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November is Entrepreneurship Month

Retirees are encouraged to turn to the internet to make money in order to help supplement their golden years


senior woman working



After retirement, 51% of South Africans cannot make ends meet, this is according to the annual Sanlam Benchmark Survey. Increasingly, retirees are having to embark on a second career or start a small business after they formally leave work. Even for those who save carefully, it is challenging to live comfortably for 30 years on only a small percentage of your salary from the previous 40.

During Entrepreneurship Month, which runs each year in November, retirees are being encouraged to turn to the internet to make money to help supplement their golden years; “The web allows a flexible schedule and the ability to work from home, perfect for someone who doesn’t want to face traffic or needs a reduced work day. All you need is an internet connection and an online presence to get started,” says head of local hosting company, Thomas Vollrath.


senior man working


When it comes to how to make additional income online, Vollrath says the key is to think about what skills you have to offer and then use online targeting to tap into a niche market. He offers the following ideas for post-retirement careers:


Homestay host or tour guide

Retirees make for excellent Airbnb or homestay hosts and tour guides for their cities. An online presence where people can read about you, see some testimonials and get a sense of your experience goes a long way for establishing trust.


Online store owner

With a simple website, you can set up a virtual store selling crafts, refurbished electronics, collectables or antiques. If you are business-minded you can find and resell excess stock from a local factory for a profit.


Home-based services

Turn a hobby into a home-based career by offering cooked meals, baby or pet sitting, repairs or short courses from home. All of these services can be managed, booked and paid upfront for online.



Setting up a well-designed blog able to host revenue-generating adverts is very affordable. Depending on your skills, you can blog about anything from gardening to business strategy, carpentry or cooking. Affiliate programmes, where you earn commission on sales for goods mentioned on your blog, are another way to generate income. The New York Times recently ran a feature on the glamourous grannies of Instagram – with a bit of pizazz, you could even become a celebrity!


senior woman working


Internet usage is not only a means of topping up savings and being entrepreneurial into one’s eighties, it is also strongly associated with lower rates of depression among the elderly. Research published in leading medical and psychological journals has shown that social networks and support that can be found online lifts mood and keeps retirees busy and engaged well after they leave the office.

With a focus on the SMB market in South Africa, offers domain, web and email hosting, SSL certification, website design, website building and online marketing expertise to their customers. “We want to make having an online presence easy for South African entrepreneurs and small business owners, regardless of their age and tech know how. Our packages come with great support for those who find online business daunting, including a website builder that is very easy and intuitive to use,” says Vollrath.


If this article was of interest, consider reading the following:


The unique challenges of Retirement: Challenge #2 – Working in retirement

Rent a room and supplement your pension

Sixty-plussers – the new generation of seniorpreneurs



  • Elaine Botha says:

    It is not a good idea to rent a room out to somebody. It is not safe. Especially older people are vulnerable. IT IS NOT A GOOD IDEA to rent a room in ones house.
    I’ve heard of terrible things regarding taking in people. They rob you and you can even be murdered. Even if I need money, this is the route I would NEVER take, especially in this climate of crime, etc., etc.

    • Marilynh says:

      Dear Elaine

      Thanks for your input. We do respect everyone’s point of view, and in this case, it’s quite interesting that we have just received a mail from a YEI reader who would like to tell other YEI readers their experience of this very topic, and in their case, it’s very positive. But you are quite right, one does need to be particularly cautious when taking people into their homes, and conduct the right checks, especially when you are vulnerable as a senior.

      Warm regards

  • Gael says:

    I have been transporting children to school and back for the past 3 years. Now I sell Various bottled foodstuffs and have ventured into making home cooked meals, which is growing nicely.
    Would like other retired people to join in selling hone made goodies. We could start a website advertise what we sell.

  • Judith says:

    I participate in on line surveys.sometimes they can be tedious, however it is an easy way to earn some money. Well actually not money per se but vouchers from various companies and airtime. They are Valued Opinions, Tell us about it, Enlighten

  • Gloria Carikas says:

    I am retiring at the end of January 2019 and found myself in this very position. I actually cannot afford to retire. Please advise how I can become part of a group to earn a means,of living.
    Kind regards

  • Ricky says:

    I would like to do translating from Afrikaans to English or visa versa ,how do I go about it, Alternatively start a club for Senior Citizens where we arrange bus trips for short holidays or breakaways within the borders of South Africa. I don’t want it to be a dating club on line, I just want to have people having fun, relaxing and get to meet others of within a group of their age and genre. Could someone out there please give me advice on how and where to start


    • Marilynh says:

      Hi Ricky

      Watch this space re club for senior citizens…

      Re translating from Afrikaans to English – our recommendation is to start small – advertise your services on Facebook community pages and business pages in the first instance.

      Kind regards,

  • Annette Kotze says:

    How about having a shuttle service for school children having to go from their home to their school that is rather out of the way especially where there is no City Bus Service available nearby

    • Marilynh says:

      HI Annette

      A lovely idea for retirees with the right qualifications, insurance and PDP licence. And very helpful to young families too.

      Regards, YEI

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