As people enter their fifties, they often start to consider retirement and what their financial situation will look like in the coming years. While many people have saved money for retirement, it’s not uncommon for individuals to find themselves in a position where they need to supplement their income. This is where a side hustle comes into play.
A side hustle is a job or business that individuals take on in addition to their full-time job. For example, my main business is my blogging business, and I work a part-time job at Lowes as my gig job. A side hustle can be a great way to pay off debt, boost retirement savings, start an emergency fund, or make extra money to make ends meet.
This article will explore the benefits of having a side hustle at 50 or older, the available side hustles, and how to get started.
However, before discussing the benefits, let me explain why I got a side hustle when I turned 50.
Why I Got A Side Hustle When I Turned 50
When I turned 50, I realized I hadn’t enough saved for retirement. If I’m being honest, I hadn’t saved anything. Sure, I saved a few thousand in a Roth IRA, but that wouldn’t be enough to retire.
If I continued down the same path, it would take me until I was in my 70s to retire. That’s why I decided to start a side hustle and make some extra money.
In addition, I also have student loan and medical debt that needs to be paid off. If I don’t want to rely 100% on social security, I need to increase my savings account to 60% or more of my income.
The only way I can do that is to increase my income. So, I got a part-time job at Lowes and work on my blog business when I got off work.
I never thought I would work a job and my blog business at 50. Instead, I started my blog business, so I wouldn’t have to be an employee. However, working at Lowes allows me to save 80-90% of my blog income, so I maximize my Solo 401k and Roth at the end of the year.
Unfortunately, if you’re closer to retirement age (like me) and haven’t saved enough, you must find ways to increase your income.
A side gig is a perfect way to do that. Plus, it also helps build your resume and gives you a sense of purpose after retirement.
So let’s discuss the benefits of having a side hustle later in life.
Why Side Hustle is Important at 50 Years of Age
The main benefit of having a side hustle is it can help you achieve your financial goals faster. In today’s society, having more than one source of income is essential.
With the high cost of living, it’s not always easy to live on one income.
Below are some main reasons you need to consider a side hustle.
#1 Financial Stability
Unfortunately, most people (especially the older generations) don’t start thinking about retirement until their 50’s. As a society, we are not great savers. My generation (GenX) didn’t have access to the investing apps available today.
So many of us face a bleak retirement unless we make drastic changes.
A side hustle is one of the easiest ways to create an additional income stream to catch up on your retirement savings or pay off debt.
It can also help to diversify income sources, reducing the risk of relying solely on one job or investment.
Having more than one income stream will also provide a safety net in case of unexpected expenses or job loss.
A side gig is a perfect opportunity to invest in new income streams or assets, such as rental properties or stocks.
#2 Personal Fulfillment
A side hustle can allow one to pursue a passion or interest outside of a traditional job. This can lead to a sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction. It can also provide a creative outlet and a chance to learn new skills.
The right side hustle can provide a sense of purpose and motivation for those who may feel stuck or unfulfilled in their current job.
Building something from scratch gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride.
#3 Social Connections
According to LinkedIn, over 50% of people over 50 have a side hustle. This means you’ll likely connect with other like-minded individuals and build relations.
It can provide a chance to network with like-minded individuals and learn from others in the same field. It can also provide a sense of community and belonging.
For those feeling isolated or disconnected, many groups on Facebook, Reddit, and other social media channels make it easy to meet new people and build social connections.
It’s never too late to start, and there is a growing trend of older individuals embracing the gig economy.
Types of Side Hustles for 50-Year-Olds
Side hustles can be an excellent way for 50-year-olds to earn extra income, gain new experiences, and stay active.
Here are some popular types of side hustles:
Online Side Hustles
Online side hustles are an excellent option for anyone who wants to work from home, be their own boss, or have a flexible schedule.
Here are some popular online side hustles:
- Sell items on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Amazon, etc.
- Participate in online surveys
- Freelance writing or editing
- Start a blog or YouTube channel
- Social media management or content creation
These online side hustles can be a great way to utilize your skills and interests while earning extra income. The best part is all you need is access to a computer and Internet service to get started.
Service-Based Side Hustles
Service-based side hustles involve providing a service to others. Here are some popular service-based side hustles:
- Tutoring or teaching
- Food Delivery Driver
- House cleaning or organizing
- Pet-sitting or dog-walking
- Personal Shopper
- Rideshare Driver
- Babysitter, Elder Care, or Nanny
Service-based gigs are perfect for people who like being around people and have the time and energy to provide services.
It’s also a great way to network and build connections while earning extra income.
#3 Creative Side Hustles
Creative side hustles involve using your creativity and skills to create and sell products. Here are some popular creative side hustles:
- Handmade crafts or jewelry
- Photography or videography services
- Graphic design or illustration services
- Sell your artwork on Etsy or Shopify
- Create and sell printables online
- Web design
Creative side hustles are perfect for people with creative or artistic personalities.
How to Start a Side Hustle at 50 Years of Age
Identify Your Skills and Interests
Starting a side hustle requires identifying skills and interests that can be turned into a profitable business.
Individuals should consider their hobbies, passions, and talents that can be monetized.
For example, someone skilled in writing can publish books on Amazon, start a freelance writing business, or start a blog.
If someone is passionate about cooking, they can start a catering business.
Choosing a business that aligns with personal interests and skills is vital for maximizing success and enjoyment. Unfortunately, some people make the mistake of chasing money instead of passion.
Getting your side gig off the ground will take a lot of time and work. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll quit before you earn your first dollar.
Determine Your Goals and Objectives
Before starting a side hustle, it is essential to determine goals and objectives. This includes identifying the reason for starting a business, financial goals, and the amount of time to dedicate to the business.
Setting clear goals and objectives helps to create a roadmap for success. It ensures that efforts are focused on achieving desired outcomes.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to set goals. This video will help you understand how to set goals and why it’s crucial.
Find Customers or Clients
Once a business plan is in place, the next step is to find customers or clients. This can be done through networking, social media, advertising, or word of mouth.
Identifying the target market and tailoring marketing efforts to reach them is crucial. In addition, building a loyal customer base is essential for the success of any side hustle.
Manage Your Time and Resources
Starting a side hustle requires adequate time and resource management. Setting realistic expectations and prioritizing tasks is essential to ensure the business runs smoothly.
This includes managing finances, scheduling work, and balancing personal and professional commitments.
Self-discipline is essential to make the most of your time. But unfortunately, most people spend too much time writing a business plan, registering an LLC, or doing things that don’t matter.
While those things are essential, they don’t matter when you start your side hustle. The only thing that matters from day one is focusing on income-producing tasks.
Challenges and Solutions for Starting a Side Hustle at 50 Years of Age
One of the biggest challenges someone starting a side hustle at 50 may face is age discrimination. Some potential clients or customers may assume someone in their 50s is not as tech-savvy or adaptable as someone younger.
However, there are several solutions to this challenge:
- Emphasize your experience and expertise in your side hustle marketing materials
- Highlight your ability to work independently and your strong work ethic
- Consider partnering with a younger person who can help you with the technical aspects of your side hustle
Age discrimination isn’t as predominant in side gigs as when looking for a job. This is because you’re not being paid as an employee and don’t get paid unless you deliver results.
Health and Physical Limitations
Another challenge that someone starting a side hustle at 50 years of age may face is health or physical limitations.
However, there are several solutions to this challenge:
- Choose a side hustle that is less physically demanding, such as freelance writing or virtual bookkeeping
- Consider working with a partner or hiring an assistant to help with physically challenging tasks
- Take breaks and prioritize self-care to avoid burnout and exacerbating health issues
Remember, it’s going to take time to see results. Most people who start out too intense burnout and quit altogether.
Balancing Work and Family Responsibilities
Someone starting a side hustle later in life may struggle to balance work and family responsibilities.
However, there are several solutions to this challenge:
- Communicate with family members and discuss ways to share responsibilities and support each other
- Set clear boundaries and prioritize time management to ensure that work and family time are balanced
- Consider outsourcing tasks such as housekeeping or meal delivery to free up time for work and family responsibilities
Depending on your side hustle, you may face risks such as startup costs or potential loss of income. That said, don’t let the fear of money stop you from pursuing a side gig.
Here are some tips to help you overcome financial risks:
- Start with a low-cost or no-cost side hustle, such as selling items on eBay or offering freelance writing services.
- Gradually build up the side hustle while maintaining your full-time job to minimize financial risk.
- Consider seeking financial advice or consulting with a mentor to help manage financial risks.
- Don’t invest in outsourcing or hire help until your side gig is making money.
- Set up a bank account to separate your personal and side gig money. This makes it easier when it’s time to pay taxes.
Don’t forget to put aside enough money to pay self-employment taxes. Most people who start a side hustle struggle to pay taxes at the end of the year because they spend all the profits.
Uncle Sam will want his portion of your profits, so don’t get caught off guard!
A side hustle at 50 or any age is a wise financial decision and can help you get ahead.
It can provide additional income, help pay off debt, and allow for more financial freedom in retirement. While it may seem daunting to start a side hustle later in life, there are many options available that can fit into a busy schedule.
It’s important to remember that a side hustle doesn’t have to be a full-time job. It can be something as simple as selling items online or offering a service that utilizes a skill or hobby.
The key is to find something you enjoy that fits your lifestyle. Finding something that matches this criteria may take time, but you’ll be more likely to stick with it than if you jump on the first thing you see.