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Do you have perseverance, passion and persistence? Then you are well-placed to consider a side hustle to boost your pension!


Has your life been rocked by the constant cost of living? In November 2022, the year-over-year inflation was 7.7% (energy – +17.7%, and food +12.4%). The bad news is that economists predict a tough 2023 for South Africans. Retirees and pensioners are mostly looking for ways to supplement their pension. The good news is you can, but you need to adopt a cocktail of the three P’s – perseverance, passion and persistence. (YEI attributes the three P’s to the author, Henry Spencer)

If you are one of those retirees/pensioners looking to earn a little extra cash, then you might like to consider one of these side hustles. The team at You’ve Earned It/YEI  have compiled a list of ways you could adopt to earn additional income but remember the three P’s.

We are all in a similar boat. No matter how much one has prepared for retirement “the best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray”. You can’t account for the unexpected. Which is why “side hustles” have become popular with older people.

What is a “side hustle”?

The word “side hustle” may conjure up negative connotations! Sounds a bit shady and scammy! But rest assured, the term “side hustle” has completely evolved and has been legitimized into an umbrella term for any activity that helps you make more money, regardless of whether you are employed full-time or if you have retired and are on pension.

The benefits of side hustles for seniors

Side hustles really work for seniors, bringing:
• A sense of purpose – perfect for the retiree who needs a sense of purpose in their daily routine
• A social purpose – also perfect for the retiree, who may have lost social engagement on retirement
• And mental engagement – we all know how critical it is for older adults to be as mentally acute as possible in their later years.

Side hustle ideas

Rent a Room

If you have a spare bedroom or three, or a granny flat, consider renting it out on Airbnb or privately on a short or long-term lease. Put that empty space to work, using the resource that you actually have available. There are pros and cons, but going the Airbnb route is a well-established way to earn some additional money. If you go the private route, make sure a sound contract is in place, and vet the potential tenant.


Combine your love of pets and keeping active into one. The majority of people now prefer to have their pets cared for at home, rather than putting their furry friends into a kennel or cattery. You can become as busy as you want, or keep it low-key, depending on your needs. Some retirees become professional housesitters and others prefer to work around their commitments and just take on a few clients. Dog-walking can generate a regular income given that most clients would like to have their dogs walked at the same time during the week. If you are a pet-lover, this is an ideal side hustle where you look after someone else’s pet without having the expense and long-term commitment of having your own.

Experienced minute takers

Do you have excellent English writing/reporting skills, experience at board level and extensive corporate experience? In addition, do you have experience in the financial/banking industry? If you are able to attend meetings virtually or physically, have your own transport and a computer with antivirus protection, you could be the right person for a minute taking part-time/ad hoc position.


Turn your hobby into a small business

Many people have lifetime hobbies, and if you didn’t have enough time to spend on writing, cooking, gardening, sewing, art or carpentry pre-retirement, may now is the time, but consider the fact that this can also earn you an extra income. You can advertise your services on local social media and/or YEI’s #support pensioners page

Read up on three YEI members who have turned their hobbies into fruitful small businesses in their retirement.

James MacKenzie has been a collector of military memorabilia for 54 years. A classic example of turning a passion into an income generator. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE: Spotlight on Collector, James MacKenzie


Karen Duffall-Canham is an artist who identified that fine art was her calling. Today, Karen paints mostly in oils on canvas and believes that the Internet is the key to a whole new metaverse. She displays her work on an online site and loves living her passion.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE: Spotlight on Artist, Karen Duffall-Canham


Henry Spencer’s absolute passion over the years has been research and writing. In retirement, Henry has become self-confessed activist, an author, public speaker, gerontologist and consultant on retirement matters.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE: Spotlight on Author, Henry Spencer

Get cooking

Do you love cooking/baking/making preserves? There are plenty of opportunities even though the food industry has become quite competitive. Bake speciality cakes, home-made meals for singles, couples or families, bottle and preserve that well-loved homemade jam, pickle or marmalade. Advertise your services on your local community Facebook and WhatsApp groups, and on the YEI #supportpensioners page


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