How Can I Keep My Retirement Busy? 25 Ways To Stay Busy


How Can I Keep My Retirement Busy? It is a question many retirees ask themself once they’re retired. Staying busy in retirement can be challenging. It takes a while to adjust to an open schedule. But I’m here to help you out.

You Can Keep Your Retirement Busy By:

  • Writing a book,
  • Get a volunteer job,
  • Listen to podcasts,
  • Start a new business,
  • Meditate,
  • Find a (new) hobby,
  • Go traveling,
  • Learn a new skill,
  • Learn to play an instrument,
  • Build your family tree
  • Babysit your grandchildren.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. To make things easier for you, I’ve created a list with 25 ways to stay busy during your retirement with helpful tips in this article. Also, I’ll share some information about why it is important to keep yourself busy in retirement. Ready to find out more? Let’s dig in!

Thank you for supporting Retirement Tips and Tricks: Please note that some links in this article are affiliate links. When you make a purchase using these links, we may get a small commission, at no extra cost to you.

#1 Write a book

Writing a book is a great way to stay busy. If you love writing, this can be your new activity. You can either write a novel, write your memoirs, or start a family history book.

A lot of retirees like to write a family history book so they can pass it on to the next generation. Maybe you have an attic filled with boxes with photos, scraps, and letters that you want to organize. If you don’t have the inspiration right away, you can go through all the photos, and the memories and the inspiration will come to you. Or apply for an online Writing Masterclass with the best teachers in the world.

You can apply for an online Masterclass and get writing lessons from the best writers in the world. For example; Dan Brown, Malcolm Gladwell or Judy Blume. Get more info about Masterclass here.

#2 Start a (new) business

If you like to stay busy and earn some extra money during your retirement, you can start a new business. Now, you have the time to pursue a dream and become an entrepreneur where you can have flexible hours and be your own boss.

Before starting a business, you want to consider a couple of steps: what are the start-up costs, what are the financial risks you need to know about, you want to research the viability of your business, and learn about any local, state, or federal regulations.

If you consciously go through these steps, you have a better understanding of what your business should be and if you want to pursue it before wasting your well-deserved retirement time. After these steps, you can set a goal and start creating financial and marketing plans to start with your business.

These are businesses that don’t require a lot of start-up money: blogging, tutoring, coaching, errand running, planning, or organizing events. You can open an Etsy shop and start selling online.

#3 Listen to podcasts

Listening to podcasts is the new modern way of listening to the radio. Its a great way to stay busy, get inspired, and be informed. If you have an interest or hobby, there is a good chance there is a podcast about it.

You can watch and listen to podcasts on YouTube. If you have an iPhone or Ipad, you can download the free app Apple Podcasts, where you can search for podcasts on any type of topic. You can also go to Stitcher and Spotify to listen to podcasts.

#4 Get inspired by watching TedTalks

TED Talks are influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, technology, psychology, and global issues. The talks are usually 18 minutes or less. It really inspires you and gives you new perspectives on life.

Their mission is to spread ideas for free to change attitudes, lives, and, ultimately, the world. You can watch and listen to TED online and via Android and iOS apps or on YouTube — all for free.

#5 Get a volunteer job

One of the best ways to stay busy is to do volunteer work. It’s the most popular thing to do among retirees, and there are so many charities where you can get involved and help others. It’s a good way to stay busy, feel productive, and helping others gives you the feeling you’re contributing to something bigger. It can be one of the most fulfilling activities within your retirement.

Find Volunteer jobs here:

#6 Build your Family Tree

What a better way to stay busy during your retirement is to dive deeper into your family history and build a family tree. On Family Echo and Ancestry, you can build your family tree online for free. And on Find My Past and Family Search, you can trace your ancestors.

#7 Learn to play an instrument

Have you ever wished you could play guitar, piano or another musical instrument? Well, maybe now is the perfect time to learn it. If you learn an instrument one hour a day, you will be surprised at how much you’ve learned after a year. Watch YouTube tutorials to learn your instrument.

Or learn from the best and apply for an Online Masterclass of Carlos Santana that teaches the art and soul of the guitar.

#8 Start meditating

If you want to be more mindful in your retirement, than meditating is the best way to accomplish that. The experts say that meditating twice a day (morning and evening) is the best approach. It allows you to be more mindful and focused during all the activities during the day, and it helps you to sleep more peacefully at night.

With meditation, you’re training your mind in awareness. It reminds you to breathe, slow down, and let things be. The benefits of meditations are endless: it reduces stress, controls anxiety, promotes emotional health, and enhances self-awareness and your concentration span. The smartphone app, Headspace is a great tool that helps you meditate. The first ten guided meditations are free

#9 Find a (new) hobby

With all the free time on your hand, you want to stay busy with things that make you happy. Finding a (new) hobby is a good way to stay busy during your retirement. Rediscover the old hobby you use to like as a kid or find a new hobby that gets’ you excited waking up every morning. Check out the following articles:

#10 Go traveling

Nothing beats traveling. It’s all about seeing new places and experiencing new things. You can travel to the other side of the world or see new places every day near you. Get yourself the best travel gear out there and explore all the beauty the world has to offer you.

Read more:

#11 Babysit your grandchildren

One of the perks of being retired is that you can spend as much time with your family as you want. You can stay busy by babysitting your grandchildren that will save your children a lot of money on childcare.

If you don’t live close to your grandchildren, you can consider moving closer. Make sure to speak about this with your family before moving. Besides babysitting your grandchildren, you want to make sure you’re not only moving for them.

When they get older, they don’t need babysitting anymore, and you want to stay busy with other activities as well. Or don’t want to leave to many friends and family behind that you love to visit on a regular basis.

#12 Start gardening

One of the most favorite things to stay busy among retirees is to gardening. It’s a very healthy way to spend your retirement time. It’s good for your body and mind. It’s an excellent exercise for your body and healthy for your mind because the benefits of gardening are: it reduces stress, grows your self-esteem, improves hand strength, and you will sleep better because you’ve spent enough time outdoors.

If you don’t have a garden, don’t worry! There are plenty of opportunities for gardening within your home or balcony. Check out this great masterclass for more inspiration:

#13 Make new friends

Many retirees want to meet up with like-minded people and want to make friends. The best way to make new friends is to become more active, like joining clubs and apply for group activities in your neighborhood. So get out of your comfort zone, put yourself out there, and start conversations the old fashioned way. Or you can go online and find active seniors nearby you with Meet Up.

In the How To Retire Guide you will get in-depth information about the health benefits of being social in retirement. And in the book, I show you all the ways on how to stay social in retirement and how you can structure your retirement and balance between fun retirement projects and relaxing time.

Stay busy by making new friends

#14 Exercise every day

Exercising every day or a couple of days a week is a good way to stay busy during your retirement. You can either go hiking in nature parks near you, go running, swimming, cycling or any other type of sport you love doing. Staying active helps you to stay fit and helps to have to keep a positive mind.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These hormones trigger a positive feeling in the body and give you a positive and energizing outlook on life.

#15 Adopt or foster a pet

If you love animals, then adopting or foster a pet is something you might like to do to stay busy during your retirement. You can check the website: adopt a pet or check the website of organizations like Trustedhousesitters and PetsitUSA for fostering pets of others.

#16 Join a club

Joining a club is a great way to meet new friends and stay busy. You can join a book club in your neighborhood or set up your club if you have other interests. With Meet Up you can check out clubs near you that you can join.

#17 Become a mentor

Passing on all your experience, tips and tricks within your field or just life in general to the next generation is a productive way to stay busy during your retirement. It’s a good feeling to pay it forward and spread your knowledge and ideas. You can become a mentor through organizations like Mentoring and the National Service.

#18 Visit museums for free

One of the perks of being older is that you can have free or discounted admission to a lot of museums worldwide. Even some credit and debit cards (Bank of America and Merrill Lynch) offer free museum admission as a bonus. Google a couple of museums near you and find out what benefits you can have as a senior. Sometimes it is discounted admission or free admission on Mondays. Soaking up some culture every now and then keeps you informed, inspired and busy.

#19 Learn a new skill

With all the time in the world, there are so many opportunities to keep you busy and learning a new skill can be one of them. You can volunteer at a company near you if you’re interested in learning a new skill on the job. Or if you like to have your Do It Yourself projects at home then Pinterest and YouTube are a good source to learn something new. But the best opportunity to learn something new is from the best teachers in the world.

#20 Apply for a job

If you like to stay busy and earn some extra cash and don’t mind continue working during your retirement than applying for a job can be a great option. There is less pressure on finding a job so you can be more selective in finding the right jobs that fit you.

With a job as a consultant or freelancer, you can have flexible hours. You can also become a teacher so you can pass on all your wisdom and knowledge to the next generation. At USAjobs.gov you can apply for seasonal and part-time jobs at state, county, and city governments.

Read more:

#21 Start cooking

You have to eat every day so why not make your meals a feast? It’s a great way to stay busy because breakfast, lunch, and dinner are repeating every day. And because you do something physical its a great stress releaser. Studies have shown that you become a happier person because you use all your senses for cooking. You need to stay present and that’s why there is less room for worrying over your problems.

With cooking, you even become more creative and socially popular if you’re getting good at it ;). Start a cooking club so you can meet new people and make new friends. And if you need recipe ideas just scroll through Pinterest to get inspiration for your next meal.

#22 Write letters

You have the power to make someone’s day or week by writing a letter. A lot of senior citizens living in nursing facilities report feeling lonely, isolated, or even depressed. By writing a letter you can change this and make them feel important again. Love for the Elderly collects all the letters and spread them around nursing homes.

#23 Start collecting

Collecting objects is a great way to stay busy during your retirement. Magnet fishing is an adventurous way of collecting old things. You never know what comes out of the water, maybe its junk but maybe its a treasure.

Other collecting hobbies are Action figure, Antiquing, Art, Books, Coins, Comic books, Dolls, Knives, Rail transport modeling, Perfume, Stones, Stamps, Rocks, Fossils, Vintage Records, Vintage Cars, Insects, Sea Shells.

#24 Learn a new language

If you ever wanted to learn a foreign language, maybe this is the perfect time for you. You can apply for a language school near you or learn it online. The only thing you need is a computer, tablet or smartphone so you can learn a new language while cooking, driving or gardening.

Here are a couple of online language courses you can check out:

#25 Give yourself a break first

The most important thing about staying busy during your retirement is not to stay busy just to stay busy. You want to fill up your time with fulfilling activities that make you happy. So you need to give yourself a break first. Enjoy the first couple of weeks or months to slow down and get out of the rushed and productive way of living you’re used to.

You need time and space to clear your mind and to have room for new inspiration, ideas, and perspectives on how you want to spend your time in retirement. It’s okay to feel bored and disoriented because that mindset is needed to let the creativity flow later on. You will not find out what you want in life if you don’t give yourself the time to breathe first.

After giving yourself a break and you know what you want to do you can start getting busy as much as you like. And the best way to prioritize your time is to set a goal. This way you know where you want to go and every day you know exactly what to do and how you want to spend your retirement time.

If you have trouble structuring your retirement days, setting new life goals and replacing old routines with new routines in retirement, I can highly recommended getting my book: How To Retire Guide. It’s a handbook that helps you to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling retired life. And it includes FREE bonus material such as a retirement weekly schedule template that will help you create an awesome and balanced retirement day. Every day of the week. And so much more.

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The Importance Of Staying Busy

Staying busy in life, and thus in retirement, helps with healthy aging and staying fit. It’s actually better to use the phrase Staying Active instead of Staying Busy.

The term ‘busy’ can be associate with being too busy, not having time for yourself, and causing stress, and that is something you want to avoid in retirement.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, it is important to be socially engaged, busy, and active. In this article, they mention that having a strong social life, with different activities and interacting with different friends and family, is linked to many health benefits.

When you’re retiring, it can sometimes be a challenge to stay socially active. A lot of contacts for many people are work-related, and when they stop working, there’s a possibility of less social interaction. If you’re experiencing this, you might find it helpful to read my article 20 Ways How To Stay Socially Active.

Benefits of Staying Mentally and Physically Active

The CDC shares a lot of helpful information on why it is important to stay both mentally and physically active, especially when you’re aging. They even share effective exercising plans for older adults, which you can find in this article on the website of the CDC.

In the same article I referred to above, the CDC mentions that physical activity is essential to healthy aging. It is widely known that staying fit and physically strong helps you with doing your day to day activities without being dependent on others.

Physical activities like sports, swimming, walking/ hiking, also help with staying socially active. Often people share their moderate physical activity moments with like-minded people. It is a chance to catch up with one other.

Social interactions are also essential to stay mentally active. When talking with other people, your brain needs to work to process the interactions. Next to social engagement, another great way of staying mentally active is to keep learning.

You’re never too old to learn, right?! Learning new things helps you stay mentally fit and sharp. In my article, ‘How Do I Keep My Brain Active In Retirement?‘, I’ll share some other helpful ideas on how to stay mentally active.

A great way to learn new things is following a course via Masterclass, where you can learn from the best in the world.

Recommended Articles

These articles might be helpful for you to read as well:

Related Questions

What are the good things about being retired? The good thing about being retired is that you feel less stressed, you have more time to spend with family and friends, you can do things you love, you can be more spontaneous, go travel and spend the day exactly how you want to spend it.

How do you stay healthy after retirement? The best ways to stay healthy is to stay active, exercise, surround yourself with loving people, limit your time on watching TV and scrolling the internet, do something fun every day, spend time on things you love, volunteer and make your social circle bigger instead of smaller. And maintain a healthy sleeping routine. And to help yourself, you can get the most comfortable mattress in America.

How do you structure your retirement day? Having a daily routine, having fulfilling hobbies and sticking to a sleeping schedule is a great start to having a more structured retirement day. Read more about how to structure your retirement day.

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my boyfriend Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. With my articles, I want to help people enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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