Sunday, September 25, 2011

Making money from something you love

Many people today talk about, and worry about having enough money to retire. I did a Google search on “afford to retire”. Over 17 million hits.

Lord knows, something this popular, there must be something there to worry about.

Years ago I restored cars in my spare time. Actually, my first car was towed home behind my dads pickup and I spent 2 years getting it where I could drive it. That is what you do when you buy a car for $30. But, I learned a lot, a massive amount. After college I got into restoring old cars. It had to have been a hobby, because restoring cars is not a good way to make money – unless someone is paying you to do it. Then you are a mechanic, a body man, a painter, or an upholsterer – or all 4. And, if you want to work for someone in one of these trades after you retire - that works.

I did ground-up restorations on several really lovely cars that were later sold. And realized that, while I didn’t loose money, I only earned perhaps a dime an hour. WHICH IS FINE! Unless you want to retire. At least, for me, the issue was making money while still holding a day job, and perhaps building something up so I would have a “retirement income” from my hobby. All with a focus on in fact being able one day to retire.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a friend who started a vintage restoration shop because he loves racing old cars – he has very qualified people working for him, and they crank out cars that compete at Pebble Beach. If that is your idea of working on cars – great – a shop like that can make money. But, most of us will never get to that point, or make much money out of our restorations either.

Great quote out there - it’s easy to make a small fortune when restoring cars, just start with a large fortune.

My point with this pointing is that I wanted to have something in place that I really really enjoyed doing before I retired. And, I also wanted this something to provide a semblance of an income.

Tomorrow I will talk about what worked for me when I was given the chance to retire.

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