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Senior Finances

Gig-Economy Jobs Can Offer Seniors Some Retirement Cash

Ah, retirement. After years of hard work, you’re set financially for the rest of your life, right? If not, you’re not alone. About 19% of Americans ages 65 and older are still working, and many more need money to supplement retirement plans and Social Security. But what if you can’t or don’t want to go back to work full time? Maybe tap the gig economy for some extra cash.

senior man on computer, looking for gig economy jobs for seniors

What is the Gig Economy?

The gig economy generally refers to using websites or apps to connect with people willing to pay you for a service. It’s a far cry from your old 9 to 5 job. Whether by freelancing or picking up random gigs, some millennials are building their careers through these online platforms.

Twenty-somethings haven’t cornered the market, however. In fact, a JP Morgan Chase & Co study found that 0.9% of seniors used online platforms for work. Less than 1% doesn’t sound like much, but it translates to approximately 400,000 seniors in the United States, JPMorgan Chase notes.

Taking advantage of the gig economy is within reach for retirees. By using existing assets such as a car, leveraging a hobby or skill, or teaching from experience, seniors can tap into this job market. To get you started, here are seven websites or apps to consider for gig economy jobs for seniors.

Gig Websites or Apps for Seniors to Consider

Work your trade on Thumbtack

Before retirement, if your job was in the trades, chances are your skills are still in demand. On Thumbtack, you can create a profile and get hired to use those skills. Can you sew, weld, or assemble furniture? These are just some of the tasks people need help with. If your skill set is more unique, no worries. Just browse the site and see if there is a demand for your work. If so, create your profile and start earning.

Drive a car for Uber and Lyft

senior man driving, possibly Uber, to illustrate gig economy jobs for seniors

Uber has made it possible for everyone with a car to become a taxi driver. In order to be an Uber or Lyft driver, you will need to meet the car requirements and background checks. Once you are cleared to drive, it’s as easy as getting in your car and picking up your first customer. Customers order and pay for rides online or via an app. If driving for Uber at an older age, you won’t be alone. Uber says 23% of its drivers are age 50 or older. It has even partnered with an AARP subsidiary to recruit drivers. You might find that your passenger is a senior, too.

Sell hand-crafted items on Etsy

Sites like Etsy have made hand-made gigs a roaring success. Your skills in crafting jewelry, clothing, toys, and virtually anything else can set you up to market your products online. If you enjoy certain arts and crafts, you can focus your time and energy into these efforts as a hobby – but still make some money on the side.

Get a job on TaskRabbit

Odd jobs are everywhere, and TaskRabbit knows it. The platform connects paying customers with DIY masters, cleaning pros, and anyone who knows a little about repairs around the home. If you have a passion for painting, or can whip up a shelf like a pro, this is your chance to make money. At TaskRabbit, customers – often seeking same-day help – hire people to do anything from running errands to decluttering. Signing up involves enrolling as a “Tasker,” setting your rates and hours, and waiting for your first job.

Watch or walk pets on DogVacay or Rover

woman with dogs, to illustrate gig economy jobs for seniors

The gig economy has done wonderful things for pet lovers. Now, you can sign up through Rover or DogVacay to become a dog walker or pet sitter. There is an extensive vetting process, so your love for furry friends must be genuine. Dog walking is an outdoorsy job perfect for keeping fit while making money. You also can sign up to look after pets in your home or the owner’s, offering daycare, boarding, even grooming. Oh, and cat lovers, don’t feel left out. Despite their names, Rover and DogVacay welcome felines and their friends, too. 

Regardless of why you need the money, gig economy jobs for seniors make it possible to boost your bank account without clocking in. Enjoy your retirement and still enjoy extra income.

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  • Mark Edelen

    About Mark Edelen:

    Welcome to the After55.com Senior Living Blog. I direct and edit the blog for the best senior-housing and senior-living insight and advice, while also conducting search-engine optimization for the site as a whole. Follow me on Twitter @MarkEdelen.

    Comments

    1. Hi Mark, I am a (soon to be) 65 year old disabled senior who has a fixed income, no transportation, poor health, should I continue, lol? My question is I am desperate to find a life for myself. Right now I live with a young woman whom I found on the “Roommate” site and even though I am fine here I cannot live the life I want. I’m on a waiting list for Quail Run in Peoria, AZ (I’m number 14 now, whatever that means,) I qualify for the low income rent they offer but can you tell me is there anything else out there in the Phoenix area or surrounding areas that I might be interested in. I need help to find something in a low crime area, available transportation to shopping malls, grocery stores, medical clinics, and I have to feel safe. Please if you can help me I would be so grateful. I have no family here and no friends.

      • Hello, Diana.

        After55.com has information on about a dozen low-income senior housing communities in the Phoenix area. You will find them all here: https://www.after55.com/senior-housing/low-income/az/metro-phoenix

        -Mark, After55.com

      • Barbara Lyall says:

        Dear Diana,
        As someone in the same boat as you, I just want to let you know that the waiting lists for the low income senior apartments are horrendous. I’ve been on several for 3+ years and am still waiting. Plus many on the Phoenix list that Mark gave you a link to are beyond my means. It’s a sad situation for low income seniors. We are the group that desperately needs government help and are largely ignored by politicians. Would they want their mother to live like this?? All I can say is write your representatives and make your voice heard.

    2. Need to work from home in a Part-time clerical position. Are there sources to direct me to?

    3. Barbara Lyall says:

      While your heart is in the right place, this article isn’t of much use for older seniors (70 and up) who start to experience physical problems and cannot do many of the jobs you write about. Not all of us are crafters or have a car that meets Uber standards or even want to drive in the crazy city traffic. What older seniors need is decent social security raises each and every year and even a government stipend to help with expenses that they cannot meet. Our government is shameful when it comes to helping seniors. And not all seniors have family they can turn to for help.

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