Finding a hobby (a new one?) just right for you can give you a lifetime of enjoyment, far into your retirement years. The main thing to consider is what do you really like? Not what your family tree or best friend thinks you should like – It is for you!

Do you think you’re not very good at anything? If that sounds like you, here are questions to ask yourself about what you’ve really wanted to do.

If you’re still working, now is the time to develop a hobby and to plan for future senior activities.

It’s also a great idea to have several different hobbies, because things change as we age. That sure happened to Dad. And he didn’t have much to fall back on.

Working with our hands at any age is particularly valuable. It promotes brain and physical coordination. P.S. – If you’re looking particularly for easy craft ideas be sure to visit our specialized page.

Dad’s Issue – When my father became very elderly and moved in with me, I became his full-time caregiver. His main hobbies had been golf and reading. But because of his vision and hearing loss, he had to give those up and there wasn’t much he could do. Or, that is, was willing to do.

It taught me the importance of cultivating a variety of hobbies and interests including working with one’s hands, because you just never know.

First Ask Yourself:

To get started with finding a hobby, first take some notes and let yourself brainstorm. And keep in mind that some may be good extra income ideas and actually provide ways to do a little work after retirement if you’re interested in that.

  • Make a list of the top 5 hobbies or activities you like to do now.
  • Now make a list of the top 5 new activities you would like to learn. This is brainstorming — don’t limit yourself, financially or otherwise.

Idea List – for Finding a Hobby

Finding a hobby can be a really fun exercise and will give you ideas on how you can expand the list.

  • photography – including nature, weddings, babies, children
  • home renovation
  • do-it-yourself activities such as a tile backsplash, creative cement work, etc.
  • interior decorating
  • woodworking
  • build and decorate a dollhouse – perhaps elaborate
  • furniture making
  • painting on furniture
  • furniture restoration
  • scrapbooking
  • going to or participating in flea markets
  • metal detecting – you can find amazing treasures!
  • making trash to treasure projects
  • starting a collection – perhaps heirloom quality
  • studying antiques and antiquing
  • join a theater group and be in a play
  • or work with costumes and props
  • learn a new sport – biking, tennis, golf, swimming
  • take up chess; join a group
  • painting – on canvas; or paint on glass or wood
  • murals
  • candle making
  • hand-painted ceramic sinks
  • hand-painted ceramic tiles
  • pottery and ceramics
  • mosaics (including tables, chairs, trays)
  • making crafts – there are many crafts for seniors to explore
  • scale modeling (see link at the bottom of this page)
  • small appliance or mechanical repair
  • rug making (easy rug hooking, braided rugs, etc.)
  • learning or enhancing computer skills
  • making a web site regarding your hobby or interest (you can make money too – really)
  • needlework such as cross-stitching or embroidery
  • knitting or crocheting
  • quilting – start small like a pillow or wallhanging
  • be a volunteer or professional clown
  • making puppets and puppeteering
  • clock and watch repair
  • crossword puzzles
  • jewelry making
  • stained glass
  • specialized cooking
  • cake decorating
  • gardening – perhaps a specialty such as roses or exotic plants
  • flower pressing
  • sewing
  • upholstery
  • decorative pillows
  • journalism – articles for newspapers, magazines, organizations
  • creative writing – perhaps memoirs or a novel
  • write and/or illustrate a children’s book
  • record your memoirs (and help others) and transfer to a CD
  • making videos and movies
  • dancing – salsa, tap, ballroom, jazz, square dancing, contemporary; don’t limit yourself
  • singing
  • playing musical instruments – (our guest writer talks about a super easy way of playing chimes, without having to read music or practice. Perfect for kids and families too).
  • floral arrangement
  • bird watching
  • fishing
  • card games
  • crafts – there are tons of easy craft ideas and crafts for seniors
  • make or study wines
  • beer making
  • getting a pet
  • public speaking
  • wedding officient
  • learn another language – and take a trip!
  • sailing and boating

When finding a hobby, remember, there may be a craft store, home improvement store, community resources or a senior center that can teach many of these activities. And don’t forget the library – most of them have or can get videos and books on a favorite topic. Or do you have a friend or family member who can teach you? Groups are always fun.

Do you have limitations?
If you have physical or other challenges and are unable to do your activity of choice now, finding a hobby can be modified. (For instance, did you know there are special easy-to-grip garden tools, and even wheelchair accessible elevated gardens for the elderly, window gardens, and more).

See our page about elderly activities to get ideas for those with limitations that we experience as we age. Also consider reading books, watching movies or TV programs, attending seminars or conferences on the subject, or helping others.

Find out what other related senior activity ideas and groups are available. There are also many special crafts for elderly to consider – ask a local senior center or even a church group.

After finding a hobby (or two) dedicate a room or area in your home to your special activities. Make a list of the supplies you will need, and find out how to get discounts.

A special note:
If you are a writer, visit your library or bookstore and look at the current “Writer’s Market.” This is an excellent yearly publication that tells what book and magazine publishers are looking for in that year. There are hundreds of listings. As you may guess, topics for baby boomers and elders are popular at this time.

You can also very easily self-publish a book by using Amazon’s system for Kindle books. With a for-print book check www.createspace.com — it’s very inexpensive because it’s print on demand. If you want to try electronic publishing, Amazon will also help your put your book into Kindle reader format.

If you are an artist, there is a similar book called “The Artist’s and Graphic Designer’s Market.” It lists hundreds of publishing and licensing companies to submit your artwork to, and what they are looking for. Even tips to go through the process. You can also pursue finding a licensing agent to represent your work to manufacturers, like I have.

And don’t forget to give back, if you can – teach someone what you know. Pass it on to family members, youth, and the elderly.

Do you like crafts?
Finding a hobby with crafts couldn’t be easier. We also do have lots of crafts in many places on our web site, but why hunt all over? Our crafts  are all consolidated and organized, along with dozens of NEW never-seen-before projects in our e-book! You get over 120 projects, with plenty of tips on different ways to make them! PLUS a FREE book of pattern templates! Click here for a sneak peak.

And check out this great hobby web site! An online guidebook to all forms of modeling from ships to planes and from trains to race cars. It’s your ultimate guide to the best in scale modeling.

to Retirment Ideas

Learning and volunteer ideas go hand in hand. Either makes a great retirement activity too – even if you don’t retire. 

Would you like to learn something new and volunteer at the same time? Or just do one or the other? To keep our memories and mental faculties in top shape, we need to keep learning. As centenarian Maurice Eisman says, “If I could leave any message, never stop learning. Period.”

When we went to school as kids, it’s often because we had to. Maybe we enjoyed it and maybe we didn’t. Now is the time for you to learn something because you really want to, or pass along what you know. What would it be?

If you or a loved one lives in a retirement community, assisted living, or even a nursing home community, there still are many ways to put all that good knowledge and experience to use! It just takes a little creative thinking, and asking staff to help carry out your learning and volunteer ideas.

Sharing even in a small way helps keep the mind sharp, gives something to look forward to, and provides a sense of purpose and contribution.

Learning & Volunteer Ideas

Even if you don’t retire or if you just work part time, there are so many ways to help and to continue learning. Here are some volunteer ideas, and also a few for ongoing learning.

  • Jot down what you know about that you can share.
  • Next, jot down what you’d like to learn more about – perhaps to enhance what you can share.
  • Do you have a college or community college in your town? Call and have them send you a brochure. Many classes can be audited and taken for no grade or tests. Many can also be taken via the computer.
  • Ask if they have special senior education programs.
  • Also ask if they have volunteer ideas or programs to help students, if you are interested in education.
  • Many colleges offer an “elder collegium” curriculum, specifically for seniors.
  • Consider teaching (or performing) yourself, including at your senior center, nursing homes, etc. Sharing your expertise is one of the most rewarding things you can do.
  • Speaking of performing, there are theater groups in most towns that need help with anything from props to costumes to acting.
  • And, if you’re a real performer, a wonderful opportunity is to become a performer or volunteer clown with an organization that visits hospitals and nursing homes, as well as schools.
  • If you are good with sewing (costumes perhaps) or building and constructing things, you may be able to help make the actual props and items for the theater — from where you live.
  • Do you like politics? This is an area full of possible learning and volunteer ideas. Retirement is a time to more fully participate, perhaps work on political campaign or get involved with voters organizations. Also see if there is anything you can do from home, if you prefer.
  • You may even consider running for office yourself. Start locally – many of these positions are volunteer or semi-volunteer.
  • Or become your organization’s expert in current legislation.
  • You could also begin a forum or group around a specific issue in your community. Others with many different backgrounds and experiences will join, creating not only a great civic activity, but also a learning opportunity for all. Who knows what volunteer ideas you may be creating as well.
  • Perhaps you’d like to volunteer with the League of Women’s Voters.
  • Speaking of organizations, take a look at Rotary, Toastmasters, help with the Jaycees (Junior Chamber), Feeding America, Best Buddies (who work with developmentally disabled), Senior Corps (working within communities in many capacities), Foster Grandparents. All of these provide volunteer and civic opportunities. Plus a good platform to learn something new. If you or your loved one lives on a campus, is it possible to start a civic group on site? Or hold meetings there?
  • If you are or were a business person, consider volunteer ideas at SCORE (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) which is in conjunction with the Small Business Administration. You can provide invaluable assistance and learning to others in business.
  • Participate in your local Chamber of Commerce.
  • Some towns, counties and cities have similar small business mentorship programs – consider joining a local organization. Pass on what you know.
  • If you’re physically active, how about joining in with Habitat For Humanity and help build an affordable house. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll learn some new skills too.
  • If you’re interested in the environment, check if your community has a highway or park clean-up program.
  • Your local senior center is most likely full of volunteer ideas. As we age elderly issues can become overwhelming, sometimes necessitating community help. But senior centers also offer many fun senior activity ideas and chances to make new friends.
  • An excellent way to combine learning and volunteer ideas is to help those in need. Almost every community has a local food shelf and other types of community resources. If you have experience in food, health, social services, emergency assistance, communications, financial services, law, they especially need you!
  • A local long term care facility or nursing home may have an activities director that could really use help with crafts, field trips, and other activities for their residents.
  • If you have a legal background, consider assisting with Legal Aid.
  • Every state has an organization for vision and hearing impaired. And many of the positions are volunteer work or close to it. They may also need help with fund raising!
  • Volunteer ideas are plentiful in the outdoors too. Many park and recreational facilities, botanical gardens, and conservatories utilize volunteers and also teach classes (to teach yourself, assist with, or take). If you live in a community campus, offer to share what you know with small or larger groups. Ask staff to assist with putting a slide show together, or pass around books with pictures.
  • If you have experience with gardening, look into starting a community garden – either with flowers and plants, or a vegetable garden in which others can work a plot of their own. Or just plant flowers in an area of town that needs a little beautifying. Or, if you live in a community setting, offer to do a little gardening for them. I know a lady that daily takes a walk out to the outdoor patio with her walker. Then weeds and maintains the elevated gardens there. Others take care of the indoor planter and garden areas.
  • For pet lovers, your local animal shelter may need help. Or an animal hospital. Or perhaps you’d like to do a little volunteer dog walking or pet sitting for someone. If you live on a campus, maybe the activites director has or would like to have a program for bringing animals to the residents — and you could help.
  • Does your local library have a Friends of the Library group? Many such groups not only fund raise and work in the library itself, but also bring books to those who are homebound. They may also include a program to reading to those recipients, or are in connection with another volunteer group who does read to others.
  • Jot down a list of books you’ve always wanted to read (maybe you already have one – in fact, you’ve been making it for years and it’s now three feet long). What is your plan – library, bookstore, or possibly books on tape. Are any of these books that you would like to share with others?
  • Join a book or movie club. None around? Start one with a few friends. Such clubs can provide a large range of fulfilling elderly activities. And develop into years of camaraderie and enjoyment.

As you know, it’s important to exercise the brain as well as the body.

I have seen many seniors, especially in community living, ease into their own world and even become selfish and complaining. They may lose perspective. But there ways people of all ages can learn and help, even if donating to a charitable garage sale, craft fair or holiday effort. Perhaps knitting, sewing, help with baking, crafting or making items for them.

Seniors of almost any age can give hope and companionship to others, including in a facility in which they may live, or to kids. Volunteer ideas abound. These simple efforts can bring a turn-around in attitude and provide positive goals in life.

Pages with more retirement ideas:
Finding A Hobby — Finding a hobby that is just right for you will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. Here’s the top list of hobby ideas, alone or in a group.
Senior Citizen Travel — More detailed information on planning your trip, things to be aware of, and what questions to ask your travel agent.
Senior Activity Ideas — Lots of very cool senior activity ideas, some great to do alone, or some in groups.

to Retirement Ideas

Looking for great retirement ideas and activities?
(We have retirement activities for everyone – even if you really don’t retire!)

There are all kinds of possibilities and things to do out there. Here are a few fun ideas for any budget, with links pointing to even more options, below.

When Dad came to live with me he’d been retired already for a long time. He had serious hearing and vision loss and could not participate in much without help. That really started me searching for new retirement ideas not only for him… but it also gave me pause to consider myself. And many of my friends had started retiring too.

What would I want to do when I retired. Perhaps because I stayed at home as his full-time caregiver, in a way I had already “retired” — from the workforce, anyway. I did work from home and still wanted to work after retirement, so found many different ways to do that.

Here are a few things I’ve learned  along the way…

Choose senior activity ideas that keep you busy, the mind active, are of service even in small ways, or provide ongoing learning.

Don’t Get Stuck – Be willing to try something new!
(Dad certainly had to do this as his hearing and vision went).  Or have a special goal to strive for too. There’s nothing like a goal, even a small one, to trigger the imagination.

The type of retirement ideas you choose may depend on factors such as interests, physical health, mobility, mental health, budget. But no matter what the circumstances, there are plenty of retirement activities to choose from.

Outdoor Retirement Ideas

Turn off the TV and get outside! You may say, “I’m just not that outdoorsy.” Not an excuse! Get out and get some fresh air! It’s easy to simply take a favorite activity or club meeting outside — make a special area in your yard or patio. And ask yourself some questions about retirement ideas vs. outdoor living.

  • What climate do you live in now?
  • Are you able to participate in the usual outdoor activities for your climate? (Where I live in the northern climate, this is no longer much of an option for me!)
  • Are you finding your climate to be restricting? (I do).
  • Have you thought about moving to a different climate? Or at least get away for part of the colder months?
  • What outdoor programs are offered by your senior center?
  • Does a local community center offer outdoor programs?
  • Join an outdoor sports team — there are teams available just for seniors. Inquire with your Parks and Rec Dept. or senior center. Or maybe you’re qualified to coach younger people, if you can no longer play, yourself.
  • If you don’t have a garden or patio available, you can set up an attractive area right in front of a favorite window – a garden style table and a couple of chairs; potted plants or hanging plants, a mobile, garden statues and décor. Your indoor “garden” has many uses, and it brings the look of the outdoors inside! And provides all kinds of interesting retirement ideas.
  • If you do have a yard or patio, create a showplace garden, however small. Or even on your windowsill. Your local nursery can help you choose a variety of easy-to-maintain plants and flowers. Perhaps a bonsai?
  • Join a club – outdoor retirement activities are more fun with other seniors and people of all ages. And you’re more likely to continue. Garden, walking or biking clubs are ideal. Either something you enjoyed before, or something brand new.
  • Take up fishing. Or boating. Or both. Or water skiing. My Dad actually water skiid when he was 84 years old!
  • Exercise for seniors offer loads of retirement ideas, and of course important to keep joints limber and bones and heart strong. How about a bicycle – there are paths and programs ideal for this popular elderly activity. Find them through your city parks division, your senior center, or even a local college.
  • Or maybe just plain walking. Many medical experts believe this is the best overall elderly exercise. DAd’s doctor encouraged him to walk daily, even when he was in his late 90s. Ask about local walking events and walking clubs.
  • If you are an outdoor sports enthusiast, check into the National Senior Games Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle and options for senior exercise. They have a variety of state and national competitions seniors can participate in and can even help you find a partner or team to join.
  • Check into special travel trips that emphasize an outdoor activity or another climate, including adventure travel. A local travel agency may have information about this. There are several senior tour and cruise options available.
  • Plan picnics and parties outdoors — you can combine them with other celebrations, biking, walking, hiking, gardening, as well as group meetings.
  • If you don’t have a pet, arrange to help walk someone else’s pet outdoors.

Now also take a look at our related page on more specifics at:
Outdoor Elderly Activities.

Pet Retirement Ideas

Do you love animals? Perhaps when you worked it was not practical for you to have a pet. But during retirement, caring for pets makes great activities for seniors.

  • If you are able to volunteer, animal shelters are a wonderful option.
  • Or perhaps take home a pet who needs special care yourself. Experts know that caring for a pet has great benefits to our well-being of the elderly and baby boomers too. And they can provide very loyal companionship. I have friend who was a “foster family” to a needy pet from a shelter, until a permanent family was found.
  • If you live in a housing complex that does not allow pets, how about pet sitting in someone else’s home? Many working folks would love to have someone come in and walk and feed their pet, and give it some play time. (This also could provide additional income). I had a work associate who gave up her busy management career to do this new career, and was very successful! Another close friend did have someone come in to provide such a service for her and her pet – it really freed up her life.
  • If you don’t want to make an ongoing commitment, perhaps just offer to walk or play with your neighbor’s pet from time to time.
  • Are you interested in more exotic pets, including fish, birds, reptiles – even tarantulas? Visit a pet store and take a look around. Ask questions. Read. Just do your research and make sure you thoroughly know what you’re getting into first.
  • What about working at a local pet store. For those who are not able to have a pet at home, this is a satisfying alternative. And again, extra income.

More Retirement Ideas

We have too many ideas to all fit on this page, so we’ve broken it down into further categories. Be sure to check these out too…

Retirement HobbiesFinding A Hobby — Finding a hobby that is just right for you will give you a lifetime of enjoyment. Here’s the coolest list of hobby ideas (for all ages) either to do alone or in a group.

TravelingSenior Citizen Travel — Traveling is the top retirement activity after work life no matter what your budget; or even if you don’t retire. I’ve traveled all over and have lots of valuable tips.

VolunteeringLearning and Volunteer Ideas — Learning and volunteer work can go hand in hand. Either are excellent retirement ideas – whether you’re actually retired or not.

Fun ActivitiesSenior Activity Ideas — Check out this variety of  senior activities for baby boomers, or those “of a certain age.” We include things for both indoors and outdoors. Easy to modify to fit special needs.

CraftsEasy Craft Ideas — Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of learning a new craft during retirement. (And maybe even to do for profit.)

More….

Cool Quote & Retirement Message Ideas –  Need a cool quote or retirement message? Well we have dozens of all kinds here. Big array of quotes for all occasions.

Home

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Other web sites with retirement ideas:

Fashion After 50 – This is the most fabulous web site I’ve seen on fashion and accessories for the mature woman. Both elegant and practical – a must-see!

It’s never too late to learn how to build kites. This site starts with a few very simple designs. Quick to make and proven to fly well in light winds. However, if the kite bug bites, you could spend years building and flying the more advanced designs found here!

Helping Seniors In Transition – A one stop shop program designed to take the stress out of managing the transition from family home to nursing home residential living of a senior family member or loved one.

Are you planning a retirement celebration?…For gracious, yet great goodbyes and free farewell speeches see Retirement Speeches at find-the-words.com.

Home

Learning how to get happy is an ongoing process throughout life. And it’s never too late to start or re-fire. Some people, researchers now know, are born with a sort of happiness gene — a 5HTT gene, which helps transport seratonin in the brain.

Its malfunction or mutation can be involved in bringing on depression. And not everyone has a strong happiness gene, it seems.

Yet happiness is crucial to good health, and is tied in with brain chemistry. But a lot of it also has to do with habits of thinking.

And habits can be changed at any age. I’ve seen it happen before my very eyes, and it truly can make a difference in dealing with many elderly issues that come up as we age.

(One of these issues is depression. If this is suspected, before a person can take further steps in how to get happy, we would first need to be sure clinical depression is being managed, by seeing a health practitioner).

To get an excellent understanding of the physiology of joy and depression, I suggest reading The Chemistry of Joy, by Henry Emmons, M.D.

My Dad has a favorite philosophy — “a person should wake up every morning satisfied and cheerful.” And what an example he is, at age 96 and being almost deaf and blind. I asked him how he developed such a great attitude. He said it was a process that’s happened over time. He also firmly believes his basic regiment of exercises for the elderly helps a great deal.

But he was largely influenced by three important books in his life. One was How To Live 365 Days A Year, by John A Schindler, MD. This is a classic and I remember in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s how Dad used to rave about this book and got us all to read it.

Another book is The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. You may be familiar with this one as well. His third favorite is Think And Grow Rich, a classic by Napolean Hill. How to get happy is the basic premise of all three of these books.

Now I read these books to him, as he can no longer read himself. I’d read them all in my younger years. And oh if I’d only assimilated all of the wisdom…

How To Get Happy Studies

Perhaps you’re familiar with the famous experiments NASA has done in the past with astronauts, is testing to see how the body handles stressors.

One involved special convex goggles that were put on the astronauts in training, making everything look upside down and backward. They could not take them off at all for at least 30 days, not in the shower, not even when sleeping. This was to purposely disorient them and see how they would cope and if they would become depressed. Needless to say, it was stressful to adjust at first.

Lo and behold, around Day 26 to Day 30, everyone experienced an amazing phenomenon. The brain adjusted itself so that they could suddenly see right-side up again.

The brain had made a neural adaptation. So they tried it again, and had the astronauts take off the goggles after about 14 Days. But by Day 30 nothing happened. They had to start all over.

After much more testing, NASA came to realize that absolute consistency for the new perceptual information was needed, with no break, for about 30 days before the subconscious and brain would adjust.

This is called neural reconditioning. It’s the same with forming new habits. You can build a new neural pathway in your brain – programmed for how to get happy.

The key is consistency. How to get happy involves consistency of attitude and habits. This is makes the difference.

There are all kinds of helpful, positive attitude ideas out there. And they help for awhile. But if we do not consistently practice them for at least 30 days (and ideally longer) our subconscious and brains do not register the new pattern.

So what are some how to get happy hints? Here are some of the favorites we have come across over the years. You may be familiar with many. But remember, the key is to them consistently without break for at least 30 days.

Happiness Hints

Gratitude — Before going to bed each night, and upon rising, think of 5 things that you are grateful for in your life and in Life in general. They can be very small. Often it’s the small things that make us happy anyway.

Take this a step further and write them down in what folks call their Gratitude Diary. That way you have something at your fingertips to read over, again and again, when you need a lift. This amazingly simple exercise is one of the most powerful for how to get happy in a snap.

Wonderful You — It seems we tend to remember the crummy stuff about ourselves, dwell on it, and the good stuff goes on the back burner. Not a good way of how to get happy.

Make a list of all the wonderful things about yourself. Sometimes we are programmed to think in terms of others: helping others, complimenting others. Making others feel good or better. While this is of course important and meaningful, it has to start with ourselves first. And once we’ve got it down about ourselves, it is so much easier to let it flow towards others.

Make this list as long as you want it. The longer the better. Put down all your wonderful qualities, your talents and skills, your contributions, your accomplishments – over your lifetime. Being happy about yourself is key in how to get happy in general. You will have another tool to check in with whenever you need a lift. And keep adding to it on a continual basis.

Sunshine and Vitamin D — According to the National Institutes of Health, we need sun for Vitamin D, and its lack is becoming a big problem. We also need both to keep our mood balanced. You may be familiar with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) which is common in climates with less sun, especially during the winter. I have had a problem with this myself.

But a good way of how to get happy despite dark and gloomy weather is using a full-spectrum light. We have a Day Light by Uplift Technologies, and I can say it truly helps. Both Dad and I use it.

Since I have started taking a Vitamin D supplement (which is not a good as the sun, but does help) I have also felt more energetic. As always, you may need to check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

Make a difference — We can do this at any age, even in a small way. This is a really great way of how to get happy almost immediately – by making a difference to another person (or animal too).

Whether through an actual volunteer activity, being especially helpful or kind to someone down the hall, or participation in a prayer group, even giving a compliment — there are ways for everyone.

What you have and know can be shared with the younger generation as well. Pass it on. And you may like to check out our volunteer ideas. Set a goal that each day you will find a way to make a difference to someone. And don’t forget to let yourself be the receiver, so that you can allow someone else to make a difference – to you.

Interact with animals

— It is a known fact that interacting with animals is healing to our psychology and an excellent way of how to get happy. Especially holding and petting them.

If you cannot get a pet at this point in your life, see if you can have an animal come in to visit you regularly, or go on regular trips to a pet store. Perhaps volunteer at a shelter. Walk someone’s dog or take care of their cat for awhile.

Visuals — Surrounding yourself with visually uplifting things is key to how to get happy. Get rid of anything that you have to look at that does not make you happy (if you can). Paint your rooms a favorite color if you are in a place that you can paint. Even just one wall helps.

The power that color has on our psyche is amazing. But it has to be your favorite color. Not one you think you’re supposed to like, or one that some study says is the best.

Arrange your rooms with pillows, throws, art work and wall hangings, plants and flowers, anything visually happy to look at. And did you know an aquarium is particularly calming to the nerves?

Make a wish book — You may be familiar with the concept of visualization. Well it is indeed a powerful way for boosting how to get happy.

Get a 3-ring binder and some plastic page sleeves. The start cutting out pictures and photos or things that are uplifting to you, and things that you would really love to do or have. Look at it every day. Especially those that you’d really love to attract into your life.

See them in your life now. This may be a car, a new dress, a special concert or function to go to, a trip, better health, even more money. Remember, it’s consistency of staying with your visualization of it.

Use your best stuff

— And again, get rid of anything you don’t like, don’t use, or don’t really want. Get out those good dishes and use them. Put them out on display too. Get out those nice clothes and wear them. Doing anything that’s a pick-me-up is how to get happy quickly.

Do something creative — Creativity has a way for generating a happy mood. And being creative is not just about the arts. Certainly painting, clay, music, writing, woodworking and the like are great.

But if you know how to fix things, how about fixing something for someone. Or teaching others about it. We have lots of activities on our web site. Just take a look at the Menu Bar.

Nature — Being in nature and doing things with and in nature helps us keep balance and is a sure-fire way of how to get happy. This can be taking a walk, getting your hands in the soil, or making a small garden for your windowsill and taking care of it.

Sometimes this means forming a new habit — like getting out and taking that walk, maybe with a friend. And combining nature with a little exercise is ideal.

Exercise — No matter what our situation (almost), there are ways we can exercise. Even if it’s sitting down. Getting the energy going in your system. According to the Mayo Clinic, the Number One benefit of exercise is improving your mood, which of course is how to get happy.

Including just taking a walk for 15 to 30 minutes a day. And if you happen to have arthritis (or want to prevent it) one of the best programs I’ve come across is called “Easy Yoga For Arthritis,” by Peggy Cappy. It’s great for stress as well.

Get a hobby — Having something interesting that you like to do every day is crucial to how to get happy. If you’ve had to give up a hobby for some reason, or never really had one, now it the time to get going with something new.

(See our page on Finding A Hobby). There’s nothing like having something fun to look forward to. And it will be inspiring not only to yourself but others.

Laugh Daily — This seems easy. But it isn’t always. I’ve read many a study about how laughter therapy helps patients with serious illness recover faster. Or helps us sleep better. Or gets the blood flow going. We know it relieves stress. (The Mayo Clinic says so).

They also say stimulate the endorphins in your brain, plus your organs overall. And your immune system. All these physical benefits are important in how to get happy.

The trick is, discovering what can make you laugh — whether a joke book, funny person, movie, or TV show. But it is important enough to make it a daily practice, just like exercise. (And probably a lot funner).

Read An Inspiring Book — Reading something inspirational is one of my favorite ways of how to get happy. I’ve lately come across a really good one, sure to become a classic. It’s Happy For No Reason, by Marci Shimoff. I think it’s a masterpiece.

And if you really want to go deep (and also be amused), try Steering By Starlight. Or anything written by her. She is one of the most profound and hilarious authors I’ve read.

Create A Get-Away — Some people can go on a great vacation regularly. Others can’t. But we can make ourselves a comfy little get-away right in our own homes. I, in fact, try to make my whole home a get-away.

This means getting rid of anything that does not truly make you happy, re-arranging, and filling it with things that you love. Especially the little things.

love art, plants, pillows, special bedding, patterns and color, books, delightful and whimsical accessories, antiques, flowers, music, lighting that makes a statement. And a lot of it is from sales, thrift stores, and things I’ve made myself. Your environment, even color alone, can make a huge difference in how to get happy.

You may be familiar with columnist Regina Brett’s 45 Life Lessons and 5 to Grow On – published in The Plain Dealer on Sunday, May 28, 2006. I’ve made a separate page for these at 45 Life Lessons. Be sure to read them — they are inspiring and timeless.

Some people are born with the happiness gene or the gift of a special personality (which is a true gift). But for many, how to get happy sometimes takes a little effort and developing a new attitude. And it does take consistency.

It’s not something you try out for a couple days and then say it didn’t really work. That is a cop-out. It is true some folks seem to be born with a positive attitude, and others have to work on it. But to have quality of life (no matter how long you live), finding ways of how to get happy is the best anti aging advice we’ve found.

Also be sure to read:

Senior Activity Ideas — A nice variety of senior activity ideas (baby boomers too!) for those with more mobility or a higher ability level. Some great to do alone, and some in groups.
Elderly Activities — Have some fun! A wide range of activities, including for those who may have limitations or need more help. Includes indoors, outdoors, games, food projects, crafts.
Easy Crafts and Gifts You Can MakeOur book! Looking for easy crafts and gifts you can make? Find out how to get loads of quality ideas — consolidated all in one place. Includes dozens of brand new projects not on this web site. Plus FREE dozens of new templates and patterns for your designs. Great for fun, gift giving, selling.

to Elderly Health Care

Get a cool quote or retirement message — Lots of categories!

Retirement is full of new activities, experiences and anticipations! And it may mean something different for everyone. 

So if you’re planning a retirement party of giving a retirement gift or retirement card with a special message, we have dozens of quotes of all kinds.

How about… happiness, success, experience, aging, imagination, change, humor, health … and lots more. You can use these for meaningful or humorous retirement advice, or something uplifting for elderly issues loved ones may be experiencing.

We’ve assembled a nice collection of retirement message quotes, as well as for inspirational, birthday, anniversary. They’ll be especially great for making your own greeting cards, posters, flyers, or to use with special art work and gifts. Perhaps you may want to include something personal and extra in a card you already have.

Or if you need a retirement message for a speech or party, take a look at this variety. (And you might like to check out our page on party theme ideas — you can have a party theme within a party!)

You will see many famous people represented, and some you may not know, in this page of fun quotes and retirement message ideas. So use your own imagination to put them to use!


Retirement Message Categories…

Retirement & Work – Retirement Message or Quote

Musicians don’t retire; they stop when there’s no more music in them.
Louis Armstrong

Planning to retire? Before you do find your hidden passion, do the thing that you have always wanted to do.
Catherine Pulsifer

Retirement means no pressure, no stress, no heartache… unless you play golf.
Gene Perret

If hard work were such a wonderful thing, surely the rich would have kept it all to themselves.
Lane Kirkland

People forget how fast you did a job – but they remember how well you did it.
Howard Newton

A retired husband is often a wife’s full-time job.
Ella Harris

Retirement at sixty-five is ridiculous. When I was sixty-five I still had pimples.
George Burns

There are an enormous number of managers who have retired on the job.
Peter Drucker

People may live as much retired from the world as they like, but sooner or later they find themselves debtor or creditor to someone.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

When men reach their sixties and retire, they go to pieces. Women go right on cooking.
Gail Sheehy

The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.
Abe Lemons

Work is love made visible.
Kahlil Gibran

Retirement kills more people than hard work ever did.
Malcolm Forbes

If I choose to devote myself to certain labors which yield more real profit, though but little money, they may be inclined to look on me as an idler.
Henry David Thoreau

Success & Experience – Retirement Message or Quote

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
Dale Carnegie

How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten?
Logan P. Smith

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no point in being a damn fool about it.
W. C. Fields

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.
Jonathan Winters

Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it.
Sam Ewing

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
David Brinkley

Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.
J. Paul Getty

An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.
Niels Bohr, physicist

Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.
Aldous Huxley

Enjoyment & Happiness – Retirement Message or Quote

Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.
Anatole France

We’ve put more effort into helping folks reach old age than into helping them enjoy it.
Frank Howard Clark

For in the dew of little things, the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
Kahlil Gibran

Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.
Benjamin Disraeli

An optimist is the human personification of spring.
Susan J. Bissonette

Health – Retirement Message or Quote

So many people spend their health gaining wealth, and then have to spend their wealth to regain their health.
A.J. Reb Materi

The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.
Mark Twain

Eat few suppers, and you’ll need few medicines.
Ben Franklin

The greatest wealth is health.
Virgil

Aging – Retirement Message or Quote

The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven’t changed in seventy or eighty years. Your body changes, but you don’t change at all. And that, of course, causes great confusion.
Doris Lessing

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.
Kurt Vonnegut

I don’t believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.
T. S. Eliot

Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form.
Andre Maurois

Advice in old age is foolish; for what can be more absurd than to increase our provisions for the road the nearer we approach to our journey’s end.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

It’s a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.
Lewis Carroll

Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting.
Author Unknown

It takes a long time to become young.
Pablo Picasso

I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything until noon. Then it’s time for my nap.
Bob Hope

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
Satchel Paige

Like many women my age, I am 28 years old.
Mary Schmich

Old age, believe me, is a good and pleasant thing. It is true you are gently shouldered off the stage, but then you are given such a comfortable front stall as spectator.
Confucius

The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.
Madeleine L’Engle

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.
Mark Twain

Attitude & Character – Retirement Message or Quote

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.
James Branch Cabell

What you are will show in what you do.
Thomas Edison

Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.
Lois McMaster Bujold

A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
Abraham Lincoln

I think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that.
Lauren Bacall

The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.
Abraham Lincoln

Education is the progressive discovery of our ignorance.
Will Durant

Life is too short to do anything for oneself that one can pay others to do for one.
W. Somerset Maugham

Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
Oscar Wilde

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
Henry Ford

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.
Albert Einstein

Events in the past may be roughly divided into those which probably never happened and those which do not matter.
William Ralph Inge

Money & Wealth – Retirement Message or Quote

I’m living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.
e e cummings

There are people who have money and people who are rich.
Coco Chanel

It’s better to live rich than to die rich.
Henry David Thoreau

We can tell our values by looking at our checkbook stubs.
Gloria Steinem

Inflation is when you pay fifteen dollars for the ten-dollar haircut you used to get for five dollars when you had hair.
Sam Ewing

That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.
Henry David Thoreau

I am opposed to millionaires, but it would be dangerous to offer me the position.
Mark Twain

Our true wealth is the good we do in this world. None of us has faith unless we desire for our neighbors what we desire for ourselves.
Mohammed

The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.
Author Unknown

Change & Opportunity – Retirement Message or Quote

When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.
Benjamin Franklin

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature…. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
Helen Keller

Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.
James F. Byrnes

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.
Andy Warhol

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
Nelson Mandela

To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
Helen Keller

A great wind is blowing and that gives you either imagination or a headache.
Catherine the Great

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.
Anatole France

Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.
Emily Dickinson

Opportunity dances with those who are ready on the dance floor.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Life is not anything, but an opportunity for something.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.
Eric Hoffer

Imagination & Thinking – Retirement Message or Quote

Imagination is more important than Knowledge.
Albert Einstein

To imagine is everything, to know is nothing at all.
Anatole France

Imagination rules the world.
Napoleon Bonaparte

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is a compromise.
Robert Fritz

All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers.
Orison Swett Marden

The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it,but that it is too low and we reach it.
Michelangelo

Change your thoughts and you change your world.
Norman Vincent Peale

You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, “Why not?”
George Bernard Shaw

The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want.
Ben Stein

Trust that little voice in your head that says “Wouldn’t it be interesting if…”; And then do it.
Duane Michals

Beware what you set your heart upon. For it shall surely be yours.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

…yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.
Kahlil Gibran

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.
Michelangelo

If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.
George S. Patton

Be sure to share a quote or retirement message with friends and family. They have many uses for many occasions! Besides our retirement message page, we have many more retirement ideas. Including all about finding a hobby.

Or click on the link below to our main retirement page.


to Retirement Ideas