Six ways to make extra income during your retirement years

Retirees can consider part-time gigs such as tutoring, pet-sitting, consulting and bookkeeping


Sarita Harding, walks her dogs in Al Warqa. Sarita is a volunteer with Animal Action UAE.

Animal Action UAE, which is part of Emirates Animal Welfare Society has had to stop rescues because it owes vet surgeries across the UAE so much money - around Dh100,000. The charity desperately needs to find homes for 15-20 dogs that are currently boarding at veterinary surgeries at a cost of Dh60 a day each. They have around 80 animals under their care just now that they are trying to rehome. 

(Photo by Reem Mohammed/The National)

Reporter: GILIAN
Section: NA
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More than one in four retirees say they are spending more than they can afford, according to an October 2022 survey by the Washington-based Employee Benefit Research Institute.

With US inflation at 7.1 per cent in November, it is not surprising that savings are not going as far as they used to.

But there are ways to bring in extra income without taking on a full-time job.

Why is everything getting so expensive?

Why is everything getting so expensive?

Some part-time gigs — such as tutoring, pet sitting or consulting — allow retirees to work a few hours at a time, and the extra income can make a big difference.

Here are some ideas to consider.

Pet-sitting and dog walking

If you have a fenced-in yard and the ability to care for someone else’s furry family members, offering pet services can be lucrative and flexible.

Dog walking is the best-paid side hustle by average hourly wage, according to data analysed by e-learning platform Preply.

“Not to mention, having canine companionship offers many health benefits,” says consumer finance expert Andrea Woroch.

“So, pet-sitting is a great way to get that without the high costs of owning your own dog.”


One of the few perks of the Covid-19 pandemic is that online teaching and tutoring have flourished.

You can set up shop on an online tutoring site such as Preply or Wyzant, or an online teaching site such as Udemy.

“Carve out a couple of hours on weeknights to tutor students online,” Ms Woroch says.

If you have the credentials, consider creating a college-level course that you could teach as an adjunct professor.

“I created and teach on veterans’ issues at the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University,” says Paul Dillon, owner of Dillon Consulting Services.

“Whenever the course is offered, I spend about five to 10 hours per week on work related to it.”


Retirees often have decades of valuable experience. Taking on project work can help you stay in the game on your own timetable.

“Consulting is a great way to continue staying relevant in your field and offering your insights and advice without having to go back to the office full time,” says Jacques Famy, a managing partner and chief marketing officer for merchant funding company AdvancePoint Capital.

“You can either offer the services through a company or start your own side-hustle business.”

Filling community needs

Depending on where you live, there may be ample opportunities to pick up side work with your town or city.

The school in your community may need occasional substitute teachers, for instance. Contact the schools to see what part-time spots may be available.

Hosting guests

Do you have a lot of extra house, and do you live in an area that attracts visitors?

“Rather than letting that freshly renovated basement or spare room go to waste, rent it out on Airbnb,” says Brian DeChesare, founder of Breaking Into Wall Street, a financial modelling training platform.

“You get to set your ideal availability, so you will never be stuck with guests at inopportune times.”

One tip: if you are spending winter (or summer) elsewhere, consider hiring a property manager to manage rentals of your space.


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Got tax preparation skills? You can find work assisting with tax returns in the first few months of the year — then take the rest of the year off.

The same goes for bookkeeping if you have a finance or accounting background. You can put your previous financial skills to work on a freelance basis or take a bookkeeping skills course to qualify for project work.

“If you are looking to do an additional job, building your skills — which might mean getting a certification or taking another course to help make yourself more competitive for a specific role — we certainly encourage our clients to look into doing that,” says Toni Frana, career services manager for FlexJobs.

“For something that requires some knowledge of financial fields … you do need to have a little bit of experience in those areas.”

Updated: January 10, 2023, 4:00 AM