Mature businesswoman looking away thoughtfully while working on a laptop at home. Senior businesswoman doing online freelance work in her home office.

9 Lucrative Ways to Earn Money Abroad, Whether You’re Retired (or Not)

When Joyce Barr decided to retire from the U.S. and move to Panama, it didn’t mean the American expat gave up building her income. While she certainly had the funds to move, living in the Central American country gave her the opportunity to pivot into building her business, Blast Tours & Coaching, which combined her interest in travel and consulting for those thinking about moving abroad, especially those over 60.

 There are numerous opportunities to continue to generate additional income while making the most of your retirement years. Whether you’re seeking to supplement your bank account, pursue a passion project, or simply want to stay engaged, there are opportunities to explore.

1.Teaching or tutoring:  Offer your expertise in areas such as language instruction, music, arts, or academic subjects. You might be able to make a second (or third, fourth or more career) out of educating others. If you have expertise in areas such as language, music, or academic subjects, you can find opportunities both in person and online.

2. Consulting: You have most likely built key expertise from your previous work history. Leverage your skills and knowledge to create opportunities both in your host country and online. You might deliver financial consulting to small businesses based on your experience as an accountant. You could find a local opportunity offering technical support that leans on your experience as an engineer. You may even be able to coach future digital business owners based on your entrepreneur experience. Whatever your background is, there is someone who needs your experience and you can get paid to help. 

3. Property management: If you have real estate anywhere, you can leverage your asset to generate an income stream. If you decided to keep property in your home country, you may want to consider renting it out. You’ll have to oversee various aspects, including marketing the property, screening and selecting tenants, handling lease agreements, and ensuring timely maintenance and repairs.  But instead of remaining empty, you can generate income especially if it’s located in a popular location. You can also do the same in your host country.

4. Tour guide:  Remember, the awesomeness when you first learned about your new home? Become a local tour guide and share your extensive knowledge and genuine passion with tourists. As a tour guide, you can immerse visitors in the rich culture, history, and hidden gems of your adopted country. With your insider perspective, you can curate experiences to show everything from popular landmarks to off the beaten path neighborhoods to eating local cuisine.  

5. Hospitality services:  Do you love hosting people and curating experiences? You might want to take the tour guide step one even further, and offer hospitality services. You can offer hospitality related services such as a bed and breakfast or guest hosting. If you have hotelier experience (or are willing to learn), you may be able to rent out rooms to give visitors and travelers an authentic accommodation experience. 

Group Of Mature Men And Women In Class At Outdoor Yoga Retreat
Image: iStock

6. House or pet sitting: If you have the travel bug and are always looking to explore new locations, you can become a house or pet sitter. As a house or pet sitter, you’ll have the opportunity to experience living in different communities  and immerse yourself in the local lifestyle while taking care of the owner’s home (or animals) while they are away.  You’ll provide essential home maintenance, such as watering plants, collecting mail, and ensuring the security of the property as well as taking care of any pets. Depending on the opportunity, you can get paid plus get free accommodations. 

7. Language translation services: Speaking more than one language is definitely a bonus. You can provide interpretation or translation services in person or online.You can offer services as a language conversation buddy for someone who is trying to learn the languages you know. You could also work as a freelance translator and get paid to translate written and spoken material for clients. You can also design resources to help others learn the language. The options are there, you just need to figure out what works best for you. 

8. Writing: Don’t let all the chatter surrounding AI fool you. Good writers are still in demand. You can use your talents to share your experiences, travel tips, or expertise through writing and monetizing your content. Everyone from big publications to smaller blogs may need services that range from copywriting to ghostwriting to editing.  You can even specialize if you have a particular expertise such as technical or legal writing. You can also create a blog on whatever topic of your choice, build an audience and monetize it from affiliate marketing, sponsorships, ads and more. 

9. Arts and crafts: If you have a creative talent, you can sell your artwork or unique products locally and online. Whether you specialize in painting, photography, jewelry making, or any other craft,  you showcase and sell your creations.  If you’re selling in person, set up at local markets, art fairs, or community events to promote your merchandise.  You can build your own website or use popular ecommerce platforms such as Shopify and Etsy to have a global clientele. 

Just because you’ve ended a previous career doesn’t mean you’ve stopped your earning potential. From leveraging your skills and expertise in freelance work to offering tours,  you still have skills, expertise and even assets that just may help provide additional income.

Amanda Bates

Amanda Bates is the founder and creative director of The Black Expat, where she is generally excited about all things related to identity, travel, and cross-cultural experience. She has traveled five continents, lived on three and always plotting the next trip.
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