Retirement is a big change. Going from full-time or part-time work to having lots of free time can be daunting when day-to-day life has been centred around your career. So we’ve compiled the 15 best retirement ideas, retirement activities and things to do for everyone and anyone.
The most popular retirement idea – travel
(travel your own country, explore elsewhere)
Travel is the perfect retirement idea and one that’s been gaining popularity in recent years. Having lots of free time means that you have lots of time to plan, so buy a map and think about some of the places you’ve always wanted to go. You don’t even have to be flushed with cash to do lots of travelling when you’re retired. No work schedule means you can pick your dates at the best time, therefore getting the cheapest deals on flights and hotels. If you’re not one for overseas travel then think about some of the places in the US that you’ve not visited. A road trip or taking a ‘slow travel’ approach by using public transport is a great way to visit unknown destinations.
Design your dream home
(DIY, projects, gardens)
For some people, retirement means immediately downsizing to a small house/apartment. This frees up any cash or equity you have in your house and gives you a bigger nest egg to live on. Regardless of whether you do this or not, a retirement idea that’s a perfect use of your time is designing your dream space. Use this time to declutter or, if you have adult children, give them a much-needed nudge to get rid of the stuff still occupying your house. DIY projects in the house and garden are extremely satisfying to embark on and usually add value to your day-to-day life. Check out some projects online and get inspired!
Be your own boss
(mentoring, online business)
Sometimes people just love working. Which might be strange to those who threw all their notions of working ever again out the window after they retired. However, some people find most of their satisfaction from making a living. Once you’ve retired there are lots of interesting and different avenues you can pursue. Fancy yourself a hobbyist woodworker or jeweller? Opening up an online business and selling homemade products has never been easier with companies like Etsy. If you want to continue with your previous employment, perhaps consider becoming a mentor or consultant to juniors who are looking to become more successful? This means you can dip in and out of work without having to commit to full-time hours.
Citybound or country living?
(Move somewhere new, discover the city)
Taking stock of where you are in your life is common when people retire, which can lead to big life decisions being made. One retirement idea that is becoming increasingly popular is moving somewhere new. Citybound folks might be interested in a quieter side of life and up-sticks to the countryside. Similarly, countryside locals may want the convenience and adventure of moving to the bright lights of their nearest city. Whatever you do, make sure your new patch of land has everything you need.
Things to do when you retire? Get political
(public service, government jobs, volunteering)
By the time you reach retirement age, over 60s have amassed a great deal of interesting and varied life experience that shouldn’t go to waste. This is why so many seniors get into politics, local councils and activism when they retire. Local politics needs all the help it can get to support its community. Public politics deals with roadworks, libraries, schools and community problems – these are all issues that could use your help. Enquire how you can volunteer your time, or even take a part-time position to help organise.
Back to school
(School, online courses, languages)
Education is fantastic, however, most people didn’t relish the opportunity to learn when they were young. Retirement is an excellent chance to rediscover or investigate some topics, subjects or languages that have always eluded you. This can be self-guided education where you find a comfy spot and dig in with a few books, or even a more formal approach with online or in-person classes. The sense of achievement when you feel you’ve expanded your horizons through academia is really like no other.
A great retirement activity? Get creative!
(painting, writing, filming, photography)
It seems like most people think that there are is a certain ‘type’ of person who can do things like painting, writing or photography – a ‘creative type’. This is total nonsense! Anybody can be creative and a retirement idea that’s an excellent use of time is exploring your creative side. Whether you have experience or you’ve never picked up a paintbrush in your life, it’s easy to start – just start painting! Similarly, photography or creative writing can be a great outlet and a fun activity for retirees.
Relax, relax, relax
(spa, meditation, yoga, spirituality)
There are two types of people in the world: the people who think relaxation is an indulgence and the people who think it’s a necessity. Newsflash, one of the best retirement ideas is to convert yourself to the latter. Relaxation is crucial for your health and mental wellbeing. Retirement is a big change and can be stressful, finding things to do when you retire can be stressful in itself! So, make relaxation one of your priorities, here are some of our top relaxation tips
Attend a yoga class
Attend a mindfulness class
Look into meditation
Enjoy a spa treatment
Enjoy the outdoors
Ain’t no mountain high enough
(countryside, exercise, remote, fun)
You might already be an avid hiker or you might avoid outdoors excursions like the plague. Regardless, exploring through hiking is one of the best ways to see sights you’d never get to see otherwise. Hillwalking or hiking has become an incredibly popular retirement activity because it’s cheap, fun, exciting and a great way to exercise. It’s also a great way to socialise, check on America Walks for a local walking group and get exploring the great outdoors!
A man’s (and woman’s) best friend
Having a pet can be difficult when you’re juggling home life, work life and a social life all at the same time. If you’ve never had one, you used to have one, or you’ve got quite a few already – owning a pet is a great way to tick off quite a few of our retirement ideas of the list. Pets are great for relaxing, in fact, it’s been proven that dogs are especially good at reducing blood pressure. They’re also great to take on hikes or walks, plus they’ll make a good companion to will you to keep going. Not sure if you want the commitment of looking after a pet? Fostering is an excellent way to look after an animal until they go to their ‘forever home’ and gives you the flexibility you need.
(family recipes, cooking classes, adventurous)
Cooking is an excellent retirement idea. Previously, most working people wouldn’t have had time to learn how to bake or how to whip up some fresh pasta. With more spare time it’s a great chance to learn how to create some of your favourite restaurant meals and save some money!
Discover your family tree
(ancestry, create a book)
Another retirement idea that’s gaining popularity is discovering your family tree. Our roots become more important to us as we get older and it feels amazing to be able to see our entire history laid out before us. It could also hold some unexpected surprises with some extended family you’ve not been in contact with. A detailed ancestry is also a great gift for children and grandchildren alike who may not know about your family’s story.
Become a bookworm
(100 best books, family favourites)
Books for Christmas, books for your birthday, books that have been lent, books that you want to re-read. Books can pile up and finding the time to get properly into a book can be tricky. Stuck asking yourself for things to do when you retire? It’s simple, just pick up a book! It can be easy to forget how fun it is to get sucked into a narrative and realise you’ve spent a whole afternoon in a totally different world. Maybe use it as an opportunity to dedicate a room or section of your house to be your cozy reading nook.
Don’t give up on romance
Being single and retired is very freeing, you can pursue anything you want to do without worrying about somebody else. But, what if you want to explore and adventure with someone else? SilverSingles is one of the best websites for senior dating, our community of over 50’s singles is filled with single men and women looking to find companionship, love and adventure. Online dating is a great way to connect with new people all within the comfort of your own home and it’s never been easier to start. So what are you waiting for? Start your journey today with SilverSingles. We’ve even written the comprehensive guide to online dating for seniors to get you started.
Phew! After all that, I think we need a lie-down. Remember, your retirement is up to you and if you want to spend a few years relaxing and enjoying your freedom then do it!