Many of the jobs that most of us hard-working baby boomers did for all those years have moved online. As a result, there’s a pretty good demand for simple skills like proofreading, editing, writing, working with spreadsheets… and a host of other “simple, task-oriented work assignments.”
Interestingly, the range of options doesn’t stop there…
If you can send and respond to email, are able to surf the web a little bit, and can tap into some of those skills you learned along the way in your career (or supplement what you know with some of the information at training sites like Lynda.com and Totaltraining.com), you could find your perfect “earn-abroad” situation.
I’ve identified five practical ways retirees, near-retirees and expats can earn abroad. This is not the total number of things that you can do, but ‘doable’ avenues that I’ve found helpful as people begin to sort out their retirement plans or the pre-retirement phase of their lives.
1. Doing Assignments on Freelance Networks
In a recent article, the Christian Science Monitor reported that the one bright spot today in the jobs picture is the dramatic growth of the freelance sector.
An interesting report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge says that ‘freelance’ jobs are expected to make up half of all jobs during the economic recovery. Just like we associate Ebay as a place to sell our stuff, there are services like Elance and Odesk where you can sell your skills…from simple office services to complex consulting skills.
Elance, for example, reports paying out over $400 million to freelancers—so this is not a flash in the pan. This is a substantial and rapidly growing earning opportunity. They have postings every single day for about 50,000 open freelance jobs, most of which can be done from anywhere in the world.
2. Helping Others Build a Career in the One You are Leaving
Many baby boomers have a 20-, 30- or 40-year career that they’ve trained for and know cold. They have industry contacts, know how to get things done and have real insight into future trends. Many also have lots of good advice for new people coming up through the ranks.
Does it make sense to abandon all that expertise just because you are getting the gold watch and moving to Costa Rica?
If you have a knack for helping people you could be a coach or mentor.
All you need to get started is your career experience, a little training and an Internet connection. (Use Skype and your international calls all could be free.)
3. Turn Your Job Into A Consulting Practice
Many companies are caught in the proverbial “Catch-22.” They have to reduce the size of their payroll and frequently that means starting with the highest paid. But they might still need your expertise, just not as often as a full-time job provides.
Many large and small corporations have found taking an employee off the payroll and hiring them back as a consultant can be a great way to lower costs and preserve expertise.
Now they’re paying you for what you know (advice) rather than what you do (work). And with a little training you could learn to give advice virtually—over the Internet from anywhere on the planet. Once free of your full-time employment, you could also add other similar companies to you list of clients.
4. Help Other People Sell Their Stuff
If you have a marketing, sales or customer service background this could be your path for earning abroad.
One of my favorite ways to earn for baby boomers is special interest publishing…or what is commonly referred to in the Internet marketing world as affiliate marketing.
You can take a well-chosen aspect of your career, hobby or passion and turn it into something that you enjoy and have fun with every day. People have turned hobbies like knitting, model airplane building, wood-working, photography and literally hundreds of other favorite activities into a part-time or full-time income. This is especially appealing to individuals who do not want to set up complicated websites, shopping carts and technical systems.
You can earn affiliate commissions without having a website of your own (but you may want a simple blog which is very popular for this kind of activity). By promoting goods and services on other people’s websites you will earn a commission for every sale you refer to your partner’s website.
5. Teach others what you know how to do through books, videos, audio recording, instruction manuals and seminars over the web.
This is one of the most lucrative ways to turn your experience into an income. If you can train, teach or educate this might be your best way for earning abroad. There is a little complexity here so don’t dive in on this one if you are a novice with technology and creating products.
But, you have a lifetime of experience. If you know how to do something particularly well and are articulate enough to explain it, you can prepare materials that can be sold to people interested in learning all about it.
Tip: You can also find people on the job and on project networks who can help you create these products. So, get going! Now is a great time to open your mind to the work-abroad possibilities.
As the Internet get faster and more powerful, and stretches into all the nooks and crannies of the world… you might have a better opportunity than ever before to live where you want to, work at something you love, earn a part-time or full-time income and enjoy a new quality and pace of life you may not have thought possible.
Editor’s note: Winton is far from finished. He is a mine of information on how you can secure an easy, fast income stream that will set you up wherever in the world you feel like going. Once you’ve heard him break it down, you will be stunned at how easy it is to start a well-paid new life in the sun.