It’s possible to pursue your hobby and bring in some cash before and during retirement. These hobbies can help you to fund your life as a retiree overseas.
If you’re dreaming of an apartment in Paris…a beach house in Ecuador…a farmhouse in Italy…and the only thing holding you back is lack of capital…then read on.Your interests can turn into a career that you love doing, something that you do for fun can also make you money. Here are some examples on how you can turn a hobby into cash.
1. Travel Writing
Travel writing can be a full-time passion or something you do on the side. As a travel writer you will get plenty of opportunities to see the world in a way that no tourist can. And then you can write about your experience, and get paid for your efforts.
Suchi Rudra loved to travel and now she gets special treatment wherever she goes. She goes to international film festivals, music festivals and cooking classes in the Czech Republic…all for free. She gets paid to travel to Italy, Portugal and Spain. “I simple write about my travel experiences. This immediately elevates my status from average paying guest to a V.I.P that people want to impress.”
Terri Marshall has always loved sharing her stories of her adventures with friends, and since becoming a travel writer she has taken it to a whole new level. “What I love most about travel writing is the opportunity for adventure and interaction. I am having more fun than I ever thought possible.”
From free trips to upgrades, all this can be at your fingertips, if you like to travel and write about your experiences.
2. Travel Photography
Do you like to take photographs? Travel the world and document the places you see, these photos could make you money as a photographer.
Photos are used everywhere from magazines to billboards…and someone has to take these photos. Why not take advantage of your hobby and make that someone you?
Rich Wagner can’t believe that he makes money from his hobby. “I get an income doing something I would happily pay money to be allowed to do,” he says.
David Hagerman left his corporate job and made photography his full-time career after decades of being a hobbyist. “I was intrigued by the possibilities of documenting my travels with the camera. Once I got to know a few paying publications I hooked up with writers and proposed text/photo stories.”
Photography can be a simple way to turn that habit we all have of snapping photos into an income-earning venture.
3. Stock Photography
You can make money by simply walking into your back yard and snapping a flower in your garden. These everyday type photographs can be sold on the internet as stock photographs.
Bonnie Caton took photos so that her friends could see the experiences she had while in Bangkok. She now sells her photos on stock websites. “Selling your travel photos online as stock is fun. All you do is upload your photos to the site, add keywords so people can find them and go about your business,” Bonnie says. “As you travel, eat lunch, read a good book—even as you sleep—your photos are selling to buyers around the world.”
Steve Collender started shooting stock photography after he was laid off from his job. “Now I take photos everywhere I go and of almost any subject I can think of. I have sold over 52,000 images so far and every year my income keeps going up from the year before.”
Photo opportunities exist everywhere. On the roadside…at work…while talking with friends…in your backyard…a nearby zoo…special events…festivals…sporting events…pie-eating contests…and more…
4. Running Tours
If your hobby is cycling or walking or exploring you can fund your retirement using the activities you enjoy. Tours can be a great way for you to both make money and explore the area in which you have chosen to retire.
Susan Aris has made money leading walking tours around the world. “Walking the world and taking other people with me has given me an amazing lifestyle,” says Susan. She believes that when you travel a lot you get to know the places you go and others will pay you to simply show them what you know.
“When I travel, my costs are included in my clients’ tour fees. There are eight people in the group and I take around seven or eight trips a year.”
Cynthia Morris leads tours in France called “Journey of the Senses,” using engaging activities to give her groups the best possible experience. “I thoroughly relished sharing my love of France with others. The people who join me on my tours experienced life-changing transformations as a result of our time together. That is worth as much as any money I have earned, if not more.”
She nets between $3,000 and $10,000 per trip and the tours cover all her travel expenses including flights, accommodation and extra vacation time before and after tours.
Are you a shopaholic? Ever think that it could make you some money? Well it can in the import-export business. It’s all about finding that bargain piece and selling it for profit.
Alison Talbert used to shop in Ecuador and sell her goods back home in the U.S. for a big profit every time. “I’ll never forget the night I sat on my living room floor counting the proceeds from my very first day in business. $2,500. Not too shabby for my first attempt,” Alison says.
Alison had jumped on a plane to Ecuador with one aim, to shop. Once she arrived back to the States she invited people to her home and sold nearly everything in one go. From that first trip she was hooked.
“I continued making trips back and forth to Ecuador to explore, shop and bring my treasures back to share with folks at home. Each trip brought new adventures and fun, and each time I was able to pay for my trip and put money in the bank.”
Once she knew the ropes, after years of profiting from her shopping, she began helping others to set up the same business for themselves. “The key is just getting the goods in front of people. People love the fact that they’re getting gorgeous, unique finds that aren’t mass-produced.”
6. Internet Researcher
Web savvy people can make cold hard cash from surfing the Internet in their spare time as an Internet researcher. The industry pays up to $50 an hour for you to sit at home and check out websites.
Your clients will tell exactly what they need–you just look it up and email it to them. Flexible hours, no office, no commute and no boss breathing down your neck are just some of the perks. As long as you have Internet access you can do this job from anywhere, at any time and for good pay.
Winton Churchill believes that people underestimate their skills and over-estimate the difficulty of working online.
He gives this advice: “You can’t do ‘research for hire’ if you use Google the way most people do. But with about three hours training you can learn about a dozen relatively simple but largely unknown tricks that turn Google into a tool that will turn up exactly the information you’re looking for without the need to slog through pages and pages of bad results.”
What takes the casual user hours to dig up, takes those with training just minutes to find.
Internet research as a job can give you the ultimate freedom and flexibility of self-employment. And the best part about it is, you never have to go to an office…there’s no commute…no “boss” breathing down your neck. It can all be done from the comfort of your own home, wherever in the world that home may be. As there’s Internet access where you are, you have a great, well-paying job.
A hobby that is always popular overseas is food. Different countries have different specialties and if you bring your skill of home baking or cooking to another country, people will pay to try something new.
Take all your favorites, for example…cupcakes, bagels, Buffalo wings, corned beef hash, biscuits and gravy, and cheesecake. These are all popular in the U.S. but not really known elsewhere.
New Yorker, Cat Beurnier, sells her cupcakes in Paris. “At first, I didn’t set out to market myself as the authentic American cupcake maker in Paris. Then I realized it’s one of the things people seek me out for,” Cat explains.
Today, her cupcake business, Sugar Daze, is known throughout the city as the number one source for custom-ordered authentic American cupcakes. Her clients include locals, expats, French businesses and major corporations. “Being based in Paris has given me opportunities I wouldn’t have had in the U.S.”
Eric Slater opened the only brick oven bakery in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Carrot breads, sourdough and cinnamon-raison loaves and chocolate chip and peanut butter snicker-doodle cookies entice customers from behind glass shelves.
Originally from Chicago, Eric moved to Nicaragua in 2008 after nine months of traveling Central America. “We never found good bread,” says Eric, and this sparked his idea to set up a bakery, Pan de Vida. Referring to the craving for quality sweets and breads of his customers, Eric says: “We had awoken a sleeping giant.”
Nearly five years after opening and Pan de Vida is a local favorite.
Whatever your hobby is, it can help fund your retirement overseas. To find out what career would suit you best, take our Fund Your Life Overseas Quiz here.
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