Subscribers get two chances to win a free audio copy of Jim Collins's The Simple Path to Wealth in December. Mr. Money Mustache reads the Forward. Don't miss out. Subscribe today!
Early retirement comes faster when you have a plan. A frugal lifestyle is the first step; the second step is a high paying part-time seasonal job allowing you a retirement lifestyle with a modest amount of work to cover living expenses. Regardless your net worth, you can semi-retire at any time with the game plan outlined here. Below I highlight twelve high paying jobs you can use to start your retirement today. I have clients in each job earning $30,000 or more per year working part-time. Since $30,000 is more than enough to live a phenomenal lifestyle, the jobs below are a great way to live the good life starting now.
The great news is that you can earn even more than $30,000 per year with the jobs below. No matter where you are on your road to financial independence you can step off the treadmill of traditional work and start spending more time with family and friends. Modern technology has made it not only possible, but easy, to live off a small number of work hours. The basics are covered by a few hundred hours of work per year. Everything else is extra wants. The same technology handles so many of our daily tasks freeing more time for personal development.
The risk you have with these part-time seasonal jobs is how fun they are. If you do not watch yourself you will soon be working more than part-time and more than seasonally. (We will not mention any names, Keith.) In those cases you should break six figures. If you go more than part-time you can use the excess cash to wipe out debt and fully fund your retirement accounts. I do not recommend such a hectic lifestyle. If you choose that course you will be in a position to stop working forever in five to ten years.
Tax Preparer: For some reason this is my favorite idea for a seasonal job. The main problem a tax preparation business has is how many people will want your services. It can easily take over your life and create massive amounts of cash every year. A bedroom or remodeled basement in your home is all you need to open a tax practice. In most states you don’t need any special licenses or schooling, but I recommend educating yourself so you provide your clients with the highest level of service. A tax preparer with 100 clients can make a solid income. Individual tax returns are around $250 in most parts of the U.S. while business tax returns go from $500 and up. Some of the business clients will need bookkeeping and payroll services too; these clients are worth thousands per year. You can farm out the extra work or hire a CPA or enrolled agent. A good mix of tax returns should average $400 per return (more for corporations and partnerships and less for most individuals). Your tax preparation revenue of $40,000 with another $10,000 per year for sideline accounting work will require a few hours of work per week for nine months of the year and maybe 4 or 5 hours of work a day for the 10 weeks of tax season.
Health Insurance Sales: Clients always amaze me. A twenty year old client of mine started selling health insurance years ago, working only two month per year. He loves hunting and fishing and spends his entire day outdoors in such activities as long as hunting or fishing season is open. In Wisconsin there is about a two month gap where neither hunting, nor fishing is allowed (or so I have been told). During this two month window my young client sells health insurance like a wildman. He works long days talking with small businesses helping them set up health insurance. In two months per year he earns over $60,000. Not bad for a single young guy. (Ladies, I cannot disclose client names.)Then he focuses on the important stuff for the next 10 months.
Consultant: I see more and more consulting businesses every year. The IT industry is filled with consultants and consultant-like businesses. The number of clients in my office consulting in retirement is growing double digits every year. The income is excellent too. I see part-time consultants earning six figure incomes. Consulting covers every possible facet of business management and sales. I can’t tell you what to consult on; each person has their own sets of unique skills. What I do know is you have something of value to share with businesses or individuals. By reading this and similar blogs you are setting yourself up as a life coach, a perfect consulting job. People in sales can consult with a number of businesses helping them grow their client list. The list of consulting ideas is endless.
Drop Shipping: This is a unique kind of part-time business I probably have the name wrong on. I can give an example of a client I have. He works out of his home and connects businesses with the supplies they need. For example: a company needs a large quantity of a certain chemical and he finds another company with that chemical for sale. He brings the buyer and seller together and makes a profit from the transaction. You can expand on this idea for almost any product. Another example: you could find a quantity of paper and offer it to accounting firms anywhere in the country. The company with the paper handles the shipping. My tax office has not paid for paper in over ten years due to a clients doing what I just said. Because of his huge volume he kills the competition on price.
Crafts: For people who love to create beautiful things with their hands a craft business is the perfect idea. One of my clients provides fabric to people for crafts and earns over $300,000 per year. The abundance of craft fairs, Etsy, eBay and Amazon are only a few of the outlets for selling your handiwork. This idea extends to caricatures and specialty gigs. Putting extra cash in your pocket on a pleasant summer day as people pay you to sketch a caricature of them is a great way to pass the time and meet wonderful people. It is only a matter of time before a wealthy family or business wants you to paint the family portrait or a mural for a massive fee.
Painter: Anyone can paint their own home, but most prefer someone else to do it. The demand for interior painters is huge. You can hook up with contractors to get a steady stream of work. Drywallers are a perfect source of referrals; when they finish their work the painters come in next. A quick introduction to the local apartment association will provide you with more work than you want. To lighten your workload and supercharge your income, you can hire a team to get the work done while you are out bidding on more jobs. Even if you want to work alone you can make up to $40 and more per hour. Not bad for a quiet day brightening room after room with beautiful colors.
Small Farm Growing Specialty Items: Your favorite accountant is victim to more than one of these part-time jobs. (What else am I going to do with all my free time?) I grew up on a dairy farm and it is hard getting it out of my blood. For the first time in over 15 years I don’t have steers due to cattle pricing issues. I still have chickens and several gardens. Specialty items make more money. Flowers seem to do well. My parents make a nice side income selling flowers they grow on their 15 acres of the world. Mushroom farming can take place in a barn or even a basement. Farming is seasonal work, especially if you get away from milking cows. Crops are a spring through autumn job.
Truffles or Ginseng: We are lucky here in Wisconsin since ginseng grows wild in these parts. There are regulations in the state as to how much wild ginseng can be harvested. The growing conditions are ideal in many part of the U.S. for cultivated ginseng. The work is light except during harvesting. With ginseng selling for $600 – $1,000 per pound it does not take long to generate a modest seasonal income. Understand, ginseng is small and it takes a lot to make a pound.
A few lucky areas have truffles. Digging truffles is great exercise and the right truffle can sell for significant sums. I am unfamiliar with the truffle trade, but I believe truffles can be a lucrative seasonal job, same as ginseng.
Forensic work: There is high demand for several kinds of forensic work. Here I am specifically speaking of forensic accounting. Attorneys and estates are always looking for unclaimed accounts. Landlords would love to collect on judgments. For seven years I ran two hedge funds designed to collect what banks could not. This is one of those seasonal jobs that can easily take over your life. Once you have a reputation for results you will have more work than you want. Revenue from forensic work can reach to 50% of collections. You can start by speaking with your local apartment association, attorneys, and small businesses. Most have accounts they would love to have help collecting on. Helping individuals find lost accounts is also satisfying.
Hunting/Fishing Guide: Here is a seasonal job that turns play into income. If you love the outdoors, guide services are for you. You don’t have to stop with fishing and hunting. Guides are needed for all kinds of outdoor adventures. A junior accountant in my home is spending the summer leading a group for Girl Scouts. Room, board and meals are all provided, plus a paycheck. Looks like someone in my household will be packing it away in the First National Bank of Wallet this summer.
Speaker: Good speakers can make massive amounts of money. Speaking is easy, fun, and you meet lots of awesome people. I generally speak 5 – 10 times per year around the U.S. I speak at Goodwill Industries one or two times every year locally. Fear of speaking keeps many people on the sidelines when they could be sharing their knowledge and experience with the next generation of people in their line of expertise. I speak on early retirement, personal finance, time management, writing, and, of course, taxes. If you can turn a difficult subject (think taxes) into something entertaining and educational you will be a hit. Since I hate travelling this gives me a reason to get out there, see places, and have something to do while there. Unstructured vacations drive me insane. Now I get to travel and remain sane. Lucky me.
Blogger: I have been blogging for about 10 years now. In the beginning I used content farms like HubPages and free services like Google’s BlogSpot. You can make money on virtually any subject. A few years ago I ran across a subgenre of flash fiction while researching a medical condition my daughter has. I discovered this small group of blogs had massive traffic and nobody was monetizing their sites. I could not leave well enough alone. My flash fiction* blogs generate over 2.5 million page views per year now and enough income to get me through the worst of times if everything else went south. The Wealthy Accountant is a little different. I hired a web designer to set the whole thing up. In less than two months this blog has about 500 page views per day and brings in a few dollars daily, too. Here are my rules for creating a profitable blog:
- Build content. Traffic does no good if there is only one post to read. Spend six months to a year building content before pushing for massive traffic.
- Build traffic: Once you have content it is now time to get serious about traffic. The blog traffic discussion is left for another day.
- Monetize: Once you have content and traffic it is time to monetize in a serious way. Even modest traffic can generate $50,000 in revenue or more. Like traffic, monetization is left to a future blog post.
There are endless ideas when it comes to high income part-time seasonal jobs. We don’t have to work long hours to make ends meet. It takes very little to pay for the basics. More time with family and friends is important. Yes, I know I spend a lot of time preparing taxes. It makes me happy so I continue, tax season stress and all. It could be worse; I could have nothing to do and spend my days with a beer in one hand and the remote in the other.
* Flash fiction stories are generally under 500 words and sometimes even under 100 words.