100 To Do’s When You Don’t Know What To Do In Retirement


Are you at a point where you ask yourself what to do when you don’t know what to do in retirement?

Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered. In this article, I’ve listed 100 things to do when you don’t know what to do in retirement. So you can go back to living your best life in retirement. Ready? Let’s unpack!

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1) Have Fun With Cooking

One of the things you need to do in retirement is eat. So why not make this into a fun hobby where you’ll spend more time cooking delicious meals? Many retirees who have never cooked before have discovered this as their new passion in retirement. Also, many people who have cooked all their lives follow cooking classes to broaden their horizons and upgrade their skills. Enjoying a delicious home-cooked gourmet meal is one of the perks of being retired. And sharing it with others makes it into a fun social event that you can never get enough of in life.

Giving it a good try will make your days in retirement a lot more fun, interesting, and tasty. And if you’re interested in upgrading your cooking skills or exploring international dishes, I highly recommend Masterclass.

With over 20+ different cooking classes from the world’s renowned chefs, you’ll definitely find a fun class at which you can start minutes from now. Interested?

2) Plan A Trip

If you ask what do people look forward to the most in retirement, it is traveling. Even the planning of a trip makes up for half of the fun. And no matter your retirement budget, there is a fun travel trip for you out there. Yes, you can travel to the other side of the world when you have the money. But know that you can also have fun much closer to home. For example, go to nearby museums, national parks, or other places you haven’t visited yet. Just hitting the road spontaneously with friends or your spouse can make your retirement much more adventurous. Click here for my travel-related articles for more inspiration.

3) Take Online Classes

You must have had the thought, “I always wanted to learn…”. Well, perhaps now is the time to take charge and go after what you want. Learning new things makes life in retirement fun, interesting and healthy (as it keeps you mentally fit). And because you want to stay in charge of your own agenda, taking online classes can be perfect for you because you can learn at your own pace, anytime, anywhere you want.

And one of the best online classes platforms, if you ask me, is Masterclass. Where you can get access to 100+ different online classes from the world’s best in their fields, such as Gordon Ramsay, Kris Jenner, Serena Williams, Carlos Santana, Anna Wintour, James Patterson, and so many more.

You can nail a skill or discover a new retirement passion you didn’t know you had with hundreds of hours of content and new instructors constantly added every month. Once you start with Masterclass, there is a big chance you won’t be wondering what to do in retirement anytime soon. Have a look for yourself…

4) Gardening

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in retirement. And if you haven’t tried it out, perhaps today can be the day. You can start in your own garden, or if you don’t have a garden, you can garden indoors or at the nearby community garden. There are all sorts of ways to get your hands dirty. And if you’re not convinced yet, check my article: 11 Science-Based Benefits Why Gardening Is Good For Retirees.

5) Create A Retirement Bucket List

Making a list is the most hands-on approach to getting more clarity on things to do when you don’t know what to do in retirement. You can call it a bucket list with all the things you’ve always wanted to do in this life. But why should you make a retirement bucket list?

By creating a bucket list, you create more focus, purpose, and direction in your daily life in retirement. It’s important to strive for goals in retirement because otherwise, you get bored more easily. And that is perhaps the reason why you are here. So by going after exciting new experiences, you will feel more alive than ever because getting out of your comfort zone gives you more confidence and helps you get a positive perspective on life.

And since life is all about making memories. With a bucket list, it’s all about making new memories you can cherish forever. And you’ll have some good stories to tell your grandchildren too.

Read more: Retirement Bucket List: 400+ Ideas

6) Puzzling

Dust off that old jigsaw puzzle and start puzzling. If you liked it before, why not go for it again? Especially when it’s a rainy day. And if you want to get more adventurous, you can try out 3D puzzles.

7) Go To The Movies

Take advantage of your senior or retirement discount and watch a movie at your local theater. Go by yourself or invite your spouse or best friend. It will keep you busy for the next couple of hours.

8) Spend Time On Personal Growth

You have all the time in the world, so why not spend your time and energy on becoming the best version of yourself? Perhaps you want to conquer a big fear or criticize yourself a lot and can become better at positive thinking. Or perhaps it is time for old trauma to be healed, things to let go, and people to forgive. Even though this might sound heavy and even the thought makes you run away. Releasing yourself from burdens you don’t need to carry anymore is the most freeing and self-loving thing you can do for yourself.

9) Learn To Play A Musical Instrument

Always wanted to learn to play an instrument? Why not start today? It is not like you have something better to do. Haha, just kidding. If this sounds fun, you might want to read my article: 15 Of The Easiest Instruments To Learn For Seniors.

10) Set A New Goal For Your Retirement

Goals give your life direction, a tangible purpose, and a reason to get up excited every morning. If you don’t know what to do in retirement, there is a big chance you don’t have a goal to strive after. And that is very normal because the goal of most of your life was getting retired (sooner than later ;). And now that you’re retired, you have nothing big to strive after.

Therefore setting a new goal can be very beneficial for you. A new goal can be, for example, meditating 30 minutes every day, exercising three times a week, mastering a difficult skill, running a marathon, etc. It can be as big or as small as you want. Even the goal to make your bed every morning sets you up for a more productive day because a positive morning routine creates a positive moment to build on. And I’ve got something that can help you out.

11) Writing

Many retirees love to start writing. For example, you can write poems, songs, novels, memoirs, or children’s books. Or do some journaling every day to clear your mind and stay connected to yourself. If this is something you like to do and get better at, or perhaps you have no idea how to start, I recommend checking out the writing classes on Masterclass from the World’s best writers, made to teach everyone no matter their skill level.

12) Do Volunteer Work

Give your retired life instant more meaning by doing volunteer work. Did you know that retirees love to volunteer? It is one of the most popular activities in retirement because it is a great way to spend your time in a meaningful and satisfying way. Helping others makes you a happier person.

You can donate your time, energy, or money to a charity dear to your heart. For example, work in a soup kitchen, distribute warm clothing, build houses, or do other volunteer work.

Where To Find Volunteer Work

  • Habitat For Humanity
  • VolunteerMatch.org
  • Just Serve.org 
  • Volunteer.gov
  • Feeding America.org
  • Peace Corps
  • Check local charities, soup kitchens, and local community centers for volunteer opportunities.

13) Grow Vegetables

When you love to cook with organic food or want to eat more healthy vegetables, the next step is growing your own vegetables. And if you don’t know where to start, know that there are so many video tutorials on YouTube on how to grow your own vegetables no matter your garden size or level of expertise.

14) Become A Teacher

You might think. I am 65. It is a little bit too late to become a teacher. Well, let me prove you otherwise.

At 65 or older, you’re not too old to become a teacher. Seniors are attractive teacher candidates (no matter their educational background) because of their life experience, social skills, expertise, and agenda flexibility. Due to teacher shortages, all states allow a short route to the classroom with alternative teacher certification programs available for all ages.

If this is a dream for you continue reading: Is 65 Too Old To Become A Teacher? An In-Depth Guide.

15) Babysit Your Grandchildren

Do you want to spend more time with your grandchildren? Perhaps you can suggest to your kids to babysit your grandkids once a week/ month, whatever feels good for you. This is fun for you and saves your kids money on daycare. And you can make up for lost time and build a strong bond with your grandchildren. It will definitely keep you in shape and young at heart.

16) Learn A New Language

Always wanted to learn a new language? Take advantage of this free time in retirement and start learning. And if you think you’re too old, here is Scientific Proof: Seniors CAN Learn A New Language!

17) Start A Business

Do you want to make your hobby into a business or want to earn some extra cash in retirement? Start a business. Nowadays, with the internet, you don’t need a lot of start-up money to start a business. You only need time. Now let that be the one thing you have plenty of.

And if you don’t know where to start, check out my helpful article: 15 Unique Business Ideas For Your New Business In Retirement

18) Stargazing

Every night there is an amazing opportunity to explore an entire universe. And the best thing is. It is FREE! So dust off your telescope and have some fun with stargazing. Or visit the 10 Darkest Places in the U.S. for Incredible Stargazing.

19) Become A Coach

Many people can benefit from your years of life and career experience. So perhaps becoming a coach can be a fun thing to do in retirement. For example, you can become your grandkid’s sports team coach or get licensed as a professional life coach or career coach.

20) Learn The Wim Hof Method

Many people around the world have learned the Wim Hof Method and started to see the many benefits in their health and happiness. You may want to see the video below if you haven’t heard of him before. Now before you think this is a crazy guy. His entire method is backed up by scientific research, and doctors around the world are surprised as to what this method can do for people. The simple act of ending your shower in a cold shower can tremendously impact your daily life.

#21-#100 Things To Do In Retirement When You Don’t Know What To Do

I recommend saving this article to your bookmark bar or favorites on your smartphone. So you can always return to it when the next time you don’t know what to do in retirement.

  • #21 Exercise – How To Stay Fit In Retirement | 16 Powerful Tips
  • #22 Meditation
  • #23 Join A Club
  • #24 Reading
  • #25 Join A Team (sport, singing group, dance)
  • #26 Declutter Your Home
  • #27 Remodel Your House
  • #28 Learn Home Repairs
  • #29 Start An Art Project
  • #30 Tutor High School Kids
  • #31 Dancing
  • #32 Stand-Up Paddle Boarding – Can Older People Paddleboard? How It Works and Why It’s Perfect
  • #33 Visit National Parks
  • #34 Live In An RV
  • #35 Go Back To School
  • #36 Geneology
  • #37 Have Fun With Geocaching
  • #38 Restore A Classic Car
  • #39 Home Brewing
  • #40 Go On A Cruise
  • #41 Organize A Fun Date
  • #42 Organize Family Reunion
  • #43 Organize Dinner Party
  • #44 Host Game Nights
  • #45 Become Neighborhood Watch
  • #46 Reconnect with Childhood or College Friends – Is It Weird To Contact Old Friends? A Reconnecting Guide
  • #47 Organize A New Family Group Photo Moment
  • #48 Become an Airbnb Host
  • #49 Adopt A Pet
  • #50 Become A Dogwalker
  • #51 Do Freelance Work
  • #52 Apply For A Parttime Job
  • #53 Have Fun With Baking
  • #54 Start A New Family Tradition
  • #55 Help A Stranger Everyday
  • #56 Get Into Politics
  • #57 Live Abroad (parttime)
  • #58 Watch Next Sunrise/ Sunset
  • #59 Start A Charity
  • #60 Make A Scrapbook
  • #61 Painting
  • #62 Upcycling
  • #63 Photography
  • #64 Jewelry Making
  • #65 Wood Working
  • #66 Bird Watching
  • #67 Create Fun Bird Houses
  • #68 Latte Art
  • #69 Swimming
  • #70 Hiking
  • #71 Golfing
  • #72 Go Camping
  • #73 Become A Wedding Officiant
  • #74 Visit (Senior) Community Centre
  • #75 Organize A Wine Tasting
  • #76 Do (Board) Games
  • #77 Journaling
  • #78 Create A Doll House
  • #79 Visit Local Farmers Market
  • #80 Attend Local Festival
  • #81 Learn Sign Language
  • #82 Collect Snowflakes
  • #83 Wild Life Watching
  • #84 Fishing
  • #85 Kayaking
  • #86 Snorkeling
  • #87 Skiing
  • #88 Sailing
  • #89 Build A Tree House
  • #90 Build A Tiny House
  • #91 Snowboarding
  • #92 Yoga
  • #93 Tai Chi
  • #94 Ballet
  • #95 Cheerleading
  • #96 Origami
  • #97 Padel
  • #98 Become A Tourguide
  • #99 Card Making
  • #100 (Aqua) Aerobics

Kirsten Veldman

I'm Kirsten. In 2017, my husband Léon, and I decided to retire from the rat race to travel the world and work and live location independently. In the last couple of years, I wrote over 200+ articles about retirement and did extensive research to help people prepare, enjoy and celebrate retirement in the best way possible.

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