A look at five unusual ways to boost income in retirement

In the Retirement Planning section of the Wall Street Journal we found some “different” ideas about generating retirement income.  Frankly, some of these, like the wood lot, probably require more physical effort than most retirees are prepared to spend, but we bring them to you for your enjoyment.

1. Grow Trees 

If you live in an area where people routinely burn wood to heat their homes, you might consider buying some woodland. Not only can you use the wood to heat your home, you can sell logs to others.

2. Make Loans

You’re probably getting less than 1% on your bank deposits—but your bank, using your money, can get as much as 15% for an unsecured loan. Suddenly lending seems appealing.  The problem is that the people who typically want to borrow your money are probably your relatives, and relatives are notorious for not paying back the money they have borrowed, even if you have a signed note.

3. Rent Out a Room

If your kids have left the nest, you might have a spare room. Instead of downsizing to a smaller home in a weak housing market, consider renting out a room to a lodger.  But are you really ready to have a stranger live in your house after you have finally said goodbye to the last child?

4. Tutor Students

Anyone who has reached retirement age should have amassed a wealth of knowledge on a variety of topics, all of which could provide the basis for a part-time career.  This may actually be a good idea.  I know someone who retired and went on to teach classes in using computers.  Teaching math classes to students struggling in school may be a good part-time job for retired engineers.

5. Preferred Stock

Buying preferred stock is not at all unusual, but like any investment you have to know what you are doing and what the pitfalls are (and there are many).   The preferred stock market is a specialized area of the financial universe that you should only explore with the help of an experienced RIA.

 

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