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11 fun ways to earn income throughout retirement

Want to treat yourself? Or get an extra special graduation gift for a grandchild? When you’re living on a fixed income, extra money is sometimes hard to find. Yet today, in the era of the “gig economy," retirees have more ways than ever to earn extra cash. There are also more websites than ever that make it easy.

Here are 11 potentially fun ways to keep active while enlarging your pocketbook. None of these ideas will make you rich, but they can be an enjoyable way to incrementally boost to your budget. Just remember to take common sense safety precautions when meeting a stranger for the first time.

1. Pet sitting and dog walking

Enjoy the benefits of animal companionship while getting some extra spending money. You can sign-up on sites like petsitter.com to get matched with local clients who need pet sitting and dog walking.

2. Rent your extra space

If you own your home and have some extra space, consider temporarily renting a room (or more) to visitors through services like Airbnb. This can be an especially viable option if you live near a tourist hotspot.

3. Drive for Lyft or Uber

Companies like Lyft and Uber allow you to earn extra money driving, all at your own pace, whenever you feel like it. If you don’t feel comfortable driving passengers, you can earn money delivering meals through services like Uber Eats.

4. Become a mystery shopper

Go shopping and rate your experience afterwards. Stores pay for this first-hand, unfiltered feedback from real customers, and you’ll be reimbursed for your purchase (up to a certain amount). Because online classified ads often contain bogus mystery shopping offers, consider becoming a member of mspa-americas.org for $10. You’ll gain access to their listings of legitimate mystery shopping opportunities throughout the United States.

5. Find a market for your homemade arts and crafts

From folk art to fine art, on Etsy, you can find a market for your homemade arts and crafts.

6. Participate in focus groups

Before product releases and store openings, many companies conduct focus groups, and the perspective of older adults is always appreciated and valued. Focus groups normally last one to three hours. You’ll be compensated for your time, and may receive some free product too!

7. Share your skills

There’s an ongoing demand for lessons given by experts ranging from skilled musicians to chess masters. Advertise your services on sites like Craiglist.org.

8. Become a part-time tour guide

Are you a specialist in local art, architecture, history, or plants and wildlife? Consider becoming a part-time tour guide to share your passion with visitors to your area.

9. Downsize…. and profit

Many seniors find themselves downsizing and decluttering during retirement. Instead of tossing your extra stuff, trying selling it on websites like ebay.

10. Join a clinical trial

Help contribute to a medical breakthrough by joining a clinical trial. You can be compensated for your time, travel, and other associated expenses. Find clinical trials in your area you may be eligible for at clinicaltrials.gov.

11. Become a mock juror

Visit sites like jurytalk.com or onlineverdict.com to look into becoming a mock juror. You’ll help future attorneys hone their craft, or current attorney prepare for a case. Many mock jury opportunities can be completed all at home.