How a side gig can boost retirement security

Kim Palmer

Kim Palmer

Kim Palmer has a full-time job, but decided to start something on the side in 2009. “It was the height of the recession, and I was terrified that I’d get laid off – it seemed like it was happening all around me. I felt financial pressure to have a back-up plan.” A personal finance editor at U.S. News & World Report, she started a series of money planners that she sells on Etsy.com, the e-commerce website for handmade items.

The business has done so well that she decided to write a book about side-gigging: The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life. Palmer argues that side-gigs can be one of the best ways people worried about their jobs can develop a back-up plan – or an exit strategy. The book explains how side gigs work, and it includes interviews with dozens of people who have started them, ranging from a musical instrument repairman who sells voice-overs on the web to a medical sales professional who also sells wine online.

For people closing in on retirement age, side-gigging can be a great way to boost retirement security.