30 Awesome New Things To Learn After 50

Turning 50 is a big deal. You’ve lived half a century and it perhaps feels like you’re entering a new chapter in life. Some people see it as the second part of life, others feel like they’re entering the last part of life and have the urge to experience and learn as many things as possible. It’s a time to reflect on the past, but also make plans for the future about what you would love to experience and learn. And that is why I wrote this article to help you out.

Here are 30 amazing new things to learn after 50:

1) Cook Like A Pro

Wouldn’t it be great to cook like a pro? From making the perfect poached egg for breakfast, creating your own signature dish, perfecting a famous family recipe for your next family reunion to learning more about ingredients, and the technical part of cooking. It’s fun to get better at cooking after 50 whether you are already experienced or a beginner. It benefits not only you but also your entire family when you know how to cook like a professional chef.

So before you wonder how, I know the perfect platform where you can learn from the best chefs in the world: Masterclass.

It’s a video streaming platform with over 18 cooking masterclasses from renowned chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller, Alice Waters, Gabriela Camara, Massimo Bottura, and so many more. These masterclasses are for everyone and any skill level, from learning how to cook Italian, Mexican, Japanese, and French Pastry to the cooking fundamentals. There is a cooking class that will fit anyone. And with a subscription, you do not only have access to all the cooking classes on the platform but also over 100 different other classes from the world’s best experts. Now learning new things after 50 suddenly gets very easy.

2) Survive In The Wild

Perhaps you’re not dreaming of being stranded on a deserted island or want to get lost in the wild, knowing that you can survive is perhaps a soothing feeling, right? Or maybe you do have plans to get out into nature more now that you turned 50 perhaps you need to learn about surviving in the wilderness.

Knowing how to build a fire, a shelter, gathering food, and where to find water is fun but also life-changing skills at some moment in time. Learning how to survive in the wild takes you back to your roots because not long ago we all needed these skills.

You can learn more about surviving in the wild from a book or from a former Air Force SERE like Jessie Krebs.

3) Play A Musical Instrument

Another awesome thing to learn after 50 is to learn to play a (new) musical instrument. Although it’s proven that it takes longer to learn to play an instrument when you’re older, research also shows that an older brain can function 30 years younger within a couple of weeks when it’s challenged enough like with learning a new instrument.

So if you ever have the desire to learn to play a musical instrument. Now is the time to do it. You can apply for a local music class, watch YouTube tutorials or learn from famous professionals on Masterclass: Tom Morello teaches Electric Guitar, Itzhak Perlman teaches Violin, Sheila A. teaches Drumming and Percussion, etc.

4) A New Sport

Why not pick up a new sport after 50? Learn how to play golf, basketball, swimming, inline skating, cycling, walking football, frisbee, soccer, volleyball. Should I go on?

5) Write A Book/ Poetry or Music

Many people like to take up writing when they’re older. They have the desire to write a book and if this is something that interests you too, why not go for it? You can learn how to write thrillers, romantic novels, poetry, film scripts, science fiction, etc.

Masterclass the platform that I mentioned earlier also offers many writing and storytelling classes from the world’s best writers such as Shonda Rhimes, Margaret Atwood, Dan Brown, James Patterson, Billy Collins within the same subscription. One subscription gives access to all classes.

6) Grow Vegetables

Learn how to grow your own vegetables has many benefits and that is why it can be a good thing to learn after 50. It’s not only better for your own health because you eat it’s more nutritious, you stay active and because of your hands in the soil, it is also good for the environment. You can even do it indoors if you don’t have a (big) garden with a starter growing kit.

7) (Basic) Home Repairs

Another awesome thing to learn after 50 is basic home repairs. It can save you a lot of money on a handyman once you become great at it. From fixing leaks, repairing a wall to unclogging sinks there are many tutorials on YouTube where you can learn these basic home repairs.

8) How To Draw

Are you a creative person or want to be more creative, then learning how to draw is a nice new thing to learn. And there are so many youtube videos out there that teach you how to draw from step-by-step videos on portraits and landscapes to sketching basics.

9) (Basic) Car Repairs

Another practical but also fun to learn after 50 is basic car repairs. I have a 15-year-old Toyota Yaris where I’ve done most of the basic car repairs together with my dad. And this knowledge did become in handy because we traveled for 8 months through Europe with a rooftop tent on top of this car and we didn’t have any problems except for one in Marrocco. And because I knew the car I wasn’t totally ignorant when they told me what was wrong with it.

So what I’m trying to say is that if I know how to do basic car repairs, you can learn it very easily too. And did I mention I love it too?!

10) Dancing

It’s never too late to start dancing. So why not learn how to dance after 50?

Perhaps you’re an experienced dancer and you want to explore other styles, you want to pick up from where you’ve left off many years ago or this is something you’ve never done before. All the more reason to pursue dancing. Besides, it’s fun it also has so many health benefits you can read about here.

Check out if there is a dancing class available in your area with any of these styles: line-dancing, hip hop, ballroom, Latin, tap, modern. Perhaps your local community center offers lessons for 50 plus-year-olds. You’ll have 40 years of practice ahead to become such as flexible and swinging as this 90-year old dancing couple:

11) Positive Thinking

Positive thinking is a key factor in stress management. If your desire after 50 is to live a more stress-free life full of enthusiasm, energy, and love then learn how to think more positively is an excellent way to start. It not only improves your mood but it also improves your immune system and can increase lifespan according to this study.

But where to start? Here are few things you can start with: consciously turning negative self-talk into positive talk, surround yourself with positive people as much as possible, find the humor and positive in every negative. And you can use this journal No Worries as your everyday guide.

12) Gardening

Do you have a garden but haven’t really paid a lot of attention to it? Well, now can be a great time to learn more about gardening. And the best man for that job is Ron Finley, who can teach gardening no matter the size of your space.

13) Meditation

Meditation is such a powerful skill to master that actually anyone should learn it no matter what age. Although its origins in Buddism it has nothing to do with religion.

Meditation is a breathing technique that gives you the ability to slow down your face-paced thoughts and give you a sense of calm, peace, and balance which benefits your overall well-being. It eases your brain, which helps you to have a more calming day no matter the circumstances. I meditate on a regular basis and experienced the huge benefits, so I recommend to everyone to at least try it out. Only by experiencing meditation, you can understand the power of it.

Jon Kabat-Zinn will teach you all about it in his Meditation and Mindfulness Masterclass.

14) Surfing

According to the article: Why Surfing Is So Ridiculously Addictive “After catching some solid waves we’re happier, friendlier, and more relaxed. The endorphins, adrenalin, and serotonin we receive from surfing combined with the dopamine from the unexpected reward of waves make surfers not only feel good but wanting more. The fact is, if we’re not surfing, we’re thinking about surfing, and that’s just in our nature.”

Now wouldn’t you also want to feel this? You don’t have to be an experienced surfer to also catch this addictive feeling. Every beginner has it too. I can confirm myself. Not at all good at wave surfing, but absolutely love it. And try to catch some waves wherever I can.

And there are so many different sorts of surfing that you can choose from depending on your interest and physical level: wave surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, etc.

15) Solo Skydiving

Okay, solo skydiving is a very extreme new thing to learn at 50, but if you are an adventurous man or woman. Why not? I thought I just put this idea out there for the 50 plus adrenaline junkies, because what can feel freer in life than flying through the air.

16) How To Restore A Classic Car

My dad bought a restored Chevrolet Corvette from 1959 20 years ago and now in his retirement, he is restoring it again to a totally new car by himself and with the help of a couple of friends. These friends own an American Car garage so they know what to do, but never did a project like this so they learn on the job.

If you’re a huge fan of classic car restoration TV shows then this can be a great time to stop watching and start doing a restoration. Find a classic car and learn as you go.

17) Family History

Dive into your family history and learn more about your ancestors and indirectly more about you.

With the help of My Heritage DNA Kit, you can get information about your own DNA and discover relatives who share DNA segments that might be inherited from the same common ancestor. They have a huge database that can match you with relatives all over the world.

18) How To Live Healthier

Everyone wants to live as long and as healthy as possible, but not everyone is doing something about it every day that aligns with this desire. And especially when you get older, staying healthy is important. Your health is wealth. You can’t do fun things without being healthy.

So it’s a great idea and don’t let it just be a new year’s resolution to learn more about all the things you can do to maintain a healthy life. Good nutrition, and staying mentally, physically, and socially active are the keys to a healthy life. But there are more lessons you can learn and that is why this book: The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest is an excellent read.

19) A Magic Trick

Did you love to watch magicians as a kid? Then learning a magic trick is perhaps something for you to do in your fifties. It’s great to impress your friends and family at parties.

You can now learn from the legendary magicians Penn & Teller who are the longest-running headline act in Las Vegas. Curious to find out more about their online Masterclass, click here.

20) Investing

The experts will tell you to start investing money as early as possible because investing is all about the long term. It takes a couple of decades to build wealth. But if you haven’t started yet you can always learn now and do it just for fun now and see what happens in a couple of decades. If you can’t benefit from it, you can build something for your children or grandchildren.

21) How To Start A Business

Always wanting to be your own boss? Why not start a small business and learn while you go. There are many entrepreneurs that become successful late in life like Steve Jobs for example. And did you know that the average age of startup founders is 45? So if you think it’s too late to start a business, you’re wrong.

You can do it with the aim of leaving your job as soon as possible or just as a nice hobby and you’ll see where it goes. On Masterclass you can find a lot of interesting Business related masterclass that will help you learn more about owning and starting a business. For example, Sara Blakely teaches Self-made Entrepreneurship, Bob Iger teaches Business Strategy and Leadership.

22) A New Hobby

Don’t know what to do with your spare time? Then perhaps it’s time to learn a new hobby. Don’t know where to find your new hobby? Don’t worry I’ve written an entire article to help you out: How To Find A Hobby That You’ll Love: 9 Tips

23) Learn More About A Different Culture

I love to learn about different cultures. That is why I love to travel and meet other people, ask about their stories, and discover interesting details. We loved it so much that we even started a youtube channel to upload videos about other cultures. If this is something you love doing too then you might want to watch our Maori Documentary:

24) Grill The Perfect Steak

Do you love to BBQ in your backyard? Then perfecting your grill skills might be something on your bucket list.

Did you know you can learn from the Award-winning owner of Franklin Barbecue, Aaron Franklin? Watch his Texas Style BBQ Masterclass where he teaches you the slow process for his famous ribs, pork butt, and brisket. So, the next time you host a pool party or family reunion you can show off your new grilling skills.

25) Brewing

Homebrewing has become so popular in the last couple of years. Quarantine might have something to do with it.

A great new thing to learn after 50 is brewing your own beer if you’re a beer lover. Or wine if you’re a wine lover. This way cocktail hour with your spouse or friends becomes that much more special. This Craft Beer Kit from Mr. Beer will get you started.

26) Scientific Facts

There is so much we don’t know. If biology, science, or chemistry were some of your favorite subjects in high school you can make it your mission to learn more scientific facts about the human body, brain, animals, nature, universe, planets, dinosaurs. For example the book: The Science Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained is an interesting read.

27) CPR And First Aid

You never know what can happen in the future so being prepared will leave you less anxious. Learning how to do CPR and First Aid is fun now but might be life-saving in the future. You always hope you don’t need it, but having the knowledge and the skills might become in handy some time.

28) Basic Self Defence

Another new thing to learn after 50 you hope you don’t need, but can be useful is basic self-defense. For the obvious reason, it helps to defend yourself when in danger but it does so much more to you. It builds confidence, strength and improves your balance. All skills that are helpful as you age. And applying for a self-defense class creates the opportunity to learn new people. Perhaps there you meet a new friend as well.

29) Learn A New Language

Learning a new language at an older age just like any other new skill improves cognitive brain function.

The best way to start is to choose a language you’re interested in, because it’s easier to spend time on a culture or language you have a genuine interest in. And the next step is to start learning. You can apply for a foreign language class or take the more easy route and install an app like Busuu. It was named the #1 language learning application in 2020. You can speak a language with just 10 minutes a day.

30) Ride A Bike

According to this article, 6% of Americans don’t know how to ride a bike. If that applies to you. Then learning how to ride a bike is definitely something on your bucket list after 50. Ask your friend, neigbour or familymember who knows how to ride a bike to teach you. Or just do it yourself. A kid knows how to ride a bike, so why don’t you?!

Kirsten Veldman

Since 2017, my husband and I have been location-independent retirees. With hundreds of articles written, I'm passionate about helping other retirees!

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