What to Do in Retirement? One of These 7 Things

Plan Your Retirement Interests and You'll Have a Happier Retirement

Quebec Winter Carnival
If you're bored in retirement you can always head to the Quebec Winter Carnival for some fun!. Yvette Cardozo/Getty Images

April 29, 2015

How much you spend in retirement will be related to what you do with your time. Before retiring, give serious thought to what you will do once you are retired. If you will be on a limited budget, as most people are, you’ll want to find affordable activities that contribute to your overall well-being. If you have expensive hobbies such as golf or sailing, you’ll need to budget for those.

Some retirees know exactly what they will do with their time, but many don’t. For those of you looking for inspiration, below are seven things you can do in retirement.

1. Learn Something New

Whether it be fly fishing, wood working, or needle point, retirement can be the perfect time to learn something new. You can usually find affordable local classes (on almost any subject) that are taught by your city’s park and recreation department, by a local community college, or by a local business or hobby store.

2. Volunteer - Invest in What Matters to You

Some retirees find what they miss most is a sense of contributing to another’s success. Volunteering can be a great way to continue to contribute in an area that matters to you. It could be teaching children to read, volunteering at a local school, helping out at an organization that feeds the homeless, or using your business skills by donating time to an organization like SCORE that helps new business owners.

There are organizations that specialize in volunteer opportunities for those age 55 and older. Check them out and see what’s out there.

3. Teach

Perhaps you have a specialized skill or knowledge in a particular field. In that case you may want to tutor or begin to teach classes. You could do this for free (volunteer), on a mentoring basis (for people with whom you want to invest your time) or you could charge for your services by formally tutoring or starting small classes.

4. Connect With Family

During working years it can be difficult to find time to connect with family. Retirement is the perfect time to bring these relationships back to life. Pick up the phone and start a conversation, or learn how to use a video chat on Skype (or via your mobile phone) so you can talk to and see family members who may be far away.

5. Travel

Travel can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have the means, by all means plan your dream vacation – or a few of them. If you’re on a limited budget check out alternative travel options such as the RV lifestyle, or the costs of living abroad.  These options may make travel more affordable than you might have thought.

6. Work – But on Your Terms

After a year or two of retirement, many retirees choose to go back to work as a contractor. They may pick up a project, or start a consulting business. Your experience may be in demand, and if you don’t have to work then you get to set the terms as far as your hours and how much time you will commit. From work ideas check out How to Land a Retirement Job.

7. Rekindle an Old Hobby

Did you play a musical instrument as a child? Or take a shop class, but never pursued your mechanically inclined side?

Maybe you tried a cooking class, but were just too busy working to pursue it. Or perhaps you used to ride motorcyles and always wanted to go to Sturgis. Now is the time to dive back into a hobby that you didn’t have time to pursue years ago.