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For Retirees: Here Are Some Things to Do

Updated on October 22, 2019
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU 1963. Worked in NYC in public relations 2 years then as reporter/news editor 32 years at The Hour newspapers. Retired in 2000.

Enjoy Golf With Your Friends

Golf is a great way to spend enjoyable time if you are physically able. Here my friends and I play a round of golf at North Woodmere on Long Island, New York.
Golf is a great way to spend enjoyable time if you are physically able. Here my friends and I play a round of golf at North Woodmere on Long Island, New York. | Source

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

Visits to the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Connecticut, are one way seniors enjoy spending their time while helping to keep heatlhy and fit.
Visits to the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Connecticut, are one way seniors enjoy spending their time while helping to keep heatlhy and fit.

When I run into people who are down, and feeling a little blue I always tell them a truism I learned long ago: No matter how bad things are, they can always get worse.

Or, when they tell me their troubles, I never fail to remind them that no matter how bad off they may be, there's always someone who is worse off.

So I was particularly taken aback this week when a fellow worker who is about to retire told me of his growing angst about leaving the work-a-day grind at The Hour (newspaper).

It's hard for me to imagine the depth of his problem: What to do with all the hours and days to come?

Retirement Stress

Personally, I haven't quite reached retirement age, but I can appreciate at least part of the stress it brings. Any mention of retirement in my home brings this reaction from our spouse: "I'm not going to look at you sitting on the couch all day watching television."

But my co-worker's problem has a serious aspect to it. While it's not exactly in the same category as awaiting a triple bypass or facing the prospect of entering a nursing home, it can't be entirely ignored. After all, everybody has to do something!

Things To Do

To try to be helpful to my apprehensive friend, I told him I'd make up a list of things to do he might want to consider. I didn't think it would be much trouble because, although I find a certain amount of satisfaction in my work, I've been looking forward to retiring since I took leave of the U.S. Army in 1957.

There are a few things I might have mentioned, but I was forewarned against anything that looks like a chore, such as cleaning up the attic or the backyard.

Since my friend Bill Landers is a war veteran, and a former prisoner of war, I've already suggested he might want to volunteer some time with the local, state and national veterans' organizations.

How About Golf?

But, getting to the really hard part now, I can think of several workable solutions to his problem. He might learn, for instance, to play golf. Golf not only takes up a great deal of time, it offers a personal challenge at least equal to that of employment in the business world.

Not to mention tennis, bowling, swimming, jogging, weightlifting and, for the less physical types, walking!

For the even less vigorous types, a whole lot of time can be spent as a sports fan -- attending baseball, football, hockey or basketball games. And, anyone who has visited the local Off-track Betting Parlor, Milford Jai Alai or the Shoreline dog track notices immediately that many older, obviously retired men and women, like the gambling action and spend much of their time betting on their favorites.

Here's Some Things To Do

Here are a few things anyone can do: Go to tag sales, flea markets, auto shows, beaches or parks, visit museums, nearby tourist areas (when's the last time you went to the Maritime Center) or take a ride on a railroad. There are innumerable short trips that would fill anyone's time gracefully, such as a visit to a trolley museum.

But, if you not only want to choose to spend your time wisely, but also want to be part of the solution, instead of part of the problem, you can always donate your time, talent and efforts to charity.

And your local political party would be more than delighted to see if you know how to address and stamp envelopes.

I wrote this column as a "My View" for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on April 13, 1996.

Another Thing You Can Do: The Bing

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    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I have trouble understanding, wilderness, why people sometimes keep working when they reach retirement age. Retirement is a great job (and it opens up opportunities for younger folks as well.) There sure are plenty of activities that can keep retirees active and happy. I absolutely agree that retirement is great, but apparently some workers are fearful of that old problem: the unknown.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 

      8 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I retired a few months ago and the question of keeping busy and interested in life was indeed a major concern.

      So far, though, it has turned out to be of no consequence. I'm busier now that I was when working, and enjoying every minute of it. I'm doing things I WANT to do instead of what the boss wanted and it makes a difference. I can do what I want on MY schedule, and that makes a difference as well. It's been great!

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      "Doin' the Bing" is a great addition to this hub, Dottie. I hope everybody who reads this hub does it. It will be great exercise for all us older folks. I did have a fun=filled day on the golf course with my daughter, Catherine. And, in memory of Bob Hope who shares my birth date (the day, not the year): Thanks for the Memories.

    • Dottie1 profile image


      9 years ago from MA, USA

      Love the new addition video to this hub William!! But I'm not waiting for retirement to "Doin'The Bing". I did it in celebration of your birthday today while you 'Bing' your way to the golf course. Have a fun filled day!

    • profile image

      mandatory retirement 

      10 years ago

      You mentioned volunteer to your friend. I had the honor to tour the aircraft carrier MIDWAY. There on deck were several volunteers who actually served on the Midway. It was one of the most memorable and interesting tours I've ever taken. Rather than sit at home, these guys have returned to a time in their life and then enrich our lives to share their stories.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      We all have different aspirations. I love the one of the wife telling her husband, she won't watch him watching t.v. all day long. Good for her. There's much too much to do in the universe. Unfortunatly, it takes money to do a lot of things these days and retirees usually don't have that much disposable income. And speaking with those who have volunteered say it can get old fast. We each have what we want and can do things. Enjoy your retirement.

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      12 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks,belfast maine. I frequently visit Maine, mostly around Brunswick, where they have a really great golf course.

    • profile image

      belfast maine 

      12 years ago

      Great Hub you have here :) Please check out my Belfast Maine website would love to network!

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      13 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Some really nice contributions to this hub's comments compu-smart, chabrenas and Ralph Deeds. I don't know the statistics, but I would guess the percentage of elderly who use computers to be pretty low. Most of my contemoraries have very little, or no, experience on the Internet. Personally, I was introduced to computers at The Hour newspaper where we used them almost exclusively for word processing at the time.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      13 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

    • chabrenas profile image


      13 years ago from middle of France

      ...or you could get stuck in to the World Wide Web. Guaranteed to fill every spare moment, and you can even do it in a wheelchair. The problem is remembering to take a break and do something physical.

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony Sky 

      13 years ago from London UK

      Your welcome...

      I am now listening to The National Defense radio!it sounds very interesting..I do like listening to a good talk show and a good ole debate..

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      13 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Thanks, compu-smart. Aside from Hubpages, I keep busy with the VFW and visiting, now and then, with my daughter and grandchildren in Maine. But I don't come close to matching your work schedule!

      Bob, you didn't need this advice for retirees. You've got your hands full at the Post.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Bill.....Been retired 15+ years now and you know I keep busy !!!!!!!

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony Sky 

      13 years ago from London UK

      William, You have given me lots to think about...lucky or unlucky for me i have lots of time to implement your advice and things to do which most people don't even get to do in there lifetime (apart from the walking bit;) due to work and commitments..

    • William F. Torpey profile imageAUTHOR

      William F Torpey 

      13 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I guess I missed that one, Ralph, because work was the last thing on mind when I anticipated retiring. Funny, but the first thing people asked me when I finally did retire in June of 2000 was, believe it or not, "Where are you working?" I always replied, "I didn't retire so I could get another job!" Thanks for the comment. By the way, I also had a friend who did substitute teaching and loved it!

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      13 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      A friend of mine is teaching adult literacy classes (unpaid volunteer) and seems to find it quite satisfying. Part-time work can also help pass the time and provide a bit of "walking around money."


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