I believe we all are excited about retirement. But have you asked yourself about what to do when you are finally retired.
We spend our lives doing things that we have to do. We go to school, we work and build our careers, we raise kids and take care of our families. We stay busy all the time. After working for three or four decades we are ready for a new life. A new life without early alarms, long commute, meetings, and stress of deadlines. Can you believe it?
When we reach our retirement, we are ready to embrace it as a new phase of life with limitless possibilities and a lot of free time. Although, we do not want to feel bored because we have nothing else to do each day and started to feel useless and lost.
Retirement is a new phase of life and if you want to enjoy this time you need to prepare for it. There are so many things you can do in retirement.
Here is a list of my 15 favorite ideas on what to do when you are retired:
1. Create a retirement bucket list.
I believe it is important to create a retirement bucket list. The bucket list will help you to see what you want to do with your life. It will keep you motivated and helps to set the goals.
Write down a list of things you always wanted to do but never could because you did not have time, energy, money, or something else.
A few ideas from my retirement bucket list:
- Live in France for a year
- Learn the French language
- Live in Italy for a year
- Write an e-book
- Take dance lessons and learn how to dance salsa
- Take cooking classes
- Grow a vegetable garden
- Design and build a lake house
2. Travel the world.
I have a passion for travel. Traveling the world in retirement is the number one goal on my retirement bucket list. Roman and I always plan for one or two big trips a year. We like to visit different countries and enjoy the uniqueness. Our main goal is to explore countries rich in history, art, and architecture. Also, we like to try different kinds of food and take cooking classes together.
When we retire, we would like to travel as much as we can afford it depending on our budget. I believe that seeing beautiful destinations and experiencing other cultures will make our time in retirement more memorable.
3. Visit family and friends.
When you are retired, you have so much time on your hands. That is why it is a good idea to take advantage of visiting family and friends. Spending time with your family and visiting loved ones has huge benefits. It will help everyone to stay connected and keep you emotionally happy. It could be a lot of fun and bring back positive memories.
In addition, the get-together visits will help to create new experiences and memories for the future. It could be a joyful and memorable party, a small group stroll in the park, or simply a get-together family for food and games.
4. Spend more time with grandchildren.
Being a grandparent is one of our life’s greatest joy. That is why spending more time with grandkids is a great thing to do in retirement. If you live close to your grandkids you can have an important role in their lives by babysitting them more often. Also, you will help your children to save a lot of money on daycare.
When your children and grandchildren live far away, you can organize a family vacation together or try to visit them more often. You can call, or schedule some time on Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom to talk to them. Yes, seeing your grandkids on a computer screen or phone is not the same as snuggling with them or hugging. But you can enjoy your time together by seeing one another in real-time instead of just calling them.
5. Become a volunteer.
Many retirees get engaged in volunteering and found it meaningful and rewarding. Volunteering is a great way to stay busy and engaged socially with other people. There are so many ways to help others from mentoring children to assisting at the hospital or a local library. There are countless opportunities out there if you want to follow this route.
Think about what you would like to do and which organizations you would like to help. Then contact them and offer your help.
Check out volunteer jobs at the following websites:
6. Apply for a part-time job.
You are retired from work so, why would you want to apply for a part-time job. But according to the studies, 55 percent of American workers plan to continue working in retirement with 41 percent going part-time.
The reasons for working in retirement might be different. Some people will want the additional income. Sometimes having a little extra cash in your pocket help to pay for a family vacation or buy something you normally would not.
Others need to work because they cannot afford retirement. But many retirees who apply for a part-time job find the advantage of staying active and keeping their brain sharp. People enjoy working part-time because it gives them a sense of purpose and helps to stay socially connected.
7. Find a new hobby.
When you are retired you want to spend your time doing things you love. To find out what you always wanted to do, ask yourself what I am good at and what I wanted to do.
You can use a piece of paper and pen or a Note app on your phone to write down your favorite things to do. I keep a list of things I love to do on my phone and add to it whenever a new idea pops into my head.
Here is a list of popular hobbies:
- Playing the piano or other musical instruments
- Restoring cars
- Restoring furniture.
8. Remodel your home to be more retirement friendly.
It is not a secret that most of us have a deep emotional connection to our home. Whether you want to relocate to another state or retire-in-place you would want to make your home more retirement friendly. There are many ways to remodel your home. It could be a small or big project.
The most popular renovation projects recommended for retirees:
A first-floor bedroom – a great solution because climbing the stairs in the years ahead might make it difficult.
An easy entrance to home – make sure you have at least one exterior door with a flat entry rather than steps.
Bathroom remodeling – install grab bars in the shower and bathtub to be an age-friendly space. Other suggestions: install a higher toilet (19 inches high) for future balance issues; install a no-threshold shower, so you will not trip over the edge.
Kitchen remodeling – place a microwave on a counter, install a pullout pantry, lower the kitchen counters with easy access to kitchen utensils.
Eventually, you will need to get rid of the scatter rugs around the house and install a wood floor or wall to wall carpet to eliminate the hazard of tripping over them when you grow older.
Install brighter lighting for better visibility.
9. Grow a vegetable garden.
I am not big on gardening, but I always admire a beautiful garden designed by other people. Hobbies are important to all of us, whatever age we are.
Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in retirement. It helps you to relax, spend more time outside, stay active, and fit. Growing a vegetable garden can be your new passion and a healthy habit of eating fresh vegetables.
You can grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Also, you can grow cut flowers for the house. Use your imagination and design your vegetable garden to be practical, as well as interesting and inspiring. Think ahead of time which new plans to grow next year and order seeds for future sowing.
Growing your vegetables can bring enjoyment into your retirement life. You can create it as a space to entertain your friends, have a garden party, or just a place to enjoy your hobby.
10. Go back to school or take a class.
If you always wanted to learn something new, retirement is a perfect time to go back to school. Taking a class is a good way to stay mentally and socially active. When you are learning new things, you find a way to improve yourself. And we all know that “you are never too old to learn something new”.
You do not need to take purely academic or career-oriented classes. Sometimes, engaging in a cooking class, learning how to play a violin or guitar will help you to find your hidden talents.
Here are a few class’s ideas:
- Interior Design
- Creative writing
11. Start cooking and host a party.
Cooking is a great hobby in retirement for many reasons. Learning the basics of cooking will help to eat healthy. Also, cooking at home is more economical than eating out.
Getting started with cooking is not as difficult as every one of us has a kitchen at home. Do not worry if your kitchen is not equipped with expensive equipment, you can add it later or just use your creativity and cook with what you already have.
Most people know the basics of cooking. I love to cook. My father was an excellent cook and my sister and I learned the basics of cooking from him.
If you want to make it as a hobby you can learn from books like many people. There are videos of recipes to try, cooking channels on TV to watch and learn. Most cookbooks come with basic tips and techniques so you can learn fast.
There is a joy of cooking for friends and family. Hosting dinner or a cooking party can be a great way to get everyone involved and have fun.
12. Write a book.
For many people writing is a passion. It has become popular with people of all ages. If you like to write, then writing and self-publishing can be your favorite activity or part-time job during retirement. You can simply write for pleasure or a side income. However, selling books requires a lot of work including writing, editing, and self-publishing.
If you have good writing skills and some knowledge about content marketing, you can become a freelance writer and write articles instead of books.
Another popular way is to start a blog and write, publish, and promote your books, articles, or e-books through your website.
If you feel that writing books when you retire is your best option, then go for it! The best part is the flexibility. You can start slow, learn, restart again, and increase at any time.
13. Join a gym or exercise daily.
Joining a gym or exercising daily will help you to stay healthy and hold off the diseases that come with old age and sitting too long in front of the TV.
Walking, exercising, running, going to the gym, taking yoga classes are all popular ways to stay fit in retirement.
Another way to stay fit and have fun is to participate in whatever sports you like. Hiking, swimming, running, fishing, canoeing, kayaking will help you to keep up with an exercise routine and stay healthy for many years.
14. Start a club.
Another thing you can do in retirement is to start a club. It could be a retirement club, a reading club, a walking club, a gardening club, etc. Talk to your friends and neighbors if it will be enough interest in whatever topic you choose. Get the word out and put flyers on the bulletin boards or even create your own website.
After that, schedule and arrange a meeting to see who might be willing to help you organize and manage the group going forward. By starting a club or special interest group you will make new friends and help others come together, share a common interest, and have fun.
15. Start a new business.
You do not want to be bored when you retire. That is why you might want to start a new business to occupy your time and share knowledge with others.
In today’s technology age you do not have to invest a lot of money to become an entrepreneur. There are so many online opportunities to earn money from the comfort of your home. Starting a new online business can be a great way to fill your day and earn extra money.
Retirement is a new phase of life. And if you want to enjoy this time you need to prepare for it. We all start saving money and preparing financially for our retirement years. Having finances in order is important for a comfortable retirement.
However, thinking about what you are going to do when you are retired is equally important for a happy retirement.
Have you thought about what you want to do when you are retired? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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