After you retire, what will you do with all of your new-found time?
Are you concerned that you’ll be bored?
I’m always bewildered when I hear people say that they think retirement will be boring. I’ve heard many people say they don’t want to retire and they would rather keep working, because they have no idea what they would do with all that leisure time.
This is totally foreign to me. I never seem to find enough time to do everything I want to do.
In my Retirement Visualization Guide, I ask you to list things you really enjoy doing, things you have enjoyed doing in the past, and new things you want to try. If you have undertaken this exercise, chances are that there are more things you just haven’t thought of - yet.
The list below will stimulate you to come up with some more possibilities for activities you might pursue after you retire. It is by no means a complete list, but it should provide some good starting points for brainstorming and possibility thinking.
I firmly believe that in order to be truly happy and healthy in retirement, your life should contain a mix of activities that provide physical activity, mental simulation, socialization, and fulfillment.
That fulfillment may come from realizing lifelong dreams, satisfying your sense of purpose, or helping others. Or maybe they just make you happy in the moment! There are plenty of items on this list that will cover all of these categories.
This list can help you visualize everything that your retirement can be, and convince you to look forward to your retirement more positively, which should motivate you to plan and save more. If you’re already retired, this should re-energize you.
But there’s another reason to consider a list like this.
One of the most important decisions to make concerning your retirement is where you would most like to live.
The internet and magazine articles are full of lists of ideal retirement locations. Amazingly, they are all different! I discuss this more in another article, but one of the most important considerations to take into account when you think about the places that are best suited for you to live is whether a locale offers the amenities that are most important to you.
If you’re an avid golfer, does a given area offer good golf courses and a climate that will allow you to play for most of the year?
If you enjoy attending concerts, are the performers that you enjoy likely to stop in your city when they’re on tour? Are there local performers who can deliver concerts that you’ll want to attend?
My parents chose to remain in Springfield, Ohio, the city in which they spent most of their adult lives and in which I was born and raised. I would never want to retire there, but for my mother it was a perfect choice. She was a talented artist. Springfield has an impressive art museum for a city of its size, and it offers art classes and member art shows. This was perfect for my mother. Larger cities with more prestigious, high-profile art museums probably don’t provide such a meaningful outlet for local talent.
Here are 100 potential things you can do after you retire:
- Take art classes
- Join a community band or chorus
- Learn a new instrument, or rediscover an instrument you used to play
- Visit art museums
- Attend theatre
- Participate in community theatre
- Play golf
- Play tennis
- Go for long walks
- Ride your bicycle
- Attend concerts
- Play card games
- Play board games
- Volunteer as an usher
- Volunteer as a museum docent
- Become a tour guide
- Sew or knit clothing
- Write a memoir or autobiography
- Take up photography
- Learn a new language
- Organize tours for seniors
- Volunteer for Meals on Wheels
- Volunteer for a non-profit agency
- Create crafts
- Go to flea markets
- Have a flea market booth
- Join a book club - or start one
- Join an investment club - or start one
- Go to movies
- Host movie nights
- Write a novel
- Take adult education classes
- Host wine tasting parties
- Take aerobics classes
- Practice yoga
- Volunteer for political campaigns
- Join a local service club (Lions, Kiwanis, etc.)
- Start a web site or blog
- Visit local restaurants and review them
- Join a discussion group - or start one
- Volunteer to teach English as a second language
- Research and document your family tree
- Research and document the history of your town
- Take cooking classes
- Visit or write to your friends on a regular basis
- Invent a new game
- Write poetry
- Attend poetry readings - or participate in them
- Restore old furniture
- Redecorate your house
- Listen to everything in your music collection and create playlists
- Attend sporting events
- Compose music - or write funny lyrics to existing music
- Go fishing
- Get a pilot's license
- Compile a collection of jokes or funny stories
- Record a CD
- Plant a garden
- Learn mixology
- Make your own beer or wine
- Compile a collection of your favorite quotes or bits of wisdom
- Work crossword puzzles
- Plan day trips to nearby places, and take photos and write about them
- Learn some magic tricks
- Create a performance (music, poetry, magic, ethnic dance, one-act plays, etc.) and perform at area nursing homes or anywhere else
- Invent things
- Start a new charity
- Start a business for fun
- Be a pet sitter or a dog walker
- Go to concerts at local schools or colleges
- Take bird-watching trips (near or far)
- Watch art films
- Be a secret shopper
- Visit local tourist sites
- Start an internet radio station
- Join Toastmasters
- Create a comic strip
- Start a new club for some common interest
- Become a wedding officiant
- Take ballroom dancing lessons
- Go camping
- Learn how to sew, or how to sew new things
- Learn more about investing
- Learn, or get better at, woodworking
- Volunteer for a cause you're interested in
- Mentor someone
- Play bingo
- Visit people who are confined to their homes, or who live in nursing homes
- Reconnect with a hobby from earlier in your life
- Learn calligraphy
- Update Wikipedia with things you know about
- Join a gym
- Take a pottery class
- Find something you can make that you can give to others or sell
- Become a wedding or party planner
- Write a play
- Volunteer at a food bank
- Serve on a board (HOA, non-profit, school board, church, etc.)
- Go to monster truck rallies
What things on this list appeal to you?
What things that you would like to do should I add to the list? Please share in the comments!
© 2014 Dave Hughes. All rights reserved.