What to Do in Retirement?

two people hiking in a park

You’ve worked hard and planned for this day — retirement. Now what? What can you do in retirement? There are plenty of retirement activities and hobbies to try, but where should you start? Here are a few great ways to stay healthy and make sure you’re never bored.

Learn something new and start a new hobby

Just because you’re no longer in the workforce doesn’t mean you don’t want to learn new things. Retirement provides the time to explore the things you may not have had time for but definitely felt passionate about. Sign up for in-person classes or take online courses. Keeping engaged helps you to stay sharp mentally and physically.

8 ideas to learn new skills

  1. Learn a new language
  2. Take a dance class or tai chi course
  3. Sign up for a pottery class
  4. Join a book club
  5. Try out a cooking course
  6. Try a new musical instrument or take singing lessons
  7. Join a local crafting group, like a quilting club
  8. Check out technology courses at the local community college

Volunteer

Perhaps you’ve spent time volunteering in your life. Now you can incorporate this into your days as a regular activity. You can also make a difference by leading volunteer opportunities, like using your business skills to organize an aftercare program for elementary students or helping a food bank meet the needs of the community.

Volunteer opportunities and ideas

  1. Teaching. Schools will always need an extra set of hands. Volunteer to help with clubs or in classes if you have experience teaching. Join a speaker series that goes into schools. Teach your field of expertise at local colleges or through online courses.
  2. Mentoring. Use your life’s passion and expertise to inspire others on their own path. Work with schools and businesses to share your knowledge and help others grow.
  3. Helping animals. Do you have a passion for pets or farm friends? Volunteer at a local shelter or ranch helping rescue animals find new homes or get the care they need.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

This is a great time to pay more attention to your health[1]. Staying physically and mentally active can also help you stay independent longer. When you feel good, it’s easier to enjoy life. Focus on multiple aspects of your wellness routine.

Tips for living a healthy lifestyle

  1. Exercise regularly. Even if you’re not already physically active, this is a great time to start getting there. Ease into a gentle activity that gets you moving and provides opportunities for social connection, like joining a mall-walking group.
  2. Get enough sleep. Make sure you get enough sleep. Aim for around 7 hours each night to feel alert and well-rested. This can help keep you feeling sharp and energized.
  3. Exercise your mind. A healthy brain is just as important as a healthy body. Keeping your mind sharp might involve doing puzzles and games, improving your diet, reading and going out with friends.
  4. Consult your doctor. Keep up with your medical appointments. Ask your primary care provider about any new health habits that could be helpful to incorporate into your routine.

Enjoy your own path

Take advantage of the fact that you can do so many things in retirement. Trying out new activities, moving somewhere new, traveling, joining an RV club, and spending time with family are all great options. You’re not tied to a timeline, and you have the option to vary your projects. Don’t hesitate to drop those that you don’t find fulfilling. Now is the time to focus on yourself and the freedom you have to dictate your own path.

If you are looking for more retirement tips and advice, view this article “Retirement Advice from Real Retirees”, which includes tips on budgeting.

[1] “Successful Retirement: Staying Healthy,” Age Watch, https://www.agewatch.net/ageing-why-and-how/successful-retirement-staying-2/, Accessed November 24, 2019.