It takes a lifetime of hard work to earn and save the money that it takes to retire comfortably. Unfortunately, though, even a lifetime of hard work sometimes isn’t enough. Many Americans are behind on their retirement savings, and a frightening portion have no retirement savings at all. Even if you manage to put away enough to live comfortably, your carefully laid plans could still go wrong if you encounter sudden or unexpected expenses like medical bills related to an illness. What was once a simple financial future of comfortable retirement can all too quickly become a nightmare.

This is the reality for many American seniors, and there is no “silver bullet” for curing financial troubles in retirement. However, there are some ways for coming up with cash late in life. The following are a few suggestions.

Sell antiques and more

It is not uncommon for retiring seniors to realize that over the years they have accumulated a lot of stuff!

The average American has way too much stuff. Even as the average American home has increased in size, more and more of us have taken out storage units. We’re buried in clutter!Getting rid of some of that stuff can actually give you more room to live.

With time, you may find that some of your “junk” has real value. Older items, especially collectibles and items made of valuable metals, may fetch more on the secondary market than you think. Selling off some of your stuff can give you a bit of income without forcing you to go back to work.

Pet-sit, house-sit, and babysit

One obvious way to get some extra income is to get a part-time job. But if you’re retired, a return to the working world may not feel right. Perhaps, then, you should consider a sort of freelance gig — one that you can do when you want and skip when you want to take a break.

People often help their own children and others with things like babysitting and house-sitting. So why not do a bit more of that and turn it into a source of income? Watching pets or a home for others

Sell your life insurance policy

Most seniors have more wealth than they can readily access. For instance, after many years of paying down your mortgage, you may own your home free and clear. That’s a very valuable thing, and it increases your net worth — but you can’t exactly go to the grocery store and buy a loaf of bread with part of your house! That’s why seniors sometimes need to use specialized financial resources to convert their assets into cash.

A great example of this is a life insurance policy. If you’ve ever wondered “How can I get cash to cover my retirement expenses?”, your answer may be something like: “I could sell my life insurance policy!"

Many people opt to get life insurance policies earlier in life to cover their dependants in the event of a sudden passing. But circumstances change, and those dependants are now adults and self-reliant. Whatever the case may be, you can sell your life insurance policy to spend the funds on retirement or other expenses. Here’s how it works.

Since your life insurance policy pays out cash to your beneficiaries when you pass away, it’s worth quite a bit of money, but since you won’t be around to see the cash that you are in need now, it makes sense to sell that future award in exchange for cash today. Having income now could help you pay down your debts and leave you with a more secure long-term future. Companies like Sell My Life Insurance Policy will negotiate the best deal for you and offer you the cash you need upfront, in exchange for your policy.

Other options for converting assets into cash include a reverse mortgage , which pays you a monthly income as a loan against your home; you can live in your home for the rest of your life, and the loan is paid off by the sale of your home after you pass away (unless your heirs pay off the loan and keep the house).

When it comes to making money in your golden years, you can rest assured knowing you have options. From taking on a side job to selling your life insurance policy, there are ways for you to obtain some needed cash.

Author's Bio: 

A freelance writer with a BA in English from Sarah Lawrence College.