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Top retirement hobbies that make money

We look at retirement hobbies that make money to bring in some extra cash for older adults.

April 18, 2023

Elderly man flower arranging

With the cost-of-living increases, those with a fixed income, such as many pensioners who have retired from working, may be looking for opportunities to bring in some extra money. Going back into a traditional workplace might be an option for some, but for those who want an alternative, they might want to consider some retirement hobbies that make money instead.

In this article, we look at some hobbies that could bring in some extra income for pensioners to help supplement their income in a safe way that suits them as an individual.

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What are the benefits of side hustles for seniors?

Finding an alternative income stream, often called a ‘side hustle’, is something that has become increasingly popular for people of all ages, especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Research shows that one in five Brits have started a side hustle since March 2020, and the need for a bit of extra cash has only grown in the more recent economic climate.

For those who have already retired from work, there is the obvious benefit of bringing in some extra income through a hobby that makes money, but there are other potential positive impacts that it can have for older adults too. These include:

  • Helping to combat social isolation and loneliness in older adults
  • Helping the older person be more active physically, which has many potential health and wellbeing benefits
  • Providing the older person with more of a sense of purpose with their day-to-day activities
  • Helping to keep their mind more active, as well as their body.

Hobbies and interests in later life are important in many ways, but having the potential to bring in some additional money on a regular basis is something that could be really appealing for pensioners at the moment.


What kind of hobbies can generate extra income for pensioners?

The types of hobby that have the potential to bring in some extra income can vary, and their suitability can depend on the older individual’s existing skills (or willingness and ability to learn new skills), as well as things such as their level of mobility, comfort level when using technology or whether they have help from family members or friends.

We have included a wide variety of potential moneymaking hobbies for the elderly below, so that there is hopefully something that everyone can consider as an option for them or an older loved one in their life.

It’s important to note that none of the websites or companies mentioned in this blog are associated with TakingCare and their inclusion in this piece is not an endorsement of their platform or services.

Senior lady doing craft work

Creating craft items to sell online

There has been a real boom in online selling of handmade items over the past few years, especially since the start of the pandemic. Being able to buy a unique and handmade gift for a loved one, often personalised or totally bespoke, is something that appeals to lots of people.

Those with a creative or crafting skill can take advantage of this by making items to sell through one of the many online craft-focused marketplaces, such as Etsy or Folksy.

This could be things such as art, jewellery, greetings cards, wedding invitations, pottery, clothing or accessories such as hats, scarves, cushion covers or more.

Anyone who can knit, crochet, sew, work with wood, paint or draw could potentially try their hand at selling the things they make online, along with making things to order.

Selling products online is something that needs a bit of technical know-how, so the older individual may need some assistance from family or friends in setting up accounts, listing items, taking photos of what they have created and getting used to how the ordering system works. Many people find the prospect of doing something like this for the first time a bit daunting, but once up and running, it can be a good source of a little extra income.

Elderly lady tutoring child


A great option for not only former teachers, tutoring people in any skill or knowledge can be a hobby that also brings in an income for some retirees.

While academic tutoring does require a particular knowledge and skillset, it’s not the only kind of tutoring that older people can do as a moneymaking hobby. If the older person plays a musical instrument, has a specific crafting skill or speaks another language, these are all skills that can be taught to others in return for payment.

For example, running a local knitting class to teach people the basics can be done in a local café, community centre, library or function room, usually for free or a nominal fee that can be factored into the charge for those attending. This can also be a great social outlet as well as a hobby that brings in a little extra cash.

Elderly couple dog walking

Pet sitting or dog walking

For older animal lovers, especially those who perhaps don’t want the responsibility of their own pet at this stage in life, offering a local pet sitting or dog walking service can be a good way to make some extra money for those who are quite active in their later years.

This could involve home visits to look after the pet in their own home, house sitting and staying in the pet’s home while the owners are away or providing walks while the owner is otherwise occupied.

It’s important to consider that you may need an insurance policy to cover offering this service. Some apps that help connect pet owners with sitters and dogwalkers, such as Pawshake, may include things like insurance and background checks in the commission they charge.

Taking other people’s pets into your own home while they go on holiday etc. may need a license from your local authority, depending on the council requirements in your area, so it’s important to check this.

House in UK
House sitting

In a similar way to pet sitting, but perfect for those who may or may not want to look after pets too, house sitting for homeowners who are away can be a good way to earn some extra cash. Many people don’t like to leave their home unoccupied whilst they are away, whether they are on holiday or working elsewhere. Finding a trusted older person to stay there can be an ideal solution for them and bring in some income for the sitter while they also get to stay somewhere different. It can be done locally or further afield.

This might not be for everyone, but could be a good option for an older person or couple who perhaps like to explore different parts of the UK and are still very active and driving. Websites that match house sitters with homeowners include HousesittersUK and Mind a Home.

Creating decorative hanging baskets or flower displays

For older people that love gardening, a great hobby that can bring in some extra income for pensioners is by making up colourful hanging baskets or pots containing flowers to sell locally. While there is a small outlay for the supplies to get going with this kind of moneymaking hobby, the costs can be factored into the prices charged for the floral displays.

Flower arranging

You may be surprised how many neighbours or people in the community would love to buy something like this from someone local rather than getting it from a garden centre out of town.

The nature of this one can be quite seasonal, but can be expanded for other times of the year when flowers are not in season by making autumn, Christmas and Easter wreaths as well as decorative items with flowers throughout the spring and summer.


Other ways of making extra income for pensioners

As well as the hobbies already mentioned, there could be ways to make the most of an older person’s home to earn some extra cash. These can include:

Getting a lodger: rent a room scheme

While this might not be something that everyone would be comfortable doing, those who rent a furnished room in their house to a lodger can earn up to £7,500 a year tax-free by doing so, which works out at up to £625 per month. For older people who have space in their home and are willing to rent a room to someone in return for payment, this can be a good option to bring in extra income.

The lodger lives in your home with you and usually shares some spaces, such as the kitchen and bathroom, unless you have more than one. Citizen’s Advice has some great advice and tips if you’re considering taking in a lodger.

Renting your driveway

Renting out your driveway

The demand for this will depend very much on where you live and what is nearby, but if you have off-street parking that you are not using, you might be able to rent that space out to someone who needs it, such as a commuter or visitor.

If you live close to a sports stadium, train station, airport, city centre or a popular attraction then there is likely to be someone willing to pay you to park at your home. This might be all day, while they are working nearby, or during the evening or weekends. It could also be people wanting to park their car somewhere they consider safe while they go on holiday.

Websites that help connect parking space owners with people that might want to use that spot include Parkonmydrive and JustPark.

Along similar lines, if you have a garage or outbuilding that you are not using and can provide access to someone without letting them into your home, you can also potentially rent out storage space. You will need to contact your home insurer if you do this to check the coverage of your policy if someone else’s belongings are on your property.


Tax considerations for retirement hobbies that make money

If the older person earns more than £1,000 a year from their ‘side hustle’ (before any expenses are taken off this) then the money earned may be subject to income tax.

If earning more than this, including when renting out a room in their home, the individual will need to register for annual self-assessment and pay any tax due on the profits made once allowable expenses have been deducted. Most people can manage this themselves and don’t need to bring in an accountant, but it’s important to keep records of all income and expenses in relation to the side hustle.


Peace of mind with side hustles for seniors

Some of the hobbies and other moneymaking ideas mentioned might mean that the elderly individual comes into contact with people they don’t know and their hobby may take them outside the home. This can be a concern for some people or their loved ones, so for additional peace of mind, it might be worth considering a personal alarm system.

A personal alarm wristband or pendant that includes GPS technology can be worn anywhere in the UK and all it takes is one press of the button for an alert to be raised and the Emergency Resolution Team to speak to the individual through the emergency alarm for the elderly.

If the elderly person may be at risk or a fall or accident, this can bring real peace of mind that help can be reached 24/7 if needed.

Advice and guidance

Our Independent Living Advisors here to help and make sure that you choose the alarm system that will offer the features that are right for your situation

0800 085 7371

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