During retirement each day presents a new opportunity to try something new. In fact, each day allows for the freedom of choice and allows the retiree to explore new things as a well-deserved reward for all of the hard work accomplished after years of employment. However, for some retirees it can be quite a challenge to keep things interesting and exciting during those long periods of time every day.
Certainly there are occasional projects and tasks around the house, but when you are talking about filling 20 to 30 years of significant and worthwhile things to do, the task may seem a bit overwhelming. With the kids grown, no more getting up for work, and the dogs only needing to be walked one to two times per day, many find it challenging to keep life spiced up post-retirement. Looking for help?
Here is a list of fun and entertaining ideas to keep retirement anything but mundane:
1. Take a trip to someplace you and your spouse have never been before. The fun is in the planning. Poor your heart into researching the area thoroughly, create a comprehensive, but flexible, itinerary and have the time of your life. The new destination should be seen as a place to discover and experience together. Creating memories is one of the best things you can do during retirement.
2. Take up a new hobby. Tired of golfing Monday through Friday or water aerobics every Wednesday afternoon? If you need something new in your life, it may be time to take up a new hobby and expand your interests. Do something you have never done before but always wanted to try. While jumping from an airplane may be a little risky for your taste, offer yourself something new by attending an organic gardening class, taking a painting course or learning a new card game.
3. Learn to make music and impress your family and friends. Who ever said you couldn’t teach an old dog new tricks, did not consider music. You are never too old to take guitar or piano lessons. Wow your friends and family with a personal recital after dinner. Simply choose an instrument you have always wanted to learn to play and sign up for lessons. Before you know it you will be making music.
4. Spice it up in the bedroom. Go to Amazon.com and search for “sex toys”. Buy something for yourself or for your partner. Look for most popular ones and spend $10 and give it a try. You don’t have to carried away, but be sure to step outside of your comfort zone and be willing to add a little flavor in the bedroom. While you may be embarrassed, your partner will probably enjoy the fact that you invested time to add a little spice.
5. Get active or take up a new sport. Just like hobbies, things can get a little mundane with repetition. If you are already a fitness enthusiast, try a new sport or enter a competition. Many retirees are completing their first half-marathon or full marathon, race walking, taking up snow skiing, or finally signing up for diving lessons well into their golden years.
6. Join a sporting group or team. If you want a little accountability to your exercise program or athletic activity, joint a group. Work as a team toward the common goal of getting fit. A softball team or swimming group can provide hours of enjoyment, laughs and exercise.
7. Learn a foreign language before your trip. Whether you are traveling to a new land or recently made friends with people from another country, now is the time to learn a foreign language. Your mind will be kept sharp as you learn and practice the new language. Incorporate the culture and before you know it, you will be ready for a new adventure to Italy, Sweden or the Philippines.
8. Join a book club. While it may not seem like the most exciting thing to do during your retirement, the social interaction and enjoyment you get from reading a good book can do wonders for the psyche. Aim to read a book you have always wanted to read. Maybe you skipped the classics in school and now want to find out what all the chatter is about Mark Twain or Hemingway.
9. Take a course at a local college, university or trade school on a subject you may like. Many schools offer senior discounts or allow you to audit the class for no credit and a small fee. Whether it is a pottery class or astronomy course, you will find great enjoyment learning alongside young and bright minds in a higher education environment. Remember, you have a lot to offer these kids with your wisdom and life experience.
10. Finish your college degree. If it is more than a class you need to finish your college degree, consider going back to school and getting your diploma. Many colleges and state universities offer discounts to retirees. While you may not do anything with the degree you receive, at least you will receive the satisfaction of knowing you completed something you started.
11. Become a mentor. Take time out of your week or day to work with a young person who needs a role model or mentor. Maybe your passion is business and you have been successful in the field, now is the time to give to someone else and keep your legacy going.
12. Host a family from a foreign country. This is a great way to interact with people you wouldn’t normally get to meet. Your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club can assist you in finding a family or student in need of a place to stay while they are visiting your country. What a great opportunity to show them the United States, while you get to visit a few new places as well.
13. Start a blogging career. Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to become a career, but more like a hobby or even therapy. Find a niche you are extremely interested in and passionate about and begin a blog. If you lack computer skills and know-how, take a class about blogging and hone your expertise. Can’t think of anything to blog about? How about your retirement or former career field.
14. Spend time with loved ones. This one may seem obvious, but retirement can keep you busy traveling, taking up new activities and entertaining. With all that retirement offers, you may find yourself a little busy and your loved ones a bit neglected. Remember to spend time with your family and friends to ensure that relationships are strengthened during your retirement years. Family vacations and frequent dinners together are always great activities to keep loved ones close.
15. Become a foodie. While you may not become the next food critic on television you can enjoy the experience of tasting new and exciting foods that you have never encountered before. Make a list of the types of foods you would like to try and conduct some research on where to go. Set a schedule and take your loved one out for dinner to a new place every week.
16. Find a charitable organization to take part in. Retirement years are a great time to give back to the community you live in. Find volunteer options that suit your skills and carry out something rewarding locally or even globally. There is a tremendous need for volunteers in all sects of public service.
17. Start a business or become a silent partner. Now that you are retired, what about opening up that bookstore or restaurant you have always dreamed of. While you may not want to absorb all of the hard work that does into launching a new business, find someone who is and back him or her up.
18. Give back through teaching. Your wisdom and expertise can be shared with others, especially if you are degreed or credentialed with certain skills. Local community colleges or universities offer part-time teaching jobs or you could start a workshop at a local library or community center.
19. Go back to work – part time. Don’t think of this as a career, but rather a part-time job that is fun and exciting. Maybe you have always wanted to work at a zoo or flower shop, well, now is the time to work a few hours a week doing something you enjoy. If you need health insurance or other benefits, some part time jobs offer comprehensive packages for their part-timers.
20. Become a cruiser. No, this doesn’t mean drive up and down Main Street, but does require a little travel on the open seas. There is a lot of fun in planning a cruise. Enjoy the process of planning excursions and points of interest, then head for the ship and set sail to your destination. There are large discounts for repeat cruisers who return year after year.
21. Buy a motor home and hit the road. While it may seem a little cliché to retirement, traveling by motor home can provide a lot of fun and excitement. Steering clear of airports and lack of scenery, hit the road in style while taking your kitchen, bedroom and bathroom along with you. Plan your road trip by mapping out all of the national parks you wish to see or simply take the scenic route to see the grandchildren.
22. Move to another country – or at least purchase a vacation home. Tired of big city life, the rat race of traveling? Think about relocating to a foreign land. Many retirees are purchasing property overseas and enjoying every minute of their new life in a foreign country. If you aren’t willing to give up your American roots just yet, try acquiring a vacation home for the entire family to meet up at on occasion.
23. Plan a remodel. Is there a part of the house that you have wanted to restructure for some time? Well, there is no time like the present retirement state. Now that you have a little time on your hands, use this valuable resource to design some home improvements. Rather than moving into another home, make your current one an even better place to live.
24. Explore your roots. Yes, we are talking about genealogy and not the garden. If you have the desire to know where and whom you came from, start some research and explore your family’s heritage. Now that you have the time, you may also want to incorporate some travel in with the search, visiting your great grandmother’s old stomping grounds or distant relative’s homes.
25. Move to an Active Adult Community – Want to have more fun, then move to an Active Adult Community, like Del Webb, Cresswind or The Villages. There are tons of fun things to do and people to do them with.
Do nothing – you deserve it. Rather than thinking of nothing as a bad thing, think of all the times you were too busy to even think straight. Nothing can be a good thing, especially during retirement. There are days when you will want to keep busy, but on occasion you may want to slow down, curl up on the hammock and take a nap. There is nothing wrong with a little rest and relaxation. You deserve it!