What to do after retirement: Fun and cheap ways to keep busy after retiring from work
What to do after retirement? How to keep yourself busy as a pensioner? Different ways in which retired couples can enjoy the best years of their lives? Cheap and fun things to do after retirement? Which hobby should you pursue after retirement? Answer all these questions and kick the boredom out of your retirement plans. Hobbies, business ventures, volunteering, travelling, golf, DIY home improvements, golf, blogging, being with family and much more – this inspirational post discusses how you can enjoy your retired life to the fullest.
1) Enjoy the free Wi-Fi at the local coffee shops
The most common reason why retirees don't lounge around at coffee shops is because they don't have anything to do. Some may even start comparing the price of a warm cappuccino at the cafe with a cheap homemade version.
If you find yourself unable to go to the coffee shops for the same reasons, buy an iPad, Kindle Fire HD or a Galaxy tab. You don't need to spend more money on tablets with a cellular connection. Wi-Fi connectivity is all you need to sit at a coffee shop and spend hours surfing the internet and reading books while you enjoy the perfect brew. Isn't that exactly what retirement is all about?
2) Take up part-time work to keep busy during retirement
The key to enjoying part-time work after retirement lies in your attitude towards it. Don't look at it as a chore or a responsibility. Rather, look at it as a supplement to your pension and an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.
Part-time work after retirement does not need to be in your field of expertise. You can try out simple job roles including working as a cashier at the local shops or a customer service representative at a call center.
3) Become popular on social media: Share opinions and advice on your causes
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram are not limited to teenagers and fun loving adults. Retirees and pensioners can also become popular on social media.
Use the online socializing platform to express your opinions, advice, wisdom and views on current affairs, policy changes and causes that you are passionate about.
4) Spend hours at your nearest public library
Not a lot of people take advantage of the beautiful public libraries that are home to thousands of books, magazines and journals which can easily keep a person busy for a lifetime. In the day and age of iPad and Kindle, cherish the feeling of holding rustic books in print and re-live your school days.
Spend a couple of hours at the library every day if you are passionate about your reading habit. Even a couple of weekly visits to the library will help you pass at least a few hours.
5) Crochet, knit and sew: Gift pieces to your grandkids
Crochet is a favorite hobby for many women who have retired. It is a simple-looking art but it takes years of practice to master the technique of creating beautiful pieces from yarn and hooks.
You can easily buy a beginner's crochet kit online for less than $50. If you don't have someone to learn from, you can get a book or watch videos on YouTube.
The best part of taking up crochet as a hobby is that you will be able to make cute hats and beautiful scarves for your grandsons and granddaughters. You will become the cool granny who gifts delightful stuff every now and then.
6) Travel after retirement: Common post-retirement activity
Traveling is a common thing that most people do after retirement. You can travel to far off exotic lands or go backpacking to popular tourist destinations.
Well planned tours can be really cheap, especially if you travel to countries where the currency is valued much lower as compared to your own. Apart from the usual benefits of travelling, you may even stumble upon a country or a place that you fall in love with, and decide to move there on a permanent basis.
7) Look for DIY projects to do home improvements
There are tons of DIY home improvement projects that you can do with basic tools. You can make or repair book shelves, swings, hammocks, small tables, dog houses and small furniture items to get started.
As your level of expertise with materials and tools increases over time, you can move on to larger home improvement projects like fixing the patio, making garden beds, painting your walls and putting together larger furniture pieces.
Apart from letting DIY home improvement projects turning into a full-time hobby, you will save a lot of money by becoming an expert at fixing stuff around the house. You will not need to depend on professional help every time you have a small household problem.
8) Take up gardening as a serious hobby
Gardening is a soul-enriching hobby that people pursue passionately. The best part about gardening is that you don't need to go outside and while doing it, you will beautify your home.
You will have to do some reading if you decide to take up gardening seriously. Think about the type of look you want to give to your garden. Read about the different types of shrubs, flowers and trees you can plant to make your garden look pretty.
Go to your nearest hardware retailer to stock up on gardening supplies and tools. Have a conversation with one of the customer service staff to make sure that you are buying the right kind of stuff for all your gardening needs.
9) Keep a pet for company
Pets are great companions and their presence will make your retirement days warm and happy. An active pet like a dog will give you company during your walks while a cat will amuse you endlessly with its cuteness and attitude.
10) Buy a RV or motor home and take on the country by road
Many retired couples chose to spend their retired lives touring across the country. Depending on whether you decide to buy a trailer, motor coach, pop up camper, C-class or A-class motor homes, this investment can range anywhere between fifty thousand dollars and upwards of a million dollars.
Depending on your likes and dislikes, you can do dedicated tours which include touring every national park or visiting every amusement park in the country.
11) Start a new business after your retirement
Many retirees start their own businesses after retirement. Below are a few points you need to keep in mind before even thinking in this direction.
- You have some spare money that you can afford to lose
- You are fit to devote yourself full-time to the business
- You have some form of support, whether it is your spouse or another business partner
- You have a business idea that you are passionate about
Starting a business after retirement is your chance to do something that you always wanted to do. For example, you could think about opening a restaurant if being a restaurateur was always a dream of yours.
12) Spend more time with your grandkids
Take charge of the amount of time you spend with your grandchildren. Stop depending on your children's excuses of how busy they were or how they had other priorities on the weekend.
After retirement you will have a lot of free time on hand. Drive down to your children's homes on the weekend if they have issues with driving up to yours. Retirement is your chance to teach your grandkids a thing or two about their family roots.
13) Keeping busy with exercise and fitness: Keep a daily time slot for your fitness routine
You may not be the same old hunky guy that you were in your twenties when you could just walk into a gym and impress the girls. You may not be the same old pretty twenty year old blonde who had all eyes on her when she jogged in the park. But this should not stop you from making fitness a priority in your life again.
Everyone is going to get old but the experience of your old age will vary a lot, depending on your health levels. Take up the free time of your retirement as a chance to exercise and get fit again. If you don't feel like going to the gym, buy a treadmill or an elliptical so that you can get fit at home.
Exercising to keep yourself busy after retirement has double benefits. Apart from helping you pass time on a daily basis, it will also make you fit which will help you enjoy physically challenging activities like bike rides, long walks and short hikes.
14) Bring the family together: Organize family dinners and gatherings
Your children will be caught up in their careers, kids and the same other responsibilities that held you back from spending time with your family while you were in your thirties and forties. Now is your chance to reclaim those lost years by taking the lead in organizing family dinners and gatherings.
Use every possible opportunity to gather your children and their families for cozy family dinners. Pounce upon long weekends, niece or nephew's birthday and other celebrations as opportunities to get the families together. This is the only way your grandkids will understand the meaning of family ties.
15) Start blogging: Free and easy-to-use
Blogging is a great way to keep busy after retirement. Sign up at one of the many popular and free blogging platforms like Blogger.com or Wordpress.com. You don't have to pay a single dollar to start and maintain a personal blog.
It is a myth that you need to be tech-savvy to start a blog. Personal blogging has become as easy creating a word document. Regular blog posts will get you more followers and you can interact with like-minded people in the online community.
16) Subscribe to your favorite magazines in print
Spending a lazy afternoon reading glossy magazines is one of the simple pleasures of life that you never got when you were working. Retirement is your chance to do it.
Magazine subscriptions are also a cheap way to pass time. Typical annual subscriptions can cost anywhere from ten dollars to twenty five dollars if you buy online. You can choose from a range of genres including women's issues and relationships, sports, fashion, automobiles and many other publications catering to niche audiences.
17) Become a member of your favorite local sports club
It will seem expensive to buy tickets for individual games at your city's stadiums and arenas. Take up an annual or lifetime membership of your favorite sports club so you can get discounted tickets and a host of other benefits.
This is a great way for retired men to keep busy. Major clubs host tens of games every year, which will easily help a sports fan pass time after retirement.
18) Buy a new golf kit and become a member at a golf club
Golf has forever been a favorite hobby with pensioners and retirees. You can jump onto this hobby by buying a new golf kit and becoming a member at a golf club. Starter kits can cost as less as $250 and this investment will keep you busy for months and years to come.
As a hobby, golf will help you hone your motor skills, keep fit as you walk along the course and also socialize with other retirees who come to enjoy the serene views of the greens.
19) Volunteer at your local charity: Use your free time to help the society
Volunteering is one of those things which will really involve you in making a visible impact on the social fabric. Depending on the suburb where you live, you may have a range of options including child services, charitable organizations, nursing homes and other non-profitable organizations that cater to different causes.
Volunteering and helping charities will also give you a feeling that you have given something back to the society.
20) Experiment with new recipes and cooking styles
Pleasure your taste buds and become an excellent amateur chef by honing your cooking skills after retirement. Hope over to Amazon.com's cookbook section and browse through the thousands of books on baking, organic cooking and culinary techniques from around the world.
Set aside at least a couple of days every week to try out new recipes and cooking styles to explore your inner foodie.
21) Write a book: Become an author after retirement
Almost everyone has an inner writer that got lost when a full-time job and family responsibility made life a frantic race. Reignite your writing passion by taking the first steps at being an author.
There are many steps involved in publishing a book but the first step is to actually start writing on a regular basis. All you need is a PC or a laptop so that you can write chapter after chapter in MS Word.
Publishing has become easier and you can even publish an e-book for free. Biographies, poetry, child stories, romance, thrillers, non-fiction, comics and journals are among the endless genre choices that you can start writing on right away.
22) Get your motorcycle out of the garage and on the road
Most riders give up their motorcycles after the priorities of life come swooping in and logic starts taking over passion. Money is spent on family sedans and more practical means of commuting.
Retirement is the time to bring out that rusty motorcycle out of the shed and give it a thorough refurbishment. You can even buy a cheap learner class motorcycle to have the magical feeling of the wind in your hair again.
23) Meet your old friends: Bring out that old phonebook
Grab your old phonebook if you find yourself bored after retirement. Look up some of you old friends and call them one by one. You can catch up with them if they are in the same city.
You may find that one of your best friends from college is in the same position as you are. Both of you can meet often and help each other kick away the retirement blues.
24) Spend time with nature after retirement
Nature can be a beautiful companion if you learn to enjoy and cherish its beauty. If you are not a nature lover by heart, start by watching the sunset or sunrise from a lookout point at the park. The serenity and calmness will win your heart.
Grab your digital SLR camera and drive away to such lookout points, waterfalls and other scenic spots. Once you fall in love with nature, you will never have to look for things to do after retirement because it will become very easy to spend time with yourself.
25) Offer to babysit your children's or relatives' kids
Even after all your efforts you find that you are not getting to spend enough time with your grandkids, offer to babysit them.
This way you will spend the best years of your retirement cuddling and pampering your grandchildren, leaving them with priceless memories of growing up with their grandpa and grandma.
26) Convert a spare room into an artist's den: Paint and draw
Bring out your inner artist after retirement by converting a spare room in your house into an artist's den. Buy a cheap starter's kit which includes brushes, paints, mixing trays and palettes along with framed stretched canvas.
It will cost less than a hundred dollars to buy basic brushes, canvas and other painting accessories. This is all you need to express your creativity through painting and you can splurge on more expensive products after you are certain that you will pursue this hobby permanently.
27) Spend time with yourself: Yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation are great ways to reconnect with yourself on a spiritual level after retirement. You can either learn by taking up yoga classes or by watching videos on YouTube.
Once you have learnt the basics of Yoga, you will be able to do it in the comfort of your own home. All you need to do is buy a yoga mat and lay it in your backyard. You will easily be able to spend at least an hour every day enjoying the peacefulness and relaxation that yoga gives to the mind and body.
28) Take up teaching: Become a part-time professor or visiting faculty
Offer your teaching services to a school, college or any other academic institution if you have retired as an expert in your profession. Don't think that the lack of teaching experience will be a problem.
Many colleges and universities like to have professionals as visiting faculties so that students can get an idea of how work-life will be in the real world. If you teach, you will be making a difference in your students' lives.
29) Go for a swim at the local pool
Swimming is a great way to relax, distress and rejuvenate. If you are physically fit to swim, head over to your local public pool and find a time slot in which you can peacefully do a few laps.
Many private clubs also hold batches specifically for the aged in which trained coaches make everyone go through fun drills and games in the pool.
30) Go fishing and cook your catch
Fishing is a favorite retirement hobby for men. Fishing is not as cheap as some of the other hobbies in this list but it will give you the joy of being outdoors. It is perfect for nature lovers and fishing enthusiasts.
You will need the basic fishing tools and accessories including a rod, reel, baits and storage. Spend an entire day and finish it off by cooking your catch.
31) Retirement for movie buffs: Buy a projector and convert a spare room into a mini theatre
You can buy a high quality 3D projector for less than a thousand dollars. Add a few recliner chairs or sofas to a spare room and you will spend the rest of your retirement days watching all your favorite movies in the comfort of your home.
You can also host movie watching parties so that all your movie buff retired pals can join you.
32) Write long handwritten letters to your overseas friends and relatives
Retirement is all about enjoying the little pleasures of life and the cuddly feeling of reading a long handwritten letter sent from overseas is irreplaceable. Start writing long letters to your friends and family who live overseas. Request them to reply by writing letters.