Creating Alternative Sources of Income

Over the past several weeks, I’ve discussed retirement strategies based on whether you’re in your twenties to thirties; forties to fifties; or are in your sixties with retirement just around the corner. To review those column’s go to the Resource Center at and click on ‘Stewart’s Column’. 

One retirement solution everyone should consider is creating one or more alternative sources of income. While this may seem to be a daunting task, you may just discover that it’s easier than you think. Consider these success stories:
Years ago, a stockbroker discovered the love of running. While being a stockbroker provided the income to drive his lifestyle, for fun he began to organize runs with small groups of people on a weekly basis. One thing he noticed was that there were a number of novice runners who were interested in becoming more proficient and had goals of running in, and completing a marathon. He developed a novice running club and charged a small fee as he organized and taught a disciplined running regime that would prepare these novices for a marathon. He found that the club members loved the program and began to spread the word. He also discovered how much he loved combining his love of running with his new passion for teaching and seeing how it changed lives. Turns out that he wasn’t just teaching running, he was also teaching life skills. 
A friend of mine was looking for an alternative income source; specifically he wanted something he could turn into passive income where his involvement would be minimal. He looked at many options and finally decided on an Internet-based discount retail purchasing web portal that allowed him to purchase everyday products at a discount plus add additional friends, family and other families where he would receive cash incentives for their purchases as well. If these new ‘customers’ also recruited customers, everyone would benefit. He worked diligently for three years building his new ‘business’ and today, spending only three hours per week has a monthly income exceeding $20,000! 
Do you have to have a bunch of money to start up your own business? Consider a recent case. This gentleman in his late sixties was not content to drift into the sunset of retirement and, after much research, decided on a franchise business to buy. He had a great idea, a good business plan but lacked the capital to launch his business. He took the business plan to a group of investors who funded the project on a partnership basis.
What you should do. Make a list of all of the things that you love to do. Start with things that you are really passionate about. Note that for each item, there is someone who is making a pile of money with a business based on what you love to do. You could model them or create an innovative alternative. Brainstorm the possibilities and see what you come up with. In this economy, now is a great time to start a business. If you can make it work now, it’ll take off once the next economic boom gets under way. For more information about starting your own business, visit