This popularity is thanks mostly to the juggernauts of the sharing economy – Uber and Airbnb. Last week we discussed the merits of Airbnb, and how Baby Boomers can leverage this platform to earn supplemental income. Today, we want to shift gears to Uber, because it also holds significant income potential for Baby Boomers.
In a recent article in fact, Inc.com discussed how Boomers are embracing the sharing economy and questioned whether driving for Uber is “the new retirement.”
Think the sharing economy is only a playground for Millennials? Think again. According to research by Emergent and Intuit, 18% of sharing economy workers are over the age of 55. This study also notes that “the number of older Americans seeking [this type of] work will likely continue to grow.”
Specifically for Uber, approximately 25% of all drivers are over the age of 50.
Plus, being a Millennial I can say this, we are totally slackers, you can do better than us. Kidding…sort of.
As you will see, driving for Uber can be an amazing way to supplement income, stay social, and be a small business owner in what NextAvenue refers to aptly as ‘unretirement’ years.
Uber for Baby Boomers: An Introduction
Uber has been at the center of the sharing economy debate for the past few years. Is it a taxi service? Are drivers employees? Should they be licensed with taxi medallions? All of the regulatory and legal debates have been a distraction to the macroeconomic benefits of Uber and other sharing economy websites.
Uber allows you to turn your personal vehicle and spare time into supplemental income by giving rides to people in your community. Think of it as a private taxi service. And business is booming for Uber and its drivers!
Consider that Uber has over 8 million riders, and has completed 1 billion rides since its founding in 2009. Uber is available in 400 cities worldwide, and on any given day facilitates 1 million rides. See what I mean by a booming business?
For drivers, Uber pays out on average $19 an hour. Not bad, I call shotgun!
So what’s all the fuss about?
Uber for Baby Boomers: Meet Janice
Let’s start our Uber journey by meeting Janice. Hi Janice!
Hailing (ha!) from Minneapolis, Janice is a 70-year-old Uber driver who started in ride-sharing in 2013 after retiring from teaching.
On average, Janice drives for Uber 20 hours per week. This is about 2-3 hours a day for Janice, depending on how she’s feeling that day, and if her Grandkids are visiting.
With her Uber schedule, Janice is able to bring in $1,500 a month, which is $1,000 after costs such as gas and maintenance.
Janice explained to me why she drives with Uber, and her answer surprised me.
“Not only do I get to make supplemental income, but I meet fascinating people. It’s a great way to stay social” she noted.
Like Janice, many retirees and Boomers choose sharing economy companies like Uber not only to supplement income, but to remain social.
Uber for Baby Boomers: How to Get Started
So how does Uber work exactly? Instead of standing out on the street hailing a cab, with Uber you can dispatch an Uber to your location directly from your smartphone.
Through the Uber app, drivers are matched with riders who agree to pay a predetermined price for a ride to a specific location. Simple as that. And this entire process is automated through the Uber app.
As a rider, you input your destination, and the app will match you with a driver and tell you the price. You can then accept or deny. Once you accept you get a real-time location of the Uber driver coming to pick you up. So, no more standing out in the cold or staring aimlessly out the window.
The best way to find out if Uber driving is good for you is to download the app, register as a rider, and take a few rides. By doing this you will be able to ask all your pertinent questions to current Uber drivers.
How much do they earn? How often do they work? What are their challenges? Using Uber as a rider will also give you an opportunity to experience the platform and process.
Think you might want to become a driver? At the Casual Capitalist, we have an income calculator that will give you an idea of how much you could earn on Uber.
Once you decide that Uber is for you, you can head over to their website to register. It is worth noting that there are specific requirements you must fulfill before Uber will allow you work on their platform.
Uber for Baby Boomers: Uber Requirements
These vary depending on your city, state, and country. But generally speaking, the Uber requirements are as follows:
- 4-door sedan.
- Must seat 4 or more passengers, excluding the driver.
- Year 2001 or newer, but the varies between jurisdictions.
- In-state plates.
- No major damage.
- Pass an Uber vehicle inspection.
- The car must be currently registered and insured.
There you have it. This was a very brief overview of the Uber platform. If you decide to drive for Uber, you need to do more research to decide the best way to get started. There are so many resources available online through a simple Google search.
Or, check out some of my favorite resources:
- The Rideshare Guy – Uber Driver Requirements
- The Simple Dollar – Make Money Driving for Uber
- The Casual Capitalist – Ride-Sharing Fastlane
Safe driving everyone!