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7 Proofreaders Aged 50+ Earning Extra Money Online

“Am I too old to make money proofreading?”

You have no idea how often I get asked that question. Would you be surprised if I told you it was every single day?

For some reason, a lot of people have a hang-up about their age. Maybe it’s because they’re not used to working with technology. Or maybe it’s because they think they won’t be able to learn something new.

Of course, I reassure anyone who asks that they’re absolutely not too old to earn extra money online by proofreading.

I point them to success story after success story on the blog so they can see how other people are making it work for them. But sometimes they still have questions about how it can work for their specific circumstances.

If you’re over 50 or getting close to retirement and you’re not sure if proofreading is the right fit for you, keep reading!

I’m coming up to retirement age, but I want to keep working. Would proofreading be a good option for me?

Although many of us are counting down the days to retirement, some people don’t want to give up work completely. Some of you may be looking for a way to keep your brain active or a way to stay busy now that you have all this free time.

Bonnie was ready for retirement, but she felt she would probably never be ready to be unproductive. She didn’t want to be one of those seniors caught staring out a laced-covered window watching others live their lives, nor could she see Netflix as part of her future. At the age of 69, Bonnie started a new life by learning how to proofread legal transcripts. Even though she sometimes feels befuddled by the technology of working online, she’s excited about making a change – and getting rid of her commute!

Nancy wanted to continue working after retirement because she still has plenty of energy and wants to keep her mind active. And of course, the extra money comes in handy too.  Nancy found that having an online job that she can access anywhere is perfect for her situation. Nancy combined her years of botany knowledge from working at a university with her proofreading skills to create an online job that she intends to continue with as long as she’s able to. Did I mention that Nancy is 70 years old? Her energy levels would put most of us to shame!

Our minds don’t stop working just because we’re retired. Why not use your interests and the skills you’ve built up over years in the workforce to earn extra money online in retirement?

I have physical limitations that mean I can’t work outside the home. Can I make a living proofreading from home?

Best way of earning extra money online? Proofreading!

If you’re looking for something mentally challenging, but not physically stressful, proofreading could be a great option for you.

Barb drove a large school bus for twenty-seven years before she developed rheumatoid arthritis. After that, she found it difficult to continue driving for a living. She had long wished she could use her brain more at work. Proofreading from home was the perfect opportunity to learn something new without putting any pressure on her body. As Barb says, our bodies wear out faster than our brains – some of us anyway.

You’re never too old to learn something new! Your brain is not at capacity. It’s not too late to try something you’ve always wanted to try.

I just need a little extra money to supplement my retirement income. Do I have to proofread full-time or is part-time okay?

Retirement is our time to relax and spend time doing things we enjoy. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you worked, sometimes retirement income just doesn’t stretch that far. But most of us don’t want to get another full-time job after retirement.

Turning a hobby into a money-making side hustle is the best way to supplement your retirement income while still enjoying the freedom you’ve earned.

Debbie took early retirement from her stressful job after twenty-three years of service. She wanted to find a way to supplement her retirement income that didn’t require her to stick to a strict daily schedule. Enter proofreading! Debbie is still several years away from her full retirement age. Proofreading allows her to supplement her current pension while still having time to live the retirement life!

So if your retirement income is falling a little short or you’re just looking for a way to fill all the time on your hands, consider starting a proofreading business.

I got laid off and I’m worried I won’t be able to find another job at my age. Can I create my own job with proofreading?

Getting laid off (or getting fired!) is one of the scariest things that can happen to you. You can go from financial security to financial difficulty almost immediately. To make things worse, if this situation occurs when you’re at a more mature age, it can feel like you’ll never work again.

Richard was laid off from his engineering job in October 2015 and began searching for a new job. By June 2016, his severance pay was nearly used up, and he was still no closer to finding a new job. He needed a bridging income to get him through until he could collect his full pension. He felt as though the prospects for just a part-time job at his age, experience level, and salary requirement were not promising. His super smart wife suggested he go back to his childhood love of proofreading. So that’s what he did!

Now, at the age of 63, life is looking good for Richard! He owns his own business and makes much more money than he would in a part-time job in much less time.

You don’t need to rely on other people to provide you with a job and secure income. You can create your own job and give yourself job security using your skills!

It’s been years since I was in school. Will I be able to learn how to proofread?

This is a common fear for people who have been out of an educational setting for quite some time. You may be thinking back to your days in school studying for exams and dread the thought of doing it again.

The good news is that training to be a proofreader can be done online in your own time. You can take as long as you need to master your proofreading skills.

Lona found learning to proofread a challenge because it had been many years since she was in school studying. When she started the Transcript Proofreading course, she was 66 years old. To help her get through the course, she researched how to study before she started and that really helped her.

The best thing that Lona learned from the course is to persevere and overcome her fears. She believes there’s nothing you can’t do when you put your mind to it. It’s all a learning experience and when you stop learning, you die.

Now she fits proofreading in around traveling the world!

I’m a caregiver. Will I be able to fit proofreading in around my other responsibilities?

Proofreading is incredibly flexible. You can choose how much work to take on and who you want to work with.

Patti was glad she can work from home when her mother needed care when she became ill. This would have been very difficult had Patti stayed in her stressful accounting job. She loves that you don’t have to have a degree or be super young to be a proofreader. All you need is a set of eagle eyes!

Our Take

I hope this blog post has answered your questions and helped you decide if proofreading is the best way of earning extra money online for you. If you have any other questions, ask them in the comments!

Your Turn

Still not sure if proofreading is the right fit for you at your stage of life? Check out our FREE Intro to Proofreading workshop to learn more.

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  1. Has anyone tried a nontraditional posture for proofreading, such as standing or using one of those chairs that shifts your weight onto your knees? I don’t like to sit in a traditional chair with my feet on the floor.

    1. I purchased a ergonomic kneeling chair with back support and my knees started to bother me. I prefer to use my mobile computer work station. Its adjustable and I can go from sitting to standing effortlessly. I can roll it around all over the house (i.e. office to kitchen is my typical route) including out to my back patio! I find myself leaning against a wall when standing to ward off "text neck" and prop one foot up on a lower shelf that the unit provides for folders and whatnot.

  2. Hi, I sent this article to my mom. She is always saying she’s too old to hire. I tell her she can do many things. I am hoping she sees this as an opportunity not only to supplement her income but to stand on her own skills for her future. These days there are many seniors that need to train themselves that they are worth more than their jobs provide.

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