Skip to main content
10 minutes reading time (1927 words)

10 Passive Income Apps and Ideas for Retirees

10 passive income apps and ideas for retirees

This post was last updated on July 16, 2023, to reflect all updated information and best serve your needs.

Just because you’re retired, doesn't mean you can’t still have a little side hustle or create new goals. Passive income is a great way to generate a little extra income without feeling like you’re “coming out of retirement” so to speak.

Luckily, there are several services to help you capitalize on skills and assets you already have. These could be helpful in getting started making a little extra money in retirement. Here are some cool passive income applications (apps), websites, and ideas you can use to make extra income in retirement.

Short-term Rental Apps

The use of short-term rentals is on the rise compared to “typical” options such as hotels and resorts. With services like Airbnb and VRBO, you can get set up to host pretty quickly. There are even some other interesting ways to make money using other spaces too.

Rent a Room in your House

Do you have empty rooms in your house collecting dust? You might be able to use them to collect additional income instead. Renting a spare room in your house is an excellent way to turn unused space into a viable side income.

According to Airbnb, the “typical US Airbnb” host’s income was over $13,800 in 2021. Keep in mind rates vary depending on where you live, options you include, and events nearby. Depending on where you’re renting a room, you could easily make a nice bit of income in retirement.

Need help navigating your retirement income options? Get your free retirement income plan today!

Rent out the Whole House

Do you have a vacation home or other property you don’t use very often? If so, you might be able to make more efficient use of it.

Services like VRBO allow you to rent out an entire home or condo. Renting out another property like a home, condo, townhome, or apartment is an awesome way to boost your passive income in retirement.

According to VRBO, rentals on their site are on the rise. There could be some real money waiting for you with just a little bit of effort.

Rent Land for Camping

You can even rent out unused land for campers using sites like The Dyrt or Hipcamp. Depending on the land you have available, you could create some really cool camping experiences for people. If you live close to a popular trail or other outdoor destination, this could be a perfect fit.

Downsides to Short-term Rental Options

The idea of renting out an extra room or property does sound really nice. However, there’s always potential tradeoffs.


Safety is always a concern when you invite a stranger into your home or onto your property. You don’t know if they’re going to take care of the place or if they’re going to be some sort of shady character.

Fortunately, companies have policies and procedures in place to handle situations and even ban people from using the service if they break the rules.

Wear and Tear

With more people using your property, there’s going to be more wear and tear than if you didn’t rent it out.

Is this Really Passive?

Cleaning and preparing the rental each time might not be very passive. However, there are cleaning services you can hire to take care of resetting your rental space for you.

Rent Your Unused Vehicles

Renting your vehicle is another awesome way to boost your income in retirement. This could be a regular car or truck, motorcycle, boat, or even camper/RV. Honestly, there’s almost no limit to the things you can rent out now.

Rent Your Car

Services like Turo are changing the vehicle rental industry by giving you the ability to rent your car for both long-term and short-term rentals.

On average, Turo car owners make $10,516 per year from renting their car. There are some restrictions on what types of vehicles you can list on Turo. It must be less than 12 years old, have less than 130,000 miles, and have a clean title (no salvage titles).

Rent Your Motorcycle

Got a motorcycle you don’t ride much anymore? Services like Eagle Rider or Twisted Road could help you make some cash from your 2-wheeled (or 3-wheeled) toys with motors.

Rent Your Recreational Vehicle (RV) or Camper

RVing and camping are popular activities for retirees. However, you may not use your camper or RV all the time. Companies like RVshare and Outdoorsy give you the ability to rent your RV or camper.

This could allow you to at least pay for regular maintenance and storage. If it’s an RV you don’t use very often, getting it out and about may actually be beneficial.

Renting Your Boat

Using sites like Boatsetter you can even rent out your boat. The same concept applies as the other renting sites. You could realistically rent your boat a few times to pay for maintenance and slip/dock fees.

Other Things You Can Rent

Honestly, with a little bit of searching online, you can rent out nearly anything you can think of. You have the ability to rent everything from photography equipment and bicycles to tools, gym equipment, electronics, musical instruments, and even sewing machines. Here’s a few of these types of sites to get you started:

10 Passive Income Apps and Ideas for Retirees

Capitalize on Credit Card Rewards

Credit card rewards programs can offer you all kinds of benefits and rewards from charging regular expenses to your credit card instead of using your debit card or cash. Some of the most popular credit rewards programs will give you airline points and free flights for accumulating enough miles on your credit card. Others will let you earn cashback when you hit certain spending thresholds, or even earning credit back against your monthly statement. 

Whether you are a frequent traveler or just want to make some money back on your groceries, it may be worth exploring the variety of credit card rewards programs on the market. We suggest looking for rewards programs for purchases you already make. You don’t need to completely change your habits just to get a few rewards points.

Also, we want to caution against this if you’ve got a habit of not paying your credit cards off each month. Accumulating debt on credit cards can very quickly cancel out any potential savings.

Optimize Cash-back Apps

Credit cards aren’t the only way you can get cashback on your purchases. There are dozens of great apps to help you earn cashback on everyday purchases. 

For instance, Ibotta is a great app where you earn cash rebates on purchases from all kinds of grocery stores, restaurants, retailers, and movie theaters. Simply set up your account on the app, look up the retailer you plan on shopping with, and start earning cashback on your transactions.

Ibotta and the retailers will track your purchases and reward you accordingly. Why not get something back from the money you’re going to spend anyway? This app also offers tons of great coupons to some of your favorite grocery stores.

Write and Publish eBooks

Many people like to write more in retirement. Why not make some additional income while you’re honing your writing skills?

You may be able to create and publish an eBook without having to spend a ton of money on it. Platforms like Amazon have really opened up the chance to be a published writer.

Publishing an entertaining, informative, or educational eBook could be an awesome way to build additional income. Plus, you’ll be sharing your knowledge, skills, or stories in your own unique way. With no setup or physical publishing costs, simply publish your works to Amazon or a variety of other platforms and start making money with your writing.

Are you already enrolled in Medicare and curious if you could save money with a different plan? Check out our simple 3-step Medicare guide that could save you thousands in surprise medical bills or penalties.

Create and Teach Online Courses

Do you have a skill other people want to learn? Do you also like teaching? If so, creating online courses may be a fun and rewarding activity which also helps bring in some cash. Online learning is not only a great way to pick up new skills quickly, but it is also one of the easiest ways you can make money off of skills and knowledge you already have.

Elearning platforms like Udemy and Skillshare have given instructors around the globe the ability to earn solid part-time and full-time incomes from teaching online. No skill is too niche or too broad for eLearning.

Here’s a list of some of the topics you may be able to teach online:

  • Business and personal finance
  • Investing
  • Online marketing
  • Photography
  • Cooking
  • Coding and software architecture
  • Music
  • Fitness
  • Meditation
  • And more

Wrap Your Car

Wrapping your car with an advertisement is another simple and effective way to monetize your vehicle. Platforms like Carvertise and Wrapify give you access to a network of brands and advertisers who pay you to place adds on your car. This could be a simple window sticker or wrapping your entire car in some cases.

Some of these companies have strict guidelines on what kinds of cars they’ll allow and restrictions on the shape your car’s in before they agree to wrap it. Start a profile on these platforms and shop around for car wrapping and advertising opportunities in your area.

Sell Stock Photos and Videos

We have the power to take beautiful pictures and videos in our everyday lives with little investment in equipment. As a matter of fact, your smartphone might be all you need.

If you enjoy taking pictures, posting your photos to stock photo websites is another great way to make money online. These websites give photographers the ability to post and share their photos on massive marketplaces so people can purchase or license their photos.

Start Blogging

Building an audience online can be a powerful way to create an income online. Written content is still one of the most widely consumed forms of media on the internet.

So, if you want another way to use your writing muscles, blogging could be another way to go. However, blogging may take quite some time before you see any profit. It’s still one of the most dependable ways to create income online.

If you have a subject you like writing about, blogging just might be a great outlet to also bring in some income.

Hoping to retire in the next 5 years or less? Download our 3 Pillars of Successful Retirement Plans.

Create Apparel and Clothing

Online e-commerce platforms like Teespring and Redbubble give creative folks the ability to sell their designs on t-shirts and other apparel.

You really don’t even need to be super creative to publish and sell your own clothing. These platforms have their own built-in creation platforms to let you create unique designs and put text on all sorts of things.

Do You Even Need Additional Income?

While all these ideas may help you make more money in retirement. The real question is if you actually need additional income. At NextGen Wealth, we can help you identify what makes the most sense for you personally. Then we help solve everything financially.

You may even be surprised at how much you’ll need to retire or even see how you can retire earlier than you planned. Contact us today for your free 15-minute consultation.

Share This Article

Free Retirement Checkup™

Our free checkup will show you step-by-step how to reduce taxes, invest smarter, and optimize retirement income.

We want you to know exactly how we can help before you pay us a single dollar.

Want a financial newsletter that you'll actually enjoy reading?

Sign up today to receive a weekly newsletter that's surprisingly refreshing.

About the Author

Aurtho Clint Haynes, CFPThis article was written by Clint Haynes, CFP®. Clint is a Certified Financial Planner® and Founder of NextGen Wealth. You can learn more about Clint by reading his full bio here.