I have wrestled with this question since I was knocked down by three heart attacks in 2005 that left my brain addled, my energy a.w.o.l. and my ability to deal with stress without consequence very iffy. I continued to ponder whilst other painful and mysterious conditions were added to the list.
I tried to go back to work again but was unable to get through four days of it. I was eventually able to obtain benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, Section 8 and temporary SSI while I awaited approval for Social Security Disability. After appealing the expected denial, I was finally awarded SSDI along with back pay with the help of a lawyer and a very explicit letter from my cardiologist. I managed to keep my head above water.
When my father died, he left me a portion of a small retirement account. Though I lost all benefits except for the SSDI, I was able to live well enough in a region that had a very low cost of living. However, the doctors that monitored my rare condition were hundreds of miles away in New England and the travel was tiring and expensive. As I was aging with health issues, there was a growing need to be closer to good medical care and my family who lived in New England, as well.
The medical care in the Boston area is outstanding and the town where I chose to settle offers excellent amenities and services, is close to my family and has a low crime rate, all factors which combine to raise my quality of life. However, the outrageous cost of living limits me from fully embracing the things that bring me joy. I can cover my utility bills, food (which is mostly organic and gluten-free), rent for a tiny studio apartment and essential monthly expenses. Extra expenses such as medical and prescription co-pays, car maintenance and repairs, clothing and travel, usually come out of savings, or I go without. That money needs to support me until I die. I want to be able to have a better quality of life than I do now without leaving myself destitute in the future.
I went into remission from the chronic fatigue syndrome in 2015, though it comes back if I catch a virus. I had enjoyed being more energetic for several years until I commenced a year of cancer treatments in July 2018. I am still waiting to feel well enough so I can put a bit of effort into earning some income. I plan to start up my Reiki practice again and officiate weddings. I haven't practiced Reiki for years and I have only officiated two family weddings, but both are ways for me to earn a little income here and there, providing services that I really don't consider as work. They are things that bring me joy and they will help me raise my quality of life!
I have no intention of creating a new career. I am retirement age now and I doubt I will ever have the energy to be a full-blown successful entrepreneur. I truly can't take the stress, either. I am hoping that for a few years, I can earn enough with Reiki and weddings to help me keep up with expenses and enjoy what life has to offer in my local area as much as possible. But it probably won't be enough. For now, and probably forever, I also need to find ways to make passive income.
According to Wikipedia, making passive income "requires little to no effort to earn and maintain." That's why I created this website! Not only will it be filled with great ways to make your life better, including recipes, tips, products and more but it will allow me to earn some income, as well as help you to do the same! When I feature a product that I already use and believe in, and I become an affiliate marketer for that company, I earn commission when someone clicks my link and purchases the product. I don't have to buy anything special; these are things I am already familiar with, including the book, e-book and audio book that I have authored (all royalties are donated to autoimmune research but now through affiliate marketing, I can earn commission without taking away from the charity). I am already recommending these books and products to friends because I know they are helpful. Might as well get paid to do that!
Of course, if you want to start earning passive income you need to find out your income limits if you are on Social Security Disability or other benefits. And you need to be aware of how income will impact your tax bill in April. It is easy enough to find out these things - visit ssa.gov and your local assistance office for information on benefits and income limits; for free tax advice, a good place to start is a website like debt.com/money-tips/get-free-tax-advice/. You also need to keep track of your business expenses and income. A ledger and a calculator with a shoe box for receipts may suffice, or you may need software such as Quicken.
I will be posting more information on earning passive income and affiliate marketing soon. For now, if you would like more information, one of the top and most respected experts on affiliate marketing and other methods of passive income is Pat Flynn. Pat hosts both free and paid webinars, offers books on specific ways to earn passive income, and has lots of helpful, no-nonsense information on his site to get you started as an affiliate marketer and passive income earner. To learn more about Pat Flynn and passive income, visit smartpassiveincome.com/
For more ideas on earning income from home and online, visit pajamadaze.com/pajama-jobs and pajamadaze.com/online-opportunities. You can also find some wonderful inspiration from people with chronic conditions who decided to create a new, joyful life after diagnosis at pajamadaze.com/joyful-workers.
I'm just getting started on this adventure, so I will be sharing with you what I am learning along the way, as well as other great resources to help you get started! We all may have different financial and health circumstances, and our desired lifestyles may differ. But no matter what our abilities and energy level or how much we need to earn, the most important thing to remember is this - FIND YOUR JOY! Doing something, even on a small scale, that makes you happy, feeds your passion and gives your life purpose, no matter how much money it brings in, will increase your quality of life!
Cameron B. Auxer, your website creator and blogger, is a certified Holistic Health Educator and writer.