Freelancing example from Florida

I’m obviously interested in freelancing stories, so I was intrigued when PBS shared this story from Next Avenue. It’s an update on the story of Joan and Steve Reid, who moved from suburban New York to Vero Beach, Florida on 2019.

Photo by Don Lamson from City of Vero Beach website.

While it’s cast as a “retirement” story (both were 67 in 2019), it’s actually a freelancing story.

Both Joan and Steve had been working part-time in New York (as a librarian and florist, respectively), and they initially planned to get part-time employment (minimum wage, 10 hours a week) when they relocated to Vero Beach.

They’ve given up on that idea. “We looked initially, when we arrived,” Joan explains. “But both of us quickly realized we were square pegs trying to fit into round holes.”

So they turned to freelancing.

Steve, who creates art from found objects and mixed media, sold two pieces of art this year for a total of $350.

From November 2019 to April 2021, Joan worked as a content editor for two local magazines, grossing $800 a month. “This was an incredible boost for us,” she says. She earned $630 in 2019 from freelance writing, editing and teaching, but only $305 in 2020 and zero so far in 2021.

Joan also self-published a book on Amazon, and expects to earn $45 from the book in November.

So they’re not getting rich from freelancing, but luckily have other sources of income including pensions and Social Security (which they began to receive at age 62).

Perhaps they could increase their freelancing income, but they’re retired. And apparently enjoying themselves.

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