Retirement savings need to last longer than ever. The good news is that retirees are not only living longer; they are also leading happier, more active, and energetic lifestyles than in decades past.
The bad news is that many retirement savings plans were not built to last for these lengthened timelines. Today’s retirement funds get stretched to the limits. Not only are people living longer lives after retiring, but medical costs are also at record highs. These unplanned and unfunded expenses are often occurring just as your savings are the most limited. It is enough to even give those with substantial nest eggs pause. For those who have consistently worried about surviving after retirement, it can be downright terrifying.
As a result, many retirees are seeking new ways to supplement incomes and extend their retirement budgets. If you are in the same boat, the “gig” economy might be the perfect solution for you.
What is the Gig Economy?
The “gig” economy is a particularly attractive option because it places you in charge of when, how often, and how much you work. You do not have to worry about scheduling conflicts, interfering with vacation, or even feeling like you have a regular j-o-b. While the term has received new attention in recent years, the idea of “gigs” originated during the 1940s. Today, we have revolutionized the concept of the gig economy, turning it into extremely short-term engagements, with independent contractors selecting their days and hours of work.
There is a nearly infinite supply of gig jobs that can be performed by people who have all manner of experience under the belts. They start with ride-share driving opportunities with Uber and Lyft, and food delivery shifts with companies like DoorDash and GrubHub. But they go well beyond that. There are gigs for accountants, artists, coders, contractors, and more to be had in today’s economy. Even electricians and plumbers can find gigs for quick cash, to extend retirement budgets, or to pay for holiday expenses. You can also use gigs to fund a newfound cruise addiction.
Extending Retirement Funds
Working within the gig economy gives you more considerable latitude over your time, your talents, and your income. It allows you to earn extra cash for living expenses while you are still able to do so while leaving much of your retirement funds untouched so they can continue to generate interest or appreciate.
Plus, if you manage to hold off on tapping into your Social Security retirement income a few additional years, the payoff can be much more significant. Some people only choose to work these side gigs for extra money long enough to satisfy the requirements for maximum Social Security payouts — and that is sufficient to meet their needs. Others prefer the socialization as much as they enjoy the extra income these side gigs provide.
How to Find Gig Economy Jobs
It is surprisingly simple to find earning opportunities through a variety of side gigs today. From websites like TaskRabbit and Thumbtack to more significant organizations like Uber and Lyft, opportunities abound.
Savvy seniors can even turn their love of crafting, woodworking, etc. into income through websites like Etsy where you can sell your handmade goods. Some things you will find there include:
- Leather Goods
- Paper Goods
The more elevated your talents and interest, the more diverse your opportunities for income in the modern gig economy will be.
You can even make money writing books or creating online or community classes on how to do things that are becoming lost arts in the modern world. That includes things like making homemade bread, building furniture, fly-fishing, preserving and canning food, knitting, and many more. Knowledge is a commodity in the gig economy — and one that pays surprisingly well.
Finding jobs is easier than ever. Finding the right fit, however, may take a little time, attention, trial, and error. Keep your eye on your goals and avoid overloading yourself. You do want to have time to enjoy your retirement, after all.
The gig economy, while not new, offers a wealth of new income opportunities if you are seeking to extend your retirement budget, stay active throughout retirement, or wanting the chance to meet new people during retirement.
There are numerous opportunities. The flexibility of the gig economy lifestyle makes it an attractive option if you want to take the time to enjoy your retirement while still having enough income to pay the bills.