For many Kiwis approaching retirement, doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with downsizing the family home. On the contrary, retirement can represent a much-anticipated opportunity to potter around the garden, redecorate the spare bedroom, spruce up the garden and simply enjoy the space. Unfortunately, hanging on to the family home can also mean capital stays tied up in property, which can leave retirees with a fantastic investment yet very little in the way of liquid assets.
These sorts of “house rich, cash poor” scenarios don’t bode well, with experts from Massey University estimating the average Kiwi living in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch needs savings of over $100,000 to make up the gap between Superannuation payments and basic living costs.
The good news is, homeowners have a serious trump card when it comes to earning extra income. Unlike renters, you enjoy total control over your property and how it’s used. This opens exciting new income doors that can be used to pad out your super and help you enjoy a comfortable retirement.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started.
1. Rent rooms on Airbnb
If you’re been flirting with the idea of hosting guests via Airbnb, why not take the plunge? The latest figures from Airbnb reveal that the average host earns roughly $3800 a year renting out private rooms for around 27 nights a year. The cash is used to pay bills, buy groceries and fund overseas trips. Plus, almost 50% of hosts are over 50 which definitely says something about the demographic. You can be as casual or as fancy as you like, with some hosts serving up home baked cookies and others offering private entrances and very little contact. Live on a rural property? You can even rent out garden space to happy campers.
2. Host a foreign exchange student
If you live in an urban neighbourhood hosting a foreign exchange student can be a fantastic way to earn extra income and learn about a different culture. Most are enrolled in study abroad programmes through local universities and tend to be in their late teens or twenties. You’ll generally need to provide most meals, a private bedroom and a comfortable living environment.
3. Sell market produce
Whether you live on a standard suburban lot or a spacious rural property, market gardening can be an incredibly rewarding way to top up your retirement income. A single fruit tree can produce a bounty of produce, while seasonal vegetables can bring in big bucks at local farmers markets. Of course, there are a few loopholes you’ll need to jump through to become a certified stallholder, which is why food collectives and community coops can also be fruitful.
4. Rent out your driveway
It may sound a little quirky but renting out your driveway, or any other parking space you have available, can be a big money-spinner. Platforms like JustPark have revolutionised the concept of renting privately-owned space, with the app now used by more than 20,000 property owners across the globe. Check it out online and you’ll see everything from driveways in central Auckland to RV spots in Queenstown.
5. Start a home business
Feeling a little restless in your retirement? Why not take advantage of your homeowner status and launch a micro business? You could host embroidery workshops in your living room, run “green thumb” workshops in your garden, offer weekday babysitting services or get certified and go professional in your kitchen. The key is to think about what makes you tick, brainstorm how your favourite hobby could make you money and be prepared to channel a whole lot of time, effort and passion into getting your business off the ground.
Are you currently earning cash as a homeowner? We’d love to hear your ideas and experiences so go ahead and share in the comments below.