I’m as big a proponent of traditional investment strategies as anyone in the financial industry. Establishing a solid and diversified portfolio has become pretty much a necessity for any successful retirement strategy. However, I’m a bigger proponent of playing to your strengths. For instance, one of my pet specialties is Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Schemes or QROPSfor British pensioners. Although the details are a little convoluted (and boring) for our purposes here, it’s a tax-saving system and perfect example of taking advantage of a niche financial opportunity. Like lower income savers taking advantage of the “Saver’s Credit” tax reward or looking into any of the preferential financial options available for veterans.

However, far less often than I think is reasonable, those writing in the field of finances and retirement cite what can prove to be the most useful investment weapons in a retiree’s arsenal- age, experience, time and wisdom. And the great thing about that wisdom I mentioned is: even if us gentle(wo)men of a certain age have perhaps acquired as much all-knowing sagacity as we would have liked to (which is very rare, I’ll admit), our age often dupes people into thinking we have!

Two of the great retirement conundrums involve monetary and investment choices and the ‘what to do’ puzzler. By employing those weapons I mentioned earlier- age, experience, time and wisdom, a retiree can work toward solving them both. And the best part is: you can resolve those difficulties while doing what you love most and making some extra cash in the meantime. Specifically, consider your favorite hobby or pastime and brainstorm/research ways in which those hobbies and pastimes can be transmuted into gold (or at least legal tender).

Some are obvious, of course. If you collect coins and have for years, becoming knowledgeable about the subculture and coin buying/selling/trading in the process- get into the business. The beauty of so many more modern business undertakings is the easy availability of commerce on the internet. You no longer have to rent or otherwise acquire any sort of brick and mortar edifice to do business. A commodity like coins can be dealt from the comfort of one’s keyboard. And a prospective coin dealer can either establish their own website or do their business over a public forum like eBay or more specialized online auction or selling sites.

If you’re an avid outdoorsmen and know the area’s streams, lakes or stretches of ocean if you’re seaside (or the areas deer, elk or pheasant hideouts), why not look into guiding? If you have a sharp eye for repairs, refurbishment costs, structural integrity and the desirability of the neighborhoods in your stomping grounds (or a good idea of where the next big run of gentrification will be), consider “flipping houses”. Although keep in mind that will certainly require more hands on work and probable risk than selling coins or comic books on eBay.

If you are a gun guy and can immediately  tell a Glock 17 from a 19 by sight alone at ten yards, considering knocking off liquor stores. No! I meant- consider doing online (or otherwise) firearm sales- just be sure you keep them unloaded. If you know a little gunsmithing, even better. For less obvious entres from hobby to business, think about peripheral opportunities offered by a hobby.

For instance, if you have a green thumb or a skill at gardening, beyond selling produce and/or preserves at a farmer’s market, you could consider selling starts with a local nursery or even getting a part-time job at that same nursery. That kind of knowledge can also be parlayed into some landscaping or landscaping consulting work. A knack for mechanics could prove useful for the buying, fixing up and reselling of classic cars, etc.

You get the picture. As for the age and (assumption of) wisdom ace in the hole I mentioned earlier, who would the average tourist fisherman rather hire as a guide- an old-timer who’s presumably lived around and fished them there waters for all of his many years, or some youngster? Like I said before- use what you’ve got. And if you’ve ever regretted not getting paid to do what you’re passionate about before your retirement, why not start now?