Life After Work: 30 Fun Early Retirement Activities

You’ve achieved early retirement and are looking for early retirement activities to do with your newfound freedom. Well, you’ve come to the right place! This article lists 30 fun things to do when you’re retired early. Let’s get started right away with number one on the list.

1. Apply For Fun Classes

If you’ve ever thought you’ve always wanted to learn something new, then retirement offers the perfect opportunity to do it. You now have time to pursue new interests, and here’s a fantastic tip to get you started!

Whatever your passion may be, Masterclass offers a plethora of captivating courses for you to explore at your leisure. Whether it’s gardening, music, science, business, tennis, magic, Italian/Mexican or BBQ cooking, basketball, and beyond, there’s a class tailored just for you.

2. Redecorate Your Home

Redecorating becomes a fun and creative project, allowing you to fall in love with your home all over again. Whether it’s upgrading the kitchen, spicing up the living room, or freshening up the bedroom, retirement provides the perfect opportunity for home improvement.

Kelly Wearstler’s online Masterclass offers valuable advice and inspiration for interior design, suitable for beginners and experienced individuals alike. Through 17 video lessons, the award-winning designer shares insights on creating spaciousness, selecting colors and materials, working with natural light, and developing a distinctive style.

3. Enjoy Good Books

Reading offers a unique form of escapism, allowing you to explore other worlds from the comfort of your home. With a Kindle Ereader, access to millions of ebooks and audiobooks makes retirement even more enjoyable and interesting.

Reading is not just entertainment; it’s also essential for keeping the brain active and healthy during retirement. Whether you’re at home, by the pool, or on the beach, bringing along your e-reader ensures you always have access to your favorite books.

4. Watch Back Old Tapes

Many retirees enjoy reminiscing and reliving old memories. Legacybox offers a convenient way to digitize old tapes, making it easy to watch and share cherished memories with family and friends.

With Legacybox, you can digitize various formats, ensuring that your precious memories are preserved for future generations. The process is simple and convenient, with step-by-step instructions and pre-paid shipping labels provided for easy return.

By digitizing your old tapes, you can create a family book and distribute it along with the digitalized media, becoming the family historian and ensuring that your memories are enjoyed by all.

5. Have A Happy Hour Every Day

Savor every moment and enjoy a relaxing drink at the end of the day now that you’re retired. While moderation is key, indulging in a glass of wine or beer can enhance the retirement experience.

Creating a daily ritual of unwinding and relaxation helps to fully appreciate and enjoy retirement. Consider getting creative with new cocktails or subscribing to clubs like The Original Craft Beer Club or The California Wine Club for curated selections delivered to your doorstep.

Hosting wine tastings or inviting friends over to enjoy drinks together adds a social element to your daily happy hour routine.

6. Start A Business

Regain control over your life and become your own boss. Many retirees choose to start a (small) business to enjoy flexibility in working hours and pursue a new life purpose.

Whether you’re building on a hobby or venturing into something entirely new, it’s crucial to pursue something you love and ensure financial feasibility. Starting small allows you to test the waters and assess market potential before investing heavily.

Consider seeking support from services like NorthWest Registered Agent for worry-free assistance in starting your business in retirement.

7. Get Into Arts And Crafts

Rediscover and nurture your innate creativity through arts and crafts. Engaging in arts and crafts activities not only offers enjoyment but also contributes to better aging by providing a sense of purpose and boosting self-esteem.

Activities like knitting or diamond painting can be meditative and enjoyable, allowing retirees to spend hours immersed in their craft. Embracing arts and crafts in retirement fosters a more fulfilling and happy retired life.

Subscribing to services like the Arts and Crafts Crate from CrateJoy or exploring resources like 365 Days of Art can provide endless inspiration and opportunities to learn new techniques.

Read: 25 Creative Art Therapy Projects For Seniors

8. Do Volunteer Work

Volunteering is a rewarding way for retirees to fill their days with purpose and fulfillment. Engaging in volunteer work helps retirees stay active, maintain social connections, and combat loneliness in retirement.

Volunteering opportunities abound, from local soup kitchens and senior centers to programs like Senior Corps. Utilizing volunteering agencies such as VolunteerMatch,, or Volunteers of America can help retirees find meaningful opportunities that align with their interests and skills.

Giving back to the community through volunteer work not only benefits others but also brings a sense of satisfaction and joy to retirees.

Read: Why Do Retirees Volunteer

9. Get Fit

Retiring early means aiming for a long and healthy retirement, as you’ve worked hard to enjoy it fully. Prioritize physical, mental, and social fitness, recognizing that these aspects are essential for a fulfilling retired lifestyle.

Physical activity helps maintain strength and vitality, with tools like the Cronometer app offering easy tracking of nutrition, fitness, and health data.

Keeping the brain active is crucial for preserving cognitive skills and reducing dementia risk, with resources like the book 399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young offering engaging ways to stay mentally sharp.

Social activity is equally vital in retirement, as it combats feelings of loneliness and depression, contributing to overall well-being.

10. Enjoy Your Morning Coffee

Now that you’re retired, savor a leisurely morning cup of coffee or tea without the rush of work. This simple pleasure symbolizes the ultimate feeling of retirement, where you can relax in your pajamas, read the newspaper, and anticipate a day full of possibilities.

Incorporating a gourmet coffee moment into your daily routine creates momentum and structure, positively impacting your mood and setting the tone for the rest of the day. A consistent morning routine is essential for starting the day on a positive note, helping you stay focused, energized, and motivated to make the most of retirement.

Enhance your coffee experience by subscribing to Beanbox for artisan coffees delivered to your door every month, adding an extra touch of indulgence to your morning ritual.

11. Get Into Gardening

Gardening is a popular and healthy activity for retirees, offering numerous benefits for overall well-being. Engaging in manual labor like digging and planting burns calories and provides excellent physical exercise.

Spending time outdoors while gardening boosts the immune system and promotes overall health. Gardening encourages creativity and living in the moment, relieving stress and benefiting mental well-being.

Even without a green thumb, gardening offers valuable benefits, and resources like Ron Finley’s online Masterclass provide opportunities to learn and improve gardening skills. Vertical gardening is a space-saving option for retirees with limited outdoor space, allowing them to grow their own vegetables and herbs and enjoy the pleasures of gardening.

12. Write A Book

Consider writing a novel, memoir, work stories, family history, or poetry collection as potential book projects.

The Writer’s Toolbox is a valuable resource for getting into the creative writer’s mindset and enhancing your writing skills. Writing a book allows you to share your experiences, creativity, and knowledge with others.

Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, writing can be a fulfilling and rewarding endeavor in retirement.

13. Go Back To School

Early retirement presents an opportunity to pursue educational interests and continue learning. Many colleges in the United States offer discounted or free programs for seniors, allowing retirees to further their education without financial burden.

These programs range from shorter-term courses to complete degree programs, catering to the diverse interests and goals of retirees. Resources like lists of colleges offering programs for seniors or inquiries at nearby community colleges can help retirees find suitable educational opportunities.

Going back to school in retirement enables individuals to expand their knowledge, develop new skills, and engage in lifelong learning pursuits.

14. Find A New Hobby

Embracing hobbies enhances happiness and fulfillment in retirement. Retirees can discover new hobbies by joining activities enjoyed by friends, children, or grandchildren or exploring interests independently.

For guidance on finding a retirement hobby, consider reading my article How To Get A Retirement Hobby for valuable insights. Additionally, explore another article of mine, The Best Hobbies In Retirement, which can provide inspiration and ideas for enjoyable pastimes.

Whether it’s crafting, gardening, photography, or something entirely new, finding a hobby in retirement adds meaning and joy to everyday life.

15. Visiting Far-Away Family

Retirement is also the best time to prioritize spending time with loved ones. Visiting family members, especially those who live far away, becomes a top priority in retirement.

Take advantage of the extra time in retirement to make the effort to visit distant relatives and enjoy quality time together. Turning a visit into a short holiday allows for a change of scenery and provides a refreshing break from routine.

Spending time with family rejuvenates the mind and strengthens bonds, adding joy and fulfillment to retirement.

16. Babysit Your Grandchildren

Babysitting grandchildren is a rewarding way to spend quality time together and strengthen family bonds in retirement. It also provides practical support for your children by saving them money on childcare expenses.

Engaging with grandchildren keeps retirees busy and brings a sense of youthfulness and joy. While babysitting can be a fulfilling activity, it’s important not to commit to regular childcare obligations until you’ve fully explored your interests and priorities in retirement.

Keeping an open agenda allows retirees to experience the freedom of retirement before making long-term commitments, ensuring they make choices aligned with their desires and goals.

17. Go On A Date

If you’re still single, explore new romantic opportunities and go on a date. Online dating sites like eHarmony cater to seniors looking for serious relationships.

eHarmony’s compatibility matching system simplifies the process of finding potential matches based on age, city, or location. Various subscription plans are available, but you can start with a free trial to test the waters and see if online dating is right for you. 

Who knows, you might just find the love of your life and embark on a new chapter of companionship and happiness in retirement.

18. Declutter Your Home

Decluttering your home is a beneficial activity in retirement, reducing stress and creating more time for enjoyable pursuits. It involves actively removing unnecessary items to focus on what truly matters in life.

Starting with small steps, such as decluttering for just five minutes a day or giving away one item daily, can make the process manageable. Seeking assistance from a friend can provide motivation and support during the decluttering process.

Applying the one-year rule helps in determining what to keep or discard by assessing whether an item has been used in the past year. If not, it’s likely unnecessary and can be sold or given away.

19. Create A Retirement Bucket List

Crafting a retirement bucket list is a valuable exercise for setting goals and aspirations for your retirement years. It allows you to envision and prioritize the experiences and accomplishments you want to achieve.

Resources like my article 101+ Ideas For Your Retirement Bucket List or books like The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small provide inspiration and ideas for your list.

Your retirement bucket list can encompass a wide range of activities, from travel adventures to personal achievements and meaningful experiences. By creating a retirement bucket list, you can make the most of your retirement years and ensure that you fulfill your dreams and aspirations.

20. Go Stargazing

Stargazing offers a serene and awe-inspiring experience, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the night sky. The best stargazing locations are dark spots with minimal light pollution, which you can find using a Dark Sky Place finder.

These designated areas restrict artificial light pollution, providing optimal conditions for viewing the stars. Some perfect stargazing places in the USA include Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah, Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and the New Mexico True Dark Skies Trail.

21. Foster A Pet

Fostering a pet in retirement is a rewarding way to give back to the community and provide temporary care for homeless animals. As a foster pet parent, you can take care of cats, dogs, or other animals until they find permanent homes.

Websites like provide information and opportunities for fostering pets, allowing retirees to get involved and make a difference in the lives of animals in need. Fostering a pet offers companionship, purpose, and the joy of nurturing an animal in transition.

22. Travel

Traveling is an enriching and fulfilling experience, adding excitement and adventure to your retired life. Exploring both local and foreign destinations allows retirees to meet new people, see beautiful places, and immerse themselves in different cultures.

If your retirement savings allow it, prioritize traveling as much as possible to make the most of your golden years.

Resources like articles offering travel tips and inspiration, such as How To Travel The World After Retirement and The 25 Best Retirement Road Trip Ideas, provide valuable insights and ideas for planning your travels.

Whether it’s embarking on a world adventure or enjoying a road trip closer to home, traveling in retirement offers endless opportunities for discovery, relaxation, and personal growth.

23. Listen To Podcasts

Podcasts offer a convenient and popular way to explore various topics and stay informed while multitasking. Whether you’re exercising, walking the dog, or relaxing at home, you can easily listen to podcasts.

It’s a simple way to stay updated on current events, improve skills, or gain inspiration from knowledgeable speakers and experts. With a wide range of entertaining and informative podcasts available, there’s something for everyone’s interests and preferences.

If you’re unsure where to start, resources like Time Magazine’s list of the 50 best podcasts provide recommendations to help you discover new and engaging podcasts to enjoy.

24. Learn A New Skill

Learning new skills in retirement contributes to maintaining mental acuity and overall well-being. Enjoying retirement to the fullest includes exploring new hobbies and interests, both for personal enjoyment and practical benefits.

Acquiring skills in areas like home repair can save money on maintenance costs and provide a sense of accomplishment. Learning can be both practical and enjoyable, whether it’s mastering a foreign language, learning a TikTok dance, or picking up a magic trick.

Online platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, and Masterclass offer a wide range of courses covering various skills and interests, making learning accessible and enjoyable for retirees.

25. Overcome A Fear

Live life to the fullest, which may involve overcoming fears that have held you back. Pursuing your dreams often requires facing and conquering fears that stand in the way of your aspirations.

Overcoming a fear during retirement is essential for avoiding regrets and experiencing true freedom of the mind. Whether it’s a fear of heights, spiders, elevators, or something else, making an effort to conquer your fear liberates you from a burden and boosts your self-esteem.

Taking control of your life and emotions in retirement enhances your overall well-being and allows you to embrace new opportunities and experiences without limitations.

26. Relax And Do Nothing

After years of hard work, retirement offers the opportunity to relax and unwind without feeling the pressure to be productive. Taking time to do nothing allows retirees to destress from work and regroup mentally and emotionally.

Devoting the first few weeks of retirement to relaxation helps individuals gain clarity on how they want to spend their time in retirement. Relaxation promotes better listening to one’s inner desires and helps in aligning actions with personal values and aspirations.

Resources like articles offering relaxation tips, such as How Can I Relax In Retirement, provide practical guidance for retirees seeking to prioritize relaxation and well-being in their retirement years.

27. Apply For A Fun Job

Feeling bored in retirement? Consider applying for a fun job that doesn’t feel like work.

Fun retirement jobs offer opportunities to replace work routines, daily social interactions, and purpose with new and enjoyable experiences. These jobs provide not only extra income but also social benefits, contributing to overall well-being and fulfillment in retirement.

Exploring job options tailored for retirees, such as those listed in articles like 50 Best Jobs For Retirees, can inspire individuals seeking meaningful and enjoyable ways to stay active and engaged in retirement.

28. Teach

Transfer accumulated knowledge and wisdom to the next generation through teaching, consulting, tutoring, or coaching. Drawing from years of experience, successes, and failures, retirees can impart valuable life lessons to others.

Helping others with their skills and talents provides a sense of purpose and satisfaction, enhancing overall happiness in retirement. Becoming a teacher, consultant, tutor, or coach allows retirees to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others while leaving a lasting legacy.

Sharing wisdom with the next generation fosters personal growth, enriches relationships, and contributes to the betterment of society as a whole.

29. Dig In Your Past

Many retirees find joy in delving into their family history and tracing their ancestors. Genealogy is currently the second most popular hobby in the United States, offering a fulfilling way to connect with one’s roots.

Building a family tree can be done for free using websites like or by accessing information on sites such as,, or

Gathering stories and information about family members from relatives helps fill in the pieces of the puzzle. Local libraries can also provide valuable assistance and resources for researching family history, further enriching the journey of discovering one’s past.

30. Host A Party

Hosting a party is a fantastic way to increase social interaction and connect with friends and family in retirement. Whether you enjoy being a host or want to cultivate new friendships, hosting regular gatherings like game nights, dinner parties, or Sunday brunches can add excitement and vibrancy to retirement life.

By organizing various types of parties, retirees can create opportunities for laughter, bonding, and making lasting memories with loved ones. Embracing the spirit of celebration and camaraderie, retirees can turn their retirement into a continuous series of joyful gatherings, making every day feel like a special occasion.

Hosting parties not only fosters social connections but also brings joy, laughter, and a sense of community to retirement living.


With this list as your guide, you can turn your early retirement into an exciting adventure. So, dive in, explore your options, and get ready to embrace a new chapter filled with fun, purpose, and endless possibilities!

If you have more free time, try reading some of the other posts I recently published. Some of them are:

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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