Working from home has become a necessity for many retirees. The economic downturn and its impact on savings income have led many to search for more creative ways to make money. For people who hoped that they'd already said 'adios' to corporate life, a work from home position, either as your own boss or working for someone else, is often appealing. But is it truly possible to find a well-paying job this way?
In a word – yes - it is possible to work from home and make money. If you're short of cash and need a retirement job but also want flexibility, there are definitely opportunities available to you, however, there are challenges associated with working from home that you need to think about whilst you're considering how to go about it.
Avoiding Becoming a Mark
For those who don’t know, a 'mark' is the target for scammers. These people make money by preying on the desperate. When you need money to feed your family or keep your house, even 'too-good-to-be-true' offers seem reasonable if they seem like they'll ease the financial burden. Unfortunately, they only serve to strip you of what's left of your hard-earned money.
Here are a few things to watch out for when looking for legitimate work-from-home positions.
Avoid requests for money – Any opportunity that asks for you to pay them for the privilege is a waste of time. Once you give them the money, they send you information about possible jobs or simply tell you what you already know. But, there's no job waiting for you.
Avoid getting rich quick – If there was a way to make thousands of pounds or dollars a week stuffing envelopes, everyone would be doing it. Consider the source. If it is just a phone number without any other kind of contact, that’s suspicious. Besides, who would pay that type of money for that kind of work? Think realistically before taking the plunge.
Check freelance sites – One way to always make money is to freelance. Website businesses are always looking for writers to provide content for their sites and blogs. If you are a website programmer, designer or an expert in copywriting, you can find opportunities at sites like Elance, Freelancer, Guru, iFreelance, HireWriters and LogoMyWay.
Look in local papers – Companies sometimes hire for customer service jobs that can be done from home. As long as you have a computer and access to the internet, you can have calls routed to you for answering. It may require you to visit the main facility for training but then you can conduct other business from home. In the U.S., medical offices hire freelance medical coders and transcriptionists. If you have the expertise, you can hire yourself out to a number of offices.
Use your creativity – Some work from home positions can stem from your talents and interests. If you can sew, set up shop as a seamstress. If you have a passion for gardening, you could provide your services to people who like to have a nice garden but don't have the time to keep it looking good. People have been setting up stores on eBay for years now. If you're into 'making things', sell your creations via an online store or auction.
It is possible to find ways to work from home and make money. Watch out for scams but be diligent in pursuing opportunities and gaining the knowledge to expand and take advantage of other lucrative propositions. You could discover you have entrepreneurial tendencies that you never dreamed existed!
The notion of buying less and being happier runs contrary to the more popular concept of 'more (and bigger) is better'. As more and more people become disillusioned with all their 'stuff', the idea that buying less can actually make you happier is beginning to take hold. (And, let's face it, with what's happened to pensions and interest rates over the last few years, some retirees just don't have a choice!)
Here are some suggestions on how you can buy less and be happier:
1. Distinguish between needs and wants. Before making a purchase, ask yourself why you're buying it. How will your life be better with that particular item in your home? Can you afford it? Does it have a practical use?
2. Spend time, not money, with your family and friends. This is the key to being happier with buying less - you will cultivate more meaningful relationships instead of spending money on stuff. Think in terms of relationships, not things. This may require a shift in priorities and, for some, may mean learning to put people ahead of material items. If you accomplish this, life will be much more fulfilling.
3. Learn (or relearn) to refurbish and fix used items, and learn to create and build. Often, these times of creativity can also be times when you come together with friends and family to get a job done. In other words, DIY can help you be happier!
4. Pay cash or write a cheque whenever you buy something. This is a safeguard against debt, which is, of course, one of the biggest robbers of happiness there is. You'll be much happier buying less if you can also look at it as way of incurring less debt.
5. Change your perspective about the role of stuff in your life. Think about the big picture before making purchases - will owning this item make me a better person? If I buy this electronic gizmo, will the world (or even just MY world!) be the better for it?
6. Take time to find out what true happiness means to you. When you're not trying to fill some imagined void with material things, it gives you some breathing room to figure out just what makes you tick. Accumulating stuff is probably not what really makes you happy. Dig deep and learn something about yourself. Keep a journal, meditate, spend time alone...
When you begin to cultivate relationships instead of buying more and more stuff, you might just find that you become much happier.
If you're due to retire in the near future, my free eCourse, The 6 Stages of Retirement, will give you a birds-eye view of the retirement process so you know what to expect. It includes a list of the major pitfalls at every stage of the process and self-coaching questions to help you avoid those pitfalls...
I recently acquired a list of 1000 business ideas. I'm not sure what, if anything, I'm going to do with it yet but it's, literally, an A to Z of ideas. If you're in the market for a retirement business but you're stuck for inspiration, here are 82 ideas that begin with the letter A for you to consider...
1. 3D Artist 2. Accessories Store 3. Accounting Auditor 4. Accounts Payable 5. Accounts Receivable 6. Ad Copywriter 7. Adult Daycare 8. Adult Entertainment 9. Adult Toy and Novelty Store 10. Adventure Tours 11. Advertising Agency 12. Advertising Sales 13. Aerial Photographer 14. Aerial Seed and Spraying Service 15. Aerobics Studio 16. Affiliate Manager 17. Affiliate Marketer 18. After School Care 19. Agricultural Consultant 20. Air Charter Services 21. Aircraft Design 22. Aircraft Engines 23. Aircraft Parts 24. Airport Transportation Service 25. Alarm Equipment Sales 26. Alarm Installation 27. Alarm Monitoring Service 28. Allopathic Physicians 29. Amphibian Breeding 30. Amusement Park 31. Amusement Park Equipment 32. Anesthesiologist 33. Animal Breeder 34. Animal Hospital 35. Animation Services 36. Announcements 37. Answering Service 38. Antique Dealer 39. Antique Locator 40. Antique Restoration 41. Apartment Building Maintenance 42. Apartment Cleaner 43. Apartment Rental 44. Appliance Rental 45. Appliance Repair 46. Appliance Store 47. Appointment Reminder Service 48. Appointment Scheduling Service 49. Aquarium Maintenance Service 50. Aquarium Sales 51. Aquarium Set Up Service 52. Arbitration Service 53. Arcade 54. Archaeologist 55. Architect 56. Architectural Engineer 57. Architectural Supplies 58. Aromatherapist 59. Art Broker 60. Art Gallery 61. Art Restoration 62. Art School 63. Art Supplies 64. Article Distribution Service 65. Article Writing Service 66. Arts and Crafts Classes for Children 67. Assistance Dog Training 68. Astrologist 69. Astronomer 70. ATV Park 71. ATV Rentals 72. ATV Sales 73. Auctioneer 74. Audio Visual Equipment and Supplies Rental 75. Audio Visual Equipment and Supplies Sales 76. Auto Body Repair Shop 77. Auto Customization 78. Auto Detailing 79. Auto Painting 80. Auto Part Refurbishment 81. Auto Parts 82. Auto Repair Shop
If you're one of the growing number of baby boomers who can't afford to retire, you might be interested in this MSN Money article - 10 Part-time Jobs for Retirees - to get you thinking about the range of possibilities available to you. (It has links to some other interesting articles/websites too.)
Heidemarie Schwermer, a 69 year-old former school teacher from Dortmund in Germany hasn't used money for 15 years. Instead, she lives nomadically, trading things and services for everything she needs. It's an intriguing story. Read it over at Wake Up World.