DEAR SAVVY SENIOR: Can you recommend some popular work-at-home jobs for retirees? I'm interested in earning a little extra cash, but would also like to stay at home and have a flexible schedule.
— Recently Retired
DEAR RETIRED: If you have a computer with high-speed Internet access and a home phone, there are unlimited work-at-home opportunities for retirees depending on your skills and interest. But beware of scams. Work-at-home scams that offer big paydays without much effort are rampant on the Internet.
The best way to avoid these scams is to use websites that weed out scammers such as the ones mentioned in this column, and never invest any of your own money without thoroughly checking out the business with the Better Business Bureau at bbb.org. It's also a good idea to use search engines such as Google or Bing to research a potential employer to make sure it's legitimate.
Here are a few popular home-based career opportunities, along with some trustworthy resources to help you search for employment.
• Customer-service agent: These jobs answer inbound customer calls for big companies — you don't place telemarketing calls. Agents earn an average of $8 to $15 an hour, and you can usually set your own hours and pick an employer whose products or services are suited to your knowledge and interests.
To find these jobs, go to arise.com, alpineaccess.com, liveops.com and workingsolutions.com.
• Web search evaluator: Most large search engines like Google and Bing rely on home-based evaluators to test the accuracy of online search results, examining different search terms and the websites they turn up. Basic Internet skills are required, and the pay ranges from $10 to $15 per hour. See lionbridge.com/careers and leapforceathome.com to apply.
• Tutor: If you're a college graduate and have expertise in English, math, science or social studies, you could make money as an online tutor at tutor.com/apply. Tutors work with students from grade school through college and make between $10 and $15 an hour.