AUS: 1300 630 488    NZ: 0800 1477 6287

Show me the money

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you can’t use your skills to earn some extra cash.

In a report released by the McKell Institute, it was found that while the growing use of technology can disadvantage older Australians, it
can also improve their situation by dramatically increasing productivity and connectivity. In fact, there is a huge untapped employment market for older Australians. And if employers don’t catch on quick, they’re doing themselves a disservice.

In light of this, it’s been found that older Australians are continually turning to the sharing economy to fill their days during their retirement, and earn a bit of an income as well. In fact, in the USA, ride-sharing app Uber has actually joined forces with AARP to encourage people over the age of 40 to sign up as Uber drivers.

As the population ages, people are working longer. But increasingly, they want to work on a more part-time basis rather than in full-time employment. And that’s where the sharing economy comes in.


Uber was launched in Australia in 2012. And it didn't take long for older Australians to turn to the ride-sharing app as another form of employment. With Uber, you’re technically working for yourself, so you choose your own hours and own areas to drive. It’s a fantastic way to meet new people as well.

In NSW, Uber is working very hard to encourage older Australians to get behind the wheel and serve as drivers. While the service cannot disclose how many senior drivers are working with Uber at the moment, it’s understood that approximately one in six drivers are older than 55 years. In the USA, 23 per cent of drivers are 50 years or older.

Of course, becoming an Uber driver isn’t as easy as signing up and hopping on the road. There are some tests that need to be conducted including criminal background checks, driving history checks and an insurance check.

Additional conditions include the car being four-door and younger than nine years old. And of course, the driver must hold a valid driver’s licence.


Untapped skills are a fantastic way to bring in some extra money. Just because you don’t necessarily work in your profession anymore, doesn’t mean those skills should go to waste. Websites like Airtasker, Upwork and PeoplePerHour connect you with people who need services.

In terms of skills, Airtasker leads the way. It’s a bevy
of opportunities especially for outsourcing things like gardening, handyman work or business and admin jobs. That’s where you come in. Jobs required include everything from marketing, to event photography and virtual assistances, and everything in between. You can even be paid to line up in a queue. Yep, you read that correctly. Someone will pay you to stand in line for events or product launches so they can have a bit of a rest or not lose valuable working hours at their job.

And the benefit of going through sites such as Airtasker is that you are insured for third party injury or property damage, so you don’t need to worry about what you’ll do if something happens. The community marketplace is also safe

in that all communication happens through the website or smart device app. You never have to give out your personal details; you can call or private message from the platform itself. Payment is also all done through the platform so the money never exchanges hands – a safer and more reliable option. Once you’ve completed your job, the hiring party ‘releases’ the payment from Airtasker, which then transfers it into your verified bank account.

On Airtasker alone, more than $3.5 million worth of tasks is posted every month and there’s potential for you to earn hundreds if not thousands of dollars. According to Airtasker, about 8.5 per cent of workers are aged 55 years or older. And this number is growing.

The great thing is, it won’t even feel like working because you’ll be doing things you love.

It’s a similar concept when it comes to PeoplePerHour, who are apparently “in the business of dreams.” The company website describes their platform succinctly: “We connect talented experts with savvy businesses that search for the right skills to get a job done quickly and with no hassle.” Launched in 2008, today the company boasts 1.5 million registered users across 89 countries and freelancers have earned more than $100 million through the platform.

Tax implications

Any money earned, regardless of whether it’s through the shared economy or not, is still a generation of income. This means there may be tax implications that you need to keep an eye on.

  • Just a hobby? If the income is minimal, you may not have to declare it. But you cannot claim expenses.
  • If it starts as a hobby and ends up making you a reasonable income, the tax office needs to know. So keep a record of money going in and out, just in case.
  • Remember to keep in mind the earning limits for the pension.