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10 Creative Ways to Make Money In Retirement Without a 9-5 Job

December 16, 2020

Continuing to work as a retiree may be a joyful way you connect with others socially and emotionally, a vital way you contribute your expertise, or a necessary means of bringing in income. Even though you may not want to work a typical 9-5 job, there are many options for retirees to choose from that do not require going into the office eight hours a day, Monday through Friday.

Female independent living resident with hand painted artwork
There are many ways you can generate income into retirement without a classic 9-5 job! Selling hand-painted artwork could be one way.

No boring old office job you say? Yes, that’s right!

So, how can you make some income in retirement and how much money might a retiree earn?

Here are ten ways to make money in retirement without a 9-5 job:

  1. Gardening

Do you like working with your hands? Gardening allows you to get in touch with the Earth, it is soothing, and there’s a growing demand for people who are seeking freshly-grown local produce. You can make money from gardening by selling plants, seeds, and produce grown from your garden. Check out if you can sell at the local farmers market - that’s a great place to start! Look into any local farms or co-ops that may be looking to grow their team, as well.

Female residents gardening at a senior community
Gardening can be a fantastic hobby in retirement and it can also make you some money.

  1. Professional Driver

    Uber and Lyft are growing companies. They have made it possible for people with a license to drive others around in their own vehicle and get paid for it. A bonus is that you will also meet new people and explore your local surroundings. Another great thing about driving for Uber or Lyft is that you can work on your own schedule. Want to drive for a few hours on a Saturday morning? Great! Don’t feel like it again until Wednesday night? Great!
  2. Writing/Editing

    There are many freelancing opportunities for editing written pieces or for writing content. This is a great creative outlet that doubles as a source of income. You can improve your writing skills, your creativity, and gain experience while collecting a paycheck. Check job sites like Indeed or We Work Remotely for writing or editing jobs.
  3. Catering

    If you enjoy cooking and being around people, then catering might be perfect for you. Put your culinary creations to the test, attend fun events, and have a source of income. Look for a local company who may need new employees, or consider starting your own catering service.
  4. Babysitting

    You can help families in your area by providing childcare. Being around children can keep your energy levels up, gives you a sense of purpose, and might have flexible hours, too! If you’re looking for something more consistent, a nanny position or mom’s arrangement could be just what you’re looking for, and you could be a welcome blessing in some family’s life. Talk with your peers and network to see if anyone knows of a family who needs childcare, or visit a site like to be matched with the perfect family.
  5. Pet Sitting or Walking

    Pets can bring a sense of comfort and happiness. They also give you a fun, natural way to exercise, so your energy levels increase and stress levels decrease. Add in making a little money? Win-win! Pet sitting while someone is away on vacation, taking care of a new puppy while the owners need to be away at work for the day, or dog walking are perfect retirement job options for any animal lover.

Small dog Sunny poses for the camera
Spending time caring for or walking pets can bring you joy and income.

  1. Photography

If you have an eye for capturing appealing photographs, retirement is the perfect time to use this hobby to bring in extra income. This will give you the opportunity to be creative, possibly travel, and get paid. Hone your craft by focusing on what brings you the most joy and fulfillment, and look into local artisan booths or art/craft fairs where you may find the right audience to sell your pieces. 

  1. Substitute Teacher

Becoming a substitute teacher will give you satisfaction, learning opportunities, new experiences, and extra income. As we mentioned about babysitting and childcare, being around children keeps you young, too. Substitute teaching is meaningful and has flexible hours. You can accept work when you want to and kindly decline when you don’t, depending on your availability or interest level in the class subject or grade level.

  1. Becoming a Local Guide

Becoming a local guide has many benefits. If you have a passion for knowledge and people, you could become a guide and would get to travel, meet new people, have work flexibility, extra income, and learning opportunities. Doing research and learning the facts at the touring locations can be fun and offer personal growth.

  1. Event Planning

    Event planning is unique, rewarding, and exciting. As an event planner, you’d get to meet new people, experience new things, learn about local venues and vendors, and more. You’d experience variety, flexibility, and accomplishment as you work on all kinds of special events - each one being someone’s pride and joy that you get to help bring to life. Becoming an event planner as a retiree has many benefits as you can set your own hours and have a source of income.

How Much Money Can Retirees Earn and Still Receive Benefits?

After retirement, you can still receive Social Security among other benefits, and work at the same time. Although, if you are younger than the retirement age while earning more than a certain amount, your benefits will reduce. Once you reach the full retirement age your benefits will increase.


If you work after your full retirement age you can keep all your benefits no matter how much income you receive.


If you begin your Social Security benefits at a younger age, there is a limit on how much you can earn and still receive Social Security benefits. Visit for those details and to learn about your specific situation.

While on their website, you may also:

  • Get other useful information
  • Find publications
  • Get answers to frequently asked questions
  • Apply for benefits
  • Verify your earnings
  • Review your Social Security statement

There are many options for income in retirement and ways to receive Social Security benefits while working at the same time. If you or a loved one need help to figure out earnings, contact the Social Security Administration.