15 Simple Ways to Boost Your Retirement Income
Retirement won't feel like your golden years if you don't have enough green. Follow these tips from MoneyTips.com financial expert Jeff Hoyt to make the best of the rest of your life.
Correcting your course
Your retirement income may feel a little too small, but what can you do about it? There's a reason why they call it a "fixed income." It's not like you can ask for a raise in retirement. However, it is possible to ease the financial pinch if your fixed income is a little too constricting. Try these 15 simple ways to boost your retirement income. Plus, learn the facts about retirement that every retiree needs to know.
Take in a boarder or roommate
According to author and retirement expert Emily Guy Birken, unused bedrooms in your home could be making money for you. "Sharing your home isn't just for college kids anymore," Guy Birken writes in her book The Five Years Before You Retire. "Charging rent to a roommate or boarder will not only improve your finances, but it can also offer you a nice social outlet." If the idea of a permanent roommate isn't appealing, you could rent out part of your home to vacationers through home-sharing sites like Airbnb and VRBO. Don't miss other easy ways to boost your income.
Rent out your driveway
If your home boasts an extra garage space or other off-street parking, you can rent out the unused space for a little additional retirement income. You can either do a direct rental agreement with a neighbor, or you could find parking space renters through services like Just Park or Parklee.
Turn your car into a rolling billboard
Advertisers are always looking for new ways to get the attention of potential customers, and some are willing to pay you for the unused advertising real estate on your car. The site Free Car Media pairs car owners with advertisers and pays up to $400 per month depending on the ad campaign and your driving habits. The advertisers use vinyl wraps that do not damage your car's finish, and the campaigns last anywhere from six to 24 months. Check out some weird ways to make $50.
Rent out your car
One of the big benefits of being retired is you no longer have to commute every day—and sometimes that means your car sits idle several days a week. Supplement your retirement income by renting your vehicle out on a site like Getaround or Turo. "Sharing the car that you aren't driving every day can be a great way to make your assets work for you," Guy Birken says. Car owners can potentially earn as much as $800 per month. Use a free retirement calculator to see how much money you'll need. Plus, check out the best places to retire in America.
Make money from your hobbies
"Earning money on the side doesn't have to feel like work," Guy Birken writes. There is any number of ways to make money from the hobbies you already love. For instance, the artists' marketplace Etsy has made it possible for every crafter to find a market for their wares. Similarly, if you are an avid photographer, you can boost your retirement income by selling your photos on sites like Shutterstock or Flickr. Learn these tips for turning your hobby into a career.
Sell your stuff
If you're like most retirees, you have a house full of keepsakes you have accumulated over a lifetime and adult kids who aren't necessarily interested in them. You can earn quite a bit of money, and work on decluttering and downsizing at the same time, by selling these items on eBay or Craigslist. Smart people do these things when preparing for end of life plans.
Make deliveries in your own vehicle
The "on-the-way" delivery service Roadie pays drivers to make deliveries that are on their way. A common Roadie gig is to deliver lost luggage from the airport to its owner. The Roadie app allows drivers to choose the gigs that are already on their way, so you can earn extra retirement income just by following your normal driving routines.
Consider a reverse mortgage
If you own your paid-off home, a reverse mortgage will let you tap the equity in your home while you live there. Though Guy Birken cautions against taking a reverse mortgage without understanding all the potential pitfalls, she writes that "reverse mortgage payments are tax-free and generally don't affect Social Security benefits, which means they can potentially offer a nice financial cushion." Homeowners interested in a reverse mortgage must sign up for a housing counseling service through the Office of Housing and Urban Development. This impartial service will explain all of the benefits and costs of a reverse mortgage. Check out these secrets to retiring early, from people who did.
Negotiate your bills
In her newest book, End Financial Stress Now, Guy Birken suggests freeing up some monthly retirement income by negotiating your regular bills. "Asking your service providers for better prices can result in savings that range from modest to impressive," she writes. "One reader saved $2,000 per year!" Which bills are negotiable? Guy Birken names Internet/cable/phone services, cell services, and auto insurance as likely candidates for potential savings. In each case, make sure you know how your provider stacks up against its competitors, be polite but firm, and be willing to cancel your service (and defect to a competitor). A service like BillFixers can help—but they take a cut of the savings. Your credit score can also affect your auto insurance rates, so you should check your credit score for free.