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Supplement Your Retirement Income with Proofreading

We all have different opinions on most things, but I think the majority of us will agree on one thing: we’re looking forward to retirement!

After decades of working day in and day out, we’re due a break.

Retirement is our time to relax and spend time doing things we enjoy. So why not make some money doing the things you enjoy?

Sometimes, no matter how hard you worked, 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.

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

Debbie retired 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!

Keep reading to find out more about Debbie’s story.

Q: Hey, Debbie! Tell us a little about your background. What did your life look like before you crossed paths with PA?

Debbie hiking with her dog, Auggie
Debbie hiking with her dog, Auggie

In my life prior to Proofread Anywhere, I worked as a disability claims representative and technical expert for a federal government agency. The job was very stressful, and I had known since my early forties that I would retire at the earliest date possible. In August 2015, the agency was offering early-out retirements to anyone with 20-plus years of service. Immediately I said, “Sign me up!” I knew I’d want to find some part-time work to keep busy and to also supplement the retirement income a bit. I had an elementary teaching credential but really didn’t want to go back to that, so I worked the front desk at an elementary school from September 2015 through June 2017. Then I decided that I really didn’t want to adhere to a daily schedule where I had to commit to being at a certain place at a certain time, so I started an internet search for work-at-home jobs. It ended up that it was my husband who found PA for me! He saw Caitlin on a YouTube video and told me he found the perfect at-home job for me.

Q: The BEST thing about proofreading is that you don’t have to be at a certain place at a certain time! You’re free to set your own schedule. When did you start proofreading, and what made you decide to learn how to proofread?

I started the course in May of 2017 and completed it at the end of August 2017. I’ve always loved the language arts, reading, writing, and word puzzles. I wanted to make a little money, but after twenty-three years of a very stressful job, I wanted to do something that was enjoyable for me. Some people enjoy Sudoku or crossword puzzles; I enjoy proofreading! This seemed to be a perfect fit for me.

Q: Doing something you enjoy makes the work a whole lot easier. What was the most challenging part of getting started?

The most challenging part for me was doing the practice transcripts in the course. They take time and effort to complete. I had to take a little more time than expected studying grammar and punctuation. I wanted to get through the course and get started.  Although, I found that it is definitely beneficial to not rush through the material.

Q: Amen! Time and patience are required to make sure you make the most of the training. What was the most valuable thing you learned during the course?

I learned to trust that I have the tools within myself to be successful.

Q: How long did it take you to find your first client? And how many clients do you have now?

Can you supplement your retirement income with proofreading? Debbie says yes!

I completed the course at the end of August 2017. I had a trip planned for mid-September, so I really didn’t start marketing efforts until around the end of September. After my trip, I got my first client on 10/17/17, but that ended up as only a three-job client because she was about to take off for maternity leave. Then I got my first full-time client on 12/7/17 and my third client on 1/9/18. My intention is to work no more than twenty hours a week, so I keep my client base low. I currently have two full-time court reporters and two others that I do backup work for.

Q: How long did it take you to recoup the cost of the course?

It took about three months to recoup the cost of the course, website, business license, reference books, and other expenses.

Q: What advice would you give anyone thinking about enrolling in the course to learn how to proofread? Is it worth the money?

If you love the language arts and have a knack for proofreading, do it! As far as start-up businesses go, this is a low-cost way to do it. The course provides everything you need to learn the business and how to market for clients.

Q: That’s so true. Proofreading has a very low overhead compared to other businesses you could start to supplement your retirement income. What does your life look like now as a working freelance proofreader?

I am still several years away from my full retirement age. This allows me to supplement my current pension while still having flexible time to live the retirement life! I can work just a few hours each day, hike with my dog, ride my bike, take a yoga class, or just relax in the backyard with a book. It is certainly a means to have the best of both worlds!

Our Take

I love that Debbie is able to supplement her retirement income without sacrificing her freedom! Retirement is a time to relax and enjoy your life. Debbie’s story is proof that you can still earn a little extra money without sacrificing your lifestyle.

Your Turn

If you’re looking for a way to supplement your retirement income while still giving you the freedom you’ve earned through years of hard work, check out our free 7-day email course to find out if proofreading is the right fit for you.

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  1. Thanks, Debbie for sharing your story, it sounds a lot like mine.

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