Friday, January 22, 2016

Is an E-tirement In Your Future?

You might be asking yourself, “So what exactly is ‘e-tirement’?”  Well, in all honesty, and as far as I know, e-tirement is a term I developed to put a name with the Internet activities people utilize in their retirement years to earn additional income.

Now not everyone may be cut out for e-tirement, and not everyone will likely find such a retirement necessary or desirable, but for some, an e-tirement can make a substantial difference in the way they live and their quality of life during their golden years.  It can provide a sense of purpose and responsibility for those who miss the workplace but don’t necessarily want to work full-time during their retirement, as well as offer an alternative form of income for those who face an uncertain financial retirement future.

If you think e-tirement might be in your future, here are some things to consider as to how you might utilize the Internet to your advantage and how it may assist you in bolstering your retirement income.

How You Can Turn Interests into Money
With easy access to the Internet and all the resources it offers, there are a whole slew of money making opportunities that might present themselves to you -- or vice versa -- during your retirement.  You may discover that by picking up a new hobby in your retirement, such as starting a blog, writing, becoming a coin collector, searching for antiques and collectibles, or similar new found interest, there may be options to turn that hobby into cash. 

You may instead utilize skills or interests that you already have such as cooking (making cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and similar items may be a great way to do something you love while earning money), sewing (baby clothing, scarves, mittens, socks, or whatever -- since sewing seems to becoming somewhat of a lost art), selling sports memorabilia, finding used books at garage sales or resale shops that can be sold for cash online, starting your own Internet company, or similar money-making ideas to find new income streams.  By using the Internet to promote your activities and sell your products through options such as eBay, Craigslist, and numerous book, cd, and dvd resale venues, and with new options for resale of all sorts of items popping up constantly, you may discover that with a little extra time on your hands, you could convert the demand for resale into hefty profits for yourself.

You could even use your retirement location to earn you money.  I’ve heard of people writing personalized messages in beach sand, taking pictures of them, and then uploading them to be sold as digital greeting cards.

While it might take time to build your Internet income streams, in retirement, time might be a resource that is finally on your side.  Taking some of this time to read reviews, investigate tutorials, and discover the goods, bads, and uglies, of possible revenue producing venues or opportunities in which your are interested in pursuing could ensure that you have a better understanding of and safer experience with your e-tirement resources.

Income Booster
While participating in e-tirement might be a nice little income booster, you probably shouldn’t expect the world overnight.  While you may momentarily revel in the sense of accomplishment you get from starting your own blog, you may be sorely disappointed when you realize that it takes more than just having a blog to make any sort of real money.  The same will likely go for selling things on eBay, starting a small Internet business and similar e-tirement income supplements. 

While it’s great to go into such ventures with a full head of steam, it can also be important to temper your expectations and maintain a realistic approach as to just how quickly you will be able to jump into any type of revenue producing Internet activity and just how much money you will actually make from it.  This isn’t an attempt to dissuade you from trying out new ways of making an extra buck or two, but having grand illusions of million dollar money makers can lead to disappointment, skew your income expectations, and ruin what might otherwise have been a pleasant, peaceful, and happy retirement pastime.

Constraints and Considerations
If you plan to make your retirement an e-tirement, there may be several things you’ll want to consider first.  You could have great aspirations of partaking in all sorts of money making Internet activities and ventures, but beware, not all of the companies or people that are involved in such transactions are reputable.  You don’t want to jump into something headlong only to realize that it isn’t going to make your efforts worthwhile or worse yet, that you’re being taken advantage of or scammed.  This is why it can be important to ease into something slowly, conduct your due diligence by reading reviews by actual users of the service, and proceed with caution.

But there is more to consider in your e-tirement activities than just your personal and financial safety and security.   The money from e-tirement can be nice, but success can be a lot of hard work and may leave you putting in more hours than you had expected or frankly wanted to put into any such retirement endeavor.  This extra work can put constraints upon your time that you had not expected to encounter during your golden years.  This means that you might be left with less time to spend with family, to do your traveling, or to take part in other activities that you may have had planned during your retirement. 

Therefore, it is important to decide just how much time you want to devote to your e-tirement activities as well as how much you are willing to put in should they take off and become much larger forms of income and responsibility than you had initially planned.  Staying busy during retirement is one thing, and if you love what you are doing that’s great, but working full-time at e-tirement activities can negate the purpose of retiring in the first place. 


The author is not a licensed financial professional.  The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice.  For financial advice, readers should consult a licensed financial advisor.  Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.

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