‘It’s the perfect side hustle for retirees’: Pensioner explains ‘fun way’ he made money

Passive income: Expert on making money when you're not working

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69-year-old Keith from Sudbury in Suffolk has had a long and varied career but loved his time as a mystery shopper because he said he felt like an undercover spy. He says it’s perfect for retirees looking to make extra cash.

As side hustles go, mystery shopping sounds quite exciting.

That said, jobs can be few and far between these days.

So when the opportunity came along for Keith to go undercover as a mystery shopper, he jumped at the chance.

Keith teased: “Playing ‘secret squirrel’ what could be more fun?”

During the 18 months that he took on the role, his assignments required him to visit supermarkets, gyms and call up businesses including solicitors and funeral directors.

He said it’s the perfect side hustle for retirees to make extra money because they can pick and choose which projects they take on.

It’s also a great deal of fun: “It’s the buzz of following a scenario, making notes in your head as you progress, and reporting back without anyone knowing who you are,” he added.

Keith earned £50 to £100 per day with Insight6 but says people could get a higher salary in parts of the UK where there is more of a demand.

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For anyone else looking to step into his shoes, Keith has some great tips which include:

  • Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.
  • Be compassionate – people might have had a really bad day.
  • Read the brief carefully and make sure you are comfortable with the task. You want it to be enjoyable.

  • Don’t go out on a bad day – you have to be in the right frame of mind.
  • Remember that your job is to help people do their job better – it’s not to get them sacked.

Bearing these points in mind, Keith says it’s not just great for retirees but anyone who would benefit from fitting something alongside another role like looking after children.

Some of the tasks involved checking how businesses treated families with children, so it might even be possible to take little ones along.

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Anyone can do it because like Keith says “we’re all experienced shoppers in person and online these days” and it helps that Keith has worked in retail so he understands how stressful it can be.

He’s not working as a mystery shopper anymore because he’s set up a Goodbye Lonely programme supporting people through isolation and helping them with their mental health.

Between December 1 and January 1 organisers are hosting 30 Zoom calls so that there’s no need to feel lonely this Christmas.

He loves what he does and added: “I have now set up Business SOS to bring all my years of knowledge and experience together to support small businesses.”

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