Celebrate Your Golden Years with These Post-Retirement Activities and Ideas

Posted on 03/25/2022

One of the things people look forward to most in retirement is having more free time. Without the looming deadlines and pressures of work, you can finally kick back, relax, and do the things you never had the time for when you were employed and taking care of your family.

Your retirement is the time for you to fill your days with leisure activities and things that bring you happiness and keep you active. If you’re wondering what to do now that you don't have to work, you can jumpstart your brainstorming with these post-retirement activities and ideas.

Visit Places You’ve Never Seen

Travel is a common bucket list item for retirees. How many of us haven’t dreamed of traveling the globe, experiencing different cultures, and seeing the most unforgettable sights in our lives? Now that you have the time, you can start planning those trips. As a bonus, you’ll be able to take advantage of travel-related senior discounts, like the ones AARP offers.

Traveling can be anything you like it to mean. For some seniors, it’s hopping on a plane and spending time in a new country every few months. For others, it’s taking an RV across the US to visit the country’s national parks and other landmarks. It could also mean checking out everything your home state has to offer. For instance, maybe you’ve always wanted to visit every library, history museum, or bed and breakfast. Whatever your dreams, retirement can start making them come true.

Pick Up Old Hobbies (or Explore New Ones!)

Hobbies tend to go by the wayside when you have a full-time job and a family to raise. Now, you can finally get back into those things you loved doing when you were younger. Whether it was drawing, photography, fishing, or something else, go ahead and get yourself some new supplies and sharpen your skills. Not only will you enjoy yourself, but you’ll be improving your mental health (and sometimes your physical health) too.

Alternatively, you can try your hand at something new. Maybe you’ve always wanted to throw pottery or play the clarinet. Maybe you’ve wanted to knit, make candles, or carve wood. Check out books, online tutorials, or in-person classes to help get you started.

Learn Something New

You may have been out of school for a while, but that doesn’t mean you can’t expand your knowledge! Many local colleges offer what they call “adult classes” geared toward seniors. Maricopa County is home to some of the best Community Colleges in Arizona. With the Lifelong Learning Program, students 65 and older who are residents can take advantage of a tuition discount for classes at all 10 Maricopa campus locations! You’ll also find plenty of online courses for a variety of subjects. Learn a new language, discover the essentials of health and nutrition, or learn a new craft like jewelry making or painting from a professional.

Spend More Time with Family Members

Family is precious. You got to help and watch your little ones grow into adults. Now they have little ones of their own. Now that you’re retired, you can spend more time with the people who matter most to you.

If you and your family live close to one another, consider offering your services as a babysitter. Take family trips to the zoo, nearby parks, or local museums. Attend school functions like plays and sporting events. Grab a coffee or enjoy a mutual hobby with your adult children. Moments like these become treasured memories.

Take Part in Social Activities

We’re social creatures. When you work full-time, your social life often gets limited to spending time with your co-workers. If you did go out with friends, it was always limited to a few hours on the weekend.

Now you can partake in all kinds of social activities. Join a club related to your hobbies, such as a book club or birdwatching group. You could arrange get-togethers with your friends to go wine tasting, hike through a local park, or take advantage of the sales at a nearby shopping center. Communities like Liv Generations also feature monthly calendars full of social events and activities for residents to enjoy — one of the many benefits of moving in.

Work Toward Your Fitness Goals

It’s no secret that keeping fit is vital for your overall health and wellbeing. Staying physically active can help reduce your risk of developing certain diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and dementia. And it triggers an endorphin release, which is a sure-fire boost to your happiness.

You have your pick of activities to help you improve your health. You can go hiking, lift weights, or take a fitness class. Encourage a friend or your partner to join you. Not only are you more likely to stick to it with a partner, but you’ll get to spend quality time together while you both get (or stay) in shape.

Volunteer for a Cause

Volunteering is an incredible opportunity to make a difference and find a sense of purpose. Devote your time to a cause that’s meaningful to you. Build houses with Habitat for Humanity, serve meals at a local homeless shelter, or offer your affection to stray pets at your nearby animal shelter. Online databases like Volunteer Match can help you find volunteer opportunities in your area.

You can even combine volunteering and traveling. Places like Projects Abroad offer volunteer opportunities in other countries, with some programs specifically for adults over 50.

Foster an Animal

If you love animals, you could open your home to a foster pet. Fostering offers shelter animals a more stable, comfortable environment while they wait for their forever homes. You can help them adjust to a loving home while enjoying their companionship. Most shelters and foster organizations also cover the cost of food and vet care, so you won’t have to worry about the added expense.

While it can be hard to say goodbye to a foster animal, you’ll also feel a sense of pride knowing that you made a difference in their life. And then you can help another pet in need.

Enjoy the Things You Love Most In Retirement

While the idea of kicking back and relaxing on the sofa for days on end may have sounded good when you were working full-time, the reality is that as a senior, you’ll get bored quickly. Your retirement should be about enjoying your life and filling your days with the activities (and people) you love.

Whether you want to travel the globe (or your home state), partake in more social activities, or find your sense of purpose by volunteering, find what brings you joy and do it. You’ll find yourself happier and healthier for it. You’ll also make some incredible memories along the way.