Welcome back, digital seniors! Today we will be discussing the best jobs for seniors in the sharing economy. As you know already from our first article in this series, aging demographics in North American are creating serious financial concerns. And rightly so.
In the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing”. This article will give you the tools you need to live more comfortably in retirement — and to give you enough cash to keep playing!
Before we launch into these exciting money-making websites, we’ll give you some facts and figures about why the sharing economy is so critical to your retirement. Don’t worry — these statistics won’t put you to sleep. They’re here to galvanize you into action.
According to the World Health Organization, those aged 65+ will, for the first time in history, outnumber those under the age of five. As of today, one in three Americans is 50+. By 2030, one in five Americans will be 65+. As each year passes, four million Boomers reach the age of 55.
We also noted that the average monthly cost of an assisted living unit is $3500. The AARP reports that the average total of all income streams for the 65+ group is $2645 a month. This includes retirement plans, benefits, second jobs, etc. Clearly affordability will be a growing issue.
So, hopefully your retirement plan consists of more than a box of losing lottery tickets.
But all hope is not lost. Far from it. As we explained in our second article, the sharing economy is primed to help ease the financial burden of aging. We outlined many websites that can help you, or your loved ones, with grocery shopping, transportation, proper nutrition and exercise, odd-jobs, and much more.
There is one final piece to the puzzle. Yes, the sharing economy can assist with independent living by reducing costs for seniors. But the sharing economy can also help generate supplemental income for seniors. And the sharing economy contains the best jobs for seniors and retirees.
And that is our goal today, to outline some sharing economy websites that will earn you money. By far, we believe the sharing economy contains the best jobs for seniors. Let us explain.
According to research by Emergent and Intuit, 18 percent of sharing economy workers are 55+. This research concludes that “the number of older Americans seeking [this type of] work will likely continue to grow.”
The aging population isn’t being forced to work either, they are choosing to. A recent poll found that 72 percent of pre-retirees indicated they wanted to work during retirement.
Based on the fact you’re reading this, you’re probably in that majority who want to work in retirement. And you’re not alone in turning to the sharing economy for this. According to a report from PWC, those aged 55+ are one of the most frequent users of sharing economy platforms. Seniors, in fact, participated in the sharing economy at a rate of four times that of the general U.S. population.
Part of the reason for this is that seniors are becoming much more technologically savvy. According to Pew Research, 74 percent of those aged 65+ own a mobile device.
Taking all this into consideration, we at the Casual Capitalist see the massive opportunity the sharing economy holds for seniors and retirees. So let’s take a look at some seniors and retirees who have already cashed in using the sharing economy.
Remember the success stories of seniors working in the sharing economy from part 1? We introduced you to Robert, a 79-year-old from Florida. Robert earned $6,000 in 2014 for renting out his car on Turo instead of letting it sit idle for 90% of the time.
You met William, a 63-year-old retired salesman who began working on TaskRabbit last year assembling Ikea furniture. William estimated that he works six hours a week, and earns $2,000 a month. Not too shabby!
Or Janice, the 70-year-old Uber driver from Minneapolis. Since 2013 Janice has been driving with Uber about 20 hours a week, averaging three hours a day. Janice pulls in about $1,500 a month, which translates into an extra $1,000 after her costs.
Uber says more of its drivers are over 50 than under 30. Further, about a quarter of Uber drivers are 50 and older. So, why do so many seniors enjoy the concept of the sharing economy?
It’s a flexible job option that allows you to work only when you want and with who you want. If someone asks you to do a job or rent your room, or ride in your car, you can first view their ratings from other sellers. You can quickly uncover if buyers will be a good or troublesome.
So let’s get into it. Here are 8 of the best jobs for seniors looking to earn supplemental income in retirement.
“On any particular night, we have guests the volume of New Orleans staying in Airbnb listings” – Chip Conley – Airbnb Executive
Airbnb is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world. Available in over 34,000 cities across 190 countries, Airbnb has welcomed over 25 million guests. Airbnb has over one million property listings worldwide.
Simply put, Airbnb renters will pay you to rent a room in your home or your entire home.
Both guests and hosts rate each other, creating amazing accountability. You know before you rent to someone what other hosts have said about them. This can inform your decision and who you rent to and who to avoid.
According to Airbnb, they average 425,000 guests per night. This is 20% more than Hilton.
How can you tap into this? It’s simple, Airbnb allows you to make money from your property by renting it out on a short-term basis. Stays range from one night to a few months, but typically are one week or less.
The income potential is appealing according to Airbnb statistics site AirDNA. On average, hosts who rent out only a room in their homes earn $700 a month. Check out AirDNA for statistics about your specific area.
Airbnb is one of the juggernauts of the sharing economy and can’t be done justice in this amount of time. Click here for a simple guide to becoming an Airbnb host.
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), Americans own 83 million dogs and 95 million cats. In 2014 alone, pet owners spent three billion dollars on pet boarding.
This is a significant market that you can tap into through the sharing economy. People view their animals as family, so they want to give them the best possible service, and they are willing to pay for it.
Instead of boarding their animals, people are electing to leave their pets in the homes of others. This is where you come in. Through websites such as Rover.com and DogVacay, you can board dogs or cats for a fee.
DogVacay has over 20,000 pet sitters in 3,000 cities in the U.S. and Canada. This makes it smaller than Rover.com, which has over 25,000 sitters in over 9,000 cities across the U.S.
Both Rover.com and DogVacay hosts are able to charge an average of $30 a day. So even hosting one pet a day can become lucrative. If you host more, then you can make some serious side cash.
For more on these platforms, check out our report here.
Almost everyone has heard of the ride-sharing platform Uber. Uber is one of the pioneers of the sharing economy. Why has it been so successful? You work your own schedule, use your own car, and get paid weekly.
You are essentially a private taxi. So how does Uber work? Through the app, Uber drivers are paired with Uber riders who want to pay a predetermined price to get a ride to a specific destination. Simple as that.
Although headquartered in the U.S., Uber is available worldwide in over 266 cities across 55 countries. It’s in more cities than a Rolling Stones tour!
The best way to find out if Uber is good for you is to download the app on your smartphone and use it as a rider. By using Uber as a rider you will be able to ask questions to drivers. How much do you make? What was the hiring process like? What are your challenges? Do you work full or part-time? You get the picture. This will also give you an opportunity to experience the platform.
As with other websites, drivers and riders are both rated. So you have a good idea of who your rider is before they even step into your car.
Like Airbnb, Uber cannot be done justice in a short amount of time. If you think Uber might be for you, check out our free resource here.
According to studies, tour guides currently charge clients $125 for half-day tours and up to $200 for full-day tours. This is significant income potential and a full-time career for many.
One of the most popular touring websites in the sharing economy is called Vayable. If you live in a large city or a popular tourist destination, this may be a good option for you.
Vayable is simple: you list your tour on their website and then tourists can book you. The challenge on Vayable is to develop enticing descriptions so tourists will end up booking with you.
Tour guides on Vayable are called the ‘insiders’ and tours are called ‘experiences.’ You can post experiences that have specific objectives, touring location, and themes. These themes can be dining, art, food, photography, shopping, wine, romance, family, adventure, and more.
In this sense, Vayable enables locals to become tour guides and monetize their love of their city.
Monthly bookings on Vayable exceed one million dollars a month. Peers.org lists the average weekly earnings for Vayable at $100. Vayable takes a 15% cut of all bookings and a 3% commission from buyers.
You don’t necessarily need to be a professional tour guide to register on Vayable. You need only a unique experience that you want to share with tourists. Dive bars don’t count unless Ben Franklin drank there.
The sharing economy tasking service TaskRabbit allows people to complete the to-do lists of others. This includes assembling furniture, fixing anything, yard work, cleaning, painting, groceries, professional services, virtual tasks, and much much more.
And the money is enticing! According to the New York Stern School of Business, the wage rates on TaskRabbit across every task category are higher than the Bureau of Labor Statistics average for the same profession. Please take that in for a moment.
TaskRabbit is the most widely used tasking service and is available worldwide. TaskRabbit is present in most major U.S. cities, as well as the UK. For my Canadian readers, please check out AskForTask.
Some quick facts about TaskRabbit:
For security, TaskRabbit completes a criminal record check on all taskers. They also offer one million dollars in insurance in case of injury or damage.
Once a task is complete, TaskRabbit pays out immediately and taskers are rated. Taskers are paid through the TaskRabbit platform, so no money is exchanged.
Are you good at assembling furniture? Moving? Are you handy? Are you a cleaner? Can you do yard work? Can you paint? All these activities can earn you money on TaskRabbit.
WeGoLook is a sharing economy platform that can dispatch from its over 20,000 ‘lookers’ to verify claims made by sellers about assets for sale. Lookers act as your eyes on the ground to see if a purchase you want to make is as advertised. Think of it as an on-demand inspection, or custom tasking.
Maybe someone wants to buy a vacation property or used vehicle a few hundred miles away. They’re busy and don’t have the time to travel to this location and inspect the sale. They can hire a looker from WeGoLook who would not only travel to the point of sale but fill out a customized report. How’s that for service?
Lookers take pictures, videos, collect specified data, and respond to any questions about the object or property. Once complete, the looker files their report which is verified by WeGoLook and then sent to the buyer.
According to WeGoLook, their Looker community is comprised of “school teachers, retired veterans, pastors, mechanics, and others”
If this interests you, check out a longer article on WeGoLook and similar websites.
You can think of these services as a traditional car rental service, like Hertz or Avis. Except you’re not renting from a large company; you’re renting from individuals who have agreed to share their vehicles for a fee.
Car-sharing is attractive to people who don’t need a vehicle on a regular basis. It’s also attractive to those who want to make money because cars spend the majority of the time unused. And lonely.
On average in the U.S., cars are idle 22 hours out of the day. Because cars on average idle 22 hours a day, that’s 20 billion car hours wasted every year.
Enter Turo. Founded in 2010 by Shelby Clark and headquartered in San Francisco, Turo is one of the biggest car-sharing platforms in the U.S. Turo is available in all major U.S. cities, except New York. And really, do you want someone to drive your car in New York City?
The Turo platform connects car owners with renters to share vehicles at a cost. Turo has vehicles in 2,500 U.S. cities and at more than 300 airports.
To become a driver on Turo, the company will do a standard background check, confirm the vehicle registration, and check that the vehicle is safe.
On average, car owners on Turo make $400 a month. Remember this is only an average – you can make significantly more if you’re more active.
Another car-sharing option is Getaround, which operates in San Francisco, Berkeley, Chicago, Oakland, Portland, and Washington D.C. Getaround has 200,000 members across the U.S. and a fleet of 1,300 vehicles.
The online learning industry is poised to make $107 billion in 2015. More specifically for us, the online tutoring industry was worth $7 billion in 2014. By the end of 2015, it’s estimated that the industry will be worth over $13 billion.
Most of you will have a teachable niche. Online tutoring is one of the best jobs for seniors because it’s profitable and can be done online, from the comfort of your own home.
By niche, we mean almost anything. As you will see below, hundreds, if not thousands, of topics have students ready to pay. It can be traditional topics such as math, science, languages, English, or computers. Or obscure and unorthodox topics such as humor writing, public speaking, oyster cooking, or Instagram.
WyzAnt, or “wise ant,” is one of the best digital marketplaces for tutors and teachers. This service operates in all 50 U.S. states and has approximately 80,000 active tutors.
The website also boasts over two million registered users. As a WyzAnt tutor, you can teach both online or in-person. WyzAnt currently features over 20,000 tutoring jobs in the U.S.
Interestingly, a WyzAnt tutor is within 10 miles of 97% of the U.S. population. Talk about coverage! Better than Verizon!
WyzAnt tutors earn $45 an hour on average. In total, WyzAnt tutors have earned more than $64 million.
The teachable subjects on WyzAnt are numerous: sciences, math, languages, computers, reading, writing, and much more.
So what do you have to do to become a tutor? You do not have to be a certified teacher. You simply have to be 18 years of age, live in the U.S., and have a valid Social Security Number. You can sign up for free on the WyzAnt website and start searching for online or in-person tutoring gigs.
Of course, all this can be overwhelming. If you’re not sure which of the above options is for you, we’ve got you covered! We have developed a free quiz to help you decide. Based on a few simple yes or no lifestyle questions, we can give you a good idea of which sharing economy platform best suits your current situation.
Clearly there are many options for income supplementation in retirement. Our belief is that best jobs for seniors rest in the growing sharing economy. We believe this for many reasons, not the least of which is the flexibility it affords its workers and the amazing income potential.
Thank you so much for joining us through our three-part series on the sharing economy for seniors. This series is part of a larger ongoing project conducted by the Casual Capitalist over the next several months.
We are writing a book teaching seniors how to leverage the digital tools available to them to live more economically and independently. The key here is income supplementation and independent living through the sharing economy.
If you would like to get updates on this project please sign up as a Digital Senior Insider here. This will include free resources and an advance copy of the book when the time comes.
Glenn Carter is a sharing economy expert and is sharing his passion for side income through new digital platforms with his readers.