Are You Destined to Work in Retirement?

Morgan LaRocca By Morgan LaRocca

Lifestyle

My grandfather and I have a lot in common. We both have a knack for corny jokes… enjoy colorful socks… and have side hustles.

A side hustle is a part-time job that has no fixed hours. The idea is you can work as much, or as little, as you want.

Our side hustles differ – I’m a freelance writer, and he’s an Uber driver – but for both of us, the extra cash goes a long way.

In fact, my grandfather’s side hustle is one of his main sources of income in retirement. And he’s not alone…

Every day, more and more retirees are adopting a side hustle. For many, it’s a last resort to help fund their retirement.

It’s no secret… America is in the midst of a retirement crisis.

Studies show that 71.4 million Americans will be 65 years old or older in 2029. That’s 20% of the country.

Yet the Social Security Administration predicts it will run out of money between 2027 and 2030. Its website even has a warning on it that says, “Due to demographic changes, the U.S. Social Security system will face financial challenges in the near future.”

As a result, many Americans could be forced to rely solely on their savings during their golden years.

Trouble is, few have put aside enough money to retire comfortably.

On average, retirees can live on 80% of their former annual income. However, a study by Insured Retirement Institute found that only 69% of working baby boomers have anything saved for retirement.

To make matters worse, new studies suggest people will actually need more money in retirement. Thanks to better medical technology, the average life expectancy has increased by nearly 10 years since the 1970s.

The notion is suddenly dawning on many seniors. And so an increasing number of retirees are turning to side hustles for retirement income.

Companies like Uber, Airbnb and Nesterly (an app that helps empty nesters rent rooms to college students) provide supplemental income to retirees.

These jobs make up the new “share economy” – a system composed of individuals renting their assets for quick profits.

An estimated 1.5 million Americans participate in the share economy. And boomers make up a large portion of that demographic. Uber reported that nearly a quarter of its drivers are 50 or older.

Another survey found that 24% of people over 55 are part of the share economy.

AARP is teaming up with companies to recruit retirees, and more apps are appearing every day that specifically create side hustles for seniors.

With the share economy providing income past retirement and more flexibility than a conventional part-time job would, what could go wrong?

Turns out, a lot…

The New York Times describes the senior Uber driver trend as the “exploitation of older people who work as independent contractors, without any benefits, because their age means they have a harder time finding full-time employment.”

Boomers are often subjected to long hours in order to earn the wages they need. Side hustles often pay on an hourly basis, and even then, the rates may fluctuate depending on the time of day or other circumstances.

According to estimates from Sherpa Share – a website that allows Uber drivers to share their income – Uber drivers in the top cities make only a few dollars over minimum wage.

And that’s before the heavy fees Uber takes out of each paycheck.

In addition to long hours and low wages, side hustlers also miss out on health insurance benefits. That’s a big “ouch” for folks who are likely to see increased medical expenses as they age.

Boomers aren’t happy about their side hustles either. The satisfaction rate is just 46% for workers who replaced a conventional job they retired from with a side gig.

What’s more, having a side hustle limits your control over your retirement. These types of jobs don’t allow you to travel or downsize. You can’t rent out a room on Airbnb if you want to retire in an RV. You can’t drive for Uber unless you plan on owning a car and living in an area where there is a demand for transportation. (My grandfather lives in Miami and won’t be moving anytime soon.)

The sad reality is that instead of spending their golden years enjoying life, many retirees spend it earning low wages from a time-consuming and exhausting side hustle.

Is that really the retirement you imagined or deserve?

The good news is there’s an alternative… one without restrictions or employers. And best of all, it will take less than four hours of your time a week.

Chief Income Strategist Marc Lichtenfeld calls it the “Perfect Retirement Business.” It’s a way to create steady monthly income without the harsh downsides of a side hustle.

Best of all, it will allow you to leave the long hours and Uber driving to the younger generation and get back to enjoying your golden years.

Click here to learn more.

Good investing,

Morgan