Setting up an investment vehicle like a SMSF to provide you with a regular source of income during your retirement can provide you with both a dependable source of money and peace of mind, but if you find yourself wishing you had a little extra money each month, or if you miss the structure and activity of having a job to work at, you might find yourself looking for part-time work to fatten up your bank account and keep you occupied. These days, one increasingly popular source of extra income is working for a ridesharing company like Lyft or Uber. Drivers for these services use smartphone apps and their own vehicles to provide transportation to customers. You've surely heard of these companies, and you may have used them, but is working for one of them a good way to earn extra money in your retirement? Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide.
Are You Qualified?
You'll need to make sure you have a valid driver's license with a clean traffic and criminal record. Whichever company you apply to will run a background check on you, so there's not much you can do if you have a disqualifying incident in your past. You'll also need to be above a certain age, usually 21, and have one or more years of driving experience, which shouldn't be an issue if you're a retiree!
Do You Have A Suitable Car?
You have to provide your own vehicle if you want to work as a rideshare driver, and most companies will insist that it be a four-door model of recent manufacture, which is fully insured and can pass a vehicle inspection by a mechanic. If you're driving an older or unreliable car, consider purchasing a used car that would meet the requirements as an investment in your new part-time career.
Is Your Phone Up-to-Date?
A new (or new-ish) smartphone will be required in order to run the ridesharing company's proprietary app, which will be your primary interface for receiving ride assignments and navigating to your destinations. You'll want to make sure you have an iPhone or Android phone that runs well and has reasonably current operating system software.
Will You Be Making Enough Money?
Do your homework and figure out how much time you'll be able to allocate to driving and whether or not you can expect to make enough money to make it worth your while. Most drivers can anticipate making around $10 to $20 per hour, but remember that you'll be paying for your own gas and vehicle maintenance as well. For some people, a more traditional side job might make more sense for their lifestyle and expectations.
Would You Enjoy It?
For some people, driving strangers around town, meeting new people, finding their way to new places, and helping out riders who might otherwise be stranded makes driving for a ridesharing company an exciting and rewarding job. If it sounds like something you'd have fun doing, don't forget to factor that in to your considerations!