150 Ideas for What to Do in Retirement

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Adjusting to Retirement

Although most retirees have planned and looked forward to the day that they will retire, many find that it is a bit difficult to adjust to their new freedom. Many mental health professionals recommend spending time to come up with a realistic goal plan for the immediate days after the last day spent at work. It can help immensely to have a schedule at first.

Most retirees plan to engage in their interests and hobbies during their golden years. Those without many outside activities will usually want to find some to occupy all that free time. Every retiree is different, and so it is not surprising that each senior will have different interests and plans for their retirement.

Read on for our 150 ideas for what you can do in retirement to help get you started.

Some Common Retirement Dreams to Consider

1. Travel

Many retirees decide to travel to various destinations. This can be overseas to another country (you could even retire there, see our list of the best country to retire in to learn more) or just nearby within the state where they reside. Some have specific locales that they are drawn to.

These include sunny waterside locations with water as clear as glass and pristine sandy beaches. Other seniors prefer the clean and fresh air of the mountains where it is cooler.

2. Some Retirees Want to Do Something Adventurous like Skydiving or Climbing a Tall Mountain

Not every senior has the same bucket list items, and some may find that taking a fishing charter boat cruise to catch deep sea fish is more than adventurous for their tastes. Others are drawn to certain places because they wish to see a famous historic landmark like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, or Great Ben in England.

3. Finding More Time to Pursue Their Favorite Hobbies and Interests

Just about every senior nearing retirement age has their own fond dreams of finally having the necessary free time to pursue their favorite hobbies.

This could be golfing on lush green golf courses, taking their boat out on their favorite river, lake or ocean spot or having time to create beautiful, handcrafted furniture and home interior decorative items if they love carpentry and woodworking.

4. Cooking or Eating at Their Favorite Dining Venues

5. Spending More Time with Their Loved Ones and Friends

6. Many Retired Couples and Individuals Plan to Move After Retirement

7. Some Retirees Plan to Embark on a Second Career Doing Something Else

8. Most Retired Individuals Plan to Upgrade or Improve Their Homes or Will Downsize

9. Catching Up with Old Friends and Family Members Is Usually Important to Retirees

10. Many Seniors Plan to Give Back to Their Beloved Community

Things Women Can Do After Retirement

11. Spend More Time Taking Care of Yourself

12. Take Up a New Hobby or Interest

13. Finally Clean the Clutter from Your Home

It is astonishing how much the average family collects through the decades. Many retirees find that all that clutter tends to bring down their mood and can quickly become overwhelming.

Clearing out the clutter from your home is a terrific activity that can help seniors adjust to their new lifestyle and find more space for doing and storing the things that mean the most to them now.

14. Redesign Your Interior Spaces

15. Reconnect with Old Friends and Get to Know Your Neighbors More

Over time, many retirees have lost touch with old friends and perhaps some family members that they were once very close to. Retirement gives people the opportunity to reconnect with these individuals while also meeting new people who may share some mutual interests.

16. Plan Breaks for Yourself if You Are a Family Caretaker

Many women also become family caretakers to their husband, parent or other family member. Women are also more likely to live longer than men. Men too can also be caregivers. It is important for these individuals to make a family plan for care sooner than later.

Having some downtime to take a minute to relax and get other necessary chores completed is essential for better mental health and well-being.

17. Consider Writing or Journal Your Thoughts

18. Stay Active & Plan Fun Outdoor Excursions

19. Volunteer at Your Church or in Your Community

20. Travel & Get to Know Your Own Geographical Area Attractions

Things Men Can Do After Retirement

21. Spend More Time Doing Lawncare & Home Improvement Projects

22. Find New Hobbies like Woodworking, Metal Work, Gardening or Drawing

23. Spend More Time Golfing, Hunting, Fishing or Doing Other Activities

24. Indulge in Your Love of Fixing Up Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles or Boats

25. Do Some of Your Top Bucket List Must-Dos

26. Stay Connected with Friends or Make New Ones

Men tend to make friends with their co-workers. It is smart to plan ahead to stay connected with these individuals who have been part of your life for such a long time. It is also a good idea to stay social and make the effort to join in with others in your neighborhood and town through various social clubs, churches and other places in order to make new friends.

27. Plan a Vacation or Road Trip to a New Location

28. Continue or Begin a Collection of Something That Interests You

29. Plan to Play Sports with Friends, Family Members or Join a Local Team

30. Build Your Much Longed for Man Cave

Men often find that they are overwhelmed with staying home after being used to a workplace for so long. Having your own space to pursue interests that the rest of the family is not part of can make retirement more enjoyable.

Take a Sabbatical Leave or Find a Part-Time Job

Some individuals nearing retirement age have the option to take a sabbatical leave rather than go straight into retirement fulltime. Then, they may wish to return to their job with the option of cutting back their hours. Others will decide to find a part time job instead to pass the time and earn a bit of spending money.

31. Consider Working Less Using Your Work Talents

There are some careers that make it possible for those of retirement age to work less using the talents learned and honed at work. This could be moving to a consultant type position or a work-from-home status. Some retirees decide to enter a mentorship or teaching position.

32. Find a Part-Time Job That Interests You

Some job ideas include:

  • Babysitting
  • Dog walking
  • House sitting
  • Errand running
  • Becoming a home companion

Many retail and food service industries hire seasonal workers for the holiday season. Tourist attraction venues often need a seasonal workforce that may appeal to retirees.

33. Share Your Talents with Others by Teaching

34. Get a Summer Job at a Nearby Park or Other Venue

35. Pursue Your Love of the Arts by Creating Art to Sell

36. Consider Making Your Hobbies a New Retirement Career

37. Become an Event or Party Planner

Why not starting with organizing retirement parties for your old coworkers?

38. Make Reading Stories Your New Sideline Job

Some retirees make a career out of becoming a professional storyteller at family birthday parties, summer camps, church retreats and other places and circumstances. Tales and legends of the surrounding geographical location and culture make wonderful story topic ideas.

39. Open a Bed & Breakfast, Rent Out a Room or a Vacation Place for Extra Cash

40. Try Being a Secret Shopper or Sell Things from Home or Online

Go Back to School or Learn Something New

41. Take a Class on Creative Writing or Poetry at a Local College

42. Learn a New Skill or Sign Up for Dance Lessons

43. Take Flying Lessons & Become a Pilot

44. Take Advantage of Free or Affordable Classes at a Fitness Center or Gym

45. Learn How to Ride a Horse at a Nearby Stable with Equestrian Riding Lessons

46. Join a Local Bridge, Poker or Other Card Club or Group

47. Learn About Different Wines or Specialty Brews

48. Investigate Learning Opportunities at Your Local Senior Center

49. Learn a New Language

50. Take Marksmanship Classes at a Local Club or Shooting Range

A Few Fun Hobbies to Pursue Following Retirement

51. Gardening or Landscaping

52. Creative Arts like Drawing, Painting, Pottery or Gourmet Cooking

53. Sew or Make Crafts to Sell at Craft Fairs or Other Event

54. Read More & Find or Host a Book Club

55. Learn About & Collect Antiques

56. Take Up Birdwatching & Go to a Nearby Wildlife Sanctuary or Nature Park

57. Take a Class on Photography & Capture Photos for Lasting Memories

58. Learn to Play a New Instrument or Take Singing Lessons

59. Get Involved in a Community Theater Group or Other Performance Option

60. Research Your Family Line Through Genealogy Sites

Change Your Scenery

61. Consider Spending More Time in Another Locale Each Year Like a Cottage or Mountain Retreat

62. Go Camping or Take Road Trips on a Regular Basis

63. Take Advantage of Senior Bus Trips to City Shows & Special Events

64. Many Churches Have Planned Outings That Are Ideal for Retirees

65. Spend Time at a Nearby Park, Camping Site or B&B for a Change of Scenery

66. Take Day Trips to Nearby Tourist Destinations or Other Local Attractions

67. Enjoy Your Area’s Nature Spots Like Ski Lodges, Beaches or National Forests

68. Attend Your Town’s Outdoor Festivals like Musical Concerts, Outdoor Films or Street Fairs

69. Visit Friends & Family in Distant Places or Swap Houses with Someone Living Out of Town

70. Attend a Summer or Weekend Camp or Workshop

Get More Involved with Your Community

71. Volunteer with a Local Charity Organization

72. Raise Money for Worthwhile Causes

73. Help at a Community Food Bank, Women’s Shelter or Other Community Venue

74. Make or Deliver Meals, Cards or Care Packages to Shut-Ins, Military Servicemen or Others Who Need Assistance

75. Volunteer at a Local Hospital, Senior Center or Nursing Home

76. Organize Local Talent with Others to Perform at Area Care Places

76. Host a Community Fundraiser for a Fire or Police Department

77. Organize a Clothing, Food or Holiday Toy Drive to Benefit Needy Community Members

78. Join Local Clean-Up Events or Organize Your Own

79. Volunteer Your Time or Donate at a Community Animal Shelter, Sanctuary or Zoo

80. Get Involved with Fundraising or Volunteering for Distant Charity Groups and Hospitals

Downsize Your Home or Complete Those Desired Home Improvement Projects

81. Build a Closed-In Porch or Add a Deck to Increase Light & Give Nature Views

82. Finish Your Home’s Attic, Basement or Garage

83. Upgrade Your Kitchen and Baths

84. Move to a Smaller Home or a Retirement Community

85. Create the Outdoor Spaces of Your Dreams

86. Redo Your Patio and Consider Adding Water or Fire Features

87. Enjoy Hosting Outdoor BBQ’s During Warmer Weather

88. Create a Cozy Space for Grandkids & Other Overnight Guests

89. Add More Outdoor Lighting for Safety and for Increased Beauty

90. Consider Installing Solar Panels and Energy-Efficient Windows or Doors

Consider Spending More Time with Grandkids, Family and Friends

91. Many Retirees Move Closer to Family

92. Plan to Spend Quality Time with Grandkids & Those You Love

93. Find Ways to Get Outside & Meet New Friends

94. Get Together with Friends or Family Members for Holidays & Other Events

95. Join Other Retirees for Trips by Bus or Other Means

96. Consider Becoming a Coach or Leader for a Children or Teen Group

97. Visit Area Arts & History Museums

98. Attend or Get Involved with Planning Community Events

99. Play Board & Learn How to Play Video Games with Grandkids

100. Host Dinners, Movie or Game Nights with Friends and Family

Ways to Get Fit and Tips for Staying Healthy in Your Golden Years

101. Join or Start a Walking Club

102. Go Hiking in Nearby Nature Sites That Have Paths

103. Take Aerobics, Dance or Other Exercise Classes

There are all sorts of great ways for retirees to exercise these days. Join a local fitness center, walk outdoors with friends or indoors at a local mall or find an exercise class that suits your specific interests. Try martial arts, cycling, rowing, swimming or water aerobics known to be better for those with joint and bone problems.

It’s crucial you create a workout routine to stay healthy during your retirement years.

104. Eat a Healthy Diet Full of Fresh Ingredients and Nutrients

Try to maintain or get to your healthy body weight. If overweight, consider joining a weight-loss group after consulting with your doctor to ensure your safety. Many community hospitals and colleges provide affordable nutrition and exercise related classes.

105. Consider Getting a Dog & Have Fun Walking and Playing with Your New Furry Friend

106. Determine to Quit Smoking or Drinking Too Much Alcohol

107. Take Up Tennis, Badminton or Other Outdoor Activity

108. Get the Proper Workout, Exercise or Sports Gear

Having the proper supportive shoes and other gear when planning to engage in more strenuous activities is a serious concern. The level of support that you may need can change with age and differences in physical form and strength.

109. Plan a Structured Day if Living Alone or if Prone to Depression or Anxiety

110. If Currently Single, Consider Re-entering the Dating Scene

Retirement Means You Have Time to Pamper Yourself

111. Get Up When You Want to Everyday

112. Indulge in Spa Beauty Treatments or Relax with a Professional Massage

113. Do Something Different with Your Hair

114. Head to a Casino, Enter Sweepstakes, Play the Lottery or Try Your Luck at the Races

115. Invest in a Bathroom Remodel with Luxury Features

116. Join a Local Yacht or Golf Club

117. Plan a Day or Weekend Shopping Trip with Friends

118. Enjoy a Fine Dining Experience with Music or Dancing Now & Then

119. Get a Comfy Recliner with Heat and Massage Features

120. Install a Home Sauna, Hot-Tub or Pool

Start a New Business or Begin a New Hobby That Makes You Happy

121. Consider Starting a Cake Decorating or Catering Business

122. Become a Handyman for Singles and Seniors That Can’t Do These Jobs

123. Take Up Scuba Diving, Kayaking, Canoeing or Sailing

124. Get a Camper or Motorhome to See Other Locales

125. Become a Tour Guide or Get Involved with Historic Reenactment Groups

126. Take Up Stained Glass Making, Macrame, Knitting or Crocheting

127. Become a Fashion Designer, Consultant or Seamstress

128. Start a Home Interior Design Business

129. Learn About Ancient Ruins & Go on an Archeology Dig

130. Breed Dogs or Get Involved with Dog Training or Dog Shows

Keep Your Mind and Soul Nourished and Fulfilled

131. Get More Involved with Your Church or Place of Worship

132. Learn How to Do Meditation & Practice Mindfulness

133. Consider Taking Yoga or Other Type of Stretching Exercise Type

134. Try to Maintain a More Positive Mental Outlook

135. Join a Church or Community Choir or Orchestra

136. Consider Teaching Sunday School or Vacation Bible School

137. Take a Trip to a Location That Is Important to Your Spiritual Beliefs

138. Take Steps to Decrease Stress in Your Life

139. Get Outdoors and Commune with Nature More

140. Read Spiritual Material or Listen to Teachings Online, on Podcasts, Radio or Television Shows

Plan Fun Social Diversions and Meet New Friends

141. Take Up Wood Carving, Sculpting or Watercolor Painting or Drawing

142. Try an Energetic Zumba Class

143. Go Paragliding or Sail High in a Hot-Air Balloon

144. Learn About Historic Sites, Local Lore & Volunteer at a Museum or Landmark Site

145. Take a Romantic Cruise with Your Love

146. Learn How to Create Floral Arrangements

147. Make Jewelry or Other Treasures to Sell or Gift to Others

148. Get a Drone & Learn to Fly One

149. Show Your Grandkids How to Build Models

150. Learn How to Use Computers or Other New Technologies

Final Thoughts

Take some time to plan for your upcoming retirement. Try some of the above retirement activity ideas or come up with your own unique retirement plan. The upcoming years could be the best that you have ever experienced.

Now that you know what you can do during your golden years, make sure to read this article to learn what you should avoid doing when in retirement.