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A growing number of retirees are seeking employment or starting their own businesses. For some people, seeking employment is about filling the now unstructured days. For others, it is a necessity to make ends meet. Either way, there are plenty of ways to turn your hobby into a profitable job in retirement. Here are five popular hobbies and interests that easily translate into income-generating opportunities.


Formal teaching is an excellent way to share your knowledge of academic subjects with others. There are several routes you can take to this depending on how much flexibility you want in your schedule. Some of the most popular include: 

  • Substitute teachers: Both public and private schools are facing shortages of qualified teachers, including substitutes. So, if you have ever considered teaching as a profession now is a great time to step up as a substitute.
  • Private instructor: Do you have a hobby or skill that you would love to share with others? Offering private lessons is a great way to make some extra money doing something you love. It could be anything from knitting to playing an instrument to speaking a foreign language. 
  • Online tutor: Online tutoring has taken off as a way for students to get extra help without leaving home. Test prep and online ESL classes are just a couple of examples of some common subjects.
2. Cooking and Baking

If you prefer to spend your retirement whipping up delicious creations in the kitchen, you may be able to turn that into a part-time job. You have a few options to explore when it comes to food prep. You might start attending farmers’ markets or specialty fairs with your items, design and market custom cakes for special occasions, or prepare entire home-cooked meals and offer them through an app.

There are a few things that need to be considered regardless of the type of food you are making. First, you’ll want to invest in professional-quality restaurant equipment that will hold up under the demands of large-scale production. You also need to check with your local licensing board to determine what permits, if any, are needed for a home kitchen.

3. Providing Pet Services

Pet lovers are in for a treat in retirement when they register to offer in-demand pet services. Dog walkers are especially popular since pet parents often face anguish at leaving their pups alone all day while they work away from home. Other people may need pet and housesitting services while they are away.  You might register with one of the many dog walking apps or choose to spread awareness of your availability through social media or community bulletin boards.

4. Driving

You may not need to make a daily commute any longer, but maybe you miss the quiet time in your car. If that sounds familiar, consider one of the many opportunities to make money while driving. One option is to register as a delivery driver for food, groceries, or a local store.

Another is driving people. many older adults who have given up driving still need transportation to and from activities and appointments. You could provide a valuable service helping them. Apps like Lyft or Uber also offer opportunities to drive customers while also giving you the flexibility to work only when you have extra time.

5. Crafting

You’ll have a lot more time to work on new projects now that you are retired, so you might as well make some extra money to keep your favorite hobbies going. That’s right, creative and savvy retirees willing to put in a little marketing effort can tap into the market for handmade projects. You might choose to sell your wares at local craft fairs and farmers’ markets or take it online through retail shops like Etsy.

Retirement can be anything you set out to make it, and that includes the opportunity for a second career that you truly love. There is a market for a wide range of products and services, from pet sitting to crafting to baking decadent desserts, just waiting for you to set up shop.