to be and safely back home afterward. What they need, and what you can provide, is affordable and safe transportation.

You can provide door-to-door transportation for

  • Errands
  • Medical and dentist appointments
  • Shopping
  • Social events
  • Church services
  • Visiting friends
  • Club meetings

Driving senior citizens around is a great way to make money with your car while delivering a worthwhile service at the same time.

18.   Start a genealogy business

Did you know that family tree research ranks as the second-most popular hobby among Americans, second only to gardening?

If you love history and have always wondered about your family roots, the idea of working on your family genealogy must have crossed your mind many times.

 Turning one’s fascination with one’s family roots is one of the best ideas for a way to make money after you’ve stopped working. It’s a hobby that can keep you happily absorbed for many years.

And these days, starting a genealogy business is easier than in the past. You have the whole internet at your disposal, and you can even qualify as a professional genealogist by doing an online course.

One of the best things about running a genealogy business is the support you can get from online communities, social networking sites, and bloggers. With this hobby, you will get hours of pleasure while making money.


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