Things to Do in Retirement to Avoid Boredom

Tamsen Butler
Senior couple sitting in living room

If boredom is an issue with your retirement, take a moment to think back on all the things you said you would do if you had the time. Now that you have the time, are you brave enough to go after those dreams?

Daily Activities for Fun

How should you pass the hours that you would have otherwise spent at work? Now is the time to indulge in activities you enjoy without feeling guilty that you should be doing something more productive.

  • Spend time outside - whether walking, biking, gardening, or just enjoying being outdoors.
  • Take up a new creative endeavour, like painting or even dancing.
  • Join a social club; it doesn't have to be focused on retirees, but can instead be centered on activities you enjoy.
  • Visit the public library weekly and grab a random book each time to read throughout the week.
  • Get a large cookbook and challenge yourself to make each of the recipes contained within.
  • Take the weekends to go yard sale-ing.
  • Play video games or chat with people online.
  • Paint rocks with positive messages and leave them in public places like parks.
  • Call or write letters to friends with whom you have lost touch.
  • Start taking music lessons.
  • Try geocaching.
  • Go skydiving.

Daily Activities for Productivity

For some people, "fun" isn't so fun if it doesn't yield results. If you're looking for activities that will feel more productive, consider some of these options:

  • Take a part-time job, just for the fun of it.
  • Start going through old photographs and get them into photo books or scrapbooks.
  • Begin downsizing your belongings if you haven't already; sell the items you no longer want for extra cash.
  • Volunteer with a non-profit organization.
  • Start your own community organization to help others.
  • Get involved with investing - not to build wealth, but to help small companies get off the ground.
  • Learn a new language.
  • If you live in an area that allows it, begin foraging for food.
  • Join a martial arts studio and work toward a desired belt rank.
  • Write a memoir of your life and self-publish it.
  • Become a mentor.
  • Run for public office.

Exciting Travel

Maybe you have always wanted to travel to exotic locations on the other side of the world - or perhaps you dream of exploring places a little closer to home. Now is the time to start making plans to travel. You likely don't have to work around a work schedule anymore or arrange childcare, so it's just a matter of deciding on a location and pulling together the funds for the trip. Whether you envision a leisurely RV trip across the country or an adventure-filled tour, this is the time of your life when these things are possible.

Senior woman at Eiffel Tower

Extend Your Play-Span

Physical activity is known to extend your lifespan, but it can also extend your so-called play-span. This means not only will you live longer, but your body will continue to do the things you want it to do long into your retirement without restrictions. Even if you don't go into retirement as a fitness fanatic, there is no reason why you can't use your retirement years to get as fit as possible. As you age, the effort you put into your fitness now will pay in dividends like fewer illnesses and injuries.

Train for a Goal

Set a goal that will take physical effort. That might mean anything from a 5k race to a marathon, depending on your willingness to push yourself. In retirement, you now have the time you always wished you had in your working years to devote to a goal that may have once seemed unattainable. But with the right training and some patience, you might surprise yourself in your abilities. Here are some ideas to consider, keeping in mind that even if you aren't in good shape right now, you can be eventually:

  • Sign up for a race or physical event with ample time to train and prepare beforehand.
  • Set up the goal of hiking a challenging trail.
  • Get started with a personal trainer.
  • Join a new specialized gym, like CrossFit, a yoga studio, or a boxing gym.

Set a Goal

Think of everything you wanted your life to be before you retired - can you make it that now? No matter how lofty the goal may seem, take tangible steps every day that lead you to that goal. Did you have dreams of acting professionally? Enroll in acting classes, join a community theater group, find a local agent, and go on some auditions. Did you always picture yourself restoring a classic car to its former glory in your retirement? Find the vehicle, set aside some space dedicated to the project, and get to work! Having a goal while in retirement will keep you focused and banish boredom.

Things to Do in Retirement to Avoid Boredom