If you’re approaching your golden years, how confident are you that you can live comfortably? If you’re worried that you might outlive your money, you have plenty of company—43 percent of retirees aren’t entirely sure they’re financially prepared, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.
Thankfully, you don’t have to lie awake worrying about it. There are plenty of strategies for generating cash after you leave the workforce. Here are six ways to ease your retirement concerns.
1. Downsize your living quarters.
If you’re still living in a four-bedroom home, you can save money by downsizing. According to the Center for Retirement Research, transitioning from a $250,000 home into a $150,000 home can translate to $3,000 worth of extra income as well as $3,250 less in taxes and maintenance costs each year.
2. Sell a car.
Many retirees downsize their home, but what about their cars? Selling a vehicle you no longer need can generate significant cash, especially if you own a newer model. Try eBay Motors or Craigslist if you’re digitally savvy. If not, call your local CarMax dealer for an offer—it might beat the one you get from your neighborhood dealership.
3. Use smartphone apps.
If you know how to navigate a smartphone, there are a variety of ways to save. For example, the Embee Mobile app rewards users of Android phones just for having their device on. You can also earn cash just by snapping pictures of in-store displays or providing information about your various shopping experiences with an app called Rewardable, which works with iPhones and Android phones.
4. Try market research groups.
It may sound too good to be true, but there are plenty of companies out there that pay for your opinion. Sign up with a service such as Focus Pointe Global or Compass Marketing Research, complete a profile, and wait for email questionnaires. If your answers qualify, you could receive hundreds of dollars for just a few hours of your time by taking part in a group discussion.
5. Become a secret shopper.
A secret shopper is a person who visits a restaurant or retailer and evaluates things such as the level of customer service and the cleanliness of the store. Once you sign up, you can apply for the assignments that are sent to your inbox. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns that there are a number of mystery shopper scams, so be sure to do your research before signing up. Never wire money to be part of a mystery shopping assignment, and avoid services that require you to pay for a certification before getting an assignment.
6. Declutter and sell your stuff.
When you retire, you may find all kinds of things in your kitchen, basement, or attic that you simply don’t need anymore. If you’re still holding onto sporting equipment you never use or children’s toys, sell them. Many of us have gotten used to living with clutter, but if you’re downsizing your home, there’s no better time to clean out those closets.
Generating cash in retirement is important, so always make sure that you’re making the most of your profits and that you’re putting the money where it’s needed most. An emergency savings account, for example, can still benefit you in retirement, as it may prevent you from having to dip into valuable long-term investments that might still be earning interest.
What other ways can you think of to generate cash in retirement?
David Bakke writes about money management topics including insurance, retirement, investing, and credit.