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Working in the Gig Economy After Military Retirement: What You Need to Know Thumbnail

Working in the Gig Economy After Military Retirement: What You Need to Know

Retirement Funding

At some point after your military retirement and before your ultimate retirement, you might want to cut back on your workload. One option might be the gig economy. The gig economy refers to those workers who freelance, contract, or otherwise rely on ‘gigs’ to supplement their income.  While you might assume that this network consists primarily of millennials and younger individuals, retirees make up a larger portion each year.

According to Kiplinger, more than 400,000 seniors are now finding gig work online in order to utilize their time, and wealth, properly.

It you do want to explore the gig economy you might want to consider a variety of gigs including driving for a ride-sharing service, renting out space for travelers or vacationers, or even pet-sitting locally.

Before You Start...

Ask Yourself If You’re Ready 

As a military retiree, you have a base income that may support your main lifestyle needs. While for many being dependent on the gig economy might not be for them because income can fluctuate so much, it can be a great way to spend some time doing something you’re passionate about or discovering a new interest. Keep in mind that even though you may be a gig worker it’s still important to stay up to date on your taxes too. 

Set Your Goals

As you consider taking on gig work, it’s important to set reasonable expectations and goals for yourself by doing research in areas that interest you. Keeping in mind your earnings potential as well as the challenges you may encounter along the way are also key to succeeding in the long run. While getting started can be relatively simple, it may take some time to maximize your potential and in turn, your income in whatever platform you turn to for your work. 

Do the Math 

If you’re currently retired from the military, you’ve hopefully done your homework related to how to utilize your wealth and income sources to continue the lifestyle you’ve worked so hard to achieve. When it comes to picking up gigs, it’s important to emphasize whether you’re reliant on the income you will receive or if it’s not about the money and you’re in it for the passion and excitement that can coincide. 

If you are in fact choosing to work again because of your financial situation, it’s important that you understand where you are and what you’ll need to earn in order to live confidently and eventually leave a legacy of impact. 

Build Your Brand

In any industry it is important to take the time to build a name for yourself and network properly so that you can find success. As a retiree, this is equally important whether you’re doing something out of passion or necessity. Get started on one platform initially and expand slowly so that your audience can grow with you. Making sure your reputation speaks for itself can make a big difference when it comes to spending your retirement years wisely.  

Don’t Forget About Taxes

By making it this far you know that taxes can be difficult! It’s important to keep in mind the details when it comes to working for yourself. You’ll need to deduct taxes multiple times throughout the year, setting enough aside to cover self-employment tax and income tax. You will also need to file an annual tax return, unless you’re earning less than $400 a year.2 The IRS website provides more information about this. But as a base reference, you should plan on about 40% of your profits going towards taxes.

An accountant, or trusted advisor, can always be helpful when it comes to taxes, whether you’re working for yourself or not. Additionally, there are a number of software capabilities available to help as well. 

  1. https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T012-C000-S004-survive-and-thrive-in-the-gig-economy.html
  3. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/self-employed-individuals-tax-center

If you found this article useful, you might like the following blog posts:

Financial Glossary for Retired Military Business Owners: 15 Must-Know Terms

How to Simplify Your Financial Life Before Your Ultimate Retirement

Military Finances 201: Take Social Security Early and Invest It?

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