Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Retirement Income-The Ups Of Multiple Income Streams

As a widow, I'm blessed to have survivor's social security and a small government pension to keep me going.  Even so, as readers know, I'll still need to supplement with some income.  I need backup for all those irregular expenses and inflation, and need to come up with a fair hefty emergency fund, as I have virtually no investments.

Like many folks heading into retirement, I've chosen three or four income streams rather than one job or business.  While having a single job or business has some advantages, for many, multiple income streams make life more secure and also more flexible. As one author describes it, I decided to plant many seeds.

When you have many little slices of income, boredom is rare. If I'm working on a project or portion of that stream and boredom sets in, I can move aside to an aspect of another business. Although I started a quilting business because I enjoy quilting, there are times when sitting down at that sewing table is the last thing I want to do. When that time arises, I can simply work on listing or buying books, writing, or other activities that also bring in income.Of course I can also grab a book, a drink, sit down and read and return to my labors later.  Diversity is, by nature, a part of my daily life.

Having those income alternatives allow me to stretch myself in different ways, and use different skills.While creating crafted items generally require me sitting at my studio, my book business allows me to go out in the world and search for books, as well as expand my knowledge about that business. Although  many jobs and small businesses have multiple aspects, multiple streams widen ones experiences. This is especially true when, like me, the businesses tend to be in different areas.

In my case at least, multiple income streams fit into my idea of seasonal living. Spring and summer are spent doing things like searching flea markets and bookstores for inventory, taking day trips and writing about my experiences, assisting with yard sales and home organization as part of my errand/concierge business.  As we head into the fall (a relative term here in Texas) my business turns to selling crafts, and my errand business duties turn to becoming the "Christmas elf".

With multiple income streams, if one stream drops off, there's not a need to panic because other income streams are still available, Book selling, writing, and teaching about discounts and deals are year around opportunities for me.  While crafting is a year around opportunity, business picks up during the holidays and I'm sewing for Christmas as we speak.  My errand business has begun slowly. I expect that the ability to be the "Christmas Elf" will mean that business is what I am concentrating on during the holidays.

While you may not want to take "work" with you as you travel, small income streams may fit more easily into the flexible retirement lifestyle.  In other words, small income streams may be more portable than a larger business or part time job.  Depending I my mood and desire, I can do as much or as little as I like in my travels when it comes to work.  My road trips generally including visiting flea markets, library book sales and quilt shops, all in the name of future inventory.  My laptop keeps me up to date and aware when I am traveling. Keeping a journal online is enjoyable to me, and useful for income later on.

There are, admittedly, some down sides to so many income streams. Unlike a regular job there are no benefits, medical or otherwise.  Many income streams are done at home, and can take over the house, and your time without some basic time management (more on this to come soon).  And of course, some people may prefer to concentrate all their energies on one passion.Ffor these people, multiple income opportunities are still available, they just need to be looked at from a different angle. I could be a quilter, a quilt teacher, a quilt store owner.......................you get the drift.

At the end of the day, though, I find four small streams of income much more reliable, and much more manageable that one business or part time job.  It works for me.....how about you?  If you bring in income, do you prefer to keep your eggs in one basket?

1 comment:

  1. Great to see such kind of bogs that talking after retirement life. thanks for sharing this post
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