Retirement is meant to be a time when you focus on yourself and your interests. However, a growing number of Americans are considering returning to work. Almost one-third of retirees still work for extra cash.
However, earning money during your retirement doesn’t have to be a grind. You don’t need to return to an office job that you don’t like or enter a field you don’t care for. Instead, you can consider monetizing some of your favorite hobbies. Here are a few potential options that are both profitable and enjoyable.
Bees are some of the most important creatures on the planet. They pollinate flowers that turn into essential plants to support human life — including vegetables and wheat. If you are interested in these small insects, consider learning about beekeeping. You can either join local groups that have community apiaries or you can keep bees on your own property.
Beekeeping requires a significant investment and learning curve. Not only do you need safety equipment and a place for your bees, but you also need to make sure they are healthy and happy in their home. However, this can be a profitable and delicious hobby. You can sell the honey, along with the wax in the form of candles, at local craft fairs and farmers' markets in your area.
There are several ways to turn your passion for cooking into a monetized hobby. You can launch a catering business and prepare meals for corporate events or weddings using apps like BonAppetour. You could also invest in a food truck or open a bakery for a more permanent setup.
Decide on the types of foods you want to prepare and the scale you can make them. This will help you establish a strong brand that guides your marketing efforts.
If one of your favorite hobbies is drinking beer, you can monetize this interest by brewing it. Start with a few home brewing kits to try out different ales and pilsners. You can then develop products for your friends and family or enter homebrew competitions.
As you scale your efforts, the amount of equipment you need will increase. While a basic kit is a fun way to brew a few growlers of beer, you will need a larger system if you want to start professionally making products. Eventually, you might be able to open a small brewery or distribute bottles to local bars in your area.
If you have extra space in your home, look into furniture restoration. With this hobby, you look for worn or discarded furniture, invest your time and resources to fix it, and then resell the items for a profit. You will need to spend your weekends attending garage and estate sales to pick up highly discounted pieces. You also might need to drive around town and look for items left on the curve.
This can be a highly lucrative hobby if you know where you find cheap worn-out furniture. A piece you find on the curb for free could be refurbished and sold for a few hundred dollars. However, furniture restoration is a delicate process. You might need to invest in woodworking training and antique furniture repair courses before you can really profit from this activity.
Classic Vehicle Restoration
If you have a passion for cars and other vehicles, you can also restore them as a monetized hobby. One of the main factors that defines a car is its age. A classic car is older than 20 years, so models produced around the turn of the century are now reaching classic status. Car restoration requires a lot of special knowledge and equipment. Not only do the repairs need to look good, but the car needs to be safe at highway speeds.
A common issue that car restorers face is replacing a diesel engine. You will need to learn to identify the correct engine size and necessary parts before you can start this project. You also want to find affordable models so your hobby is still profitable. Look at different engines for sale and the latest diesel engines on the market to make the best choice for your restored vehicle.
Fortunately, there are resources, forums, and checklists online to learn about diesel engines and help you buy the best possible one.
The majority of your hobbies will come with some form of equipment investment as you grow your skills and customer base. While you might only need a single camera to socially photograph friends or landscapes, you will need additional lighting equipment and lenses if you decide to become a professional.
You will also need photo editing software to remove blemishes and enhance the lighting — especially if you are photographing weddings and events. No bride wants to remember the pimple they had on their big day.
Fortunately, you don’t have to become an event photographer if you don’t want to. This is a great hobby for people who love technology and the outdoors. You can take drone photos of glaciers or track bird migrations through your area. From there, you can sell prints of your work and present them at craft fairs and art shows.
Some hobbies are meditative and allow you to relax in nature throughout the week. If this sounds like your kind of activity, consider gardening. You can nurture your plants, grow vegetables and fruits, and turn your produce into products. For example, if you have a boom of peppers and tomatoes in your garden, you can make homemade salsa that you give to friends and family.
Eventually, you can expand your efforts and sell your produce and products at farmers’ markets. You can also propagate plants and sell them within your community.
One last profitable hobby to consider is crafting, which ranges from knitting sweaters to quilting or making Christmas ornaments. You can specialize in a few crafts or make a wide variety of gifts and other items for your customers.
You also have the power to decide how big your craft business becomes. You can prepare items for a few local craft shows throughout the year or run a large-scale Etsy store that ships items across the globe. You might even be able to hire a crafting assistant someday to keep up with demand.
Whatever hobby you choose to monetize, make sure it stays fun. While the extra cash is valuable, you also want to enjoy what you do and thrive in your retirement years.