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Cultivating side gigs and secondary (post-retirement) careers

This is a topic I've been blogging about for years in various places, most recently at https://rogersplanning.blogspot.com/. This list has my interests and how I am or could cultivate them if I ever need to derive an income outside of my day job as an investment advisor. Hopefully you will look at your interests seeking out opportunities that you might be able to create.

    1. Work as an EMT

    The context for me is not working shifts for an ambulance company although I suppose I could. Large fires out west are run by large, specialized organizations that manage people and resources. One type of resource is manned ambulances, usually with one paramedic and one EMT. I believe you still need to be able to physically qualify (hike 3 miles, 45 minutes with a 45 lbs pack) as a wildland firefighter for this work, at least I require it for our department. You can go entire incidents with no medical calls but you have to be available, the shifts are 16 hours/day, 7 days for two weeks and after the first 40 hours in the week, the rest is overtime. A two week assignment is very lucrative but I wouldn't count on more than 4 of them in a fire season. The downside is you're away from home and your loved ones.

    2. Liaison officer

    Similar to above but completely different work on an incident that pays a bit more. Liaisons are go betweens between the fire management organization and local organizations impacted by the emergency like fire departments and even law enforcement. You basically help fire departments get through an emergency and I love the thought of doing that. I have the classroom training and the feedback that this is something I could pursue.

    3. Other jobs on large fires

    There are countless jobs that pay less than EMT or liaison but they still pay pretty well and you're helping.

    4. Home mitigation during large fires

    This is a specialized thing but it is becoming more common for property insurance companies to send out brush trucks into large incidents to mitigate (clean up) their customers' homes. I have no idea what the pay is but you have to think it would be competitive for firefighter wages and it requires being able to qualify physically as mentioned above. We see these guys all the time on large incidents when we have them here.

    5. Fire chief consulting

    I don't know if there is market for this but I've been through several scares where large wildfires got too close. I've figured some things out about how to navigate small/volunteer departments through these incidents such that I think other departments could benefit. It might be the sort of thing I end up doing for free which is fine, the idea of helping other small departments really appeals to me.

    6. Photography

    I've actually sold some of my photography before, maybe a dozen pieces. The time spent versus pieces sold is a tough tradeoff but there are probably ways to improve efficiency on that front if there's really a market for my pictures.

    7. Writing

    It's fair to say I'm a first generation finance blogger. I started in 2004 when there were very few bloggers. My blog (that first site no longer exists) was covered by just about every media outlet back then, Forbes awarded me blog of the year back then too. I'm now pretty anonymous and while I never made much money directly from blogging, I did get 2 lucrative side gigs out of blogging, first writing for TheStreet. com which is how I know James and then as a consultant of sorts for a smaller ETF provider. Where I was able to create those opportunities before, maybe I can do it again. I will always keep cultivating the opportunity by continuing to write.

    8. Own an Airbnb

    This obviously takes capital. We bought the cabin next to ours in 2017 with the specific intention of renting it out. We've had very good luck with it. It's a funky little cabin with a spectacular mountain view. We were able to remodel it on a reality TV show in 2019 and we show up on "best Airbnb" lists every so often. If my primary income was lost somehow, the Airbnb income would almost cover our expenses.

    9. Life coach

    While I am not sure how to find a market for this, the reality is that the fire chief of a small fire department (that's me) does a lot of life coaching and other forms of counsel and I might be decent at it.

    10. Snow removal

    Obviously, this is seasonal and some winters we get very little snow so it may not be reliable. For now, I put a small plow blade on our ATV. There are limits. in terms of accumulation, to how much snow I can move. I can foresee upgrading to a heavier piece of equipment to have better self-sufficiency to clear our road, I'm responsible for about 1/3 of a mile, when we get big storms and in the face of big storms, there's not enough big equipment operators here to plow everyone out in a timely manner.

    11. National Park/State Park

    We have a few places nearby that fall into this category, actual national parks are a little ways away but things like working for the Forest Service as something like a site steward is a possibility. I don't how realistic this would be but it's an area of interest to be sure and something that might be fun to learn about even if it goes nowhere.

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