Hobbies that might make you money in retirement

Once you leave the workforce and find yourself with a lot of free time, you might want to start a new hobby, or devote more time to the one you already have.

“The trick is to make sure your hobby is at least revenue neutral,” Joseph Conroy, author of “Decades & Decisions: Financial Planning At Any Age” and financial advisor with advisory firm Synergy Financial Group in Towson, Maryland, told U.S. News & World Report.

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Because some hobbies can be expensive, he said, you want to consider ones that make money as well as keep you busy. Be sure to check with a tax professional first, however, to see how these earnings might affect your Social Security benefits.

U.S. News has some suggestions:


A good fishing pole, reel and lures can be expensive, but there are few ways to offset the price. Conroy said he had a client who took a job at Boss Pro Shops even though he didn’t need the money.

“He gets to talk to people about fishing all day,” Conroy said.

Working as a fishing guide or making and selling lures are other ways to make money from a passion for fishing, the news site wrote. Skilled fly-fishing guides might earn $125 or more a day just in tips.

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Conroy said he sees a lot of retirees working at golf courses, either in the pro shop or helping at the driving range. In addition to being paid, some courses offer free rounds for employees. If you’re good enough, you might also consider teaching golf.

Pet care

If you’re like a lot of people, you prefer the company of four-legged friends over that of two-legged ones.

Lisa Odoski, vice president and partner for advisory firm TFG Wealth Management in Newtown, Pennsylvania, remembered a client who rescued a dog after leaving the workforce. “The next thing (you know) she is walking dogs and watching dogs for the neighbors,” she told U.S. News & World Report. The woman began earning money as a dog walker and pet sitter.

Dog walkers can generally charge up to $20 for a 20-minute walk, according to the service provide website Angie’s List.

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Many popular adult hobbies involve creating or crafting items. The drawback, whether you’re in to pottery, painting or woodworking, is that you soon have a house full of ceramics, artwork and carvings. This was the case for one of Conroy’s clients, so the woman opened a shop on Etsy and sold her goods.

“It gives her an excuse to keep making things because you can only use so many coffee mugs,” Conroy said. How much you make selling pottery will vary based on skill level and where you sell your work: at craft shows, art shows or online.

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How well do you know your city? Well enough to share it’s history with tourists? Hiring yourself out as a sightseeing guide can be a good hobby for active retirees who enjoy meeting new people.

The website ToursByLocals currently has five Atlanta guides offering “36 unique and customizable tours.” Retirees can also offer services independently and market themselves through a local Chamber of Commerce or travel bureau. It’s not unusual to earn $50 or more per hour as a local tour guide, the news site said.

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