100 Things You Can Do After You Retire

100 Things You Can Do After You Retire


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.

2014-12-18 Charles Monroe Schulz

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.

Couple playing golf

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?

Here are 100 potential things you can do after you retire:

  1. Take art classes
  2. Join a community band or chorus
  3. Learn a new instrument, or rediscover an instrument you used to play
  4. Visit art museums
  5. Attend theatre
  6. Participate in community theatre
  7. Play golf
  8. Play tennis
  9. Go for long walks
  10. Ride your bicycle
  11. Attend concerts
  12. Play card games
  13. Play board games
  14. Volunteer as an usher
  15. Volunteer as a museum docent
  16. Become a tour guide
  17. Sew or knit clothing
  18. Write a memoir or autobiography
  19. Take up photography
  20. Learn a new language
  21. Organize tours for seniors
  22. Volunteer for Meals on Wheels
  23. Volunteer for a non-profit agency
  24. Create crafts
  25. Go to flea markets
  26. Have a flea market booth
  27. Join a book club – or start one
  28. Join an investment club – or start one
  29. Go to movies
  30. Host movie nights
  31. Write a novel
  32. Take adult education classes
  33. Host wine tasting parties
  34. Take aerobics classes
  35. Practice yoga
  36. Swim
  37. Volunteer for political campaigns
  38. Join a local service club (Lions, Kiwanis, etc.)
  39. Start a web site or blog
  40. Visit local restaurants and review them
  41. Join a discussion group – or start one
  42. Volunteer to teach English as a second language
  43. Research and document your family tree
  44. Research and document the history of your town
  45. Take cooking classes
  46. Visit or write to your friends on a regular basis
  47. Invent a new game
  48. Write poetry
  49. Attend poetry readings – or participate in them

~~~~~ continued below ~~~~~

This is an excerpt from the book Design Your Dream Retirement. This book will show you how to visualize your retirement in an optimistic, possibility-filled light, and provide you with the knowledge and tools to help you create a plan for achieving your retirement dreams. You will learn how to fill your life with a balance of activities and pursuits to keep you happy, healthy, and fulfilled. Click here to learn more.
  1. Restore old furniture
  2. Redecorate your house
  3. Listen to everything in your music collection and create playlists
  4. Attend sporting events
  5. Compose music – or write funny lyrics to existing music
  6. Go fishing
  7. Get a pilot’s license
  8. Compile a collection of jokes or funny stories
  9. Record a CD
  10. Plant a garden
  11. Learn mixology
  12. Make your own beer or wine
  13. Compile a collection of your favorite quotes or bits of wisdom
  14. Work crossword puzzles
  15. Plan day trips to nearby places, and take photos and write about them
  16. Learn some magic tricks
  17. Create a performance (music, poetry, magic, ethnic dance, one-act plays, etc.) and perform at area nursing homes or anywhere else
  18. Invent things
  19. Start a new charity
  20. Start a business for fun
  21. Be a pet sitter or a dog walker
  22. Go to concerts at local schools or colleges
  23. Take bird-watching trips (near or far)
  24. Watch art films
  25. Be a secret shopper
  26. Visit local tourist sites
  27. Start an internet radio station
  28. Join Toastmasters
  29. Create a comic strip
  30. Start a new club for some common interest
  31. Become a wedding officiant
  32. Take ballroom dancing lessons
  33. Go camping
  34. Learn how to sew, or how to sew new things
  35. Learn more about investing
  36. Learn, or get better at, woodworking
  37. Volunteer for a cause you’re interested in
  38. Mentor someone
  39. Play bingo
  40. Visit people who are confined to their homes, or who live in nursing homes
  41. Reconnect with a hobby from earlier in your life
  42. Learn calligraphy
  43. Update Wikipedia with things you know about
  44. Join a gym
  45. Take a pottery class
  46. Find something you can make that you can give to others or sell
  47. Become a wedding or party planner
  48. Write a play
  49. Volunteer at a food bank
  50. Serve on a board (HOA, non-profit, school board, church, etc.)
  51. 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!

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© 2014 Dave Hughes. All rights reserved.

Photo credits:
Calendar:  photosteve101.  Some rights reserved.
Art supplies:  See-ming Lee.  Some rights reserved.
Couple playing golf:  SalFalko.  Some rights reserved.

8 Responses

  1. Vanda says:

    You have listened many great activities, but I’m not quite ready to choose one just yet, maybe soon, my husband is already retired, he really needs some thing to pass his time besides just going to a gym all the time!

  2. Nancy Miller says:

    This is a very good list. One thing I would definitely add is: researching family history, organizing family photos, etc., planning and participating in family reunions. A recent retiree, now 64, I have become addicted to tracing family connections on ancestry.com. My research gives rise to great conversations with my parents, now 88 and 90 but still sharp. I know many retirees who share this interest.

  3. Debbie Baize says:

    l see a lot of things that I would love to do in retirement my problem is where do I start

    • Dave Hughes says:

      Hi Debbie,

      This is a good problem to have! The great thing is, any choice is a good choice.

      Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all the things I want to do, but I take heart in knowing that I don’t have to do them all this year. If I’m lucky, I have 20-30 years ahead of me.


  4. William DeyErmand says:

    I have copied this list of things to do. I believe in trying anything once, then I know rather I like it or not. I know I want to take classes, and have a garden where I can grow my own salad makings. A job has always gave me the feeling of being needed. I don’t know if I can completely retire away from work. I will be looking for work of a part time nature before I do.

    • Dave Hughes says:

      Originally, I thought that when I retired, I would have nothing to do with anything that resembled work ever again!

      As it turned out, I now have a successful business as a wedding officiant. That’s not quite the same thing as a part-time job, but it does bring in money, it puts things to do on the calendar, and I still feel like I’m doing something productive.

      Thanks for your comment!

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