In the past, retirement was a time to cease from working, and spend your days in a more leisurely manner. However, that is no longer the case. From a financial standpoint, retirement is a grave concern for many people. That’s why seniors driving for Uber or Lyft are becoming more and more common.

According to a survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, married retirees have a median annual income of $48,000, and for single retirees, it’s only $19,000. That doesn’t sound like a lot of money if you have a mortgage or rent, car payments, assorted expenses, are trying to reduce your debt – and possibly juggle medical bills.

Even though seniors over the age of 65 qualify for Medicaid, a new report reveals that 22% of seniors pay $2,000 or more each year out of pocket for healthcare costs. Also, 25% of seniors said they were concerned about their ability to pay for medical care or cover their other living expenses.

Ridesharing is one way to earn extra money during your retirement years while working on a schedule that is convenient. It is right for you? We explain the process of seniors driving for Uber or Lyft. (Note: all rates are current as of December 2017 and subject to change).

UBER

You can sign up online to be a UBER driver. You’ll need a smartphone (since this is how you receive potential ride information and let the company know your availability). Your car should be on the newer side. The exact year varies by state and can range from 2006 to 2011 models, although exceptions are sometimes made for classic, luxury vehicles. Also, the car will need to pass inspection.

Drivers also need to provide a driver’s license, proof of registration, and show proof of auto insurance, although the company is responsible for insurance when you’re working for them.

The final requirement is that you have to pass a background check.

Work Options

There are actually three options. You can choose to only give people rides, only deliver items to businesses, or do both. Obviously, you can earn more money if you choose both. But there are some factors that can help you decide which option is best.

For example, if you don’t want to get out of your car, providing rides is better, since delivering items would require you to go into businesses to pick up and drop off their packages. On the other hand, if you don’t really like being around people, you might prefer deliveries so you can say, “hi” and “goodbye” as opposed to possibly being expected to carry on lengthy conversations with passengers.

Also, if you have a two-door car, you can only deliver, since you’ll need a four-door car to transport passengers.  For deliveries, your car needs to be at least a 1997 model. However, you can also deliver on a 2-wheel scooter as long as it has a motor that is 50cc or less, and does not go faster than 30 mph. You can also be a delivery driver if you have a bicycle.

Work Schedule

Whether you choose rides, deliveries, or both, you will have the opportunity to set your own schedule, so you can work when it is convenient.

Payment

Whether you choose rides, deliveries, or both, you will get paid via Paypal. According to Harry Campbell, The RideShare Guy, he averages $24 an hour, and drivers can keep their tips. Campbell also says that UBER pays bonuses to drivers that can range from $25 to $1,000.  However, according to GlassDoor, the average Uber driver makes between $14.19 and $14.83 an hour.

LYFT

You can also sign up online to become a Lyft driver. You’ll need an iPhone or an Android phone (since this is how you receive potential ride information and let the company know your availability).

Your car must have at least four doors – and four door handles – and five seat belts. Each door should be able to be opened from the inside and out, and passengers must be able to both lock and unlock their doors.

Your car should be on the newer side. Most cars should be at least 2005 or newer, but in some states, like Nevada and Nebraska, the requirement is at least a 2002 model year, whereas in states like Alabama and Illinois, the minimum year is 2007; in Louisiana, the car must be at least a 2009 model.

In some cities, drivers have the option of Lyft Premium, Lyft Lux, and Lyft Lux SUV, and drivers can earn more money driving these ride types. Qualifying vehicles include various models from Acura, Audi, Cadillac, Infiniti, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mercedes Benz, and Volvo. These vehicles must be at least a 2009 model.

As with Uber, the car will need to pass inspection. There is an inspection form that must be completed by a licensed mechanic.

You’ll also need to show proof of auto insurance, although the company is responsible for insurance when you’re working for them.

The final requirement is that you have to pass a background check and a DMV check and your license must be at least one year old (instate).

Work Options

Unlike UBER, Lyft only transports riders.

Work Schedule

As a driver, you will have the opportunity to set your own schedule, so you can work when it is convenient.

Payment

Lyft drivers are automatically paid on a weekly basis, but you can also use Express Pay to receive your payments immediately.  According to Lyft’s website, some drivers earn $800 driving on Friday nights and weekends, and drivers can keep their tips.  Also, Lyft is currently paying $500 bonuses to drivers who complete 150 rides during the course of 45 days. Glassdoor reports that the average Lyft driver makes $16.26 an hour.

Other Factors

The amount of money you would earn as a driver can vary wildly, depending your city, your schedule, and a host of other factors. For example, if you live in a bustling city and serve a busy area, the potential for making more money is much greater – unless the supply of drivers is much greater than demand. Some drivers have reported making only $5 an hour. And, both Uber and Lyft keep approximately 25% of what you earn from each ride.

While drivers get tips, they are responsible for gas, and the upkeep and maintenance of their vehicles. For example, if you make it a habit of driving 20 miles to pick up a customer who only needs to be transported 3 miles, you’ll lose the profit battle. On the other hand, you have the option of declining fares if you don’t deem them profitable.

Lyft charges more, which could explain why drivers are paid more. However, Uber offers more flexibility since drivers can choose to either give rides, deliver packages, or both.

Ultimately, you have to decide which service is a better fit for you and if ridesharing is the right choice for you to ensure you have a financially healthy retirement.

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