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How to Attain Financial Security as a Senior Artist

Senior man holding a brush, painting on a ceramic using potter wheel.

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Even for retired, senior artists want to share their work with the world — and, if possible, earn an income off it. After all, if you’re a creator living on a fixed income after leaving the workforce, there’s no better way to pull in extra money each month than by doing something you love. But if you’re new to entrepreneurship (don’t worry — many older adults are), it takes time to build a successful career as an artist. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to keep yourself financially afloat in the meantime. Medicare Gurus shares the following.

Control Your Finances

Everyone, even the wealthy, must stick to a budget or risk major financial issues. If your income is currently on the low end, it might require a bit more planning, but understanding personal finance is key to your fiscal health, especially in your golden years.

At the very least, know how much you bring in each month and how much you spend. Do your best to save for emergencies, and if you haven’t already, contact Medicare Gurus to find the right Medicare plan that will help cover any medical expenses you incur. If your budget is so restrictive that you can’t afford necessities, look for ways to earn extra income.

Making Money With Your Art

In addition to traditional art shows, there are many ways to earn money with art. Consider selling your goods online through a marketplace or licensing for commercial use. You can give lessons online or in-person, individually or to groups. If you have good writing skills, you may write an instructional e-book focusing on your craft. Depending on the type of art you create, you may get work by posting on a freelance server.

Portrait of smiling senior female artist in art studio
There are many ways to earn money with art.

Making Additional Money

If you haven’t been able to make sufficient income from your art, don’t fear. There are many potential side jobs to look into. Even seniors with limited mobility who don’t want to commute or do physical labor can find side gigs since many can be done part-time and remotely. This flexibility will allow you time to continue your artistic pursuits. Some popular options include transcription, telemarketing, or blog writing.

Preventing Burnout

Data show that stress levels among the self-employed are higher than average. Preventing burnout is a significant concern for those trying to earn an adequate income and get an art career off the ground. Fortunately, freelance success is more attainable for those who go into it with a plan and realistic expectations.

Make sure you stay organized and manage time wisely. Document all outstanding projects you have as well as any scheduled work. Try to plan out your schedule at least a week in advance. If you have individual clients, make a note of when you communicate with them to know when to reach out again. Keep up with how long your projects take, so you make sure you are charging enough. There are a variety of apps available that can help you with organization and time tracking.

Designate a specific work area that is free of distractions so that you can work most productively. You may need multiple locations if your art and side jobs require very different environments. Devise an organizational system so that you always know where your most essential supplies are. If necessary, keep the documents for your various jobs separate to avoid confusion and mistakes.

Get Proper Tax Identification

With all the work you are doing, your taxes may be tricky and look pretty different from when you were in the workforce. Obtaining identification numbers for your various enterprises can help you stay organized and streamline annual and quarterly tax preparation. This number, called an Employer Identification Number, allows the IRS to identify your business and enable you to pay employer taxes if necessary.

Earning money as an artist can be difficult, but the hustle can be well worth the effort for creative seniors looking to make extra money in retirement. Fortunately, there are lots of freelances, part-time jobs available for seniors of all abilities to help you make ends meet. Staying organized and focused is key to your success as both an artist and a freelancer.

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