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The trucking industry as a whole is one of the largest industries in America. It employs over 3 million people as truck drivers, and the industry generates more than $700 billion dollars in revenue annually.
This article is not about truck driving as a career or how owners of trucking companies can earn passive income. Rather – it’s about passive income for truck drivers. You know… the people who are putting in the hours behind the wheel. The truckers who truly keep America rolling!
However, I do think it’s useful to start out by providing a general explanation of the job as a truck driver and the overall truck driving industry as it is in America today.
Choose Your Own Adventure
Explore the contents of this article and click on any heading to skip ahead…
The trucking industry is quite diverse, with many different types of drivers and many different types of trucks. There are truck drivers who work for small, local companies, and there are drivers who work for large, international companies. There are truck drivers who drive very long distances, and there are drivers who drive much shorter distances. There are truck drivers who transport goods all over the country, and there are drivers who deliver goods to stores and businesses in their own communities.
Trucking is a challenging but rewarding career choice that offers an opportunity to explore America’s landscape while earning a living wage. However, not all truck drivers are content with just their wages from trucking – which is probably why you are reading this article.
How Much Does an Average Truck Driver Earn
Annual earnings for truck drivers can vary wildly, depending on which type of trucking business or job we are talking about and the compensation model. Some truck drivers get paid by the mile while others are paid hourly. Location is another big factor as some areas of the United States pay truck drivers higher wages and some areas pay less.
At the time I am writing this, the average base salary for a truck driver in America is $78,132 per year, according to data reported and collected at indeed.com. This average can range from reported average low salaries of $53,274 per year to reported high salaries of $114,587 per year.
Note: click the link above for up-to-date stats and data on truck driver salaries in America from indeed.com.
Why Should a Truck Driver have Passive Income?
While it is very possible for a truck driver to earn a respectable salary in America, sometimes that salary just isn’t enough. Truckers like myself have very high aspirations. Even though I drive a truck for a very large company and I earn an hourly wage – I very much have an entrepreneurial mindset.
I imagine there are many other truckers out there just like me. We set very high expectations for ourselves, and our desire to earn passive income leads us down roads that most average truckers avoid or ignore. I don’t mean that literally, of course…
But the road to earning passive income on the side while working a full-time day job as a trucker isn’t always the easiest road. Luckily – there are many passive income opportunities that are easy, and at least two of them are absolutely essential for nearly all truck drivers!
What is Passive Income?
Passive Income can be defined as an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it.
Having passive income streams in place just makes sense. Once you learn about the different types of passive income, you’ll understand why they are necessary and how they will enhance your life as a truck driver.
3 Types of Passive Income for Truck Drivers
There are 3 main types of passive income, and the first 2 are absolutely essential for almost all working professionals, including truck drivers.
Bear in mind that driving a truck for a career has an added level of danger and risk that other careers don’t have. There is also the issue of sustainability – meaning that not every trucker will be able or willing to drive a truck for the long haul that is their lifelong career (pun intended).
Given the risk and sustainability factors – here are the 3 main types of passive income for truck drivers to consider.
Passive Income for Your Loved Ones
If there are people in your life who depend on your income – then it is absolutely mandatory that you have a replacement for your income in place (in case you die first). Be sure to leave clear instructions for your loved ones, so they know how to access the money and what to do with it.
For most people, your income replacement will come in the form of inexpensive term life insurance.
FAQ: What is the life expectancy for a truck driver?
Answer: Although some of the referenced data points are questionable and being challenged – data from the CDC suggests that the average life expectancy for a commercial truck driver is 61 years.
Passive Income for Retirement
Whatever ‘retirement’ looks like for you – you need to have a plan in place that results in monthly passive income to cover your living expenses. More passive income in retirement is better than less, so plan accordingly.
For most people, retirement income can be a combination of retirement savings (like a 401k), a pension, and some sort of government safety net (like Social Security).
FAQ: What is the average retirement age for a truck driver?
Answer: Most sources agree that the average retirement age for a truck driver is 62 years old. However, results from one survey of actual truck drivers reveals that 27% of company drivers and nearly 20% of leased owner operators don’t plan to retire by the time they’re 65. Another 25% plan to continue working past 65 years old.
Passive Income for an Abundant Lifestyle
Extra passive income flowing into your bank account each month is what it’s all about! This type of passive income is optional. If you choose to pursue it – you’ll be in for the ride of your life.
There are countless ways to create or obtain these various streams of passive income. Pick something that appeals to you and work relentlessly at making it your reality.
FAQ: What is sufficient income to survive in the USA?
Answer: At the time this was written, the median necessary living wage across the entire US was $67,690. Some states have slightly lower median amounts while others are much higher. This means that the average trucker earns only slightly more than the necessary living wage.
How Can a Truck Driver Make Passive Income?
Just like for anybody else, there are countless ways that a truck driver can generate passive income. The first two (life insurance and retirement savings) are necessary for most truckers and are really easy to get started with. The last one (abundant lifestyle) is probably why you are reading this article and will take a bit more consideration, planning, and effort to make a reality.
Although an abundant lifestyle is an ultimate goal for most people, including truck drivers, I strongly encourage you to seriously consider the first 2 types of passive income before jumping into the abundant lifestyle strategies. Having life insurance and a retirement plan in place is the easiest way to create your own safety net (via passive income) so you won’t have to rely on the government or others at any point in your future.
Get Term Life Insurance
The easiest way to create passive income for your loved ones is to have term life insurance in place. Term life insurance plans are, without question, the most affordable way to buy life insurance.
Steer clear of life insurance salespeople who will undoubtedly try to push you into their complex life insurance plans with promises of ‘building up cash savings within your life insurance plan.’ These whole life insurance plans are sometimes referred to as traditional or universal life insurance.
Here’s what they don’t tell you about these types of plans that build up cash savings… When you die, they keep your cash savings and only pay you the face value of the insurance policy!
The easiest way to get started with term life insurance is to use an insurance broker who will shop around among many different life insurance companies to find the best deal for you. Policy Genius is a trusted online platform that makes this process extremely simple. I’ve used Policy Genius myself to shop for insurance, and we ended up purchasing a new term life insurance policy for my wife as a result.
Invest in Retirement Savings
The most sensical way to create passive income for yourself for retirement is to invest regularly into retirement savings accounts. The earlier (younger) you can start, the better. Try to invest a higher percentage of your income that is on the verge of uncomfortable for you (with 10% being the absolute minimum). This will set you up to retire with as much retirement savings as possible and at the earliest time possible.
If you drive a truck for a company that is medium to large in size, you likely have the option to invest in 401k savings. Do this, especially if the company has any sort of 401k match available.
If you own your own truck or maybe work for a smaller trucking company that doesn’t provide a 401k savings plan – then you’ll have to invest for retirement on your own. In most cases, you’ll be investing in what is called an IRA (Individual Retirement Account). Look for a local trusted investment advisor who will be able to help you set up automated investing options for retirement.
I personally use both strategies. I drive a truck for a very large internationally recognized business that happens to have an outstanding matching 401k program. I take full advantage of that. I also have my own private retirement savings (mostly IRA’s from 401k rollovers from previous employers) with my local investment advisor at Edward Jones – a trusted investment advising firm with small local offices in every corner of the United States.
Most of the big investment firms that manage 401k plans have very good websites with financial planning tools to help you understand whether you are on track to meet your investment goals. There are also some really good 3rd party tools designed to help you manage your investments and be sure to reach your retirement goals.
One of the leading platforms in this space is Personal Capital – an online wealth management company that provides financial software and investment advice. Personal Capital offers a free, secure app and website that features a detailed dashboard of your net worth plus other features that help you budget and save.
Choose a Passive Income Strategy for Your Abundant Lifestyle!
Now that we’ve covered the important and essential types of passive income (life insurance and retirement savings), it’s time to dig into the fun stuff! As a truck driver myself, I know what it’s like to sit behind the wheel and listen to motivational books and podcasts and dream about the passive income opportunities that are just waiting for me to take action on.
Creating passive income streams is what it’s all about. That is the key to financial freedom and the abundant lifestyle that we all strive for.
There are SO many ways to create passive income. Some strategies require an upfront money investment while others require you to invest a good deal of your time. The passive income strategy that is most suitable for you depends greatly on how much money you’re willing or able to invest and/or how much time you’re willing and able to invest.
Here at Dumb Passive Income, we’ve built the most comprehensive list containing 27 of the best passive income ideas. I highly encourage you to explore that list for inspiration and to see which strategy jumps out as if it’s tailor-made just for you.
Here are a few passive income ideas that I think are best suitable for truck drivers…
Dividend Stock Investing
Arguably one of the simplest passive income streams you can do is investing in the stock market.
For a very small amount of money, you can buy shares in a company that pays out dividends – and then sit back and wait for the profits to roll in!
Before you do that though, know this – you’ll need to spend some time researching the companies to make sure your investment stands a good chance of making you money, rather than losing it.
Remember, there are no guarantees and there are always risks involved with investing in the stock market.
Invest in Hands-Off Real Estate
If you want to get in on the rental property action but fear that your job as a truck driver will limit your time to devote, then a Real Estate Investment Trust could be the answer for you. They are a great way to earn passive income from the property market.
A REIT is a very affordable way for everyday people (like you and me) to be able to tap into the vast wealth of the property market and siphon off a little of that wealth for themselves.
REITs can spread their funding across several types of property sectors, including residential, commercial, and industrial. With both rents and property prices at highs in many places around the world, now could be a great time to dip your toes into this market.
Another exciting way to ‘hands-off’ invest in real estate is with the crowdfunding method. Fundrise is a leading online platform in the crowdfunding real estate space. Unlike most private real estate investments, their low minimums give you the flexibility to invest the right amount, at the right time, to meet your goals.
Rent out Your Storage Space
The self-storage industry is huge. In the U.S alone, the average annual revenue for the self-storage industry is a staggering $39.5 billion! And if you have a bit of spare space in your home, there’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t get a slice of this juicy storage cake for yourself.
Spaces to consider renting out include:
Also, if you have a spare room but don’t want to share your living space, you can rent the room out as storage.
For more ideas and to see what kind of rates you can charge where you live, check out neighbor.com and put your spare space to use.
Some passive income ideas require very little effort – and this is one of them!
Earning cash back on your regular spending is a simple and guaranteed way of generating passive income. If you’re not already doing it, then arguably this should be the first tactic you employ.
Cashback cards typically pay you between 1%-8% depending on the type of purchase made. And once you’ve applied for the card and set your account up, there’s nothing to do. It truly is passive income from that point on.
Start a Blog
If you have some time at your disposal, then you can build yourself an asset that will generate passive income for years to come. Be warned, though – it will take a lot of time and energy upfront.
Learning the basics of starting your own blog is not difficult. The hard part is staying persistent in creating content and then figuring out ways to build up traffic through SEO or social media marketing. However, once you’ve spent a few years putting in the hard work, the ongoing effort lessens while the income increases.
Once you have a blog attracting a good amount of traffic, then affiliate sales and money from ad revenue become passive income streams in their own right.
The amount of money you can generate from this type of online business is huge – and almost limitless. Some bloggers earn tens of thousands of dollars per month and have achieved true financial independence in the process.
Passive Income Starts with Your Money Mindset
Passive income can be achieved by following specific plans and implementing specific strategies. But, doing so is nearly impossible without the right money mindset. In other words, the best passive income ideas are worthless if your outlook on money isn’t in the right place.
One of the best ways that I’ve found to be able to adjust your mindset is to educate yourself by reading books (or listening to Audiobooks).
Some of my favorite books of all time are included in my list of money mindset books for passive income. If you haven’t done so already – I highly recommend that you start by reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.
Here are two of the most popular money mindset books of all time!
Frequently Asked Questions
You have questions. We have answers. Here are some common questions surrounding the topic of ‘passive income for truck drivers’…
Can a truck driver really earn passive income on the side?
Yes! It is absolutely possible for a truck driver to earn passive income on the side. In fact, it is easier than ever in this internet age that we live in.
Over-the-road truckers typically have far more spare time than they hope for, either while waiting for loads or during mandated break periods. They can easily put that time to use with a laptop and an internet connection. There are so many online passive income opportunities to choose from.
Local truck drivers typically work 40 to 50 hours per week and are home every night, just like workers in most other professions. These drivers can choose any of the many passive income strategies that are available.
How much passive income can a truck driver earn?
The amount of passive income that a truck driver can earn varies bigly depending on a few factors. The two biggest factors are how much money and/or time the driver is willing to invest in whichever passive income strategy they choose.
An over-the-road trucker could earn just $100 per month (as an example) by renting out their unused garage space. That same driver could potentially earn another $50 per month (another example) by using Cashback Cards for all of their spending on the road.
Local truck drivers could choose to jump into the real estate game by investing in rental properties. Passive income cash flow from such an ordeal could easily be $1000 per month (as an example) or more!
The sky is the limit, really, when it comes to how much passive income a truck driver can earn. Perhaps that driver decides to start their own trucking company, which eventually leads to hiring their own drivers, which means passive cash flow for the business owner!
How can a truck driver get started with passive income?
The best way for a truck driver to get started with passive income is by choosing a passive income strategy first and then deep-dive into learning everything they possibly can about it. Many truckers are typically on the road for long hauls, which is a great time to listen to audiobooks and podcasts.
Just be careful not to get caught up in what they call ‘analysis paralysis’ – which is where you spend far too much time learning and planning, and you never really take action and start doing.
Learn as much as you need to get started with whichever passive income strategy you choose – then jump in. You can continue learning as you go. Making mistakes is one of the best ways of learning, and you’ll never make any mistakes if you’re not in on the action. At the same time, though, it’s always good to avoid mistakes by learning from others who have already made them.
Is owning your own trucking business or trucking company considered passive income?
It typically takes a good deal of capital and a lot of time and work to start any business – including a trucking business. For the first several years, at least, I would say that owning your own trucking company would not be considered passive income because you will be actively working to grow the business.
However, if the company is profitable, you will eventually be able to transition into hiring people to run the business for you, and then it could absolutely be considered passive income! As long as you are receiving a steady flow of money on a regular basis with little or no effort or time spent on your end – that income can be considered passive.
Get Started with Passive Income Today!
If you drive a semi-truck for a living like I do, whether as an owner-operator or a company driver, you probably have long hours behind the wheel with endless time to daydream about how to improve your financial situation. Creating and maintaining your own streams of passive income is one of the most rewarding ways to do so!
Please don’t hesitate after you’ve finished reading this blog post. I strongly urge you to continue your research process and choose one of the best passive income ideas that fit best for you and your situation.
You might even consider trying more than one strategy to bring in some passive income. After all – multiple streams of passive income flowing into your financial accounts each month is what it’s all about.
Trading time for money is okay if you enjoy your job as a trucker as I do. But trading your precious time for a regular paycheck will only get you so far. Get started with passive income today! You won’t regret it, as passive income truly is the key to financial freedom and prosperity.