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Your State's Favorite Retirement Side Hustle

The idea of retiring and being able to live a sustainable lifestyle without the rigors of a day-to-day job is the shiny carrot at the end of a stick for many people still in the grind of a nine-to-five. However, the reality that not many consider is the actual costs of retirement and how much of a wage gap is left living off your retirement savings.

As people enter and plan for retirement, a side job may seem practical or even necessary. For some, retirement may seem boring or unfulfilling after years and years of working. And for others, working a side hustle will help them be financially secure for the rest of their lives.

With more and more people considering a retirement side job, our analysts at SmartCapitalMind took a look at the data to find out which retirement side hustle is every state’s favorite. Take a look at the interactive map below to find out which is the favorite in your state!

Interesting Facts & Findings

  • Bus driver is the most popular side hustle in the nation, with it being the favorite in 12 states

  • Copywriter is the highest-paying job we analyzed with an average hourly wage of $21.89

  • Child care worker is the lowest-paid job we looked at, and has an average hourly rate of $11.33 per hour

  • Child care worker, tour guide, and secretary tied as the least popular retirement side jobs overall—they were the favorite in only one state each

Popular Retirement Side Jobs in The United States 

These are some of the listed popular side jobs on which we have recorded data. This list is based on the current retirees and has the potential to change as the next generations end their time in the workplace. 

Substitute Teacher

  • Average hourly pay: $13.01
  • Average yearly pay: $29,924

Requirements: For a substitute teacher, the requirements are a high school diploma and, in certain states, a substitute teaching license or even a bachelor's degree.

One of the main benefits of being a substitute teacher is that they have some of the most flexibility of any part-time job. They get to pick and choose their workdays, their locations, the grade level they are teaching, the subjects, etc. They have a lot of choices in their job, and it gives them an avenue to experience a lot of variety in how they can positively affect a child's life. 

Bus Driver 

  • Average hourly pay: $17.34
  • Average yearly pay: $32,448

Requirements: A commercial driver's License (CDL) and a clean driving record are required for a bus driver.

Due to the staggered work schedule that comes with being a bus driver, there are numerous times throughout the day when the driver will get an extended break to take time for themselves which is great as a retirement side hustle. Bus drivers also get holidays off, which works for retired workers because they want to spend the holidays with their families.

Administrative Assistant 

  • Average hourly pay: $16.70
  • Average yearly pay: $40,812

Requirements: For an administrative assistant, the requirements are simply a high school diploma, although this can vary depending on the employer and the scope of work.

An administrative assistant is a public-facing job requiring the assistant to talk to many different people, both coworkers and customers alike, during a shift. The community and environment of this side-hustle are a pro for some retired workers who enjoy the social aspect of work, and becoming an administrative assistant makes it more accessible. 

Real Estate Agent 

  • Average hourly pay: $19.21
  • Average yearly pay: $49,151

Requirements: For real estate agents, the requirements are simply a high school diploma. But depending on the state can require certain licenses. 

Real Estate agents have incredibly flexible schedules because they are their own bosses and can choose which days they work. They get to set their own hours and give themselves rest days in order to interact with their families. That's the pro of the job as a retirement side hustle because it is incredibly beneficial for those who wish to hang out with their families.  

Child Care Worker 

  • Average hourly pay: $11.33
  • Average yearly pay: $34,170

Requirements: For a child care worker, the requirements are a high school diploma or equivalent for most situations. Like many of the side-hustles mentioned above, additional certifications might be required depending on the age group of the children, as well as the care facility. For most a CPR certification and basic early childhood education and care experience is required.

Child care workers generally receive vacations, sick leaves, and holidays that give workers more opportunities to spend time with their families. That's the pro of the job as a retirement side hustle because it is incredibly beneficial for those who wish to hang out with their families.  

Bookkeeper 

  • Average hourly pay: $18.41
  • Average yearly pay: $45,049

Requirements: For a bookkeeper, the requirements are simply a high school diploma, and some certification helps, although it's not always needed. The function of this job is to mainly migrate and balance data. 

Bookkeepers are remote workers who work anywhere from 20-40 hours a week. They are the ones who get to choose how many hours they work and because they don't travel, it's an excellent side hustle for a retired worker who doesn't wish to go through the rigors of heading to a job site every day of the week.  

Tour Guide 

  • Average hourly pay: $14.56
  • Average yearly pay: $47,500

Requirements: For a tour guide, the requirements are simply a high school diploma or a certain amount of experience.

Tour guides receive the benefit of being paid to travel to other countries that they may have never seen before. This is a huge benefit for any recently retired individuals who have an avid interest in traveling after they have retired. Now, they can travel while being paid to do so.  

Secretary 

  • Average hourly pay: $14.51
  • Average yearly pay: $34,197

Requirements: For a secretary, the requirements are simply a high school diploma or something equivalent.

While secretary is an antiquated term for what transitioned to becoming an administrative assistant, the work of a secretary can vary depending on the company. For some it will look much like a personal assistant, while other times it can also lean towards the functions of a receptionist. There aren't a lot of harsh deadlines or time limits that a secretary must follow, and once you leave the office you can leave the work behind with it. 

Dog Walker 

  • Average hourly pay: $15.14
  • Average yearly pay: $35,000

Requirements: For a dog walker, there are no education requirements. Experience working with animals is the only background required. 

Dog walkers receive the benefit of walking for 30 minutes, which is great for getting the blood pumping as well as working on cardio. So, as a retirement side hustle, this is a great one for the health and workout benefits. 

Copywriter 

  • Average hourly pay: $21.89
  • Average yearly pay: $54,375

Requirements: Most copywriter positions require a bachelor's degree in English, communications, or a related field. Most advanced copywriting positions require experience writing with a specific industry or publication.

As a side hustle, copywriting gives flexible hours and, in most cases, can be done remotely. So, a freelance copywriter can work as many hours as they wish and do so from the comfort of their own home, which is incredibly appealing as a retirement side hustle because there are no added expenses like commuting, parking, and tolls. 

Methodology

We identified part-time jobs that are popular among retirees and analyzed each job's relative Google search volume to find which side hustles are the most popular in each state. For the average pay, we took the hourly and yearly rates for each job title as reported by Payscale.

State

Favorite Retirement Side Hustle

Alabama

Substitute teacher

Alaska

Real estate agent

Arizona

Real estate agent

Arkansas

Child care worker

California

Real estate agent

Colorado

Real estate agent

Connecticut

Administrative assistant

Delaware

Bus driver

District of Columbia

Administrative assistant

Florida

Real estate agent

Georgia

Bus driver

Hawaii

Tour guide

Idaho

Bookkeeper

Illinois

Dog walker

Indiana

Bus driver

Iowa

Substitute teacher

Kansas

Substitute teacher

Kentucky

Bus driver

Louisiana

Bus driver

Maine

Bus driver

Maryland

Bus driver

Massachusetts

Dog walker

Michigan

Secretary

Minnesota

Bus driver

Mississippi

Copywriter

Missouri

Substitute teacher

Montana

Bookkeeper

Nebraska

Substitute teacher

Nevada

Substitute teacher

New Hampshire

Administrative assistant

New Jersey

Administrative assistant

New Mexico

Substitute teacher

New York

Real estate agent

North Carolina

Bus driver

North Dakota

Bus driver

Ohio

Bus driver

Oklahoma

Substitute teacher

Oregon

Bookkeeper

Pennsylvania

Bus driver

Rhode Island

Dog walker

South Carolina

Copywriter

South Dakota

Bookkeeper

Tennessee

Real estate agent

Texas

Real estate agent

Utah

Bookkeeper

Vermont

Dog walker

Virginia

Administrative assistant

Washington

Real estate agent

West Virginia

Substitute teacher

Wisconsin

Administrative assistant

Wyoming

Substitute teacher


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