In an ideal world, retirees would successfully downsize their lifestyle to fit a smaller budget, but the truth is, no matter how much we downsize, cost of living continues to soar. A bowl of fish ball noodles may cost RM5.50 at your neighbourhood coffee shop now, but it could go up to RM8 for a bowl by the time you say goodbye to your employment (depending on when you retire).
The unrelenting cost of living even after retirement is why a lot of people look for ways to earn extra money, often just a couple of years after retiring. If re-joining the rat race is not your cup of tea, here are some ideas to earn extra income while still enjoying your golden years:
Homestay for tourists
This is perfect if your home happens to be in a strategic location – near tourist areas or public transportation. By putting your spare room up as a homestay, you can make some money from your home and at the same time enjoy cultural diversity and company.
You can start by putting it up on Facebook, or you can use Airbnb, a website which allows people to list unique accommodation all over the world. You can set up an account and list your accommodation, whether a room or the entire house, for free.
By doing it on your own via your own website, Facebook or even through word-of-mouth, you are able to offer a more competitive rate to your guests and likely pocket a much higher profit. Airbnb offers great support for hosts and guests, such as a platform for guests to search for the accommodation that they want, customer service for when there is a dispute, and also a secure payment system.
The catch is, you will be charged the Airbnb service fee for all reservations, which is 3% of the payment. Airbnb also charges your guests a service fee of about 6% to 12%. This means your rental rate would be much higher on Airbnb.
Start a business at home
If the idea of commuting every morning and evening to a workplace makes you shudder, you don’t have to go for a 9-to-5 job just to earn some cash in your retirement. Come up with ideas that will allow you to make money without leaving your home!
Many parents seek reliable and experienced nannies or babysitters for their children while they are at work. If you are a parent or a grandparent, your experience in handling children will come in handy. For those who are already looking after their grandchildren, you can also take in more children for the extra cash.
A nanny or babysitter charges about RM800 to RM1,000 in the Klang Valley per child. The best part of this business? You don’t need to look for new customers constantly.
If looking after children is not up your alley, you can always offer cooking or catering services. With today’s busy lifestyle, many families do not have the time to cook dinner for the family. You can offer such services with delivery – ideal for your neighbours.
The ability to earn extra income without leaving the vicinity of your home is limitless. You just need to sit down and discuss with your family and identify one that best suit the lifestyle you envisioned for yourself.
If you love what you did prior to your retirement but minus the stress, you may still offer your services on a consultancy basis during retirement. Many careers can be converted into part-time or consulting arrangements in retirement, such as marketing, engineering or writing and designing.
For example, if you were working in marketing during your career, you can offer your service and expertise as a consultant for other businesses engaged in the same line. You could also take the initiative to seek out and research emerging industries where you could offer your services. For example, the aged care industry is always looking for talents to elevate it to the level it needs to be for the whole of Malaysia. With your wealth of experience, your advice would be invaluable for many companies who would not be able to afford hiring you full-time or are looking to stabilise themselves when breaking into emerging industries, .
You could charge a flat fee (or retainer) or by hour, giving you the flexibility and still offering an excellent way to earn extra money in retirement.
Tutoring & Training
Almost every child from a middle-class family in Malaysia has attended at least one tuition class by the time they are 12 years old. Tuition classes are highly sought after, especially for one-on-one home tutors.
Jobs like tutoring do not have a cap on age, and if you have the experience, qualification and skills to nurture young minds, you can start offering tuition classes for your neighbouring children. Ask around or distribute homemade flyers to your neighbours, or put it up at the convenient store near your home.
This is the perfect retirement job for a retired teacher. The rate for home tuition classes in the Klang Valley is around RM40 to RM50 per hour for primary level, RM45 to RM55 per hour for lower secondary and RM55 to RM70 per hour for upper secondary.
All you need is an extra room set up as a classroom in your home, or you can even offer to travel to your student’s house for extra fees. You can register yourself as a tutor on sites like Tutormall.com, MyGradTutors.com and HomeTuition-Malaysia.com to recruit more students.
If you prefer teaching a more mature audience, you can also approach companies to offer your services as a corporate trainer to teach skills that are relevant to the company’s business.
Easier To Be Active
With the Internet, retaining some form of income post-retirement has becomes much easier today as long as you have initiative to leverage on. The difficult part is to look for something that you love to do that also allows you to earn extra money.
The above ideas can easily help you turn your free time into RM1,000 or more a month. The extra money will definitely come in handy to cushion the rising inflation in your golden years. It is also important to note that keeping your mind active and stimulated would help reduce your chances of developing brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Studies have shown that social isolation and living an inactive lifestyle can cause you to be more susceptible to diseases.
Working after retirement doesn’t sound bad now, does it? If you plan and prepare for it carefully, you can work on your own terms while finding self-satisfaction. Learn to leverage your passion and invaluable experience into a rewarding post-employment income stream.
Aged Care Group (ACG) is an organisation engaged in the business of elevating the aged care industry in Malaysia. Its vision is to innovate and transform the perception of ageing to create an ecosystem that provides an integrated care system. For more information visit www.agedcare.com.my or contact ACG at 03 – 2142 1666.