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 Hobbies — Finding 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.
Traveling — Senior 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.
Volunteering — Learning 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 Activities — Senior 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.
Crafts — Easy Craft Ideas — Maybe you’ve been toying with the idea of learning a new craft during retirement. (And maybe even to do for profit.)
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.
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.