HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Arts and Crafts

You can earn money by painting, sculpting, scrapbooking, quilting, knitting, sewing or making jewelry. You can create wall hangings, centerpieces, necklaces and other decorative items or sell your art online on sites such as Etsy or create your own retail art store online. Art can be a social activity with friends or family members, which ensures seniors mingle with other people.


Other hobbies such as cooking, baking and catering are some more ways to make money after retirement. The key to making money while still enjoying your retirement is to do something you already enjoy so the hours you spend seem less like work and more like play. Best of all, you can control when, where and how much you work.


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One of the best ways to both be retired and bring in some money is to find a way to generate cash from your hobbies. It’s a great idea to have several different hobbies because that will give you more opportunities to make more dough.


Here are a few hobbies that can help seniors make money:


Writing

If you are a writer, visit your library or bookstore and look at the current Writer’s Market, an excellent yearly publication that tells what book and magazine publishers are looking for. You can also easily self-publish a book by using Amazon’s system for Kindle books. Writing has all kinds of possibilities. You can be a freelancer, sending pitches to magazine editors, or you can sign up on sites such as Fiverr or People Per Hour, where you can offer your services for open bidding. You could even start your own blog, and if you get a steady flow of visitors to it, soon enough the opportunity to add advertising may appear, as well as affiliate deals, thus creating an income stream.


Photography

Photography is a pastime that’s part hobby and part artwork. If the photos you’re taking gravitate more toward art, it’s entirely possible you’ll be able to make some money with this hobby. There are several ways to monetize photography. A number of major Web sites, such as

5 MONEY-MAKING HOBBIES

Flickr and Shutterstock, provide photos to various users across the Web. You can earn money by setting up an account on those sites and adding your photos to sell to potential clients. Another idea is to market your work directly to actual clients. Professional photographers are quite expensive, so you may be able to sell your services as a discount to people who need photos for graduations, weddings and other events.


Carpentry

If you can build or repair furniture, you can build a side business in carpentry with very little competition. Carpentry is especially lucrative if you have the capability to restore antique furniture. That’s a skill all its own; by properly restoring an antique piece, you can increase its value considerably.


Music

This is one of those hobbies that lends itself very well to tutoring. You could start by teaching piano, guitar, drum or violin lessons. There are hundreds of other instruments out there. You could help both children and adults master the craft. If you’re an outstanding piano player, you could get a gig at a church or play for weddings and at event venues – even funerals.

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer and blogger who has a keen interest in health and wellness. She can be approached through her blog (www.aha-now.com) and Web site, www.harleenasingh.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

more articles by harleena singh