Additional Sources of Retirement Income

Does your retirement income stream consist primarily of government and private pensions plus investments? You may be able to supplement those funds with other government sources of income, second careers or creative ways to earn extra cash at home.

Government sources of funds

Older adults whose income stream consists of government and private pensions as well as investments made over their working lives, may also qualify for other government sources of income or subsidies such as the guaranteed income supplement, survivor pension, disability allowance or veterans benefits.

  • The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) might be applicable if a senior's income is low – the maximum is $638/month. GIS must be applied for annually via the tax return. Qualifying for the GIS is based on income, not assets. Details for all government pensions can be found at the Service Canada website,


  • Survivor Pension CPP payments that a retired spouse receives will cease upon his or her death. The remaining spouse should apply for the Survivor Pension, via Service Canada, which is a monthly payment based on 60% of the deceased's CPP payment.


  • Disability Allowance Health conditions such as macular degeneration may qualify a senior for a disability allowance on their income tax. The senior would require a form T2201 E, found on the Canada Revenue Agency's website,, to be completed by the doctor. This would allow the senior to write off certain expenses for care, equipment and related medical costs.


  • Veterans' Benefits A senior who is an overseas veteran, may be eligible for many services such as care, housekeeping, yard work, transportation and, if necessary, burial costs via the Last Post Fund – see


Second careers

People are living longer and healthier lives so it's no surprise that many older adults are already on their second or even third career. Economic uncertainty also makes transitioning to another career a financial necessity for many people.

The good news is that your life experience, skills, talents and connections can provide you with many stimulating second career options.

Popular second career fields include health care, environment, education, government and non-profits.

Here are some tips to get you started on your next career:

  • Plan ahead, preferably well before you leave your current position. If you can, start working in your next career while you're still employed at your current one.
  • Talk to your current employer to see if they offer retraining and take advantage of any career counseling opportunities.
  • Review your current financial situation to see how long you can go without working and how much you'll need to make to finance retirement living in the future.
  • Determine your unique skills and talents that will drive your next career—always remembering not to stray far from what you know.
  • Be an engaged presence on social media, particularly business platforms like Linkedin and network both online and in person.



Creative ways to make extra money for retirement living

If you need more ways to make money for retirement be creative. It also helps to look close to home because the best ideas are often there and many of them won't cost very much in effort, financial outlay or preparation time.

There are many low-stress, easy and fun ways to put some extra cash in the bank. You could rent out your driveway (if you live in a city where parking is difficult), or perhaps rent your basement to a student.

You can also make money from hobbies or interests. Have you ever thought of pet sitting, being a personal shopper or doing sewing alterations for people in your neighbourhood? The sky is really the limit.

Like to travel? Here's a bonus way to save money

The flip side of making money is saving it and both will help you prepare for the costs of retirement living. One way to save money and have some fun is to travel. If you decide to move to a Holiday retirement community you may be able to stay at one of their residences in the city you're visiting.

If you are still living at home and saving for your eventual move to a retirement community, you could travel the world by house sitting.

Whether you're already retired or planning for it, there are many different ways you can save money for your future.

With files from Pat Irwin.

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