The following is a guest post from Steve at Money Infant. Steve has embraced an early retirement and pays for it with side hustles developed over the past 5 years as well as by living a frugal lifestyle. Early semi retirement has enabled him to move his family to Thailand where they are all enjoying a new culture and way of life.
If you are preparing for the world of early semi retirement one thing you might want to consider is getting into some sort of side hustle. A side hustle is simply something you do in addition to your "regular" job in order to make additional money. Getting something like this started well in advance of your early retirement date (3-5 years) can benefit you in several ways:
- You'll be able to boost your savings leading up to your early semi retirement.
- You will have a ready made stream of income when you do jump into early retirement.
- You will have an activity to take up at least part of your new found free time and help you avoid drifting.
- If your side hustle ends up being more lucrative than you thought it would be it could spur you to an even earlier early retirement.
While many people try to focus on the savings side of personal finance, I've always taken a more balanced approach and put just as much emphasis on the earning side of the equation. Let's face it, you can only save so much. If you are spending $5000/mo the most you could possibly save is...well $5000/mo. I have no idea how you could lower your expenses to $0 though, so if you do let me know below.
On the other hand, your income is theoretically unlimited. Just ask Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Mark Zuckerberg. Granted there is small chance you'll be making billions of dollars, but there's no reason to think you can't make tens of thousands or even millions. Before you make a single cent though you need to find a great side hustle.
There are many different kinds of side hustles, from those that are one off like selling your crap on eBay to those that could eventually provide a full time income. The choice is up to you and is dependent on how much money do you want to make from your side hustle and how much time do you want to put into it.
One off side hustles
- Sell your crap on eBay
- Old school - Hold a yardsale to sell your crap
Ongoing part time side hustles
- Donate plasma. You can make over $200/mo
- Complete surveys and participate in focus groups
- House sitting or babysitting
- Make money from the Collaborative Consumption sites. Rent part of your house on Airbnb, give tours on Sidetour, teach classes on Skillshare, cook meals on Housbites, rent your tools on NeighborGoods, do odd jobs on TaskRabbit, become a tutor on Tutorspree.
Possible long term side hustles (Note: All of these can be part time as well)
- Become a professional dog walker/pet sitter
- Start a freelance business. Plenty of opportunities here from writing to software development
- Start a lawn care business
- Create a website and sell a product or advertising
- Invest in real estate and become a landlord
- Utilize existing talents - writer, photographer, interior decorator, wedding planner, music teacher, computer repair, tax preparation/accounting, etc.
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities out there to make extra money on the side. The only thing holding you back is you. Instead of going out after work or coming home and planting yourself in front of the TV or compuer make time to create a side hustle income. You can start small with just an hour or two a day and I am willing to bet that if you stick with it you will be surprised at what an hour a day can yield 3, 6 or 12 months down the road.
Imagine after 3 years time your side hustle was making $3000/mo (not that difficult to achieve). Would you be more likely to consider an early semi retirement? If it meant you could spend your time doing something you love or at the very least enjoy, wouldn't it be worth it? If it gave you more freedom and options for how to live your life and who to spend your time with would you be more motivated to start now?
Don't dream it, be it.
(Bonus points if you can tell me what movie the quote is from)