First Day Of Retirement: Make It Memorable With These Top 30 Activities

Your last day of work ends, and your first day of retirement begins. But with so much to choose from, your first day might feel overwhelming. Fear not! I’ve curated 30 diverse activities to make it unforgettable.

From thrilling adventures to moments of quiet reflection, find something that sparks your joy. Whether you crave connection, personal growth, or simply savoring the present moment, these options can launch your retired life with excitement and fulfillment.

Ready to explore your newfound freedom? Dive into these 30 ideas for a first day of retirement to remember!

1. Sleeping In

After so many years of waking up early for work, you finally don’t have to set an alarm clock. Especially on your first day of retirement, you treat yourself to sleeping in and waking up slowly.

Not having to rush to work in the morning is a liberating feeling. So enjoy your first morning by taking your time and sleeping as long as you want.

2. Have a Gourmet Breakfast

Indulge in a leisurely wake-up on your first day of retirement, followed by a breakfast tailored to your desires. Feeling ambitious? Whip up a gourmet feast. Prefer ease? Order in—the choice is yours!

With the morning stretching before you, relish this time at your own pace. Read the paper, dive into a captivating book, or simply savor the peaceful quiet as you eat. Start your first day in a way that brings you joy.

3. Meet With Friends For Coffee

Enjoy your newfound freedom during your first day of retirement by meeting up with friends for a leisurely coffee. That charming coffee spot you always passed on your way to work or a cozy café in your neighborhood are perfect options. Now is the time to invite a friend and enjoy quality time together.

Catching up with friends over coffee is not only enjoyable but also beneficial for your health, particularly with the coffee’s cognitive benefits highlighted by Harvard Health. Make plans to reconnect and cherish these moments that contribute to both your happiness and well-being.

If you want to know more about staying social in retirement, I recommend reading my article: 20 Ways to Stay Social in Retirement.

4. Create A Retirement Bucket List

Create or update your bucket list during your first day of retirement. Seize the opportunity to pursue your lifelong dreams and aspirations. Remember, a fulfilling retirement hinges on having meaningful activities and goals to look forward to. It’s time to truly make the most of your free time!

Crafting a bucket list can serve as a compass and spark for your retirement journey. It will nudge you toward new experiences and help you fulfill cherished desires. 

If you’re stuck for inspiration, reflect on past regrets or browse articles like 101 Ideas for Your Retirement Bucket List to obtain fresh ideas and excitement for your list.

5. Apply For A Class

Ever wanted to learn pottery, coding, or even a new language? Your first day of retirement is the perfect time to make it happen! Many U.S. colleges offer senior discounts or even free classes, making it an affordable way to explore new interests.

Lifelong learning keeps you mentally sharp and even slows down cognitive aging, as Harvard Health Publishing notes. So why not dive in?

To jumpstart your learning, consider Masterclass, an online platform with diverse video courses by renowned experts in their fields. Whether you’re interested in music production, filmmaking, or business leadership, Masterclass has something for everyone.

6. Start A Daily Exercise Routine

Exercise your way to a happy and healthy retirement! As the CDC recommends, staying active is key to feeling great. It boosts energy and fitness while offering chances to socialize and meet new people.

Exercising sets a positive tone for your free time and builds healthy habits for the long run. From fitness classes and swimming to joining sports teams or simply walking, plenty of options fit your life.

Need help fitting exercise into your day? My article How To Spend Your Day In Retirement: Step-by-Step Guide offers tips and insights you’ll find helpful.

7. Find A New Hobby

Start early on your first day of retirement and explore or reconnect with hobbies. Filling your free time with activities you enjoy not only brings fulfillment but also boosts your well-being and self-esteem.

Whether you’re reviving a childhood passion or embarking on a brand new adventure, finding a retirement hobby is a great way to inject purpose and joy into your days. Don’t know where to start? Reflect on your interests, both past and present, for inspiration. Perhaps baking, painting, or learning a new language sparks your curiosity.

Gardening is a popular choice among retirees, offering a rewarding blend of physical activity and creative expression. If you’re a beginner, consider Ron Finley’s Masterclass. His insightful lessons and practical skills will set you on the path to a thriving garden.

8. Catch Up With Friends And Family

Your first day of retirement is the perfect time to reconnect with friends and family who may have slipped through the cracks during your busy working years. Take advantage of your newfound free time to reach out, share updates, and make plans for quality time together.

Nurturing these relationships is a meaningful way to kick off your retirement. By strengthening connections and creating new memories, you pave the way for a fulfilling journey filled with love and support.

9. Check Your Finances

Though checking your finances may not sound fun during your first day of retirement, it’s crucial to ensure your retirement dreams align with your reality. Overlooking financial planning can lead to disappointment if aspirations exceed means. A solid financial plan not only helps you create an enjoyable retirement but also lets you fully embrace and savor your golden years.

Before diving into exciting plans, assess your finances, set a budget, and consider seeking guidance from a financial advisor. For reliable advice and resources, consider the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).

10. Go On A Trip

Kick off your retirement and forge lasting memories with a trip! It’s a fantastic way to escape the familiar and embrace new experiences by planning a getaway with your spouse, friends, or family.

Retirement’s flexibility lets you explore diverse destinations and experiences—relax in the Caribbean, embark on a cruise, camp in a national park, indulge in a European tour, or even visit theme parks with grandchildren! Need more travel inspiration? My article 20 Amazing Vacations and Trips for 60-Year-Olds offers ideas tailored to retirees!

11. Make A Travel Plan

Even if you can’t travel yet on your first day of retirement, use your first day of retirement to start crafting travel plans and scouting deals for your dream destinations. Early travel planning gives you something thrilling to look forward to and adds an exciting layer of anticipation to your retirement experience.

As a travel enthusiast, I’ve written several helpful articles packed with tips and insights to assist you in planning unforgettable journeys. Here are a few to get you started:

12. Give Yourself A Retirement Gift

Treat yourself to a special gift on your first day of retirement—you deserve it! After years of hard work and dedication, commemorate this milestone with something meaningful that brings you joy, without jeopardizing your financial security.

Whether it’s a physical item you’ve longed for or an enriching experience, indulge in something you can comfortably afford. This special gift will create lasting memories and celebrate your achievements.

13. Go For A Road Trip

What better way to celebrate your first day of retirement than by hitting the open road? I did exactly that! It allowed me to leave behind my roots and find new places I love!

Whether you’re drawn to a spontaneous adventure, following the open road wherever it leads, or embarking on a planned journey with your spouse in an RV, the freedom of retirement allows you to travel at your own pace and truly indulge in the joy of exploration.

For retirees seeking inspiration for their first road trip or longer adventures, my article The 20 Best Retirement Trips in the USA offers valuable insights and ideas to spark your wanderlust.

14. Start Volunteering

Volunteering rewards you by keeping you active and contributing to your community. And this gives a sense of purpose and fulfillment. While a formal commitment might not be your first priority, you might want to start exploring opportunities first.

To volunteer or know more about volunteering, visit your local community center or explore online platforms like To discover the rewards and reasons behind retiree volunteering, consider reading my article: Why Do Retirees Volunteer.

15. Host A Retirement Party

Commemorate your retirement milestone by hosting a celebratory dinner or party with friends and family on your first day of retirement. It’s the perfect way to kickstart your new chapter on a positive note and create cherished memories. Hosting a party is a fantastic opportunity for those wishing to mark their retirement in style.

Hosting an intimate gathering at home allows you to enjoy a personalized and intimate celebration surrounded by loved ones. Ensure your retirement party shines by checking out my guide How To Celebrate Retirement Party At Home. My article can offer you helpful insights and a handy retirement party checklist to ease your planning journey.

Also, it can be helpful to have a retirement party checklist, so it’s easier to plan your epic retirement party, get it here!

16. Meditate To Relax

Retirement is a time to break free from stress and embrace relaxation. Meditation offers a simple yet powerful tool to manage stress and cultivate peace, even with just 10 minutes of daily practice.

Whether you’re a seasoned meditator or curious to start, consider making it a part of your first day of retirement. Apps like Headspace provide beginner-friendly guidance and support to help you establish a practice that fosters a happy, healthy, and serene mindset throughout your retirement years.

By prioritizing relaxation and mindfulness from the outset, you’ll lay the foundation for a fulfilling and balanced life in the years ahead.

17. Get Inspired By TED Talks And Podcasts

Transitioning into retirement can feel daunting, but seeking inspiration from others who’ve paved the way can make it easier. Online platforms like TED and retirement podcasts, such as Your Retirement Starts Today Podcast, offer a treasure trove of uplifting stories and practical tips from seasoned retirees.

Immersing yourself in these resources can help you gain valuable perspectives, strategies, and a healthy dose of enthusiasm as you navigate the exciting complexities of retirement. 

18. Babysit Your Grandchildren

For many retirees, grandchildren become a cherished source of joy and connection. Make your first day of retirement unforgettable by bonding with them! If they’re nearby, offer to babysit or simply engage in fun activities together. This fosters a strong bond and creates joyful memories right from the start.

Live farther apart? Use your newfound freedom to plan an extended visit. Immerse yourself in quality time, build deeper connections, and create lasting memories that’ll warm your heart for years to come.

Near or far, spending time with grandchildren sets a heartwarming tone for the exciting adventures and experiences that await in your new chapter.

19. Relax And Chill For The Day

After years of dedication, your first day of retirement ushers you you to unwind and embrace pure relaxation. If you don’t like sleeping in—like what I said a while ago—take your first day to sit back and relax by the pool, on your patio, or in your garden. Dive into a magazine, lose yourself in a good book, or let your favorite music wash over you, all while savoring a delicious cocktail.

Revel in the tranquility of this newfound freedom. Gone are the days of rigid schedules; now, endless possibilities lie before you. By prioritizing relaxation and enjoyment on this first day, you set the stage for a fulfilling and rejuvenating journey ahead.

20. Have Lunch In Your Favorite Restaurant With Your Spouse

Raise a glass at your favorite restaurant with your spouse on your first day of retirement if you’re not into big parties. It’s the perfect setting to mark your exciting new life together in retirement.

Celebrate with delicious food, toasts to your newfound freedom, and most importantly, a conversation brimming with your shared dreams and aspirations for the days, weeks, and months ahead.

Whether you’re both retiring simultaneously or one of you has already begun this incredible journey, this special occasion is more than just a meal. It’s a chance to reconnect, openly discuss your hopes and expectations, and navigate the exciting transition together. 

Meanwhile, if you’re still in the phase of thinking if you need to retire at the same time as your spouse, you may want to read my article about it: Should Couples Retire At The Same Time

21. Go For A Hike In Nature

I love hiking! I believe that nature possesses immense healing power and this makes a hike in the great outdoors an ideal way to process all the emotions you’ll go through, especially on your first day of retirement.

Remember that transitioning to retirement can be hectic and overwhelming. And this leaves little space for reflection on the significant changes, emotions, and stressors involved. So, hiking is a good solution to give you that space and time you need to process everything.

22. Have A Massage

If you truly want to relax during your first day of retirement, treat yourself to a luxurious massage. Unwind and detox from years of dedicated effort to pave the way for a calmer and more revitalized retirement experience.

While a single massage can’t erase years of tension, it serves as a stepping stone. As you enter a new chapter, prioritize self-care rituals like this one. By incorporating moments of relaxation into your retirement plan, you’ll invest in a healthier and more balanced lifestyle moving forward.

23. Tick Off Something Of Your Bucket List

Dive headfirst into your retirement dreams by checking off a bucket list item on your first day of retirement! Set the tone for an adventurous and fulfilling journey by embracing the mindset that retirement is your time to chase lifelong aspirations.

Whether it’s bungee jumping, embarking on that dream trip, or stepping outside your comfort zone, conquering a bucket list item ignites excitement and a sense of aliveness that propels you forward. Immersing yourself in new experiences cultivates a spirit of adventure and openness, enriching your retirement journey and enhancing your overall well-being. 

24. Avoid Watching TV All Day

Excessive TV watching in retirement can lead to sadness, depression, and a sense of wasted time. And it’s such a waste to spend your first day of retirement watching TV. To avoid this pitfall, prioritize activities that bring fulfillment and allow you to chase your passions.

Proactively address the temptation to fill your days with TV. Instead, focus on meaningful pursuits from the outset. This ensures your retirement is filled with purpose, joy, and a sense of well-being. Channeling your time and energy into these activities early on sets a positive trajectory for your new chapter.

25. Avoid Aimless Scrolls Through Social Media

Aside from avoiding TV, avoid getting sucked into endless, unproductive scrolling on social media and the internet during retirement. While staying connected and informed has its merits, aimless browsing can fuel negativity and comparison, impacting your mental well-being.

Social media often portrays a skewed reality, leading to feelings of inadequacy and depression. Protect your mental health by setting boundaries. Use the internet for specific purposes like research or travel planning, but skip the mindless scrolling. This conscious choice paves the way for a more fulfilling and positive retirement experience and prevents retirement depression.

26. Set Your Commitments Straight Retired

During your first day of retirement, it’s best to set your commitments straight. Say no to requests and favors you’ve said yes to because you were pressured. After years of dedication, you’ve earned the right to prioritize your well-being and control your time.

Saying no can be tough, but remember, it’s about creating space for personal enjoyment and figuring out what you want from retirement. Empower yourself to make intentional choices by taking a breather and reflecting on your priorities.

27. Create A Retirement Schedule

Retiring brings a shift from structured days to open-ended freedom. This can be exciting but also poses challenges in adapting to a less rigid lifestyle. Instead of a strict schedule, consider creating a retirement routine on your first day. This can provide a sense of structure and help navigate the transition.

Organizing activities and commitments helps you make the most of your time, balancing relaxation and engagement. This routine allows you to embrace the freedom of retirement while maintaining a sense of purpose in your daily life.

28. Learn About The Retirement Transition Stages

Retiring presents a major life shift, demanding a thoughtful and proactive approach. Trading a structured work life for endless free time evokes diverse emotions, from excitement to fear, underscoring the need for a smooth transition.

Comprehending the five common retirement stages equips you with valuable insights about what to expect and acts as a roadmap to gauge your progress and anticipate future developments. This empowers you to take the reins of your retirement journey.

By actively managing each stage, you can embrace this new chapter with confidence and purpose, maximizing opportunities for fulfillment and growth.

You can find more information about these stages of retirement in my article, What Are The Stages Of Retirement. Here’s a sneak peek at what the five stages are:

  • Pre-Retirement: Prepare for the shift from work to free time. You start to think about your finances, hobbies, and desired lifestyle changes during retirement.
  • Honeymoon: Newfound freedom reigns! You’re a retiree at this point, and you want to explore, experiment, and savor the excitement of fresh possibilities.
  • Disillusionment: Reality sets in. Dreams may clash with expectations, creating uncertainty or disappointment. You may often find yourself doubting if what you have is what you’ve wanted.
  • Reorientation: You start to reorient yourself and reshape your life into your ideal retirement. You’ll explore new pursuits, build routines, and adjust your path based on discoveries.
  • Stability: Basically, this is your retirement’s nirvana. Enjoy the fruits of your planning and find fulfillment in your self-designed retirement.

29. Find Your Passion

Uncover passions you may have neglected during your busy career. Retirement offers a golden opportunity to reconnect with activities that bring you joy and purpose.

Take an active approach to rediscovering what sparks your enthusiasm. Dive into new hobbies, revisit old interests, and explore creative outlets. By actively seeking your passions, you unlock possibilities for personal growth, fulfillment, and enjoyment in this new chapter of life.

For valuable insights and strategies, check out the article How To Find Your Passion In Retirement. It can help you reignite your passions and cultivate a meaningful, fulfilling retirement journey.

30. Do Something Crazy

Kick off your retirement with a bang! Step outside your comfort zone and do something unconventional or daring on your first day. It could be attending a concert you’ve always dreamed of, learning a new skill like guitar, or finally indulging in a long-held adventure.

Remember, prioritize safety and be cautious, but don’t shy away from pushing your boundaries. Embracing novel experiences can spark personal growth, ignite your passions, and lead to immense satisfaction.

Whether it’s a concert, a new skill, or fulfilling a dream, choose something that excites you. This sets an adventurous and vibrant tone for your new chapter. By embracing spontaneity and seeking fresh experiences, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities and pave the way for a retirement brimming with excitement, fulfillment, and endless exploration.


Hopefully, you’ve found at least one activity you’d love to do during your first day of retirement. And while I say that this list is for your first day, it doesn’t hurt to use this list as a good bucket list that you can do during your retirement regardless if your first day is already over.

Meanwhile, I know that I already showered you with a lot of links to other reading materials, but if you want to read more, here are some of the other articles I recently published:

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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