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From the Email Bag -- Home-Based Projects to Supplement Retirement
By Christine Durst & Michael Haaren
Feb. 7, 2013
Dear Rat Race Rebellion:
I’m about to retire, and need part-time projects to
supplement my income. I’d like to consider home-based projects,
but every time I search, I see things that don’t look
trustworthy, like mystery shopping jobs and stuffing envelopes. Also,
can I really make $100 per hour taking surveys? Please advise. –
Patrick in Boston, Mass.
Dear Patrick: Many
boomers mistrust the home-based work option, and they’re right to
be cautious. Our research shows a 61-to-1 scam ratio in work-at-home
job ads, so the odds are lopsided. But there’s a broad range of
legitimate jobs and projects, too, including many mystery shopping
Here are some tips to help you spot scams and find legitimate leads:
stuffing is almost a guaranteed scam. Survey work that pays a few
dollars is usually legitimate, but the survey ads that offer high pay
are typically bogus. Steer clear of mystery shopping jobs that ask you
to wire funds.
signs of a scam include claims of high pay for little work, “no
experience necessary,” and flagrant symbols of wealth (mansions,
expensive cars, etc.).
- If a
“job offer” arrives unsolicited in your email, it’s
almost surely a scam. And don’t be fooled if it seems tailored to
your situation. Scammers routinely troll sites like CareerBuilder and
others for resumes. Then they shape their come-ons accordingly.
- Never pay for a survey or mystery shopping job.
Dear Rat Race Rebellion:
I got laid off and have had some trouble paying my bills, and my credit
rating is shot. Can I still get a home-based job? – Mark in
legitimate mystery shopping jobs, see Market Force Information, at
www.marketforce.com. You can also check our bulleted list at
Dear Mark: It
depends on the job. Many employers both online and off- now require
applicants to pass a credit check. Many freelance hirers, however, have
no such rule.
You may want to take on some freelance (aka independent contractor)
gigs to jump-start your income and upgrade your resume. Fortunately,
there are many types of freelance work to choose from. Here are some
writers (including bloggers) are in high demand. The pay has come down
in recent years, but you can still earn worthwhile payments if you
choose projects carefully and build a list of credits. Some sites to
check include www.JournalismJobs.com, www.Problogger.net and
testers are often hired to give their impressions as they navigate new
or existing sites. Hirers typically pay $10 per site, for a review that
takes less than an hour. The demand for these projects is high,
however, so it may take awhile to break in. For more, see
www.Userlytics.com , www.UserTesting.com and
researchers visit courthouses in their regions and record various data
from public records. For more, see the bulleted list at
Christine Durst and Michael Haaren are leaders in the work-at-home
movement and advocates of de-rat-raced living. Their latest book
is Work at Home Now,
a guide to finding home-based jobs. They offer additional guidance on
finding home-based work at www.RatRaceRebellion.com. To read features
by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators
Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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