CAPE TOWN – After retirement, 51 percent of South Africans cannot make ends meet, this is according to the annual Sanlam Benchmark Survey. 

Increasingly, retirees are having to embark on a second career or start a small business after they formally leave work. Even for those who save carefully, it is challenging to live comfortably for 30 years on only a small percentage of your salary from the previous 40.

During Entrepreneurship Month, which runs each year in November, retirees are being encouraged to turn to the internet to make money to help supplement their golden years: “The web allows a flexible schedule and the ability to work from home, perfect for someone who doesn’t want to face traffic or needs a reduced work day. All you need is an internet connection and an online presence to get started,” says head of local hosting company 1-grid.com, Thomas Vollrath.

When it comes to how to make additional income online, Vollrath says the key is to think about what skills you have to offer and then use online targeting to tap into a niche market. He offers the following ideas for post-retirement careers:

  • Homestay host or tour guide – retirees make for excellent Airbnb or homestay hosts and tour guides for their cities. An online presence where people can read about you, see some testimonials and get a sense of your experience goes a long way for establishing trust.
  • Online store owner – with a simple website, you can set up a virtual store selling crafts, refurbished electronics, collectables or antiques. If you are business-minded you can find and resell excess stock from a local factory for a profit.
  • Home-based services – turn a hobby into a home-based career by offering cooked meals, baby or pet sitting, repairs or short courses from home. All of these services can be managed, booked and paid upfront for online.
  • Blogger – setting up a well-designed blog able to host revenue-generating adverts is very affordable. Depending on your skills, you can blog about anything from gardening to business strategy, carpentry or cooking. Affiliate programmes, where you earn commission on sales for goods mentioned on your blog, are another way to generate income. The New York Times recently ran a feature on the glamourous grannies of Instagram – with a bit of pizazz, you could even become a celebrity!

Internet usage is not only a means of topping up savings and being entrepreneurial into one’s eighties, it is also strongly associated with lower rates of depression among the elderly. Research published in leading medical and psychological journals has shown that social networks and support that can be found online lifts mood and keeps retirees busy and engaged well after they leave the office.

With a focus on the SMB market in South Africa, 1-grid.com offers domain, web and email hosting, SSL certification, website design, website building and online marketing expertise to their customers. 

“We want to make having an online presence easy for South African entrepreneurs and small business owners, regardless of their age and tech know how. Our packages come with great support for those who find online business daunting, including a website builder that is very easy and intuitive to use,” said Vollrath.

Content supplied by 1-grid.com.

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