Retirement Ideas
Things To Do In Your New Life

Are you looking for retirement ideas to help you redesign your "new" life?

You may have already realized that playing golf, fishing, or shopping every day is not going to be enough to keep you happy and fulfilled during your retirement years.

However, the great thing about retirement is that it allows you to do all the things you dreamed of doing but never had time to do while working.

Some people know exactly what goals and activities they wish to pursue during retirement. However, there are some of us who need a little help deciding.

One thing that many retirees have started to do is to make a bucket list.

The list can help you to think of things to do. Plus, this list will help you to stay focused on the idea that life is an adventure.

Picture of retired man reading in park.

INTERESTS AND ACTIVITIES

To help you decide on ways to spend your time during retirement, make a list of your ten favorite interests and/or activities. Then ask yourself such questions as:

  • What makes me happy?
  • What talents or skills am I most proud of?
  • What makes me feel creative or purposeful?
  • What would I like to do do that I have always wanted to do?
  • How would I like to make the world a better place?

Your list and the answers to these questions should help you achieve your best retirement ideas.

JOBS

Picture of retireed senior giving piano lessons to young boy.

For some retirees, working keeps them physically and socially active. They just enjoy working!

If you are one of these people but because of a layoff or early retirement you were forced to retire, then this might be a good time to become a consultant, start that home-based business that you have always dreamed of, or work part-time.

You can also make money from your hobbies or interests. For example, if you play a musical instrument or play golf, give lessons. If you enjoy gardening or baking/canning, sell your products at the local farmer's market.

For more information on jobs for retirees, go here.

CONTINUING EDUCATION

Picture of retiree studying with young man.

Retirement is a great time to go back to college and finish that degree that was interrupted years ago by work or family, or to learn new hobbies or skills, such as cooking, photography, or ballroom dancing.

Most colleges will exempt you from having to take the SAT or ACT, if you are over a certain age, and many colleges and universities offer classes at free or reduced tuition rates to older students.

If you are looking for financial aid or grants for senior citizens, go to websites such as: www.finaid.org, www.fastweb.com, or www.scholarshiphelp.org.

However, if you don't think that you would enjoy sitting in a class with young adults, or you don't live near a university or college, distance learning is a great way to go back to school. Visit www.distancelearn.about.com for information.

Road Scholar (www.roadscholar.org) offers senior study programs around the world. You must be 55 years or older and you will live on a university campuses. If you are adventurous and are looking for new experiences, then this may be the learning experience for you.

VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS

Picture of woman serving food at homeless shelter.

If you are looking for a feeling of satisfaction and fulfillment, consider volunteering. Not only are you giving back to your community, but you are also making new friends and learning new skills.

Volunteer opportunities for seniors abound. The hardest decision will be deciding where to volunteer.

Some senior volunteer programs to consider are:

  • Medical Organizations – Such as, The American Red Cross, local hospital, nursing homes, or mental health clinics. You can also volunteer for hospice care at www.growthhouse.org. This is an organization for more than 150 organizations that provides free service for those needing care for the dying.
  • Environmental – Earthwatch, Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and Nature Conservancy.
  • Adult literacy – Proliteracy Worldwide (www.proliteracy.org)
  • Helping Children – Big Brothers/Big Sisters (www.bbbs.org) Represent neglected and abused children during judicial proceedings (www.seniorcorps.org). Mentor a young person (www.mentoring.org). Join the Foster Grandparent Program (www.seniorcorps.org).
  • Help the Elderly and Homebound – Help deliver meals with your local Meals on Wheels, local church, community group, or local charities.
  • Habitat for Humanity is working to build affordable housing for those in need (www.habitat.org). Or volunteer to help provide help for the homeless. This is usually done through local churches and civic organizations.

For more Retirement Ideas for Senior Volunteers, go here.

HOBBIES

Picture of retiree on golf course.

Now is the time to enjoy your old hobbies and to learn new and exciting ones.

There are so many ways for you to learn a new hobby.

For example, take a photography class at the local community college or attend a cooking class at a local Central Market or other store.

Take a knitting or scrap-booking class at your local fabric store.

Learn basic home improvement skills at your local home improvement store.

Some hobbies for seniors include:

  • Join a book club
  • Join a gym, local health club, or recreational center.
  • Take up hiking or backpacking.
  • Play tennis, golf, swim, ride horses, fish, or ski.
  • Join a local theater group.
  • Join a senior softball league.
  • Learn pottery, weaving or stained glass.
  • Take up gardening
  • Learn to play chess or bridge.
  • Learn ballroom dancing, country dancing, or square dancing.
  • Learn new board games or online games

The list is limitless!

Order a free guide to senior communities in your area.

TRAVEL

Picture of the Parthenon in Greece.

Since we are less restricted by time, we are able to enjoy traveling for longer periods of time.

Some retirees even choose to travel full-time. They sell their homes and purchase recreational vehicles and travel around the United States.

However, most retirees choose to maintain their homes and take dream vacations or cruises.

Others travel by volunteering in another state or a foreign country. Some retires enroll in a program that allows them to travel, such as Elderhostel.

If money is tight but you would still like to travel, consider getting a seasonal job. For example, work at a ski lodge, summer camp, or a casino. Just pick a city and check out available seasonal jobs. Many of these jobs will offer you room and board, plus a small salary.

Picture of cruise ship.

Or consider working on a cruise ship. You can see the world and meet new people.

When you retire and are considering travel, it is a good idea to have a purpose.

This purpose can be anything from visiting all the National Parks in America, visiting religious sites, studying the great works of art, or seeing the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Having a focus or purpose will help to provide more meaning and learning to your over-all travel experience.

From airline tickets, cruises, and hotel rooms, there are many travel discounts for senior citizens.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

Picture of older man on bicycle.

Physical fitness in seniors is so important! Regular exercise significantly decreases your chances of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis.

Physical activity is also excellent for helping to banish the "blues". Exercising on a regular basis can help brighten your mood.

By staying physically and mentally active, senior citizens can enjoy a long and happy retirement.

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YOUR RETIREMENT IDEAS

Your retirement ideas are limitless! Decide what you would like to accomplish in your retirement life. Set goals for learning, travel, and social interaction.

This is your time of choice. Your time to do what you want to do. Your time for self-renewal.

WANT MORE RETIREMENT IDEAS?

Check Out These Articles:

RECOMMENDED WEBSITES FOR EVEN MORE RETIREMENT IDEAS

  • www.retirement-stories.com

    This site is principally about the essential, non-financial information that goes toward planning and living an active retirement that’s right for you.

    Retirement Financial Planning is necessary (and there is a section dedicated to this) but a career is never just about money, and neither is retirement.

    Greg Butler pursues his interest in writing and retirement coaching through the medium of inspirational stories. He tells real stories about real people, to enable retirees to understand their retirement needs, identify and achieve worthy goals, and lead a more balanced and fulfilled life.

    The site has stories about relationships, early retirement, retirement jobs, retirement hobbies, best places to retire, and a very popular section on retirement speeches and letters.

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