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Bored In Retirement – Things To Do When Retired

senior woman crafting flowers

Retirement is a major life transition that can be both exciting and intimidating.

On the one hand, it marks the end of a long and often demanding career, and the beginning of a new phase of life with more time for leisure, travel, and personal pursuits.

On the other hand, retirement can also bring feelings of boredom, isolation, and a loss of purpose. It’s one of those life experiences that can be drastically different depending on how you approach it.

For many people, their work provides structure, social connections, and a sense of accomplishment.

When that is no longer a part of daily life, it can be difficult to find new sources of meaning and fulfillment.

And while most retirees felt bitten by the boredom bug after a year, 1 in 10 respondents said they were struggling to find something to regularly pass the time after just five months.

If you are struggling with boredom in retirement, you are not alone. In this article, we will explore some strategies for staying engaged, active, and happy during this new phase of life.

We will look at ways to find new and great things to enjoy. Things like hobbies, new learning opportunities, and building a sense of purpose and community.

Whether you are just starting to plan for retirement or are already enjoying the freedom and flexibility of this new phase of life, these suggestions can help you make the most of your time and stay engaged with the world around you.

What Do Retirees Miss The Most?

Retirees often miss the social connections, structure, and sense of purpose that work provided.

Many retirees find that they miss the daily routine of getting up and going to work, and the social interactions with coworkers.

They may also miss the sense of accomplishment and contribution that work brings.

Many psychologists recommend retiring gradually, going to a part-time schedule or doing consulting work, before stopping work altogether. The new free time can be spent investigating new hobbies or rediscovering old ones.

American Psychological Association

In addition to the social and emotional aspects of work, some retirees may miss the financial security and benefits that a job provides.

For some, retirement can bring financial challenges, as they may no longer have a steady source of income and may need to adjust to living on a fixed budget.

It’s also common for retirees to miss the intellectual stimulation and challenges that work provided. For many people, work is an important source of learning and personal growth.

When work is no longer a part of daily life, it can be challenging to find new ways to engage the mind and stay mentally active.

Overall, the things that retirees miss the most vary from person to person, but social connections, structure, purpose, and financial security are often cited as common challenges during retirement.

What Should You Do Everyday When You Retire?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as everyone’s retirement experience is unique and personal.

However, there are some general strategies that can help you make the most of your retirement and stay happy, healthy, and engaged.

1. Spend Time with Friends and Family Members – Now that you have so much time on your hands, you have a great opportunity to reconnect with your loved ones. Enjoy spending quality time with family and friends, either in person or over video calls.

2. Take up a new Hobby – Have you been wanting to learn a new language, instrument, or craft? Now is the time to explore something that you’ve always wanted to do! This is a great retirement boredom buster to keep you active and engaged.

3. Discover your Family Tree – Learn more about your ancestry by researching your genealogy. Who knows, you may even discover some unexpected family connections!

4. Exercise – Exercise doesn’t have to be boring! There are so many enjoyable ways to exercise such as walking, swimming, tai chi, hiking and even dancing. Find something that you enjoy and make it part of your daily routine.

5. Volunteer Work – Retirement is a great time to give back to the community by volunteering with a meaningful cause or organization. It can be incredibly rewarding to see how your efforts can help make your community a better place. (The food bank is a great place to start!)

6. Relax and Take Care of Yourself – Retiring is a great time to reflect on the life you’ve lived and work on any projects that have been put off. Take this time to practice self-care, whether it’s taking walks in nature or reading a good book.

7. Learn Something New – Retirement can also be an opportunity for learning. Take classes, attend lectures or explore your interests. Learning something new can be a great way to keep your mind active and stay connected with the world around you.

8. Make Connections – Don’t be afraid to step out and meet new people when you retire. Strike up conversations with strangers or join a local club or organization. Making connections can help keep you from feeling lonely and open up opportunities for new adventures and activities.

9. Be Open to Change – Retirement is a great time to embrace change and try something new. Sign up for classes, learn a new language or explore different hobbies. Challenging yourself and being open to change can help you discover new passions and meet up with like-minded people.

10. Join Clubs – Joining clubs is a great way to meet new people and stay active in retirement. From gardening clubs, book clubs, or even bridge clubs, there are plenty of options out there to keep you busy while having fun at the same time.

11. Get a Part-Time Job – Many retirees find that part-time work or a volunteer position is the perfect way to stay busy and continue contributing to society. Even if it’s something you’ve never done before, taking on a new challenge can be exciting and rewarding at the same time.

12. Continue Learning – Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean that learning has to stop. Whether you take classes at a local community college, attend seminars and lectures in your area, or research topics of interest online, staying up-to-date on the latest news and trends is an important part of retirement.

13. Discover Social Media – Social media isn’t just for young people. In fact, many retirees find that websites such as Facebook and Twitter are a great way to stay in touch with friends and family, follow their favorite news sources, or even start blogging about retirement-related topics.

14. Travel is Popular – You’ve worked hard, and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Retirement provides a great opportunity to travel the world or explore national parks. Visit new places, eat different foods, experience diverse cultures – all without having to worry about taking time off from work!

15. Rediscover your Local Library – Libraries are a great place to browse books, catch up on the news, and listen to music for free. Many libraries also offer classes, movie nights, book clubs, and other activities. Retirement is a great time to get reacquainted with your local library.

Remember, retirement is a new phase of life and it’s important to be flexible and adaptable. Don’t be afraid to try new things and find what works best for you.

What Do Most Retired People Do With Their Time?

Retired life can be an exciting new chapter in your life, allowing you to explore and do the things you’ve always wanted to.

For some people, it means finally having time to take up a hobby they have long admired or even travel the world. Others may choose to spend more time with family and friends or devote their days to giving back to their community.

No matter what you choose, one thing is certain: retirement gives you the opportunity to do all of the things that you may have wanted to but never had time for while working.

The study showed that those in retirement spent less time on things like working, educational activities, and caring for others like their children. They spent more time on things like personal care, eating, household activities, shopping, leisure, civic activities and talking on the phone. In all, a typical retiree took 2.5 hours per day away from activities like work and added those 2.5 hours into activities like leisure.

This makes sense, right? Most individuals look forward to taking it easy when they retire.

Whatever activity you choose when you retire, make sure it is something that brings joy and fulfillment to your life. Retirement should provide an opportunity for you to slow down and savor life’s little moments.

What Is A Good Hobby For A Retired Person?

Retirement can be a great opportunity to explore new hobbies and enjoy the freedom of having more time for leisure activities.

Whether you’re looking for ways to stay physically active, or simply want to find something fun to do with your newfound free-time, there are plenty of great hobbies that are perfect for retired people.

Here are just a few ideas:

Gardening – Gardening offers a great opportunity to get outside and enjoy the fresh air while staying active. Plus, you can reap the rewards of growing your own fruits, vegetables, and flowers!

Photography – Photography is a creative hobby that’s easy to pick up and master over time. And since cameras are now so affordable and accessible, it’s a great way to capture memories of your retirement years.

Woodworking – If you’re looking for a hobby that allows you to exercise both body and mind, woodworking is an excellent choice. You can make custom furniture, cabinets, or even musical instruments!

Cooking/Baking – Whether you’re a novice or an experienced chef, cooking and baking are both fun hobbies that can help keep your skills sharp in the kitchen. Plus, you can enjoy the delicious results with family and friends!

Collecting – If you’re a history buff or just love collecting things, this is a hobby that can keep you busy for hours. You could collect coins, stamps, antiques or anything else that catches your eye.

Knitting or Crocheting – Both knitting and crocheting are relaxing hobbies that will give you something to focus on when you have extra time. You can make winter scarves for friends and family, or even try your hand at a blanket or quilt.

Join a Book Club – If you’re an avid reader, consider joining a book club. Discussing books with other retirees will not only keep you entertained, but it’ll also give you the chance to learn about different perspectives and make new friends.

Take Up Painting – Get your creative juices flowing with painting! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced painter, there are plenty of resources to help get you started. You can also join classes at local art galleries if you need extra guidance.

Bird Watching – This is a great hobby to enjoy if you’re retired and want to stay outside while still keeping busy. A pair of binoculars and a bird watching guide book is all you need to start enjoying this hobby.

Take Up A Musical Instrument – Learning to play a musical instrument has been linked with reducing stress, improving concentration, and even lowering the risk of dementia. So, why not take up an instrument as a hobby?

If you already have some knowledge of music theory then you can start learning your favorite songs. Or if you’re a total beginner, there are many resources available to help you get started.

Writing – Writing can be a great hobby and outlet for retired individuals. Whether it’s a journal, a blog, or even a memoir – writing is an effective way to express yourself and connect with others.

Even if it’s just for fun, putting your stories and thoughts down on paper can be therapeutic and help you stay engaged in life.

Arts & Crafts – Everyone has an artist inside them just waiting to get out. Arts and crafts can be a great hobby for retired people. You can choose from knitting, scrapbooking, painting or even make jewelry. This type of creativity also helps keep your mind active and engaged with activities.

What Makes A Happy Retiree?

Happiness in retirement is often dependent on a variety of factors, including financial security, physical and mental health, social connections, and a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Here are some things that may contribute to a happy retirement:

  1. Financial security: Having enough money to cover your basic needs and pursue your interests can be a key factor in feeling secure and content in retirement. It’s important to plan ahead and save enough for retirement so you can have the freedom to do the things you enjoy.
  2. Physical and mental health: Staying active and maintaining good physical and mental health is important for overall well-being in retirement. Engaging in activities that promote physical and mental health, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management, can help you feel happy and fulfilled.
  3. Social connections: Strong social connections with friends and family are important for mental and emotional well-being. Building and maintaining relationships during retirement can provide a sense of belonging and support.
  4. A sense of purpose and accomplishment: Many people find fulfillment in having a sense of purpose and contributing to something larger than themselves. Whether through volunteering, pursuing hobbies, or learning new things, finding ways to stay engaged and feel a sense of accomplishment can be key to happiness in retirement.

The Emotional Stages Of Retirement

Retirement is a major life transition that can cause a roller coaster of emotions. It’s important to understand the emotional stages you may experience so you can plan your retirement with confidence and security.

In a great article at, they go over 5 stages of retirement.

  1. Pre-retirement phase
  2. Honeymoon phase
  3. Disenchantment phase
  4. Re-orientation phase
  5. Stability phrase

Let’s go over each one of these in some detail.

Pre-Retirement Phase

In this phase, anticipation is the most common emotion. This can be a mix of excitement, anxiety and uncertainty about your future. During this time, it’s important to plan for retirement and create financial security by examining your finances, health care needs and goals for retirement.

It’s important during this time to speak to a financial planner (hopefully you have one), an accountant and an elder law attorney, if you haven’t yet done so.

Once you retire, denial may take over as you adjust to not working each day. You may feel guilty or embarrassed that you’re not contributing to society as you once did. There may also be a sense of loss and regret, especially if you were close with colleagues at work.

To manage this stage, remain connected with former coworkers and focus on how your new lifestyle can bring satisfaction in different ways.

Don’t be surprised if you feel anxious during this phase. You may worry about how you’ll handle the transition from working to not working, or from having an income to relying on your savings.

You might also feel anxious about the cost of living and what type of retirement lifestyle your savings will afford.

Honeymoon Phase

In the honeymoon phase of retirement, you may initially accept wholeheartedly all the gifts that come with retirement – flexibility, more time for leisure and travel, no more commuting, less stress in your life, etc.

But it is important to remember that this phase won’t last forever. To ensure a smoother transition, you need to prepare yourself emotionally for retirement.

The first step in preparing for retirement mentally is building your self-worth after leaving a career. A lot of people build their identities around their careers, and when that changes due to retirement, it can be difficult to adjust.

Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is my purpose now?
  • How do I want to spend my time after retiring?
  • It’s a great opportunity for self-discovery and finding personal fulfillment outside of your job.

The transition from work to retirement can bring with it a newfound freedom, one you may not have had before.

Disenchantment Phase

This is where the reality of the situation finally hits you. It can be a difficult period of coming to terms with the fact that you are no longer working.

It is normal for your self-esteem levels to drop, and at times you may feel overwhelmed by the changes occurring in your life. You may also experience boredom and loneliness as there is no structure or routine in place now to keep you busy.

It is essential that you establish new goals and activities to fill the gap. Connecting with other retirees or joining a recreational club can provide a great outlet for social interaction and help to reduce loneliness.

Retirement also provides an opportunity to pursue hobbies, such as painting, reading or gardening, and take up new challenges. Think of it as starting over!

Rediscovering yourself and taking control of your life can help to boost self-esteem and provide a sense of purpose.

At the same time, it’s important to remember the importance of balance. Retirement doesn’t have to mean going from one task to another or constantly striving for something new; it should also provide an opportunity to take a break and relax.

Take time to savor the day-to-day moments, enjoy hobbies and hobbies you’ve always wanted to pursue, or just spend some quality time with family and friends.

Reaching out for help is also important. Don’t be afraid to seek assistance if needed – whether it’s from a professional or from family and friends.

Retirement can bring up a lot of different emotions, so make sure you have someone you can talk to when things start to get overwhelming.

Depression is the most prevalent mental health problem among older adults, and a common mistake in planning for retirement is not considering the emotional adjustment that occurs. Symptoms of depression can include sadness, disturbed sleep, and loss of interest in things you enjoyed. Depression can last anywhere from weeks to years depending on life satisfaction and treatment.

In the end, it’s important to remember that retirement can be a time for growth and exploration. It is an opportunity to discover new avenues of expression, try different activities, and find out more about yourself in the process.

Don’t let your age or current life circumstances stop you from doing something meaningful with your newfound freedom. Your future self will thank you!

Re-Orientation Phase

In this phase, you begin the hard work of re-inventing yourself. This can be a challenging time, as you’ve likely been in the same career for many years or have had limited new experiences.

This is why it’s important to embrace change and start looking at retirement as an opportunity to pursue new interests, hobbies and goals.

Talk with people who have already retired – they will often provide great advice and ideas for things you can do in your new found freedom.

Retirement also brings new opportunities to volunteer, travel or start a business. Research the area in which you live and discover fun activities such as museums, festivals and classes that can help you stay active and connected with your community.

Finding ways to give back through charities or not-for-profits will also help keep you engaged and provide a sense of purpose.

And don’t forget to treat yourself! Whether it’s a long weekend away or simply treating yourself to a massage, make sure you’re taking care of your emotional and physical health throughout this time.

Retirement can be an incredibly rewarding experience if you take the time to appreciate it. The 5 emotional stages may sound daunting, but they are essential steps in coming to terms with this new chapter of life and embracing all that it has to offer.

With a little patience and guidance, you can turn your retirement years into some of the best times of your life.

What Not To Do In Retirement

Retirement doesn’t have to be a time of inactivity and boredom. It can be an extremely rewarding period of life that allows you to step back, explore new interests, give back to the community, and spend more quality time with family and friends.

However, there are some things you should avoid doing in retirement if you want to make the most out of it.

One thing you should absolutely not do in retirement is neglect your health. While you may no longer have the same physical demands of a job, that doesn’t mean you can ignore your physical and mental well-being.

Regular exercise and healthy eating are essential for maintaining good health as we age, so make sure to stick to a routine and keep up with regular checkups.

Another mistake many retirees make is overlooking the need for financial planning. Retirement means that you no longer have a steady income, so it’s important to plan your finances wisely.

Make sure that you have sufficient retirement savings and investments, and don’t forget about long-term care insurance and other forms of support that can help you stay financially secure.

Finally, don’t forget to keep learning in retirement. Many people think that once they’ve retired they no longer need to grow or update their skills, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

I always thought that retiring to a small college town was an ideal way to spend my retirement years. Not only could I take advantage of all the college has to offer, but I could also perhaps try my hand at teaching or mentoring.

Keeping your mind active by learning new skills or hobbies is key to staying healthy and happy in retirement.

Not only will this help you stay mentally sharp, but it can also provide a source of income if needed. So don’t let learning take a backseat — make it an integral part of your retirement plan.

Taking the time to plan for your retirement is essential to ensuring that you’re living your best life in your golden years. But don’t ruin all that hard work by forgetting to budget, neglecting your health and wellness, or not learning new things.

These are just a few of the things you should avoid when planning for your retirement — so take note and be sure to enjoy your retirement years!

How To Have A Successful Retirement

The key to a successful retirement is planning. You need to plan for your finances, health care, housing, and lifestyle. Even the month you retire can affect your future.

From my experience working with older adults and with friends and family, I’ve learned that you will need more money than you think after you retire. Most of which ends up going to increased living costs and health care.

Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Map out a budget that works for you – The best way to make sure your money lasts through retirement is by creating a budget that fits your needs. Make sure to consider your projected income, expected expenses, and long-term goals.

2. Prepare for health care costs – With age comes an increased risk of health problems. Before you retire, make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage and a plan in place to pay for any additional medical costs. It’s also important to stay active and healthy to keep your body in top shape.

3. Consider different housing options – Retirement is a great time to explore different living arrangements. Do you want to downsize and live in a smaller home or rent an apartment? Are there any assisted living options that fit your needs? Think about what kind of lifestyle you’d like to have and look into different options until you find the perfect fit.

4. Don’t forget about taxes – Retirement means that your income sources will change, and with that comes new tax considerations. Know what kind of retirement income is taxable so you can plan for any potential tax liabilities.

It’s also important to understand the tax implications of different investments and withdrawals from your retirement accounts to help ensure you’re staying compliant with the law.

5. Have a budget – A budget is vital for successful retirement planning, as it can help you manage your spending and make sure you have enough money set aside for important expenses like healthcare.

Establishing a budget also allows you to plan for the unexpected and can help you prioritize your spending. Be sure to look into senior discounts that may be available in your area for additional savings. With a good budget in place, you can have greater peace of mind during retirement.

6. Take up hobbies – Retirement gives you the time to pursue interests that you may have had to put on hold while working. If you’re interested in learning a new skill like playing an instrument, take classes or find online tutorials.

Or if you prefer being outdoors, explore activities such as fishing, bird watching, and hiking. Whatever activity you choose, it can make retirement more enjoyable and meaningful when you have something to look forward to each day.

7. Socialize with like-minded individuals – Spending time with family and friends is important, but it can also be helpful to meet new people who have similar interests as you do.

Consider joining a local club or organization where you can socialize, volunteer, and take part in activities with others of the same age as you. This will help to keep your mind active, while also providing new and enjoyable experiences.

8. Get organized – Retirement is the perfect time to tackle those projects that have been on your “to-do” list for years. Begin by organizing your home and belongings so that everything has a place and is easily accessible when needed.

You can also create a list of projects you’d like to tackle in the future — such as updating your home, taking up a new hobby, or learning a language.

9. Take care of yourself – Your retirement years are meant to be enjoyed and that doesn’t mean just mentally, but physically too. Make sure to get plenty of exercise, eat a healthy diet, and get enough rest each night.

Also make sure to keep up with regular medical checkups so any potential health issues can be caught early.

10. Reap the rewards – Finally, after all your hard work throughout the years, it’s time to reap the rewards of retirement. Enjoy the free time you have to spend with loved ones, travel, or relax and appreciate all that you’ve accomplished in your lifetime.

Retirement doesn’t have to mean the end of your professional life; it can be a new beginning filled with possibility. With proper planning and preparation, you can make sure that you have a successful and rewarding retirement.

There are many wonderful things to look forward to in retirement. You get to finally do the things you’ve been wanting to do for so long, like travel and pursue hobbies. You can make your own schedule and spend time with loved ones.

So, take advantage of that and enjoy this time in your life.

Great Books On Retirement

There are many great books that can help you to prepare for retirement and also to help you through this new chapter in your life.

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