20 Ways to Stay Busy in Retirement

From my US News & World blog

Keeping busy in retirement is important to our general well being and sanity. Once we are no longer part of the working world, it is now our personal responsibility to fill the days with creative endeavors.

[See The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012.]

The good news is that we are only limited in what we can pursue by our imagination. However, if we do not plan ahead, the seemingly boundless opportunities may fail to satisfy us. Although many retirees claim they are busier than they were while working, others face boredom and months with little on the calendar to look forward to. In such an environment it is easy to lose your sense of purpose, become bored, and potentially find yourself fighting depression. This is not how retirement is supposed to be.

Some people have more than enough interests and passions to fill every moment of retirement. But others may welcome a little help keeping busy. Here are twenty things to do in retirement:

[See Why Baby Boomers Will Have a Great Retirement.]

  1. Plant a garden – flowers or vegetables
  2. Learn a new language
  3. Pick up a guitar or other musical instrument
  4. Write a book – not necessarily to sell, but to share your thoughts
  5. Document your family history with pictures and stories
  6. Create photographic works of art – consider using modern software and services like Shutterfly
  7. Dust off your old fishing pole
  8. Go back to school and take classes you want to
  9. Donate your time
  10. Fine tune your landscaping to show off your abode
  11. Try your hand at selling the fruits of your hobbies at a local art festival
  12. Test your artistic ability by painting or sculpting
  13. Mentor a youngster
  14. Travel to a location where you can test your newly-learned language
  15. Drive an RV across the country or wherever you choose
  16. Learn to cook – as extravagantly as you wish
  17. Try coin collecting
  18. Learn bridge or other social games
  19. Travel near or far
  20. Research and build your family tree

[See Why Early Retirement is Not for Everyone.]

When it comes to keeping busy in retirement, the real measure of success is the quality of life we experience. Try to set up activities that will make you feel satisfied with how you have spent your time. A little advance planning can help you to make your retirement years worthwhile and meaningful.

Dave Bernard is the author of Are You Just Existing and Calling it a Life?, which offers guidelines to discover your personal passion and live a life of purpose. Not yet retired, Dave has begun his due diligence to plan for a fulfilling retirement. With a focus on the non-financial aspects of retiring, he shares his discoveries and insights on his blog Retirement–Only the Beginning.

5 thoughts on “20 Ways to Stay Busy in Retirement

  1. Love the list. I would add:
    1. Laugh at least once a day.
    2. Stay fit.
    3. Start a blog and then rejoice when someone actually reads it.
    4. Look up old friends and family while on your travels.

  2. Excellent list – I am not a big gardener , would like to master the art of cooking one day, that will be fun to have the time to do that

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