Retirement Hobbies That Make Money

We all dream about how amazing life will be once we’re able to retire. We won’t have to get up early and commute to work. We’ll have the time and the money to travel. We’ll be able to spend our time however we want.


Retiring is something that a lot of adults start looking forward to early in their careers!


Retirement is the perfect time to take on some new hobbies and spend time doing the things that make you happiest. But for a lot of people, those hobbies can also become a source of income.


Want to make a little extra cash doing something you love when you’re retired? Here are eleven retirement hobbies that can also make you money.


Pet Sitting


If you love animals, one great way to spend some of your time in retirement is to volunteer at an animal shelter or foster animals for adoption. But if you want to turn your passion for animals into a way to make some money, you might want to consider becoming a pet sitter.


Sites like and Rover make it easy to connect animal lovers with neighbors that need pet sitting services. And if you want to be more active, you can also work a few hours here and there as a dog walker.


Don’t want to create an online account or take on the responsibility of caring for other peoples’ pets? Offer your pet sitting services (for a small fee) to family and friends.




From woodworking to knitting to painting, crafting is a great way to spend your time and express your creative skills. And if you’re really skilled at your particular craft, you might even be able to make some money doing it.


Knitting, crocheting, sewing, sculpting pottery, etc. Good money comes from good investments too. So, if you’re particular to crocheting, you may want to select the best crochet yarn in the market


Crafts come in all different forms, and there’s a big market for well-crafted handmade goods on Etsy.


It’s easy to set up an Etsy shop. Once you create an account, you can upload photos of your handmade goods and make them available for purchase to the world.


Whether you paint landscapes, sew pillows, or make wood furniture, Etsy is one of the best places to sell your one-of-a-kind handmade designs.




Do you have a green thumb and a lush garden? You might be able to turn your love of gardening into a small business.


Farmers’ markets are always looking for local vendors. If your plants or flowers are lush and colorful, you might be able to sell them to others in your community.


To do so, contact a local market and apply as a vendor. Some may require you to pay a small fee to reserve the space, but you should be able to cover that expense just by selling a few items.


Shopping Garage Sales and Flea Markets


Do you have an eye for antiques? Do you love scouring secondhand shops for vintage finds?


With a good eye and a knack for getting a bargain price, you can turn this hobby into a business by selling unique items online.


Ruby Lane, eBay, Etsy, and Mercari are just a few of the marketplaces where you can sell items online. Most require you to pay a listing fee or take a percentage of your sale, but if you buy items low and sell them high, you can turn a profit doing what you love.


One quick way to get started is by cleaning out your own home and garage and listing those items first. See what type of wares generate the most interest and get a sense of what people are willing to pay for certain things.


That way, when it’s time to scour flea markets and garage sales for new items, you’ll know how much you’ll need to buy and sell them for in order to be profitable.   


Chocolate Making


With some skills in the kitchen, cooking, baking, or chocolate making is a great way to make some extra money in retirement.


Make your favorite treats and sell them at a local farmer’s market. Visit local coffee shops or cafes to see if they would want to sell some of your delicious homemade desserts.


Keep in mind, if you intend to sell food to the public, you’ll need to get in touch with your state’s department of health first. All states require that your kitchen pass sanitation, health, and safety inspections before you can sell food to the public.


Don’t want to deal with the hassle of licensure?


At the very least, turn your baked goods into delicious presents. That will save you from having to spend money on buying gifts for family and friends.


Restoring Furniture


Not only is furniture restoration a great hobby, but there’s a huge market for unique, restored, and repurposed items online.


Take old flea market finds, paint them, or repurpose them, and list your finished pieces for sale on Etsy. People are willing to pay top dollar for one-of-a-kind items, and furniture on Etsy often commands high prices.


When you list your items for sale, make sure to include keywords such as rustic, reclaimed, upcycled, and artisan. Words like these can help attract the right customers (aka people who are willing to pay more for a unique piece!).




Everyone that has a website wants their site to look unique. And one way to make a site stand out is with the use of crisp images and eye-catching photography.


If you know a thing or two about shutter speeds and f-stops, you can turn your photography hobby into a moneymaker.


Sites like iStock and Shutterstock accept images from amateur photogs that they can sell as stock photography.


You can upload your photos, make them available as stock images, and earn money every time someone wants to use one of your photos. They may not pay you royalties on your work, but you should earn a stipend every time someone downloads your image from their websites.


This can become a rather lucrative hobby, especially if you’re an excellent photographer or do a lot of traveling. The better your images are, the more you’re likely to sell.




Retirement is all about doing what makes you happy. So get started on those hobbies now, no matter how old you may be.


And if you can turn a profit in the process — go for it!  There’s no better time to start than right now.


Ryan Sundling is a Group Marketing Manager at Cardinal Group Management. He has over ten years of experience in the conventional housing industry and works with The Oliver on a daily basis to help them with their marketing efforts.