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How To Catch-up On Your Retirement Savings

Reprinted with permission from, by Tamila McDonald

How to Catch-up on Retirement Savings in Your 40s and 50s

Embarking on the journey to catch up on your retirement savings later in life can seem daunting, especially after age 40 or 50. But it’s never too late to start, and with some creative and unique strategies, you can still pave the way to a comfortable retirement. Here are ten unconventional yet effective ways to boost your retirement savings.

When you are determined to catch up on retirement savings in your 50s or 40s, consider that all extra money should be funneled into a retirement savings account. That way, it will grow and compound for your later years.

This article may contain affiliate links which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you sign up or buy through the affiliate link.

1. Turn A Hobby Into Income

catch up retirement savings with hobbies

Transform your passion or hobby into a source of income. Whether it’s crafting, photography, gardening, or writing, find ways to monetize what you love doing. This can range from selling products online to offering classes or workshops in your area of expertise. Don’t forget to transfer your earnings into your retirement investment account. Platforms like Etsy, Facebook Marketplace and Amazon all offer makers the opportunity to market their wares to the public.

2. Rent Out Spare Space

rent out a room to catch up on retirement savings in your 50s

If you have extra space in your home, consider renting it out. This could be through short-term rental platforms or by taking in a long-term tenant. The additional income can directly supplement your retirement fund. A friend with a three bedroom home in pricey Southern California, rented his third bedroom to a quiet and unassuming single guy, for added monthly income.

3. Explore Reverse Mortgages

to catch up on retirement savings use a Reverse Mortgage

For homeowners, a reverse mortgage can provide a steady stream of income while still retaining home ownership. It’s vital to thoroughly understand the terms and implications, so consult with a financial advisor to see if this is a viable option for you. Also, study the fees, and compare products to find the best reverse mortgage for you.

4. Utilize Cashback And Rewards Programs

use cashback rewards to catchup on your retirement savings

Take advantage of cashback and rewards programs. While it might seem small, the savings from groceries, gas, and everyday purchases can add up over time. Consider funneling these savings directly into your retirement account.

Acorns has a unique model to help you easily boost your retirement savings. Every time you use a credit or debit card that is connected to the app, the difference between the cost of your purchase, and then next whole dollar gets transferred into an investment account. You can even compound the amount invested! Sign up now, for a $20 bonus!

5. Participate In Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials

Participating in paid clinical trials can be a unique way to earn extra money. It’s important to consider the potential health risks and to consult with your doctor before signing up. There are many clinical trials going on all the time. It can also be a way to assist you with a unique medical condition where there are no other options.

If you’re nearing retirement, with a modest savings and investment account, Retirable is designed for you:

6. Become A House And Pet Sitter

house sitting

House and pet sitting can be a great way to earn extra income, especially for those who enjoy traveling. Some websites connect sitters with opportunities, allowing you to save on travel costs while earning money. This role not only provides a chance to explore new locations but also offers the rewarding experience of caring for pets. It can be an ideal option for retirees or remote workers seeking a change of scenery. Additionally, house and pet sitting can lead to long-term relationships with homeowners, resulting in repeat assignments and a reliable source of income.

Our cat sitter lives nearby, and makes an eviable rate, for a 20 minute daily visit to our cat, when we are on the road.

7. Invest In A Small Business Or Start-Up

invest in business

If you have the means, consider investing in a small business or start-up. This can be riskier, but with the right opportunity, it could yield significant returns. Thorough research and possibly the advice of a financial expert are crucial before making such investments. Other investment apps such as Groundfloor allow you to invest in real estate debt, with small amounts of capital.

8. Create And Sell Online Courses

online courses

If you have expertise in a particular area, consider creating and selling online courses. With digital platforms, you can reach a global audience and create a passive income stream. This approach not only allows you to share your knowledge and passion with others but also establishes you as an authority in your field.

Online courses can cover anything from cooking and gardening to coding and photography. Once your course is created and uploaded, it requires minimal maintenance, providing a source of income that can continue to grow over time with the right marketing strategies.

9. Opt For A Tiny Home Or Mobile Living

Tiny House

Downsizing your living situation can significantly reduce living expenses. Tiny homes or mobile living options like RVs can be more affordable and offer a unique lifestyle, allowing you to allocate more funds towards retirement. Depending on the option you choose, this decision also allows you to move to a more affordable place in your city or state.

If tiny living is too extreme, opt for a smaller, lower cost apartment or home.

10. Leverage The Gig Economy

Gig Economy

The gig economy offers flexible earning opportunities. From ride-sharing services to freelance gigs, explore options that fit your schedule and skills. You can sign up for apps such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Task Rabbit, Upwork and more. Even a few extra hours a week can contribute meaningfully to your retirement savings.

Bonus Strategies to Catch-up on Your Retirement Savings

retirement savings
  • Every raise, tax refund, financial gift, or unexpected cash windfall should be invested in your retirement savings account.
  • Annually, commit to increasing the percent of your income that goes from your paycheck into your workplace 401k or 403b.
  • Trade in your vehicles for lower cost models, and invest the difference.
  • Track your monthly spending, and aggressively cut expenses and transfer the savings to an investment account.
  • Transfer all cash savings to a high yield savings account, like the Wealthfront Save account.

  • Get low cost financial planning advice; Retirable offers low cost financial management and planning for Average 50+ year olds. Click to schedule a no-obligation financial advisor consultation.

Disclosure: Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you sign up or buy through the affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally believe is valuable.

Empower Advisors Corporation (“PCAC”) compensates Wealth Media, LLC. (“Company”) for new leads. Wealth Media is not an investment client of PCAC.

Zero In Retirement Savings And Over 55: Use These 10 Unconventional Ways To Catch Up,” was originally published on