No Retirement Plan and You’re 40+ Years Old? Make Money Online.

When I turned 37 I realized, had I stayed in the Navy, I would have retired. Instead of re-enlisting at 21 years old, I went to UCLA thinking university was the answer to everything. However, I came out with a lot of student debt which took me 10 years to pay off! Now I am a whopping 40 years old. This story is about things I have done and what you can do to get a consistent residual income. It’s not the typical save and invest into your 401K advice or stock investment strategies. The goal is to build, sell, and talk to a USA Certified Financial Planner. At 40 years old, starting a 401K would be supplemental income, not retirement. Disclaimer: I am not retired yet, but my residual income is greater than what my military retirement would have been.

What To Do When You Have No Retirement Plan

Here are 5 things you can do to make money online. There are more, but these are the things I have done.

Start a Website and Begin Blogging.

This is the main way I get my passive residual income. Blogging can be hard and you probably won’t see any results in traffic for about 6 months. So if you’re just starting off, do not give up. The most important thing to remember is to write great content that helps answer people’s problems. If your blog post is helpful, you will be able to make money off it. Here are 3 things that you can do to monetize your blog.

Start affiliate marketing – When you start recommending companies, find out if they have an affiliate or partner program. Normally you can find the affiliate program info in the footer or do a Google search. Here’s an example. If you like writing about home décor, you might want to sign up for Home Depot’s affiliate program and then use your affiliate link in your blog post.

If you write about software like I do, you can go to Conversant (formerly Commission Junction) or Avangate and pick companies that will pay you a commission. My blog alone pays for my mortgage.

Sell adspace on your site – Once you start building a decent amount of traffic you can start selling adspace. Here’s a good story. The owner of The Penny Hoarder, Kyle Taylor, started off blogging in his spare time while working a job. How did he start making money? Selling ads on his site. He was very passionate about writing and helping people solve money problems and still makes money from blog posts written years ago. The guy rakes in probably over $4,000,000 per year just providing good content.

There are programs like Google Adsense, but in most cases you can forget about them. They just don’t make cents (pun intended)! You have to have so much volume in order to start getting a payout.

Recommend Things on Amazon, Ebay & Etsy

Do you buy things on market places like Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, etc.? The great thing about most of these companies is that if the person doesn’t buy what you recommended, you’ll still get paid. Send your partner link to all your Facebook friends especially during Christmas time. If they buy, you get paid. Have a birthday or getting married? Set up a wish list first, then send people your affiliate link.

I have a client who exports cars from the USA. I put his Amazon link on his website to drive sales. These are sales he would never be able to make since they are outside of his normal operation. I capitalize for him because his customers buy car parts; something he does not sell. This strategy can work for both companies and individuals.

Start a YouTube Channel

Make YouTube videos and “monetize” your videos. I started making YouTube videos in 2008 and got a check for $100. At first I thought it was a refund from Google Adwords, but then I realized it was a real check coming from my YouTube videos. There are many YouTube stars today. You don’t need 1 million subscribers to make money. All you have to do is be consistent. Once you start uploading your videos, don’t forget to put your affiliate links in the description!

Okay, how is building a YouTube channel going to help you? Here’s how. I own a marketing agency and I spend my clients’ money remarketing to people on YouTube. If someone comes to my client’s website, they will see a video commercial on YouTube. These videos are the ones that say “Skip Ad”.  You, as a video creator on YouTube, will make money if someone watches the video. Also, you can pitch your services once in a while. Whatever subject you choose, make sure you can make a lot of videos on the subject.

If you want to learn more about turbo charging your YouTube Channel, watch the Video Influencers channel.

Refer Business

Land a client for a company and ask for residual income, not for a one-time commission. A customer is normally a one-time deal while a client is ongoing. It can be any service your current employer uses. Is your employer in need of a CPA? Make phone calls to CPA companies and tell them you’ll land them a client if you get paid a monthly income. Do you work for a company large enough for vending machines? Contact vending machine companies and tell them you want to get paid monthly based off sales volume.

Become a Contractor on Upwork and Sub out the Work

Do contract work on and get familiar with their platform first. You’ll need to be good at your discipline. Once you get some feedback, you can build an agency and have your contractors fulfill the work. This is like having your own business. Once you get the hang of Upwork, you can hire a virtual manager overseas and have them handle all the daily work. Here is a guide on how to create an agency on Upwork.

For my business I have a guy in Bangladesh handle a good portion of my business which will free up about 25 hours per week. In the beginning I talked to him every day, but now I talk to him once or twice per week. My goal is to eventually have him run my business. Watch this one-minute YouTube video about Upwork:

Let’s use an example for a person who can do translations. Sign up for an account on Upwork and start bidding on some contracts. Do the work yourself and get some good reviews.  Then you can find a contractor to join your team. If you land something, hand it off to your contractor. Your customer will pay you and then you pay your contractor. The objective here is to build a team online and do whatever you can to keep adding residual income. Remember, try landing long-term clients instead of one-time customers.

Here are other companies you can get work from: and


If you’re in your 40s and have an insufficient retirement plan, try and use the strategies above to build your monthly residual income. Nothing will come overnight so keep pushing and don’t give up. Once my monthly passive residual income started, I felt a lot less stressed about my not having a traditional retirement plan. We 40 year olds can’t depend on social security to save us, so we have to save ourselves.


This post was written by Francisco Meza, the owner of Planet Marketing. He has helped many companies get more sales online and has coached many people to get out of the corporate world.

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