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How to Keep Busy After Retirement

Updated on December 23, 2015

How to Earn an Income When Retired

If you have been making plans and know what you want to do when you retire, that is marvelous, as knowing what to do with all that retirement time needs thought and effort.

However, sometimes one avoids thinking about what happens after retirement, perhaps due to the mixed feelings, reticence about facing the long 'holiday', or if you are happy and successful in your job - the difficulty of stepping aside.

If you are part of the small percentage of people who have sufficient means with which to enjoy your retirement, then you have a vast range of activities just waiting for you to decide which will be included in your life.


There is no doubt, that some people simply need to work either to boost their income or because it is just in their 'DNA'.

If you are lucky, many companies are pleased to have their experienced workers back on a part time basis or perhaps as a consultant on projects, or a teacher or mentor to newer workers. If you need to earn an income, there is also a possibility of setting up a small business such as doing tax returns, cake decorating, sewing and mending or perhaps running a Bed & Breakfast.


The first six months are usually fine, with the new retiree enjoying the unscheduled days, the freedom to decide what to do and when to do it, or perhaps if it will be done at all!

When all the hullabaloo has worn off, you may very well start wondering "and now what - is this what the rest of my life is going to be like?"

It is time to deal with how you are going to keep busy. What retirement activities do you need to do, as what you don't want to become is lonely or depressed nor to feel as though you can no longer contribute to society and lose confidence in yourself.

Now is time to learn a new skill, perhaps you could take a course in cookery, pottery, or follow an interest in painting, photography, another language, maybe ballroom dancing, or adult education courses. Find local clubs, watch the papers, and join in for like-minded fellowship.

Taking Photographs at Sunset
Taking Photographs at Sunset | Source

Things to Do When You Retire - Hobbies

Retirement Hobbies - Earning a small Income:

Perhaps now you can pursue that hobby you so enjoyed in your younger days, before life took over. If it is a hobby that produces a finished article that may be sold - so much the better, and the pleasure in that hobby will increase exponentially.

Selling or making to order, handmade articles produced from your love of knitting, crochet, carpentry, or designing of any kind, can all be sold either on line or through an outlet who already stocks or would wish to stock your product.

If you have a special skill or craft teach it - either in your home, community centre or on line. There are customers out there, or online, who are willing to purchase if you try to meet their needs. It is also a very effective means of socialising and keeping busy.

What about writing?

It could be articles such as this one, written for Hubpages, or writing an eBook based on your special knowledge or skill. Or perhaps you have always dreamt of writing short stories, a novel or a tome.

Now is the time - do it. If you need help, there are many courses out there, and you could learn to become a writer.



Take up some exercise after retirement, walking, or a planned exercise such as Yoga - very beneficial in keeping the moving parts, bending and moving!

Perhaps you want to learn how to play golf, or join a bowling club - many of these activities improve your health, and become treasured parts of your new life.

Volunteer Work:

There are many charitable organizations or churches who constantly looking for volunteers - and there is nothing quite so rewarding and empowering as working with those who need and appreciate your help.

Don't forget that hospitals, senior homes, homes for mentally or physically impaired, hospices, children's homes depend on volunteers to fill their work rosters, utilize the organizational skills or undertake administration tasks.

Volunteer work with animals - again, depending where your interests lie, there is so much in this line of work who would value your assistance.


Now is also a great time to travel, whether it is to visit old friends, family you have not seen in a while, or places you have always wanted to visit. Many travel agencies have access to tours where you can travel in safety, with like-minded older generation travelers, anywhere in the world.

if money is tight, learn about where you are right now and visit places of beauty or historic value on your doorstep.

Retirement should be a time to slow down a little, smell the roses and take in the view. Keep moving, keep doing, keep involved and your retirement will happy, successful and rewarding.

Ebert at 88 talks about find purpose as you get older.

© 2012 Shelley Watson


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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great ideas for when one is retired, after working and then time for retirement, not many people take life easy

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      Rajan thank you so much for the comments and for visiting. Yes, Rajan as you say, it is so important to use your brain and exercise your body to keep healthy.

      Angelo52 Nice to meet you - thank you for coming by! If I am not mistaken only 6% of the population can retire comfortably - a frightening statistic. So there are an awful lot of people in the same boat. Just wandering and writing would suit me too!

    • Angelo52 profile image


      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Writing, photography, seashell crafts and just wandering around will keep me busy if I get the chance to retire. Just have to wait for the future to get here and see what circumstances are at that time. Too many variables that can affect retirement plans especially for lower middle class folks such as myself.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      These are wonderful ways to keep busy after retiring from a job Shelley. It is very important to keep busy and active to keep our body healthy. Thanks for listing a variety of ways in which this can be done.

      Voted up, interesting and shared.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      Billybuc, Thank you for the comment, that is precisely what I am hoping people will do instead of succumbing to semi-penury in the later years and boredom. We have so much longer to live than our grand-parents - my mother is alive, kicking and 85 yesterday!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great hub my new friend! I'm just wondering what this retirement thing is? :) I was supposed to be in semi-retirement but then the passion for writing took over and now here I am, working 8-10 hours a day writing. Oh well, I love it so there you go.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      Hi Rosemay, Will definitely go and find your poem on Victoria Falls. Yes, we are lucky and very spoilt both with beauty and the weather.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      What a sweet thing to say, thank you. Unfortunately I have problems with RSI so am giving the knitting a miss this winter. i was lucky enough to visit SA in oooh about 1990. Had a wonderful time but our stay was nowhere near long enough. I thoroughly enjoyed it and the safari trips were out of this world. I have a poem on here dedicated to Victoria Falls, such a beautiful sight. I envy you.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      Hi Rosemay,you are a busy lady but you forgot one thing, which I will add, you are a fantastic Hubber and I am glad I found you. I live in South Africa, so I expect you are very busy with your knitting as we, in Southern Hemisphere, stare winter in the face! Thank you for stopping by!

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      This is an issue which we all need to think about. You make some great suggestions here. I knit and sell doggie jumpers for extra income and it is something I enjoy doing. And of course, bringing up children and grandchildren has not allowed time for my poetry, so now I am enjoying that pleasure too and in the process of publishing an ebook. Walking is a great way to get out and see the world as well as exercising, saves money on gas too. Lol

      Wonderful ideas and voting up and sharing

    • LouTucci profile image


      6 years ago

      It is scary Shelley. And with the "issues" with our economy, I'm afraid it's going to get worse.

    • CyberShelley profile imageAUTHOR

      Shelley Watson 

      6 years ago

      Thanks Lou, and you are so right, because we are all living longer, it gets a bit scary if one hasn't been saving from a young age. What do old people do, who need but cannot find alternative income or are simply not well enough to make a contribution that will earn a small income. We help my Mother, and helped my husband's parents when they were alive, but that not the answer is it, one doesn't want to look to one's children for support.

    • LouTucci profile image


      6 years ago

      Shelley, most informative. I think there's going to be a growing number of retiree's that are still looking for additional income. Your mention of staying fit through exercise as well as yoga...I agree is great for the mind as well as the body.


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