Retirement is supposed to be something to look forward to. After spending decades working, you get to spend the rest of your days relaxing and doing whatever you want, whenever you want. You can travel, relocate, invest time in your hobbies, spend more time with family, or whatever else your heart desires.
Here’s the thing though: You can’t do any of this if you don’t have enough money saved.
A generally accepted rule of thumb is that you should have 15 times your annual expenses saved by the time you are ready to retire. The truth is most of us are barely making ends meet while working, let alone making enough money to support ourselves in retirement. With most people today living well into their 80s and 90s, plus the unexpected curveballs life tends to throw, finding ways to make additional cash is crucial — especially if you are already retired and are coming up short on cash.
Here are a few of our top tips to add to your retirement savings now and keep money coming in long after you’ve retired, too.
1. Get In The Routine Of Earning Cash Quickly In Your Spare Time
Taking online surveys won’t make you rich, but it can make you a decent amount of money if you sign up for more than one paid survey site and commit to doing them regularly. Some of our favorite options:
Earn cash (and gift cards) for answering survey questions and completing polls on a wide variety of topics, including advertising effectiveness, brand recognition, product appeal and services. Each survey has a different payout, with some paying just $1 to a few offering as much as $50 for completion. Thousands of new surveys are being added every week, so you’ll never miss an opportunity to earn.
Take Swagbucks polls and surveys any time you want, from whatever device you have available — it works on smartphones, laptops, desktop PCs and tablets. Convert your Swagbucks to cash through PayPal or Visa cash cards and gift cards to retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, eBay, Macy’s and so much more. Swagbucks members have earned nearly $400 million through their participation. Get in on the earnings today and get a $10 bonus just for signing up.
Ipsos i-Say offers high-paying surveys and emails them to you directly, so you can save yourself the trouble of looking for surveys to take. In addition to that, you’ll get a heads up about how long each survey takes so you can decide for yourself whether you have the time to do it. Each survey earns you a certain number of i-Say points, and every time you complete a certain number of surveys, you’ll get bonus points. Complete your first five surveys and you’ll be rewarded with 25 points. Complete 10 and you’ll get 50 extra points. Redeem your points for cash via PayPal and Visa prepaid debit cards or for gift cards to places like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, Home Depot and more.
Don’t forget to enter Ipsos i-Say’s Click Draw, Poll Predictor and See it Live Draw contests for chances to win thousands of bonus i-Say points, vacation getaways, tickets to events and other prizes.
This market research company is a hidden gem. You can save some serious cash with exclusive discounts when you take a single survey with Shopper’s Voice. Its Consumer Product Survey only takes 15 to 25 minutes to complete and you’ll automatically be entered into a sweepstake for a chance to score a $1,500 cash prize and possible invites to participate in other sweepstakes with $25 to $250 Amazon gift card or Visa prepaid debit card rewards.
When taking just one survey with Shopper’s Voice can get you perks like these every year, why wouldn’t you do it? Sign up to become a Shopper’s Voice Panel member now.
This is a market research community that’s 10 million members strong. Share your opinions on the products you regularly use from the brands you love and shape the products of tomorrow while earning cash. Just create a profile and the app will offer you surveys tailored to your interests. For every survey you take with Survey Junkie, you’ll earn points that you can exchange for hard cash with a PayPal account or gift cards to a wide selection of retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart and Groupon.
2. Save Yourself $500 A Year For Doing Almost Nothing
One of the easiest ways to bring in more money is to cut back on the money that’s going out — I’m talking about memberships and subscription services, people. As awesome as things like getting newspapers and magazines delivered to your doorstep, premium cable packages, mobile streaming services and memberships to fully equipped gyms are, they’re not necessary. Getting rid of the ones you don’t really use means holding on to more of your money every month and putting it where it’s most needed, like your retirement savings.
Instead of spending hours talking or emailing back and forth with various customer service departments, use Truebill to cancel all of your unwanted subscriptions in seconds. When you link your bank account to the app, it will quickly scan through your spending and generate a list of everything your bank account is being automatically charged for. Hit the cancel button corresponding with service you don’t want anymore. Just like that you’re unsubscribed and have one less thing taking money from you.
Truebill saves people an average of $500 a year and has saved people $50 million overall. That’s cash that could be in your wallet.
3. Invest Money Outside of Your 401(k) To Grow Your Money Faster
According to a 2019 study by Northwestern University, nearly three-quarters of Americans aren’t saving nearly enough money with their retirement plans.
Finding the right place to simultaneously sock away money for retirement and grow it by investing it is key. Betterment offers personalized retirement savings plans, low fees (that is something that kills so many people when they are saving for retirement) and pretty incredible customer support.
Tell Betterment what you’re saving for — retirement, general investing, emergency fund — how much you want to save and when you’ll need the money by. A personalized portfolio will be built around the information you provide with a risk level and mix of investments that are best suited for your goal. Throughout your investment journey, you’ll get recommendations for how regularly and how much you should contribute money to your account, portfolio rebalancing as needed to maintain your risk comfort and so much more help that will really come in handy.
For all of this, Betterment will only charge an annual fee of 0.25% for its digital plan or 0.40% for its premium plan. And unlike other investment accounts, you’ll never be charged additional fees for trades and transfers.
You don’t want to leave your retirement savings up to chance. Per Betterment, you could earn 38% more on your money than you would with traditional retirement plans.
4. Turn Your Grocery Shopping Into Cash
Usually, when you spend money on groceries, that’s it, you’ll never see that money again. We all need food to survive, but sometimes the money you spend on it is enough to make your heart skip a beat (I know, I’ve been there).
Hack: If you use Ibotta to do your grocery shopping, it will turn every trip to the grocery store into an opportunity to earn money.
Download Ibotta to get cash back on your grocery bill when you shop online through the app or in-person. As your making your shopping list, check the Ibotta app for its available cash back offers and add them to your cart. Then just shop. You’ll pay full price at checkout and if you’re making in-store purchases, you’ll get cash back to your account within 48 hours. If you’re shopping online, you’ll earn up to 10% cash back on your entire purchase amount instantly. Ibotta works at major grocery store chains like Costco, Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, Stop & Shop, Aldi and hundreds of others.
Whether you’re retired or still working, one thing that’s not gonna change is how much you spend on groceries. But at least with Ibotta, you can get some of that money back.
5. Use This App To Get Cash Rewards For Doing Your Every Day Shopping
A great way to save on and finance all of your shopping is to sign up for the Shopkick rewards program. Doing it only takes a couple of seconds and you’ll immediately start working your way to free gift cards to your favorite stores with your next shopping outing.
Most members can earn enough points, called “kicks” in the app, to take home a gift card in a week.
Here are the ways you can earn online:
- Visit stores through the app
- View certain offers
- Make purchases
Here are the ways you can earn in stores:
- Walk into stores
- Scan select items with the in-app scanner
- Make purchases
Swap your points for gift cards to stores like Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Lowes, T.J. Maxx and more.
6. Earn Money Driving People Around In Your Free Time
If you’re either trying to save as much as you can for retirement, or already retired and in need of some extra cash you might want to consider a side hustle. One that is both really flexible and great for earning quick cash is driving for Lyft.
Drive for Lyft and you’ll get to meet new people, explore new neighborhoods, discover new hangouts while making money at the same time. Depending on how often you drive, you can make anywhere between a few hundred to several hundred a week.
The app will tell you when and where you can earn the most, you can set weekly earning goals, which the app will help you stay on top of, and you’ll get tons of opportunities to earn extra cash with various driver bonuses and passenger tips.
You’ll get paid every week and can cash out early when you need to with Lyft’s Express Pay feature as long as you have a balance of at least $5.
Driving for Lyft is easy, it can be a lot of fun and its schedule is as flexible as you are. Start driving for Lyft to bring in extra money every month.
7. Or, Supplement Your Income With This Easy Side Hustle
Not fond of the idea of driving people around in your car? Another side hustle that’s easy to do on your own time is delivering food as a Dasher with DoorDash.
DoorDash is an on-demand, food delivery service that similarly to Lyft, lets you be your own boss and decide whenever it is you want to deliver. A lot of people use their cars to make deliveries, but you also have the option of using a bike, scooter, motorcycle or even walking. The ability to do this means that this isn’t a particularly taxing side hustle and makes it a great way to earn some extra cash.
You’ll get your money via direct deposit every week and can track your earnings through the app.
8. Rent Out A Spare Room Or Two In Your Home And Earn Real $$$
If your kids have flown the coop and you have rooms that are going unused in your house, consider listing them on Airbnb.
This online marketplace lets you rent out a room, a portion of your home or the full house and gives you full control over space availability, price and house rules. List your space for free and whenever it’s booked, Airbnb will only take a small cut of your earnings.
Depending on where you live, you can rake in hundreds to even thousands of dollars every month. If you live somewhere that’s a tourist hub, you stand to make a huge profit, so it’s definitely worth looking into (make sure to check the hosting laws for your state and town or city when you do). If you want to see just how much you could make, use Airbnb’s calculator.
Don’t let that empty space in your house go to waste. Start earning a passive income renting it out with Airbnb.