28 Engaging Activities You Can Do To Stay Busy And Active In Retirement

Many retirees find adjusting to an open schedule challenging, wondering how to stay busy and fulfilled. The key to a successful and enjoyable retirement lies in planning activities that encompass physical, mental, and social aspects, while allowing for adequate relaxation time.

This article offers 28 creative and helpful ideas to keep you busy and engaged during retirement, ensuring a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. They are also good ideas to keep elderlies busy at home.

Let’s explore these ideas further to discover how you can make the most of your retirement journey.

1. Publish A Book

Writing a book is a fantastic way to stay busy and engaged, especially if you enjoy writing. It can become your new project in retirement. You can choose to write a novel, your memoirs, or embark on a family history book.

Many retirees choose to write a family history book to pass down to future generations, organizing photos, mementos, and letters from their personal archives. Sorting through these materials can spark memories and ignite ideas for your writing project, even if you initially lack inspiration.

For inexperienced writers or those seeking to hone their skills, joining the MasterClass platform is recommended. On MasterClass, you can learn from some of the world’s most successful and experienced individuals.

When it comes to writing, you’ll have the chance to take courses from renowned figures like Malcolm Gladwell and Judy Blume. Access to the MasterClass platform is available through an annual membership. Get yours here to begin refining your writing skills.

2. Find A Hobby

With more free time on your hands in retirement, staying busy and engaged in activities you enjoy becomes essential. Finding a new hobby is a fantastic way to stay active and fulfilled.

You can either rediscover old hobbies from your childhood or explore entirely new interests that spark your enthusiasm. When exploring new options, it’s crucial to avoid limiting yourself based on age or perceived lifestyle constraints. While some might think they’re too old for certain activities or that they no longer fit their lifestyle, retirement offers the freedom to pursue whatever brings you joy.

Consider transforming activities you already enjoy into hobbies during retirement. If identifying your interests proves challenging, ask yourself questions like:

  • What activities relieve my stress?
  • How would I describe my ideal retirement day?
  • What do I never get tired of doing?

These questions can help you pinpoint what you truly love to pursue during your retirement years.If you need further assistance, I recommend reading my article titled How To Get a Retirement Hobby. It offers several helpful tips that you can access here.

3. Get A Monthly Subscription From Cratejoy

Are you passionate about staying busy with arts and crafts projects in retirement but unsure where to start? The Cratejoy Subscription Box might be the perfect solution for you. This meticulously curated box delivers a different craft project each month, helping you learn new techniques like wood burning and engraving.

With this subscription, you can create beautiful items like wine carriers, epoxy resin coasters, and more. The Adults And Crafts Box from Cratejoy is one of the most popular subscription options available on the platform.

4. Garden

Gardening, a beloved pastime among retirees that they do to stay busy, offers numerous health benefits for both body and mind. Engaging in gardening provides excellent exercise, promoting physical well-being and improving hand strength.

Additionally, gardening benefits mental health by reducing stress levels, boosting self-esteem, and enhancing sleep quality due to increased time spent outdoors. Even without a traditional garden, individuals can still enjoy gardening activities at home or on their balcony through options like vertical gardening or cultivating a small herb garden.

Did you know you can also explore gardening through the MasterClass platform? Renowned LA-based fashion designer and Urban Gardening advocate Ron Finley offers a unique course on Urban Gardening, inspired by his popular Ted Talk with over a million views on YouTube.

5. Start A Business

If you’re seeking to stay busy, active, and generate additional income during retirement, starting a new business could be a rewarding endeavor. Becoming an entrepreneur offers the opportunity to pursue a dream, enjoy flexible hours, and be your own boss.

Before diving into entrepreneurship, it’s essential to consider several key steps, including assessing start-up costs, understanding financial risks, researching business viability, and familiarizing yourself with relevant regulations.

By methodically going through these steps, you can gain a clearer understanding of your business idea’s feasibility and decide whether to proceed, thus avoiding wasting valuable retirement time.

Once you’ve completed these preliminary steps, you can establish goals and begin crafting financial and marketing plans to launch your business successfully. Several business ideas requiring minimal start-up capital include blogging, tutoring, coaching, errand running, event planning, and opening an Etsy shop for online sales.

If you need assistance with business formation, consider utilizing a Northwest LLC Agent. They provide comprehensive support in setting up your business, allowing you to focus on the entrepreneurial activities you enjoy.

6. Become A Mentor Or Coach

Sharing your wealth of experience, tips, and tricks within your field or life in general is a fulfilling way to stay busy and active during retirement. Passing on knowledge and ideas to the next generation allows you to pay it forward and contribute to the growth of others.

Many retirees choose to become part-time coaches at their former companies, providing valuable guidance and support to new employees. If you enjoy assisting others in making decisions and finding their purpose, consider becoming a life coach.

As a life coach, you can impart not only your professional expertise but also the wisdom gained from life experiences. Personal growth is a lifelong journey, and many individuals can benefit from guidance along the way.

To enhance your coaching skills, consider visiting Coach Training Alliance, a global platform offering learning opportunities from experienced coaches worldwide.

7. Blog

If you have a passion for writing about specific topics and want to stay busy and engaged, starting a blog can be a rewarding endeavor. Whether you view it as a hobby or a potential business venture, a successful blog can offer financial benefits but requires significant effort.

Starting a blog with the intention of turning it into a business involves more than just choosing a topic and writing. If you simply want to write for enjoyment, such as sharing your retirement adventures, starting a personal blog is a straightforward option.

A personal blog allows you to document new experiences and activities as a retiree. However, if you aim to monetize your blog, conducting research on potential topics is advisable before making a decision.

8. Read Books

Reading is a cherished pastime for retirees, offering relaxation and personal enjoyment—a fun way to stay busy. Creating a reading list of desired book titles can be a fulfilling activity during retirement, ensuring the list reflects personal interests and preferences.

Many retirees seek out books to enrich their retirement experience and enhance fulfillment. Consider exploring the eBook Five Steps To Happiness In Retirement for insights on finding happiness and fulfillment during retirement.

Learning new things is essential for staying mentally fit and sharp during retirement. For more ideas on keeping your brain active in retirement, check out the article How Do I Keep My Brain Active In Retirement. for additional helpful suggestions.

9. Listen To Podcasts

Listening to podcasts has become the contemporary equivalent of tuning into the radio, offering a diverse range of content to stay busy, engaged, inspired, and informed. Whether you have a specific interest or hobby, there’s likely a podcast dedicated to it, providing valuable insights and entertainment.

You can access podcasts through various platforms, such as YouTube, Apple Podcasts (available for iPhone and iPad users), Stitcher, and Spotify. These platforms offer a wide selection of podcasts on virtually any topic imaginable, making it easy to find content that resonates with your interests and preferences.

10. Watch Ted Talks

TED Talks are impactful videos featuring expert speakers discussing a wide range of topics including education, business, science, and many more. These talks are typically 18 minutes or less in duration and are designed to inspire and provide new perspectives on life. It’s a fun way to stay busy and informed.

TED’s mission is to spread ideas freely to influence attitudes, transform lives, and ultimately, change the world. You can access TED Talks online, through Android and iOS apps, or via YouTube, all at no cost, making it easily accessible to anyone seeking knowledge and inspiration.

11. Volunteer

Volunteer work is one of the most popular and fulfilling activities among retirees that they do to stay busy and active, which also offers a sense of purpose and contributing to something larger than oneself. Engaging in volunteer work allows retirees to stay busy, feel productive, and make a positive impact on the lives of others.

There are numerous charities and organizations where retirees can volunteer their time and skills, such as Habitat for Humanity, Peace Corps, and Volunteer.gov. To learn more about why volunteering is highly favored among retirees, consider reading my article titled Why Do Retirees Volunteer for further insight and understanding.

12. Build Your Family Tree

Diving deeper into your family history and constructing a family tree is a rewarding way to stay busy during retirement. Online platforms like Family Echo and Ancestry allow you to build your family tree conveniently and at no cost.

Additionally, websites such as Find My Past and Family Search enable you to trace your ancestors and uncover fascinating details about your family’s past. By delving into your family history, you can gain a deeper understanding of your roots and heritage, making it a fulfilling and enriching activity for retirees.

13. Learn An Instrument

Learning to play a musical instrument can be a fulfilling pursuit to stay busy, especially during retirement. Devoting just one hour a day to practicing can yield significant progress over time.

You can find a wealth of instructional resources on platforms like YouTube, where tutorials cover a wide range of musical instruments. For a more structured and in-depth learning experience, consider enrolling in an online masterclass, such as Carlos Santana’s course on the art and soul of the guitar.

Whether you choose to learn independently through online tutorials or from renowned musicians like Santana, immersing yourself in music can bring joy and a sense of accomplishment during retirement.

14. Meditate

Incorporating meditation to stay busy into your retirement routine can promote mindfulness and overall well-being. Experts recommend meditating twice a day, ideally in the morning and evening, to enhance mindfulness and focus throughout the day while promoting restful sleep at night.

Through meditation, you train your mind in awareness, encouraging you to slow down, breathe, and let things be. The benefits of meditation are vast, including stress reduction, anxiety management, improved emotional health, enhanced self-awareness, and increased concentration span.

The Headspace smartphone app is a valuable tool for meditation, offering guided sessions to help you cultivate mindfulness. Additionally, the first ten guided meditations are available for free, making them accessible for beginners and experienced practitioners alike.

15. Travel

Traveling is an unparalleled experience, offering the opportunity to explore new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories. Whether you journey to distant lands or discover hidden gems near your home, each adventure brings its own unique charm and excitement.

Equip yourself with the best travel gear available to ensure comfort and convenience as you embark on your explorations.

For valuable insights and inspiration, consider reading articles such as Amazing Vacations And Trips For Retirees and How To Retire And Travel Cheap.

If you’re seeking further inspiration for traveling within the United States, 50 States, 5,000 Ideas by National Geographic is a highly recommended book, offering a plethora of captivating destinations to explore.

16. Babysit

Retirement offers the flexibility to spend ample time with family, including the option to babysit grandchildren, which can provide significant savings for your children on childcare expenses.

If you live far from your grandchildren, relocating closer to them is an option to consider, but it’s essential to discuss this decision thoroughly with your family beforehand. While babysitting grandchildren can be a rewarding activity, it’s crucial not to base a relocation solely on this factor.

As grandchildren grow older and require less supervision, retirees may seek other activities to stay busy and fulfilled. Additionally, it’s important to consider the impact of relocation on existing relationships with friends and family who may live elsewhere.

17. Make New Friends

Many retirees are eager to meet new friends and like-minded individuals during retirement, seeking opportunities to stay socially engaged and active.

Joining clubs, participating in group activities, and stepping out of your comfort zone to initiate conversations are effective ways to expand your social circle and foster new relationships.

Online platforms like Meetup offer additional avenues for connecting with active seniors nearby, providing opportunities for social interaction and engagement.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, maintaining a strong social life with various activities and interactions with friends and family is associated with numerous health benefits.

Retirement can sometimes pose challenges in staying socially active, especially if many social contacts are work-related.

If you’re experiencing difficulty in maintaining social engagement during retirement, consider reading the article 20 Ways How To Stay Socially Active for helpful tips and strategies.

18. Exercise

Regular exercise is a key component of staying active during retirement, whether done daily or a few times a week. Engaging in activities like hiking, running, swimming, cycling, or other preferred sports not only maintains physical fitness but also fosters a positive mindset.

Exercise triggers the release of endorphins, known as “feel-good” hormones, contributing to a positive and energized outlook on life. Incorporating physical activity into your routine enhances both physical health and mental well-being, leading to a more fulfilling retirement experience.

The CDC provides valuable information on the importance of staying mentally and physically active as you age, offering effective exercise plans for older adults. Physical activity is crucial for healthy aging, enabling individuals to perform day-to-day activities independently and without reliance on others.

Activities like sports, swimming, and walking/hiking also promote social interaction, allowing individuals to connect with like-minded peers and catch up while staying physically active.

19. Adopt A Pet

If you have a passion for animals, adopting or fostering a pet can be a fulfilling way to stay busy during retirement. Websites like Adopt-a-Pet offer opportunities to find pets available for adoption, providing companionship and purpose.

Alternatively, organizations such as Trusted House Sitters and Pets It USA connect individuals with opportunities to foster pets for others, offering temporary care and support.

Caring for a pet not only provides companionship but also offers a sense of responsibility and fulfillment, enriching your retirement experience.

20. Join A Club

Joining a club is an excellent way to meet new friends and stay engaged during retirement. Consider joining a book club in your neighborhood to discuss and share your love of reading with others.

If you have different interests, you can also set up your own club, catering to your specific hobbies and passions. Social media platforms offer opportunities to explore clubs and groups near you that align with your interests, making it easy to connect with like-minded individuals and expand your social circle.

21. Visit Museums

One of the advantages of aging is access to free or discounted admission to many museums worldwide. Some credit and debit cards, such as those from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, offer free museum admission as a bonus perk.

Research a few museums near you and inquire about senior benefits, which may include discounted or free admission, particularly on certain days like Mondays.

Taking advantage of these opportunities to soak up culture not only keeps you informed and inspired but also provides a fulfilling and engaging activity during retirement.

22. Learn New Skills

With ample time available during retirement, learning a new skill can be a rewarding way to stay busy and engaged. Consider volunteering at a company near you to gain hands-on experience and learn a new skill on the job.

If you prefer DIY projects at home, platforms like Pinterest and YouTube offer a wealth of tutorials and inspiration to learn something new. For the best learning opportunities, seek guidance from renowned teachers and experts in the field, whether through online courses, workshops, or seminars.

23. Get A Job

If you enjoy staying busy and are open to continuing work during retirement, applying for a job can be a viable option. With less pressure to find employment, retirees can be more selective in choosing roles that align with their interests and preferences.

Consider opportunities as a consultant or freelancer, which offer flexible hours and autonomy. Teaching is another fulfilling option, allowing you to share your wisdom and knowledge with the next generation.

Platforms like USAjobs.gov provide access to seasonal and part-time job opportunities at various levels of government, offering diverse options for retirees seeking employment.

Read: The 50 Best Jobs For Retirees

24. Cook

Making meals a feast each day is a wonderful way to stay busy and enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Cooking engages you physically and serves as a stress reliever, leading to a happier disposition.

Studies have shown that cooking stimulates all your senses, requiring you to stay present and reducing worries. Engaging in cooking fosters creativity and can enhance your social life, especially if you start a cooking club to meet new people and make friends.

Improve your cooking skills by enrolling in a MasterClass led by renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay, accessible from the comfort of your home, allowing you to learn cooking techniques like a pro.

25. Write Letters

Writing a letter has the power to brighten someone’s day or week, especially for senior citizens living in nursing facilities who may feel lonely or isolated. Sending a letter can make them feel valued and important, potentially alleviating feelings of loneliness or depression.

Love for the Elderly is an organization that collects letters and distributes them to nursing homes, spreading joy and companionship to residents. Consider taking the time to write a heartfelt letter to a senior citizen in need of connection and positivity, knowing that your gesture can make a meaningful difference in their life.

26. Collect

Collecting objects can be a fulfilling hobby to pursue during retirement, providing entertainment and excitement. Magnet fishing is an adventurous way to collect old items from bodies of water, offering the thrill of discovery as you never know what treasures or artifacts you might find.

Additionally, there are numerous other collecting hobbies to explore, such as action figures, coins, comic books, and many more. Whether you’re interested in historical artifacts, vintage items, or unique treasures, collecting hobbies offers endless possibilities for exploration and enjoyment during retirement.

27. Learn A New Language

Retirement offers an ideal opportunity to learn a foreign language, with options available both at language schools and online. Learning a language online is convenient, requiring only a computer, tablet, or smartphone, allowing you to study while engaging in other activities like cooking, driving, or gardening.

Several online language courses are available, including Babbel and Duolingo, which offer interactive lessons and flexibility to fit your schedule.

Whether you’ve always wanted to learn a new language or wish to brush up on your language skills, now is the perfect time to embark on this enriching journey during retirement.

28. Give Yourself A Break

The key to staying busy during retirement lies in engaging in fulfilling activities that bring happiness rather than merely filling time. Allow yourself to slow down and relax during the initial weeks or months of retirement, creating space for new inspiration and ideas. 

Embrace moments of boredom and disorientation to clear your mind and foster creativity. Taking time to breathe and reflect is essential for discovering what truly brings joy and fulfillment in retirement.

Identify your passions and interests to pursue activities that align with your goals. Setting clear goals helps prioritize your time and ensures each day is spent meaningfully and purposefully.

Balancing relaxation with purposeful activity and goal-setting leads to a fulfilling retirement lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy sleeping routine is crucial for overall well-being in retirement. You might want to get the most comfortable mattress in America to have the total rest you need.

Establishing a daily routine, engaging in fulfilling hobbies, and sticking to a consistent sleeping schedule contribute to a structured retirement day. Explore more insights on structuring your retirement day for optimal satisfaction and fulfillment.


While the initial adjustment to a schedule filled with lots of free time can be challenging, incorporating activities that stimulate your physical, mental, and social well-being can lead to a rich and rewarding retirement experience. Hopefully, this list has provided you with at least two or three ideas that you can integrate into your life to stay active and engaged.

In the meantime, why not stay a while and explore some of my other articles? Here are a few suggestions:

Happy reading!


My wife and I quit the rat race and retired in 2021. We RV'ed around the US for a couple of years and now we're slow traveling outside the US!

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