Need extra cash? Want to be your own boss and enjoy flexible hours?
Sounds like an ad for a get-rich-quick scheme, doesn’t it? Not this time. Think the gig economy.
More people–especially Millennials–are joining the gig economy, also known as the on-demand or freelance economy. They’re working for outfits like Uber, Lyft, Fiverr, TaskRabbit and Airbnb.
These businesses cater to Millennials, but Boomers may be in a better position to take advantage of gig work.
In this episode of Unretirement, we hear from Sue Johnson. Sue has been an entrepreneur and a real estate agent. At 72, she didn’t want to stop working but she also didn’t want to be tied down by a job with a set schedule. That’s why she drives for Uber, picking up customers who need a ride, usually an airport run. She’s not making much money driving for Uber, but at this point in her life that’s isn’t the goal. She makes enough to pay for traveling with friends or to visit grandchildren across the country. She likes talking with her customers.
Chris also talks with journalist Mark Miller about the problems and benefits of working in the gig economy.
- Why it is that for a young person who needs health benefits, is trying to raise a family, save for retirement and make a living wage, the gig economy may not work so well. But older boomers with Social Security and Medicare can take advantage of the flexibility.
- Why online and mobile gig services can be a good entry point if you’re considering entrepreneurship.
- How to know if joining the gig economy is right for you.
- Why we need to revamp the country’s social safety net if we are going to expand flexible work.
Explore additional resources from this episode:
The gig economy is controversial and it’s still evolving, especially on the regulatory side.
What we’ve done is collect a variety of articles. Some are focused on the gig economy and older Americans. Other articles address important worker and regulatory questions that have accompanied the rise of the gig economy.
Articles looking at the gig economy and seniors:
Seniors Gear Up for the Sharing Economy by Mark Miller
The Sharing Economy Attracts Older Adults by Amy Zepkin
Gigs With Benefits by James Surowiecki
Articles on the advantages and disadvantages of the gig economy overall:
Gig Economy Is Piecework. But This Isn’t Dickens. Megan McArdle
The “Gig Economy” Is Mostly Just Silicon Valley Hype by Kevin Drum
Are Uber, Airbnb And Other Sharing Economy Businesses Good For America? By Jacob Morgan and Eric Severson
Rise of Gig Economy Spurs Calls for New Workers’ Protection by Carolyn Said at
Worker Protection in the Gig Economy by Laura Tyson and Lenny Mendonca
How the sharing economy can make its case by Mckinsey & Co.
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