Suggestions for side jobs both pre- and post-retirement

The biggest suggestion I have is this: engage in an artistic pastime and try to sell your pieces when you’re comfortable doing so. I call this “Sunrise.” Did it in Google’s Deep Dream. High-quality prints are available for purchase. Should’ve seen that coming, right?

The biggest suggestion I have is this: engage in an artistic pastime and try to sell your pieces when you’re comfortable doing so. I call this fractal “Pods.” Did it in Mandelbulb 3D. High-quality prints are available for purchase.

Now comes this question from reader TargetDate2031.

“Have you had a chance to cover side jobs (or side gigs or “side hustles” as some call them), as a way to supplement your primary income? Did you work a side job (or two?) while you were saving for retirement?

“Coming up with a flexible, time-efficient side job is something that I am going to spend some time addressing, as clearing an extra $400 to $600 per month and being able to toss that money into my Vanguard brokerage account. $400 per month may not sound like much to a lot of people but compounded over a decade or so it helps quite a bit. One thing that I have thought about is selling plasma, though I don’t think there is a way to make $400 per month off of it.”


My answer:

Thanks for the interest! Let’s take your questions one-by-one and then I have a couple of suggestions for your own search.

>have you had a chance to cover side jobs

I call this fractal “Pods.” Did it in Mandelbulb 3D.

I have, and here are a few thoughts for you to consider.

Hard to separate pre- and post-retirement side gigs since there wasn’t a clear dividing line. In other words, I didn’t immediately stop practicing them just because I quit my job.

Specifically, I’ve had some success writing fiction (which I’d rather not get into because it might reveal my identity), I’ve done some book production for indie authors, I’ve sold a few pieces of wall-type art, I’ve dabbled with Google’s Deep Dream and with fractals, and I’m now blogging.

I don’t consider these pursuits  “side gigs” per se…it’s more like I’m trying to monetize hobbies. Consequently I get to be picky about choosing them. I don’t like to be told what to do and if the pursuit requires having a “boss,” forget it. Think about whether you share that sentiment.

>Did you work a side job (or two?) while you were saving for retirement?

One more fractal. “Tie-Dye.” 

As with so many people, running real estate was the primary money-maker. I also had a “hobby job” for a while. I’d gotten an EMT license in my spare time because for whatever reason the people in our office were accident-prone and one woman had frequent seizures. So I found some night work with an ambulance service, but our service didn’t have the city EMS contract, so the calls tended to be dialysis wagon. Did that for three or four months and gleaned the insight I needed and quit.

OK, so: fiction, book production, EMS work, art, fractals…they may seem disjointed at first, but being early retired gives one the luxury of exploring several strong interests and running with what one enjoy’s the most. I hope you too find that to be true, but if you have the one true thing that suits your nature, you’re very fortunate and you should run with it.

I’m happy to hear that you’re considering this:

>Coming up with a flexible, time-efficient side job is something that I am going to spend some time addressing, as clearing an extra $400 to $600 per month and being able to toss that money into my Vanguard brokerage account.

My Deep Dream interpretation of an Umphrey’s McGee concert poster.

Right on, man. Just come up with a list of your requirements for such a pastime and adhere to it rather than casting about blindly, and make sure it’s fulfilling…and if it’s not, shuck it and move onto something else. You know that, but it bears repeating.

Also:

>selling plasma

Dude, if you want to make a living selling body fluids and you meet the genetic requirements and you have no moral/philosophical/etc. objections, selling sperm is where it’s at. I hear you can make upwards of $1K a month. Plasma, on the other hand, is only good for $20-$50 per…well, not “donation,” but you get the drift.

So: there you have a few insights into working a side job after you’ve retired early, and choosing one that’ll help you get there. Any thoughts? Leave them below.

Author: ER Dude

Sick of your job? After a thirteen-year career, Early Retirement Dude fled corporate America for good. You can do it too! Visit http://EarlyRetirementDude.com or email EarlyRetirementDude@gmail.com.

3 thoughts

  1. I’m not FIRE yet, so I can’t offer insight there. I do blog, but most of my side income comes from freelance writing. I mostly do it via the UpWork platform. In a good month I can rake in $500 doing what I love in my spare time.

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