Does Your Retirement Planning Include Writing As An Income?

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Writing For An Income In Retirement

Adding writing and self-publishing to your retirement planning could become an attractive side income stream

Depending on where you live, as you approach retirement at age 62 or age 65, there are many calculations to make. Our life expectancy has increased dramatically in the last few decades, so you need to get long-term financial information.

You will need to calculate your anticipated pension, 401 k plans, superannuation, retirement savings, social security benefits, health care costs and perhaps your income tax liabilities. For those in the US, even student loans need to be considered.

Financial planning of your retirement account should start early to see if you are setting aside enough in your nest egg.


But does your retirement planning include earning extra income?

Blogging, content writing and self-publishing have all become popular pastimes, and they are all potential retirement income earners for many retirees, as they are perfectly adapted to their lifestyle.

It doesn’t matter where you live, so long as you have an Internet connection, writing in your retirement is an ideal and enjoyable home-based activity.

While some start after they begin their retirement, I would suggest to those who may be approaching this stage of life, to get a head start by planning ahead, and getting their writing or self-publishing ventures off the ground well before the time arrives.

For those totally new to writing and self-publishing, it can be a steep learning curve, so having a few years experience under your belt is a positive advantage, and will pay dividends when you have more time to invest.

Further reading: How To Make Money Writing And Self-Publishing


Writing and self-publishing are flexible retirement side businesses

Even for people a lot younger, writing as a hobby can always be ramped up if circumstances change.

For example, unemployment, illness or perhaps for the luckier ones, a one-year sabbatical.

I started writing and then self-publishing a long time ago now, and it has almost always been a hobby, or at most, a part-time side income activity for me. But now I can see that it will be my part-time job during retirement, which is approaching very soon.

Over the years I have had a few times here and there when bad luck struck and I was unable to work full-time, and writing and self-publishing filled a void for me.

Not only as a productive activity but also as an income earner.

My most profitable period, in so far as writing output and book sales is concerned, was a few years ago when I was ill for an extended period of time, and I invested my time almost 100% in writing, publishing and promoting.

Not only did I make a little money, but I really believe that my determination to keep active and working helped me back on my feet far sooner.

Self-publishing and writing have become popular with people of all ages, and from all walks of life, as it can be adapted to the aspirations of almost anyone.

But if you are thinking about writing or self-publishing as a small business, a side income or simply a pleasure, the most attractive benefit is that it can be slowed down, stopped, restarted or ramped up at any time.

This makes it a great fallback plan for anyone with a love of writing, and an ideal way to enjoy and profit from writing during your retirement.


More reading: Make A Passive Income From Your Writing


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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

6 thoughts on “Does Your Retirement Planning Include Writing As An Income?

  • June 8, 2018 at 10:53 pm

    As far as keeping the brain active goes, writing is top notch. And if you’re planning a short story or book, you’ll probably need to do some research, however minor. Curiosity and learning are therefore catered for and that keeps the brain young and nimble. As for earning money at the same time, that depends on how technical and dedicated you are. Publishing today is a far cry from the 80’s and 90’s…Mainstream publishers used to circulate and advertise for you and send regular royalties not to be sniffed at. Today, unless you have money to buy your own books to give away, travel and give talks (unless extremely gifted), it’s a hard slog to earn enough to see you through the week. Keen writers will, of course, plod on, like wot I do. in the hope of maybe selling a few more copies of the book they KNOW. is better than the experts think it is!

  • July 6, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    You’ve got a typo in your first line – it’s pastime, not pass time. In the age of the internet, typos have become a way to gauge professionalism and trustworthiness. Stopped me reading right there.

  • February 22, 2017 at 11:35 am

    I would recommend writing and self publishing for retirees for one reason alone: it keeps the brain ticking over. I would not recommend it as a source of income because very few writers make money from their books, whether self- or traditionally published. And with a few exceptions they only manage that after years and several books. All that said, if you are lucky enough to have the time it is a brilliant way to spend it, especially if you are writing non fiction that requires research into a fascinating subject. I speak from personal experience of course! It’s hard work, but wonderful to meet new challenges in the latter years.

  • May 18, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Happily, retirement has given me the time to write. After three decades of teaching in public schools, retirement to the Southwestern desert meant doing the things I was passionate about, including some teaching at the college level and publishing education related articles, chapters, and a book. But, mostly, it was about doing the research I needed for the novel I planned to write. The Clay Remembers (Book 1 in The Clay Series) is finally finished and self-published to good reviews. I’m finding marketing quite a challenge and very time consuming, while trying to get busy with books 2 and 3. I’ve learned some important lessons along the way. I find your blog very insightful, offering some great ideas and tips. Thanks.

    • May 18, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      Happy to hear you are enjoying being productive, Sharon. However, I empathise with you completely about the book marketing side of things. It’s not easy, and such a fine balance to find. All I can suggest is try many different ways, and keep a record of what works best. It can be very different for every author. Hopefully, some of my tips (directly from my own flops and partial successes) helps a little.


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