How to Make Money in Retirement: 10 Business Ideas

Gone are the days when retirement meant slowing down. Today, retirees are on the move, looking for ways to stay active, pursue hobbies, and even boost their bank accounts.

Retirement is an opportunity to use your well-earned free time to do more—more of what you love, more of what excites you, and more of what can pad your pockets.

This article is designed to be your starting point for your next adventure. We are here to explore some of the best ways to make money in retirement, ways that are not only profitable but also enjoyable.

In This Article

  • 10 Best Ways to Make Extra Money in Retirement
  • FAQs of Making Money in Retirement
  • Conclusion

10 Best Ways to Make Extra Money in Retirement

Our long list includes retirement business ideas for everyone, whether you like making things, offering services, or creating digital products.

Way 1: Sell Handmade Crafts

Handmade crafts have a charm that never fades, and they offer a fantastic way to spend one's retirement. With the advent of desktop laser cutting machines, creating these crafts has become less tiring and more efficient.

retirement business idea: sell handmade crafts

Retirees can now turn a crafting hobby into a profitable small business from the comfort of their homes. The laser-cut files/designs for making these laser-cut crafts are readily available online and selling online is also an option. However, make sure to do research and source profitable crafts that are more popular and have a greater audience to cater to.

make extra money in retirement with xtoolMake Extra Money in Retirement with xTool

Engaging in craft-making and selling can keep you mentally active and connected to a wider crafting community. It offers the satisfaction of entrepreneurship and the pleasure of creating items that hold special meaning for customers.

Way 2: Become A Life Coach And Mentor

Your years of work and life have equipped you with wisdom that can't be learned from books. This is your unique offering. As a mentor, you can guide others through similar challenges, providing advice that comes from real experience.

You can attend school career days, speak at college events, or corporate functions or conduct workshops and conferences. As a speaker, you can be compensated for sharing your expertise at these events.

In the digital age, a YouTube channel can be your podium. You can reach a global audience from the comfort of your home, plus that’s financially promising too. One-one-coaching sessions can also serve as a source of significant income.

Way 3: Pursue Hobby: Painting, Gardening or Woodworking

Now is the perfect time to dive into the hobbies you’ve always loved or wanted to explore. Whether it’s painting, gardening, or woodworking, all of these can be truly rewarding.

Transform your visions into art and showcase them in the form of painting. Local art stores and exhibitions are great venues to sell your work. With the rise of online marketplaces, you can reach art lovers globally. Original pieces can fetch a handsome price, and even digital copies can provide a steady income.

For those with a green thumb, gardening can be more than a peaceful pastime; it can bloom into a profitable venture. You can start a home-grown plant nursery or start offering gardening services, such as plant watering and lawn maintenance.

If you have a passion for woodworking, it’s again a market with a multitude of opportunities. Handcrafted wooden items have a market ranging from local craft fairs to high-end bespoke commissions. With smart wood cutting and engraving machines, like xTool P2, the process becomes easier and more satisfying.

xTool P2 55W CO2 Laser Cutter

a woodworker making a wood project using a laser cutter


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Way 4: Sell Customized Accessories

Retirement could be the perfect opportunity to start a small business from the comfort of your home by tapping into the market for customized accessories. It’s a huge market and with modern tools and resources, it’s not hard to learn.

All you need is a quality desktop laser engraver, which can etch designs onto various materials such as wood, glass, leather, and metal. Some product ideas in this niche include:

retirement business idea: sell customized accessories made with laser machines
  • Home Décor: Create custom wall art, photo frames, or decorative pieces that add a personal touch to any home.
  • Kitchenware: Personalize cutting boards, wine glasses, or coasters, which are popular as gifts or special occasion keepsakes.
  • Stationery: Craft engraved pens, notebooks, or business card holders.

xTool F1 Ultra Fast Laser Engraver

laser engraver


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Way 5: Provide Freelance Services

The digital age has made it possible for retirees to offer their expertise to a global audience from the comfort of their homes. You can offer services that align with your past careers, consulting, and coaching being the top among those.

Join online freelance communities, and marketplaces like Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancers. Stay active, and engaged, and continue your professional journey in a flexible manner. 

Way 6: Become a Tour Guide

If you’re fortunate enough to reside in locales graced with natural beauty or historical significance, you can make money in retirement as a tour guide. Share the splendor and stories of your city with visitors – imagine leading wide-eyed travelers through the winding paths of your city. How does that feel?

The beauty of this pursuit lies in its flexibility. You can tailor tours to your interests and expertise—be it history, architecture, gastronomy, or the natural environment. Opt for intimate, personalized tours or lead larger groups through the more celebrated attractions your city offers. It seems truly lucrative!

Way 7: Start an Online Blog

Blogging allows you to weave your knowledge and life lessons into articles that can inspire, educate, and entertain an audience that shares your interests. You can write about anything that stirs your passion—travel, cooking, literature, or life after retirement. Each post can be a chapter of the book you've always wanted to write.

In financial terms, you’ve multiple options. You can generate income through affiliate marketing, Google ads, and other sponsored content. You might also offer premium content, such as e-books or online courses, or use the blog to promote consulting services.

Way 8: Make and Sell Jewelry

For those with a flair for design and a love for crafts, making and selling jewelry presents an excellent opportunity to tap into a vibrant market. Jewelry is a timeless commodity, always in demand, and offers endless possibilities for creativity and personal expression.

Jewelry Items Made with xTool Laser Machines

xTool F1 Ultra Fast Laser Engraver

laser engraver


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Crafting jewelry is not as tedious and time-consuming as it used to be, thanks to laser cutting and engraving machines. For instance, you can make laser-cut jewelry at home with a smart laser engraver, like xTool F1. The laser-cut jewelry can be sold at online stores or craft fairs.

Way 9: Sell Digital Products

This venture is perfect for those who have harbored a passion for creation and now have the time to dedicate to it. The beauty of digital products is that they require no physical inventory and can be sold repeatedly without additional production costs, making them an ideal source of passive income.

You could channel your expertise and interests into a variety of digital formats:

  • Digital Books: Create niche-specific books and sell their digital copy on platforms like Amazon Kindle.
  • Digital Art: Artists can sell their work as digital files for use in web design, advertising, or as printable artwork.
  • 3D Models: If you’re skilled in 3D modeling, there’s a demand for your work in industries ranging from video games to architecture.
  • Laser Cut Files: Mastered the art of design? Laser cut files are new digital art to sell at Etsy where DIYers and hobbyists are always looking for such creative project files.

Way 10: Rent Out Some Extra Space

Retirees who may not have the desire or capacity to engage in labor-intensive activities but still wish to remain financially proactive can rent out extra space in their homes. Yes, this idea is subject to the resources you have.

If you have a spare room, a guest house, or even a vacation home, these can become valuable assets in the rental market. In this digital age, platforms like Airbnb have made it easier than ever to connect with potential renters.

Renting also brings a sense of companionship and security if you opt for longer-term arrangements. Having a tenant means there’s someone else around, which can be both comforting and practical. They can lend a hand with maintenance, and contribute to the household's daily routines, which can be particularly welcome in the quieter retirement years.

Financially, this extra income can help cover the costs of property maintenance, taxes, and other expenses, or simply provide enough funds to enjoy your retirement more fully.

FAQs of Making Money in Retirement

Can you retire and still own a business?

Yes, you can retire and still own or start a new business. But if your earnings exceed a certain limit, it will lessen your social security benefits.

How much money can I make without affecting my Social Security?

For social security benefits, govt. defines a certain earning limit beyond which your benefits start getting reduced. These limits get changed every year. As of 2023, the annual limit for people who’ve reached retirement age is $56,520. They deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above this amount.


Retirement is not about feeling old but about embracing the chance to pursue interests and even open doors to new business ventures. We have shared a handful of ideas to spark that post-retirement journey, highlighting how a desktop laser cutter can be a wise investment. This tool alone can unlock numerous opportunities. It allows retirees to create, engage, and earn.

So, as you step into this vibrant phase of life, remember that it is ripe with potential and ready for your unique imprint.

For more questions. Please join our Facebook group to get inspired!

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