Retiring is a big life change for many people. It takes a lot of preparation for budgeting and getting everything ready to spend this next chapter of your life as happily and peacefully as possible. Once you get everything taken care of and finish up your last day at work, you may find yourself wondering what you should do with this newfound freedom! 

Whether you are approaching retirement age, recently retired, or a well-seasoned retiree, this list of 18 things to do in retirement will help bring satisfaction to your life. You deserve it! Let’s dive into some great ways to spend and enjoy your time when you retire.  

1. Travel 

If you are wondering what to do in retirement, the first suggestion that many people get and many retirees look forward to is travel. Without conflicting work schedules and feeling burned out from long hours, travel becomes a truly freeing and enjoyable endeavor to indulge in when you retire. It stimulates you and gives you plenty to reminisce on while you relax once you get back home. Many retirees also invest in an RV camper and explore the open road on their own time. Start planning to take that trip you’ve always put off to that place you’ve always wanted to go!  

2. Learn something new 

Another great retirement idea is to learn something new. There are times throughout our career when we see a craft or skill that we would love to learn but simply don’t have the time or energy for. If you find yourself wondering what to do in retirement, learning something new can be a great way to spend your free time and feel fulfilled. You can learn to garden or knit or whatever skill you’ve always wanted to learn. Here are a few ideas of things to learn: 

  • A new instrument 
  • A new cuisine 
  • Pottery 
  • Crocheting 
  • Sewing 

3. Find a new hobby 

Many retirees find themselves eager to dive back into old hobbies that have fallen to the wayside during their careers. With so much time to spend, hobbies are a great way to pass your days and have fun. They help you to continue to grow and provide you with a way to meet new friends. In addition to your older hobbies, you can explore new ones as well. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try out photography, hiking, scrapbooking, woodworking, or bird watching. The possibilities are endless. Find a great new hobby to enjoy during retirement.  

4. Volunteer 

Volunteering is a great thing to do during this next chapter of your life. Not only is it an excellent way to support great causes, but it also gets you out of the house and is a wonderful place to meet new friends who may have similar interests. Depending on your skills and interests, you can volunteer in so many different places in your area. Here are a few ideas to think about if you’d like to spend some time volunteering during your retirement: 

  • Animal Shelters
  • Homeless Shelters 
  • Libraries 
  • Hospice Cares 
  • Churches 
  • Food Banks 

5. Become a mentor 

With age comes wisdom, as they say, and retirement is a great time to bestow all that you’ve learned over the years onto the younger generation. Many areas offer mentor programs to help enrich the youth. You can find mentorships that are specific to your skills or career as well as mentorships for young people to inspire them to be their best selves. Organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and National Mentoring Partnership are great opportunities to spend some of your retirement time giving back to the young people in your area and sharing all that you’ve learned throughout your life.  

6. Join local clubs

Sometimes when people retire, they start to experience a dip in their social life. If you find yourself sitting at home wondering what to do after retirement, joining local clubs is a great idea. You’ll get out of the house and meet like-minded people as many clubs focus on a certain interest or hobby. There are many different kinds of clubs but the variety will depend on your area. Here are some common local clubs that you may be able to join: 

  • Knitting
  • Book club 
  • Gardening 
  • Walking 

You can find many local clubs online. There may also be a good directory of local clubs at the senior center in your area. If you don’t see a club that interests you, you can only use your newly open schedule to start your own club! 

7. Try a new sport 

Most people don’t associate sports with retirement but there are plenty of sports that you can do that aren’t high-impact or physically exhausting. Getting your body moving with sports is a great way to meet new people too. Many areas have teams for older adults so you can meet like-minded people and make some new friends. If you have a lot of experience in a particular sport, you can consider coaching as well. Here are some great sports to consider during retirement: 

  • Bowling 
  • Bocce 
  • Tennis 
  • Golf 
  • Water Aerobics 

8. Take classes 

If you are wondering what to do when you are retired, classes are a fantastic idea. Many community colleges offer free or discounted classes to seniors which means you can take all those classes you’ve been curious about. In addition to college classes, you can also attend workshops and seminars about topics that are of interest to you. With the internet, there are plenty of online courses and workshops to educate you on topics that you’ve always wanted to learn about and now finally have the time to dive into during retirement.  

9. Set fitness goals 

It’s important to prioritize physical health throughout our lives but it is especially true as we age. Staying on top of our exercise and diet is a great way to help our bodies as we continue to age. Setting fitness goals during retirement is a fantastic way to put your health first. Whether it’s walking a mile every day or adopting a regular stretching routine, fitness goals keep you moving and healthy. Many fitness goals can also be an excellent excuse to get outside and enjoy the outdoors while making sure you stay fit all through retirement.  

10. Be more social 

Many of us have found that our home responsibilities and work schedules impede our social life. Whether we are too busy or too tired, our social life tends to take the backburner before we retire. Growing your social circle or reaching out to old friends and family is one of the best ideas for retirement. You’ll get to experience the beauty of social connection now that you finally have the time and energy to do so. Find cool things for you and your friends and family to do so you can make fond memories throughout your retirement.  

11. Consider a fulfilling part-time job 

Some people just hate sitting around! Even after a long career of working hard and long hours, some people find themselves wishing they still had some work to do after they retire. If you are looking for things to do when you retire, consider a part-time job. It doesn’t have to be anything that requires a high level of skill or energy. A local flower shop, hardware store, or substitute teaching is a great way to feel fulfilled without the stress and commitment of a full-time career. Many retirees find part-time jobs to keep them on a nice schedule and put a little extra money in their savings. 

12. Tackle home improvements 

When we spend all of our time at work and running errands, home improvement jobs tend to take a backseat. Now that you have more time in your retirement, you can finally tackle that leaky sink or repaint the guest bedroom. Home improvement projects are fun and let you tap into your creative side. If you’ve been wanting to revisit the interior design of your home, little improvement projects are a great way to spend your time while retired. Not only will you feel accomplished, but you’ll have a beautiful and inviting home for your friends and family to visit and spend time at.  

13. Explore your ancestry 

Looking into your family history can be a very exciting and intriguing project to work on in retirement. With so many websites available to trace back your roots, you can find some very interesting history about your family. It is nice to know about our ancestry and where we come from. It feels good to research our roots and learn more about the people and cultures that make up our family. Take some time during retirement to build out your family tree and see how far back you can go.  

14. Learn a new language 

If traveling is high on your priority list for what to do during retirement, learning a new language may be another great thing to do! It is a great way to stimulate your mind and keep you sharp as a tack. It can be very fun to learn the language of countries that you plan to visit so that you can make small talk once you get there. It can also feel very rewarding to learn the languages of your heritage as well. Between smartphone apps, computer programs, books, in-person classes, and online courses, there are a ton of resources out there to help you in your endeavor of learning a new language.  

15. Spend more time with family 

This is a big one! Many people take the final step to finalize their retirement because they want to spend more time with family. Whether you have grandchildren, or great-grandchildren or want to spend more time with your spouse or loved ones, retirement frees up your schedule so that you can prioritize the relationships that mean the most to you. If the majority of your family lives far from you, consider relocating so that you can be closer to them to get the most quality time possible and make great memories for years to come.   

16. Write 

Retirement is the perfect time to reflect on your career and life so far and write it all down. Whether you start a blog online, write a book, or keep a personal journal, writing is a great way to keep track of your ideas and memories. Writing is also an excellent exercise to keep your mind sharp as you age. Chances are your kids and grandchildren would love to hear all your stories and memories. Having them written down means they’ll be available to them for years to come.  

17. Get involved in your community 

During retirement, you may find yourself accessing more community resources than you had in the past. Whether you’re joining the local civics center, attending local events, joining clubs or classes, or just walking around the parks more, you may notice areas where you can help the community out. You may find yourself inspired to get involved politically to make positive changes to their area.  

18. Attend events that interest you 

Having so much free time in retirement can be a blessing but it can also make you feel like you need to get moving and do something. Finding local events in your area that are interesting to you is great to attend. They’re a great way to meet people and also great to bring friends and family. Local events are often listed in newsletters and online as well. Stay up to date on what’s happening in your neighborhood to find fun and interesting events.  


Retiring is a fun and exciting time of your life. It truly is a new chapter where you have much more free time to pursue interests and spend time with loved ones. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to find things to do to make each day the best while you are retired. While it can be lots of fun to do all these great things, retirement is also a great time to just relax! Make sure to spend some days doing nothing at all – you’ve earned it!