Making Ends Meet During Retirement

The author suggests a few ways to earn money during your retirement years to help make ends meet.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 88.5 million people in the country that are over the age of 65. During 2010, 6.7 million people over the age of 65 were still in the workforce. For a variety of reasons, including needing to help make ends meet, a lot of people are retaining their jobs longer or seeking ways to earn money during their retirement. The good news: there are plenty of ways to do it!

Why Work

After retiring from a government position, you may have figured you were all set and that there was no reason to do anything to earn money in your retirement. After all, the notion is that those who retire from government jobs are going to have a great pension waiting for them. Some people get to retirement and find that their government-earned pension is all they need to get by each month. But for others, things are not quite so smooth.

With the shaky economy seen in recent years, it has left many people feeling that they simply cannot afford to retire, or that they at least can’t afford to walk away from having some sort of additional income to help make ends meet each month during their retirement. Housing values have dropped and prices of goods have risen. For many retirees, government or not, there are a lot of financial reasons to continue earning at least a part time income to supplement their pension and social security.

In addition to earning extra money, which may be used on paying the bills or even taking yearly vacations, retirees often continue working to help keep themselves active, contributing to society, and being involved in an activity.

Who’s Earning

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, those who tend to work beyond retirement age in the country tend to be men, more educated, married, in better health, and financially better off. They tend to work part time, are self employed, and often work in management positions.

The good news for government retirees is that you can earn and still receive Social Security payments. For those workers who have not yet reached full retirement age and want to retire and work part time, they will have $1 deducted from their Social Security benefits off every $2 earned over the annual limit. The limit is $14,640. In the year before you reach full retirement age, they will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn, and your limit on earnings is $38,880. Once you reach full retirement age, there are no limits on your earnings, and you can get all of your benefits, as there are no limitations.

Ways to Earn

There are many ways to continue earning money after you have reached full retirement age. Retiring from the government has provided you with skills that can be used in other areas, as well as knowledge that may make you a good candidate for providing consulting or coaching services for a fee. Once you have retired, all you need to do is consider your skills, talents, and areas of interests, and you will be sure to find a position that will keep you earning more money during the Golden Years.

Here are some ways to you can earn extra money in order to help make ends meet during retirement:

  • Temporary agencies. There are temporary agencies across the country. They are stocked with a variety of positions that they will match your skills with. The good thing about employment agencies is that you can work as little or as much as you’d like. If you need to take time off for a vacation, it’s not a problem. They are good places to put your experiences to use earning extra money.
  • Sell stuff. Many baby boomers have an eye for things like antiques. You may want to consider setting up a little side business of buying and selling antiques. Finding them at estate sales and thrift stores and then selling them at a higher place elsewhere can be a good source of additional income. Craigslist and eBay are two great places to sell stuff online.
  • Write. Those with writing skills will find that there are ways they can make money writing. Whether it is writing for companies on a freelance basis, being a stringer for their local newspaper, or writing a novel, there is money to be made working part time as a writer. The same can be said for those baby boomers who have an eye for photography.
  • Teach. There are always teaching positions available in public and private sectors. Your skills and experiences make you a prime candidate for teaching some classes. You can teach in community centers as well, offering classes in everything from country line dancing to business skills. Online tutoring is another option for teaching, and it doesn’t tie you to one location.
  • Capitalize on a hobby. Like dancing or wood carving? Take a hobby that you have and turn it into small side business. Whether it’s selling bird houses you make or stained glass windows, those with hobbies can usually find a way to make money from them. And if you have a tech-related hobby or skill like building websites or electronics, you can make some pretty decent money.
  • Care for pets. Helping others care for their pets is a great way to earn extra cash. Many people need dog walkers and pet sitters. It’s an easy position that will provide flexibility, interaction with animals, and some side money.
  • Offer gardening services. Many baby boomers have an amazing green thumb. If you have one, consider offering gardening yard services to others for additional income. Helping to plant flowers, weed flower beds, etc., can keep you physically active, and help pay the bills.

Making Ends Meet

Times may be tougher economically, even for those who retire from government positions. But the good news is that there are plenty of opportunities available to earn some extra money. Just give some thought to what it is you like to do, conduct a little research to get started, and then put it into action. The entire process is actually easier than you may think. Before you know it, you will be making additional money on a regular basis!

About the Author

Jason Kay is a professional resume writer and regular contributor to, a professional federal resume service and repository of sample KSA statements.