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These Retirees Just Wanted Their Cats to Drink More Water. Now Their Remote Side Hustle Makes $80,000 a Year. This couple wanted to make and sell something from the comfort of their home. Now they're offering up their playbook for others.

By Frances Dodds

Say you're retired, living in a "little tiny" agricultural town with a population of 800 people, caring full-time for your spouse who recently suffered debilitating strokes — and you'd like to make $80,000 more dollars a year. As it happens, that would make you a lot like Patricia Farris, who is running a surprisingly lucrative side hustle out of her home in Fort Jones, California.

But the point here — and the one that Farris made to me — is that if she can pull off a remote business like this, with the limitations of her circumstances, "people with more time, in urban areas who could get part-time help, could do a lot more."

Farris is 67 now, and before retiring, she worked in the legal field. Her husband Barry, now 77, was a pharmaceutical rep who eventually went out on his own to invent products for pharmaceutical and medical companies. When he retired, he knew he wanted to make some extra income and put his passion for inventing to use, but he didn't want to deal with all the FDA approvals that go with medical trademark inventions.

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