Check Out These 34 Great Ways to Spend Retirement
While the common perception of retirement is the completion of a milestone, in most ways, it represents the beginning of a new chapter in your life. Your post-retirement years can be fun and fulfilling, allowing you to unwind and live life on your terms. If you are wondering what post-retirement fun activities to indulge in, look no further. Here are some unique ideas to usher in your retirement with a bang.
Set out on a cruise
There is perhaps nothing more rejuvenating than taking a break from everyday life and putting out to sea. Many cruise lines allow passengers to experience the culture and beauty of various destinations from the comforts of a ship. Several senior-friendly facilities are available on popular cruise lines. Companies like American Cruise Lines, Princess Cruises, and Seabourn offer various amenities, including mobility assistance, elevators, butler service, assistance for individuals who are hard of hearing, and visual emergency alarms. If you are a travel enthusiast, cruising should be on your list of fun activities to do in retirement.
Adopt a pet
According to research, approximately 55% of older adults between 50 and 80 have a pet. Raising a fur child can bring immense satisfaction and joy, particularly if you like animals. Additionally, pets lower blood pressure and cortisol levels. While grooming and feeding a pet, taking it to a vet for regular checkups, and making sure that it gets enough exercise are some of the many responsibilities that you will have to take up, you can always adopt a low-maintenance, senior-friendly pet. Boston Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier are a few breeds that you can look into, as they do not shed excessive hair and require less grooming and exercise.
Engage in craft activities
Craft activities typically require less mobility and help you engage your cognitive functions. They improve concentration, memory, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Not only that, studies show that art and craft activities can reduce seniors’ risk of developing dementia. Some fun craft activities to engage in post-retirement include crocheting, flower designing, pottery making, knitting, and beading.
Learn to play a musical instrument
Playing a musical instrument engages each part of the brain, which helps enhance cognitive functions. Not only that, music acts as a mood enhancer; it can evoke autobiographical memories, regulate stress levels, and lower blood pressure. The ukulele, piano, harmonica, and drums are some instruments that are easily masterable. You can also join a group or band, wherein you can socialize with people and enhance your social well-being.
Grow low-maintenance houseplants
Gardening and decorating your space with house plants elevates the esthetics of your home and also enhances sleep quality, lowers stress, and improves physical strength. Houseplants such as lucky bamboo, aloe vera, Boston fern, jade plant, and lavender are easy to maintain and grow and esthetically pleasing.
Become an online tutor
What better way to spend your retirement years than by educating others and assisting them in developing new skills? The Internet now provides a huge selection of online learning platforms with programs on many different topics. If you love to teach and are an authority in your industry, you can easily sign up to be an online tutor and post materials and course videos on these platforms. Online tutoring can help you share field knowledge while earning some money. Additionally, you can teach your chosen subjects to students around the globe while sitting at home.
Practice yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation not only ensure flexibility and physical well-being but also enhance mental health and help seniors lead enriching lives. Yoga has several health benefits for seniors, including better sleep, enhanced breathing, better bone health, reduced anxiety levels, and improved balance. Meditation boosts immunity, increases attention span, and ensures general mindfulness and peace. Yoga and meditation can be immensely satisfying activities and can also promote socialization if practiced in groups. Practicing yoga under a certified instructor and consulting them on the yoga asanas most suited to your body is a good idea.
Conduct cooking or baking classes at home
Suppose you are one of those who has garnered considerable expertise in cooking or baking over years of experience. In that case, your post-retirement years are perfect for you to teach these skills to aspiring chefs and bakers. You can convert your home kitchen into a cooking or baking classroom and have your students prepare your trademark delicacies while you earn some side income.
Learn a new language
Studies suggest that you can learn a new language at any age. There is no dearth of languages in a world abundant with different cultures and communities. What’s more, you can easily pick up the grammar, vocabulary, and nuances of a language through interactive apps and online courses. Mastering a new language is sure to be a fun and challenging activity for retirees. You can also learn a language with your significant other to make the experience more enjoyable.
Challenge yourself with brain games
An excellent way to stimulate your mind is to try out a brain game. Research suggests that these games can enhance cognitive abilities and reduce the risk of developing conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s. A few games that you can enjoy with your friends and family or play by yourself include brain teasers and riddles, Sudoku, jigsaw and crossword, Tetris, chess, and video games.
Reconnect with old friends
Nothing brings comfort than catching up with old friends over a cup of coffee and reminiscing. What with digitization and social media platforms, reconnecting with your friends from school and college has become even easier. So reach out to them on social media, find out where they live, and plan a fun get-together at a place that works for all of you. In fact, choose a place where you and your friends first met or hung out!
Write a book
Maybe you fancy yourself a wordsmith and never got the opportunity to put pen to paper because you were hustling and bustling. However, your post-retirement years allow you the opportunity to reflect on your hobbies and aspirations. If you have been an aspiring writer, exploring avenues in the genre of your interest after retirement is a great idea. Today, several online platforms offer individuals the required guidance to write a book and opportunities to get their books published easily. The first step to writing a book is determining your genre and the broad topic or subject you want to explore.
Engage in volunteer work
Volunteer activities help make a difference in society and work for the greater good. And what better time to engage in volunteering activities than in your retirement years? Volunteering allows you to help others and meet new people. You can choose from various volunteer activities for social causes, such as volunteer work for women and children, disaster and hunger animal care, relief programs, and education and upliftment of the underprivileged population. You can also volunteer for specific causes or projects, like a river-cleaning project, renovation of an old building, and research on a certain social issue.
Join a book-reading club
Book clubs are an excellent way to build a sense of community with other readers. Additionally, joining such a club provides much-needed motivation for book readers to read regularly. Discussing the different themes and aspects of novels and other types of books can allow you to socialize with people and stimulate your mind. You can form or join a book-reading club in your locality or enroll in online reading clubs and interact with fellow club members virtually.
Today, blogging has gained immense popularity owing to the various online platforms and avenues available. It is an effective means of expressing yourself and sharing experiences and knowledge with the world. You can write blogs on specific topics or about your daily life. Blogging can also serve as a way of reliving old memories, reflecting on your past experiences, and sharing your learnings. And you can earn some money if your blog does well!
Form or join music groups
Perhaps nothing delights music lovers more than good old classic melodies and people to sing them with. Research suggests that singing has a plethora of health benefits, including increased confidence, reduced anxiety, and better social interaction. Additionally, joining a music group is a great way to expand your social circle and meet people from different walks of life. You can participate in karaoke evenings and musical concerts and join music apps wherein you can collaborate with music enthusiasts to record your favorite melodies.
Explore the latest technology
Keeping up with the latest technology can be quite a struggle for almost everyone. But that doesn’t mean keeping up with technological advancements is impossible. Being hands-on with the latest electronic devices, gadgets, and apps can help you make the most of the digital advancements today. It can also offer you opportunities to innovate and develop new interests. For example, some people may be interested in animation and video editing, while others may enjoy learning HTML codes and social media marketing. Thus, becoming tech-savvy can enable you to use these applications and gadgets independently and explore new avenues. You can also start blogging, video call your friends, and join online groups to while your time away.
Engage in personal fitness activities
Dedicating some time to personal health and fitness should be a part of everyone’s routine at any age. Keeping fit has several advantages, especially for seniors. It promotes better strength and balance, increases energy, enhances mood, improves better cognitive functioning, and reduces the risk of mental health problems, such as depression. Fitness training can be incredibly fun, particularly if you do activities like Zumba, aerobics, swimming, and dancing. It is best to consult your doctor before engaging in any form of fitness training to ensure that you don’t exert yourself.
Participate in sports
Participating in sporting events ensures physical fitness and facilitates mental, emotional, and social well-being. Playing sports lowers the risk of cardiovascular conditions, osteoporosis, and depression, and strengthens muscles, improving balance. Physical activity, in general, is also associated with better cognitive function and mental health. Finally, sports activities allow for social interactions. For example, sports like golf, lawn and table tennis, and bowling are low-intensity activities best for those with mobility issues.
Explore world cinema
The world of cinema is incredibly vast, with countless movies from thousands of genres. Today, OTT (Over-the-Top) platforms have made it possible for movie enthusiasts to watch movies from all such genres. Watching foreign movies allows you to traverse multiple countries from the comfort of your home. You can discover their landscapes, works of art, architectural landmarks, cuisines, fashion, languages, customs, and cultures through a screen. You can have Friday night movie sessions with your family and friends. If you are a movie enthusiast, you can join online movie forums and connect with fellow cinephiles.
Renovate your home
Home renovation takes a backseat in many individuals’ lives owing to the dearth of time. However, retirement offers people the opportunity to spruce up their living space and give it some much-needed TLC (Tender Loving Care). Renovating your home is a big financial and emotional decision that should involve thorough research and planning. If carried out systematically, home renovations can be highly satisfying and help you fall in love with your home all over again. You can also upgrade your home to make it senior-friendly. Start by determining your requirements and what aspects of your home you would like to change. Then, look for certified and experienced general contractors and architects who can help you materialize your plan. It is also important to set your budget limit in advance.
Try out different types of cuisine
Trying new foods is a way of discovering cultures and communities. Trying out different cuisines can help you expand your palate and widen your horizons. Not only that, it is an excellent way to add more nutrition to your meal plan and make it wholesome. That said, it is vital to be mindful of any health conditions or food allergies. For that, consult a doctor about any specific foods to avoid.
Engage in an activity outside your comfort zone
Stepping out of your comfort zone might seem challenging at first, but it can help you lose your inhibitions. Trying out an activity outside your comfort zone is definitely among the fun things to do after retirement. Your chosen activity can be as simple as reading a book from a different genre, trying out a new sport, preparing a certain type of cuisine you have never tried before, going on treks, or learning a new dance form.
Become a freelancer
Today, freelancing is becoming extremely popular because of the flexibility and diversity in terms of work it offers. Nonetheless, many individuals continue working full-time throughout their professional tenures for better financial stability. Freelancing after retirement helps you stay connected to your profession and earn some money without exerting yourself physically and mentally. The biggest advantage freelancing has is that you don’t have to work from an office or clock in a stipulated number of hours. This means that you can cherish your post-retirement years while working at your pace. You can freelance as a writer, a consultant, an editor, a consultant, a designer, an architect, etc., based on your qualifications and experience.
Babysitting is right up your alley if you love being around children. Not to mention, taking care of children, especially toddlers, will ensure that you are on your feet and keep active. Besides, several working parents need dependable and experienced people to care for their children while they are away.
Learn and research further in your field
Learning is a lifelong process, and rightly so. While you may have several years of experience in your field and know a great deal about it, staying up-to-date with the changes in your field can help you grow and master it. In fact, you can provide useful insights into specific subjects and help out researchers and professionals in their careers. Making use of online research libraries and other online resources can facilitate continued learning from the comfort of your home.
Organize or participate in cultural events
Cultural events are vital to preserving the heritage of a community. Attending these events can help you learn about specific cultures and explore new ways of life. Organizing a cultural event can be a highly fun-filled and enriching retirement activity and enable seniors to educate the younger generations about their roots. However, if you are unable to organize a cultural event, you can contribute to preserving your cultural heritage by participating in one such event.
Set up a self-care routine
Self-care involves a gamut of activities aimed at facilitating physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial well-being. A self-care routine must involve concrete goals in each of these categories. Moreover, self-care must also address and consider any health or personal issues that cause setbacks in your daily life so that you can actively aim to address them. You can include various types of fun activities in your self-care routine, such as going on relaxing spa and parlor dates with your friends, indulging in a skincare routine, and making a well-curated meal plan.
Join a laughter club
Laughter is indeed the best medicine. Research shows that there are several health benefits of laughter. These include better immunity, improved secretion of endorphins, or “feel-good” hormones, and better heart health. A laughter club involves a group of people who meet regularly to participate in community laughing. Such clubs not only encourage people to laugh more and stay happy but also act as meeting points for individuals looking to achieve mental and emotional well-being. Many laughter clubs also incorporate stretching and breathing activities alongside laughter exercises. Joining a laughter club is a great way to reduce stress levels and lead a happy, carefree, and fulfilling life after retirement.
Hit the road
Retirement is the right time to set out on that road trip you had probably planned with your better half or close friends decades earlier. You can explore unconventional paths and visit natural and human-made wonders as you go along. If you are planning a road trip, you can take some iconic routes, such as the Hana Highway, Route 66 (from Los Angeles to Chicago), Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Northern United States. The best things about a road trip are that you will meet new people, make memories for a lifetime, visit quaint cafes, and explore unexplored areas. However, before you embark on your journey, ensure you plan your road trip well in advance and get a checkup done. You should also check out the weather conditions of the places you are visiting.
Learn about other fields of interest
Although you may be inclined towards your field of study, exploring other fields can broaden your perspective and help you understand how different domains are intricately connected. It may have been difficult or even impossible to step beyond your field during your working years; therefore, it is a great idea to begin exploring other fields and subfields of study after you retire. You can start by researching other subjects and taking online courses on related topics. Connecting with experts from other subject areas and seeking their guidance is another great way to widen your horizons. Eventually, you can explore how your field links with other significant subject areas and present your insights to contribute to the existing body of research.
Trace your family history
Tracing your roots and family history can facilitate a deeper sense of self and a better understanding of your cultural background. Government and historical records can help you trace and create your family tree. You can check out old documents, such as pioneer certificates and state consensus, to obtain such information. Today, several online platforms help individuals trace their genealogy and build their family trees. Tracing your family history can be a fun-filled activity post-retirement.
Play video games
Video games have become the most popular source of entertainment among the younger generation owing to their stunning effects, graphics, and innovation. In addition to serving various cognitive and emotional needs, video games can be enjoyable pastimes for older folks. For example, you can access various video game options, including Xbox, Wii, and Brain Age.
Start a small-scale business
If you are talented and have the resources to monetize your skills, a small-scale business is the ideal way to go. For example, you can consider starting small home-based businesses to monetize any of these skills, such as cooking, pottery making, and painting. You can come up with unique ideas like creating personalized greeting cards on special occasions and baking theme-based cakes.
Leading a fruitful life post-retirement involves considering your hobbies, interests, and requirements and planning your schedule accordingly. Today, easy access to resources and technological advancement allow you several innovative and fun things to do after retirement. That said, understand your capabilities and limitations, avoid exerting yourself, and consult a doctor before you try out something that can affect your body.
Caring for your mental health should be as much of a priority as your physical health. Thus, you must look for activities that engage your cognitive functions and consult a therapist in case of unmanageable mental or emotional distress. The secret to leading a balanced, rewarding life after retirement is integrating one’s welfare with fun and creativity.