As of 2013, there were 722,000 unemployed veterans in the U.S., with 60 percent being age 45 and over, reports The Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you happen to be one of these vets who is having trouble making ends meet, consider turning your acquired hobbies and skills into a lucrative career. Chances are you’re good at what you choose to do on your spare time, so use this natural talent to fund your retirement. With diligence and patience, it’s possible to earn a profit while doing what you love.
If you love maintaining a healthy lifestyle through exercise, consider helping others do the same. Along with being physically fit, you’ll need to have great communication skills and enjoy motivating people. Additionally, if you have a home gym you can skip on renting a studio and have your clients come to you for workout sessions. Before you start offering your services, you’ll need to obtain a personal trainer certification. The National Federation of Professional Trainers states that trainers with multiple certifications tend to have a higher salary.
Monetizing your writing hobby can be both rewarding and highly profitable. Before trying to self-publish the novel you’ve been working on for years, make a name for yourself as a blogger and a freelance writer. According to the Renegade Writer, there are five steps you must take to start your freelance writing career. Start by choosing topics you enjoy and are highly knowledgeable about and then pitch your ideas to online magazines and websites looking for content. Freelance writing is a great career that offers a flexible schedule and all the benefits of working from home.
Are you a gun collector? Do you love repairing things? Then gunsmithing might be the perfect way for you to make a living. A gunsmith is in charge of repairing, designing and building all types of firearms, including rifles and handguns. Earning a professional gunsmith degree is easy and can be done through online, accredited career schools like Penn Foster. After receiving your diploma, you can exercise your hobby by opening your own gun shop or by searching for jobs at government facilities.
A woodworking career is ideal for veterans with a creative streak. You can make a living by creating not only beautiful objects but functional ones as well, such as dining sets and baby cribs. Making custom creations for clients is also a good way to increase your revenue, as these one-of-a-kind pieces tend to sell for a higher price. If you’ve already established woodworking as a hobby, the initial investment will be minimal. According to The Basic Woodworking, to start your own woodworking business you’ll need the right tools, a shop (you can even use your garage), a client base and a healthy dose of inspiration.
Turn the weekends you spend tinkering on your car into a money-making operation. Entrepeneur.com mentions that busy lifestyles have increased the demand for mobile mechanics. Depending on your skills, a mobile mechanic may offer services that range from a simple tune-up, to creating customized automotive interiors. However, the main difference between a regular mechanic and a mobile mechanic comes with the ability to work at your client’s home. This convenience can drive up your profit and increase customer loyalty.
Fishing no longer needs to be just for fun. If you’re a topnotch fisherman, you can participate in tournaments that can earn you thousands in cash. Although this isn’t a steady stream of income, the high pay can be one great way to fund your retirement. To participate in one of the hundreds of tournaments happening each day across the U.S., you’ll need to be a registered Tournaments Rewards Fishing Team member and own a qualifying boat.