Make the Most of a Side Gig. Turn your spare room into profit or monetize your freelancing skills for a paycheck.
Pursuing a Side Hustle After 50
An impressive number of Americans are multitasking, with a staggering 37 percent pursuing a side gig, implying they’re topping up their main job with an extra source of income. Given the prevalent inflation and escalating interest rates, this trend seems logical.
Roughly 28 percent of these hardworking adults anticipate they’ll consistently need this surplus cash flow for survival, with 26 percent depending on their side gig for discretionary spending. This perspective is striking, especially given the currently flourishing job market. The question that arises is: “What happens if the job sector experiences a downturn?”
Younger generations are more inclined to have side gigs, including 53 percent of Generation Z (ages 18 to 26) and half of millennials (ages 27 to 42), compared to 40 percent of Gen X (ages 43 to 58) and 24 percent of boomers (ages 59 to 77).
However, the host of a popular podcast exploring side gigs emphasizes that individuals aged 50-plus have compelling reasons to engage in a side hustle.
Those who are 50 or older are generally at the peak earning phase of their career and may need to make supplemental retirement contributions or financially assist their adult children. Additionally, life becomes more expensive as one grows older.
Choosing Your Side Hustle
Side hustles are versatile, ranging from freelancing in your area of expertise, launching an online store, or even renting out your assets, like your backyard pool. The side hustle market is incredibly diverse and constantly expanding.
Many choose to earn extra money by capitalizing on their existing skills. For example, accountants or graphic designers might freelance on the side.
Other are pursuing dog walking or selling products at festivals or flea markets.
The Risks of Side Hustles
Potential side hustlers are advised to take measures to protect themselves. The goal is to mitigate risk. It’s critical to confirm the market’s demand for your service or product and keep the upfront investment low.
This approach tends to exclude many multilevel marketing (MLM) opportunities, which often necessitate initial product purchases. A foundation dedicated to older adults has published research about the realities of MLMs to guide individuals to make informed decisions.
While some part-time gigs can transform into viable businesses, caution is advised against borrowing money to finance your side hustle. The failure rate is still relatively high. If an idea doesn’t pan out, it’s advisable to move on and try something else. The ultimate objective is to generate some cash for expenses or discretionary spending, not to establish a large-scale business.
How Much Money Can I Make with a Side Hustle
A survey conducted by a consumer financial services company found that individuals engaged in side gigs earn approximately $810 per month on average, with 27 percent making more than $500 per month and 15 percent making over $1,000. Consult your tax adviser to understand the tax implications of your additional income and plan for any tax obligations due to your side hustle.
Resources such as your local Small Business Development Center or a dedicated Small Business Resource Center can guide you on whether you need to complete business paperwork, acquire permits or licenses, or comply with other regulations before you start monetizing your idea.
One of the attractive aspects of side hustles is the opportunity for creativity and enjoyment. Categorize opportunities into work, rent, or sell. For instance, one individual capitalized on their love for hosting by renting out their home for events, earning up to $1,455 for a one-day film shoot.
Platforms like Airbnb, VRBO, Swimply, Neighbor.com, and Vanly provide opportunities to rent out various assets, from your home to your driveway.
Consider your skills, possessions, and experiences. Learn from others’ experiences with side hustles to identify what might suit you.
Benefits of Starting a Side Hustle After 50
Balance is emphasized as crucial. Although earning more money can be tempting, it’s essential to remember why you started the side hustle and make time for things that truly matter in your life.
Don’t let the pursuit of additional income interfere with time spent with loved ones or fulfilling other passions. Once your side hustle meets your ‘why,’ ensure you reserve time for what is genuinely significant.