In my recent online journey to learn social media and ways to make money online, I was surprised to discover how many seniors are using the internet and new technology. Not only had they mastered it but they were teaching others, like myself, how to navigate this whole new planet of information. Are seniors embracing the new technology and mastering it? Yes, they certainly are.
Many retired senior citizens search for ways to supplement their income. It used to be difficult for people who wanted or needed to stay home to earn income, but thankfully, the internet now provides the means to earn that extra income from one’s kitchen table or home office.
Here, we’ll examine why seniors can work and make money online and why is it such an attractive option for many.
Why Do Seniors Need Extra Cash
The cost of living with inflation on the rise makes for a large percentage of senior citizens discovering that their retirement income is inadequate to meet their needs. A lifestyle to which they had become accustomed is now unattainable.
In addition to inflation, many seniors have not saved enough to comfortably retire.
On a fixed income, many find it difficult to do all the things they used to do. Traveling, enjoying hobbies, or helping their children with any financial issues they might be having is no longer possible. Earning extra income can provide more options, freedom, and a sense of still being relevant, especially for those who derived their sense of identity from a previous career.
Enter the Internet. Supplementing income by starting a small business or working online can make it easier for people to continue living a quality lifestyle as they age.
For the homebound, there are numerous options available to earn extra income. From creating custom handbags to offering consulting services, to working as tech support for businesses, or as affiliate marketers, seniors can leverage their experience to create unique entrepreneurial and employment opportunities. It seems everything can now be done online and employers advertise for writers, editors, copywriters, teachers, administrative assistants, bookkeepers and salespeople. Submit your resume and if you are deemed to be a desirable candidate a ZOOM interview might follow.
Flexibility Is A Key Attraction
Many seniors find that the flexibility provided by online positions is attractive. Managing one’s own time and by extension one’s own life is a priority for many retirees.
Working a flexible job online or running any online business allows older adults to prioritize their own needs while also earning an income.
For those with an entrepreneurial bent, supplementing their retirement income by creating their own online business can be rewarding. Gone are the days of having to meet the demands of a boss or relying on coworkers in order to move forward with a project. Also gone are the days when bricks and mortar were necessary.
Starting a small business online can present challenges, such as the increased stress due to changes in workflow. Some seniors find it difficult to stay on top of a busy workload, while others find the issue of cash flow to be stressful during slow periods. Everything has its challenges.
Working for an employer online has benefits. Online positions through a large organization can provide a dependable paycheck. Online positions may also have a less demanding workflow than an online small business run by a single owner.
Like everything else, there are drawbacks. Some seniors working in online positions feel limited as they are not able to work as many hours as they’d like while others feel stressed by the fact that they’re required to be online during certain hours and are not completely free to create their own schedules.
Challenges Of Working Online
Some seniors may struggle to adapt to new technologies but many older adults are fully capable of learning new business processes and software. An abundance of online education has provided people everywhere with the necessary skills to navigate and be successful in today’s new job market.
One of the hazards of working online is recognizing the number of scams the internet can present. This is a whole new frontier of exploitation of which all citizens, including seniors, must be wary. Inexperienced entrepreneurs running their own businesses may find that they’re giving undeserved refunds for products, or mailing products before they receive payment.
Most successful and savvy online businesses do not carry receivables and require payment upfront before any order is filled. Individuals who have prior experience running or owning a small business know this and as a result, will have fewer issues with cash flow by not carrying receivables.
Seniors living with health issues may struggle fulfilling orders on time and need to be realistic about their capabilities before committing to any entrepreneurial endeavor.
Tax issues can also present a challenge. Many older adults depend on government-sponsored programs, such as food stamps and health insurance when incomes fall below a certain level. Earning money online might exclude seniors from certain social service programs. You have to inform yourself and weigh the pros and cons.
In the US, income below $600 is not required to be reported to the IRS, but once a business owner or employee exceeds the $600 mark, they must report their income. This higher tax income may result in having to pay money to the IRS. But again there is that saying, nothing is certain other than death and taxes.
Seniors Interested In Working Online Have Options
Many people think of working online as opening shops or working remotely for a corporation, but there are other ways to earn money from home. Blogging and affiliate marketing as well as niche websites that make money through display advertising can offer unique opportunities for seniors to share and explore their interests with the world, while also earning an income.
Blogging and Affiliate Marketing
Blogging offers seniors a fun way to engage with others who share their interests, and affiliate marketing earns commissions when someone buys a product you advertised on your website. Bloggers earn a set dollar amount or percentage of the sale from each person who clicks through to the business advertised on the blog and makes a purchase. Over time, affiliate marketing can result in passive income, the very best kind!
Many seniors have specialized knowledge or interest in specific subject areas, and this interest can be monetized through the creation of a niche website. It is called online publishing.
A niche website is one that explores and explains something in great detail. When someone has a specific question or need, they go searching for information using the internet. Niche websites address very specific topics and generate their income through ad revenue. Advertisers place strategic ads on sites that might draw the type of customer wanting their product. When a reader of the site clicks on a display ad the niche site operator receives a commission.
As an example, if you love kayaking, you could build a site describing the different types of kayaks, best kayaks for ocean trips, best safety gear, best safety practices, best paddles, how to fish from your kayak, basically everything anyone would ever want to know about kayaks and kayaking. Your goal is to make your site the authority on kayaking.
It takes a lot of work and there is no overnight success in building and maintaining a niche website but when successful, it can provide ongoing passive income for years to come.
Freedom From Ageism In The Workplace
Sadly, many older adults have dealt with ageism in the workplace. Even though experienced and capable, seniors may not be considered for job opportunities. They can be refused promotion in favor of younger adults who receive a lower salary and are likely to remain with a company for a longer period of time.
So it can be easier for seniors to get work somewhat anonymously from behind a computer screen. When a potential employer is unaware of a person’s age, they’re less likely to make assumptions about the number of hours they’re willing to work or their competence using the technology required for the job.
Learning At The Right Pace
Many seniors wanting to work online may find it challenging to adapt to completely new technologies, especially if they’ve been out of the workforce for an extended period of time. Working online instead of in a cubicle can ease the stress of learning something new by allowing people to learn at their own pace. Being able to assimilate and adapt to new systems without feeling pressure is a real boon and there are a number of ways to access extra guidance online as well. By googling how-tos on Youtube can solve almost anything.
In addition to taking free classes online, training in new technologies is offered at many senior centers and community colleges, where once pandemic concerns abate, students can socialize and learn from one another.
The Future Of Working Online For Seniors
More and more businesses are choosing to allow employees to work remotely for an indefinite amount of time. Working from home saves companies money and can improve employee morale. And who misses the commute? As the number of people at and beyond retirement age continues to grow, it’s likely that more seniors will find opportunities in the online world. Online employment can successfully augment their income while at the same time providing the flexibility desired for quality of life.