Retirement for Women – How to Ensure Your Financial Future, Even if You’re Over 50 and Never Saved a Dime…

October 5, 2023

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I’m an online educator, motivational & mindset coach, podcast host and author helping to teach women 50+ how to empower themselves to create their dream life... 


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So recently, I asked my Middle Girls on social media what were some of their top frustrations with being over 50+. The number one concern was that they had not saved enough money for retirement, or even none at all. Or, that they no money to live in retirement with their financial future set in the way that they had dreamed. Whether married or single, retirement for women is a serious issue if you find you haven’t saved enough. Scary even. Ladies, let’s change that.

I have walked the walk. I can show you (at least!) 5 ways any woman 50+ can create an income and secure their financial future. You don’t have to accept “your lot”. You can change it. YOU. Now I’m not promising overnight millionaires here. But I do have the mindset and business experience to help you help yourself. You can do this. And, you can make a difference while you do it. Sound far fetched? Here’s why I know what I’m talking about…


My Financial Journey

  • My blogs The Budget Decorator and The Garden Glove were two of the top home & garden blogs for 22 years.
  • I taught hundreds of women how to start an online business through Women on the Net and my online course.
  • At the height of our success, we were making 20k a month.
  • My home decor book hit the Amazon bestsellers list in 2002.
  • I was featured at HGTV, major magazines and news outlets.
  • I sold my home & garden blogs for multiple six figures.
  • Before blogging, I ran several successful local businesses of my own, in garden design and home staging. I even had my own tax prep business for awhile!
  • I started The Middle Girls at 54, dedicated to helping women over 50 overcome their negative mindsets and really thrive! (And it’s the best thing I’ve done yet!)

And if I had not done all these things, I would be super frightened right about now. Why? Because I did not have one dime saved for retirement when I turned 40. Not one dime. I had been a single mom raising 5 kids, and every cent I had went into taking care of them. My history includes leaving two bad relationships with nothing. I had to create my own destiny.  I found a way. And you can too.

So let me give you my best ideas on how to finance your retirement, girls. It’s never too late!


Retirement for Women - How to Ensure Your Financial Future


Retirement Ideas for Women – 5 Ways to Make Money for Retiring

Start a Craft or Art Based Business

Diving into your own arts and crafts business is like bringing your creative spark to life in a whole new way! Imagine turning your passion into a way to pay the bills – how cool is that? All those crafty skills you’ve developed over the past 50+ years? Paydirt.

  • First off, get super awesome at your craft and figure out what kind of artsy stuff gets you excited – whether it’s making funky jewelry, dreamy wall art, or even artsy coffee mugs.
  • Then, let’s talk brand – that’s like your artsy alter ego. Think about what makes your stuff special and show it off in your logo and style. Now, you don’t need a full-on business degree, but having a plan is a smart move. Check out what other crafty folks are doing, decide how much to charge for your goodies, and get a game plan for telling the world about it.


Retirement for Women - How to Ensure Your Financial Future


  • And hello, online world! Having a website and at least one social media platform like Facebook or Instagram can help your arts and crafts reach way more people.
  • When it comes to making your stuff, always nab the best materials, find ways to work smarter not harder, and make sure you can keep up with making all your awesome creations.

Remember, this can be an awesome art-filled adventure, so stay excited and open to changes along the way – they could lead you to an arts and crafts empire!


Start an Online Business

There are so many online business ideas to help fund retirement for women. (Yes, even mid-life+ women!)

  • Start an online store – Sell physical products online through platforms like Shopify or Etsy. You can create your own products or source items from suppliers to sell. Dropshipping allows you to start an e-commerce business without holding inventory. When customers place orders, the products are shipped directly from suppliers to the customers. Way easier than having to fill your garage with thingamabobs! Retirement for Women - How to Ensure Your Financial Future
  • Create and sell digital products like ebooks, online courses, printables, or design templates. These products can be created once and sold multiple times. Promote products from other companies on your website or social media. You’ll earn a commission for each sale made through your referral link.
  • Blogging is alive and well. Share your experience through written blogs or videos. Monetize through ads, sponsored content, or affiliate marketing. There are a ton of 50+ women out there running style blogs, makeup YouTube channels, and informational blogs. Or knitting. SOMEONE please teach me to knit! Want examples? Chic Over 50 (shes 63 now!) , Sixty & Me, ThatsNotMyAge and Dominique Sachse. One of my readers is an 88 year old starting a blog on the state of the world. How freaking cool is that?
  • Curate and send out specialized subscription boxes with niche products on a regular basis, catering to a specific audience. Ideas? Houseplants, a monthly snack box for women with high blood pressure, spa night products or a specialty book club subscription. The options here are truly endless. Some of the largest companies in the world are using subscription boxes now. You can compete if you find a good niche with a demand.
  • Create custom designs for products like t-shirts, mugs, phone cases, etc., and have them printed and shipped when customers place orders. Zazzle is a great company that will print your designs, and drop ship for you!
  • Have office skills? Become a virtual assistant and offer administrative and organizational support to businesses, entrepreneurs, or professionals remotely. It’s one of the fastest-growing businesses on the internet. Most content creators I know use a VA to help them with bookkeeping, scheduling and phone calls.
  • Have a background in computer? It’s really easy to purchase drag-and-drop software and customizable website templates and build websites for budding entrepreneurs! Or, for experienced ones who simply don’t have the time to create one (or ten!) themselves.
  • Be a virtual consultant in… well, anything! Teach what you know through video and video calls, whether it be interior design, music or event planning. Skies the limit…


Become a Content Creator

Becoming a content creator is an exciting and dynamic journey. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:

  • Figure out what type of content you’re most interested in creating. It could be videos, blog posts, podcasts, social media posts, art, photography, books, or something else entirely.
  • Find your niche. If you choose to create content that is too vague or broad, you will have trouble marketing to the right people. Niche down.  For example, instead of creating content on “Books Everyone Should Read”, try “Inspirational Books for Women Over 50.” Make sense? Unless you have a million dollar marketing budget, you will thank me later. 😉
  • If you have things to learn in order to perfect your craft, do that.  There are many online resources, courses, and tutorials available to help you learn and grow.
  • Create the best quality content you can. But don’t wait for perfection. Better started than perfect! Retirement for Women - How to Ensure Your Financial Future
  • Decide where you want to share your content. Popular platforms include YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, blogs, podcasts, and more. Choose the platform where your target audience hangs out. In other words, if you are targeting mid-life women, chances are that TikTok is not your platform. Ok, confession. I have never been on TikTok. Not ever. And I am so okay with that!
  • Create your brand. This includes your content style, logo, color scheme, voice and overall look. A strong brand helps you stand out and become recognizable.
  • Marketing is everything. Share your content on various platforms, not just the one that you like to use. Use best practices, collaborate with other creators, and engage with communities interested in your niche. (What are best practices? Well for instance, here they are for Pinterest.)
  • There are lots of ways to monetize your content. This could include sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, selling products, offering services, or selling advertising.
  • The digital landscape is always evolving. Stay updated on trends, algorithm changes, and new platforms to make the most of your content strategy. Learn how to analyze your numbers and make changes based on those numbers.
  • Building a good following and seeing significant results takes time. Be patient and persistent, and don’t get discouraged by initial slow growth. It’s a snowball effect. Consistency and connection are key. One day is things will… well, snowball!
  • Don’t be afraid to invest in education. Find a good and respected course in whatever niche you’ve chosen, and take it. I wasted so much time in my career “figuring it out on my own.” We don’t have time to screw around girls. Learn from others who have gone before. Have mentors. Don’t reinvent the wheel,  just find someone who is making that wheel sing and follow along!

Content creation is about self-expression, connecting with an audience, and sharing your unique perspective on whatever you are passionate about. Use your wisdom to help others grow, and enjoy the process and keep improving as you go along your journey with retirement. For women, this path can be complicated, especially if you haven’t had a job outside the home. Don’t give up, there is a way!

Invest in Money Making Opportunities

Investing with the goal of making money requires knowledge, capital and risk tolerance. It isn’t for everyone, but with enough preparation and education, it can be incredibly profitable.  It doesn’t have to be simply stocks and bonds, either. Think building ADU’s in your backyard and creating an AirbNb business. Buy rental properties, or build a coffee shack on a cheap piece of land and lease it out. The ideas are endless.

Here’s how :

  1. Before you invest in anything, take the time to learn about different investment options, financial markets, and the basic principles of investing. There are numerous books, online courses, and resources available to help you understand the basics.
  2. Define your financial goals. Your goals will depend on your age, your present financial situation and where you are in retirement. Some investments are better suited for short-term goals, while others are better for long-term growth.
  3. Research, research, research. Talk to a pro. Or two. Or ten.
  4. Take the plunge. Choose where you want to start in investing for money. This could include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, or even starting a business. If you’re new to investing, consider starting with a small amount. This allows you to learn the ropes without putting a significant portion of your savings at risk.
  5. Review and adjust your strategy often. Be an informed investor.
  6. Investing is a long-term game. While there might be short-term fluctuations, focusing on your long-term goals and sticking to your strategy can help you stay patient during market ups and downs.
  7. Remember that there’s no guaranteed way to make money through investing, and all investments come with some level of risk. It’s so important to do your due diligence, be cautious of anything that smells like a get-rich-quick scheme, and make decisions that align with your financial goals and risk tolerance.


Create a Nonprofit

Starting a nonprofit organization can be a super meaningful way to make a positive impact on your community or a cause you’re passionate about. When people hear non-profit, often times they wonder if it is a volunteer position. You do get a wage for working for, or running,  a nonprofit! And this may be the opportunity you’ve always waited for to make a difference. Win win! Retirement for women doesn’t have to be all about the money. It should hold meaning for you!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  • Clearly describe in writing the mission and purpose of your nonprofit. What issue or cause will your organization address? Your mission statement should guide all your activities.
  • Do your research to make sure there’s a need for your nonprofit’s services or support. Identify existing organizations in your field and understand what will set your nonprofit apart.
  • Pick a name that reflects your mission and is unique. You don’t want it being confused for organizations that already exist. Check for domain availability if you plan to have a website. (Which you better!)

Retirement for Women - How to Ensure Your Financial Future

  • Find your people. Find others who are passionate about your cause and can contribute diverse skills and expertise to your organization. Creating your board is one of the most important parts of the process, so choose carefully.
  • Get an an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is like a social security number for your nonprofit. You’ll need it for tax purposes and to open a bank account.
  • Get that tax-exempt status! If you’re in the U.S., you’ll need to apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS. This process involves filling out Form 1023 or 1023-EZ, providing information about your organization’s activities and finances. This gives you added benefits such as tax exemptions for donors and the ability to apply for grants. Consult a legal professional to make sure you are satisfying all local laws and regulations.
  • Now you need a plan, in writing. Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your nonprofit’s goals, target audience, fundraising strategies, budget, and marketing plan. Hopefully, one of your board members has a talent in this area.
  • Hire or recruit staff, volunteers, and interns who align with your nonprofit’s mission and who you will work well with.
  • Determine how you’ll raise funds to support your nonprofit’s activities. This could include grants, donations, events, partnerships, and online crowdfunding.
  • Create a website and establish a presence on social media platforms to connect with your audience and share your nonprofit’s work.
  • Build relationships with other nonprofits, businesses, and community organizations that share your mission. Collaborations can amplify your impact.
  • Launch! Begin implementing the programs and initiatives that align with your nonprofit’s mission. Track your progress and measure the impact of your activities.
  • Regularly file necessary reports with government agencies, such as annual reports, to maintain your tax-exempt status.

Starting a nonprofit requires dedication, time, and effort. Make sure you’re committed to the cause, as running a nonprofit can be demanding but also one of the most incredibly rewarding things you’ve ever done.


Extra Money Making After 50 – Retirement for Women Quick Ideas

Want to just find a way to pad that financial future so you can have a little more fun, and have more amazing experiences in retirement? Maybe you just need to bring in a little side income without the commitment of creating a business? Here are 12 easy ideas to make a little cash. Retirement for women should not have to mean that you are scraping by. YOU have something inside you to contribute to this world. Let’s get you some cash from it, shall we? You can get started with any of these ideas just by putting an ad out there.

  1. Shutterbug? Sell your photos on stock photography websites or offer photography services for events, portraits, or products.
  2. How about online tutoring or coaching services in subjects or skills you excel in. Teach people how to do their taxes, or teach other retirees how to negotiate Social Security and Medicare. You don’t even have to leave the house!
  3. Sell your handmade crafts, artwork, or unique products through online marketplaces or at local craft fairs. Create and sell handmade products like soap, candles, jewelry, or artwork at local markets or online. This can even be a seasonal side hustle. Christmas crafts, anyone? Retirement for Women - How to Ensure Your Financial Future
  4. If you have extra space, consider renting it out. This could be a large yard for weddings (check regulations and make them get insurance!), an extra room (background checks!) or maybe an unused RV?
  5. Offer pet care services for people who need help taking care of their pets. Walking, feeding or taking to vet visits.
  6. If you’re knowledgeable about your town’s history, landmarks, or hidden gems, offer guided tours for visitors or newcomers.
  7. Offer private lessons for languages, music, or other skills you’re proficient in. Teach music lessons for various instruments or vocal training through video calls. Again, you can do this online through video if you prefer.
  8. Organize workshops or classes in areas like cooking, painting, dance, or crafting. Paint and Sip? It’s a huge business!
  9. If you have a green thumb, grow and sell fresh produce, flowers, or plants. Houseplants are the rage right now. You can even sell rooted cuttings through local plant groups or from Etsy online.
  10. Bake and sell homemade treats like cookies, cakes, or specialty breads. You may have local regulations to follow, so check that out thoroughly.
  11. Declutter your home and sell items you no longer need on platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay. Or, pick up things at Goodwill and thrift stores, give it some love, and resell them for a profit!
  12. If you have tools, sports equipment, or other items, consider renting them out to the community. Again, if you have a boat or RV you rarely use, look into renting it out!

There is a way to ensure your financial future, even if you are over 50 and haven’t saved a dime! Yes, it will take some work. But you can. And more than that, you can choose something that fills your life with meaning. Don’t we all need a little bit more of that in retirement, too? And do not be afraid to ask your kids or grandkids to help you navigate the online world. A little coaching (and some quality time snuck in there too, shhh, don’t tell them!) and you will know just how to figure out that phone, that computer, or know the best places to place ads online.

And here’s a little sneak peak… I have a business course specifically designed for 50+ women coming soon! This course can help you get started planning that next amazing thing you do! Retirement for women doesn’t have to mean lack.  Sign up here to be notified when the course becomes available. (And, get a special discount offer when it’s ready for release!) Oh, and let’s all remember the legal mumbo mumbo… Use your own good judgment in anything you do, but especially where business and money are concerned!

Return to the Blog for more great articles just for women 50+!

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