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How to Keep Busy After Retirement (Think Outside the Box!)

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Oct 14, 2015

After reading these ideas on how to keep busy after retirement, you’ll feel like there’s no time to waste. Get started!

After reading these ideas on how to keep busy after retirement, you’ll feel like there’s no time to waste. Get started!


Retirement for most people is never quite what they pictured it to be. Yes, there’s more time to spend with family, travelling plans to be made, personal projects to start—but there don’t seem to be enough activities to fill the hours of the day. After working full-time for thirty years or more, the hours that used to be spent working are now suddenly freed up.   

It’s a good idea to focus on how to keep busy after retirement. At first, it might seem like you have too much time on your hands, and that’s completely normal. Getting used to your “open schedule” will take a little while. In the meantime, you can brainstorm how you want to manage your time from here on out, whether it is on a passion project or a new hobby or taking some time to travel across the country.  

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of useful and productive ideas on how to keep busy after retirement. Think of it as your “starter package.” Take a look through the list and see if there’s anything that strikes the right note or maybe gives you a good idea.

How to keep busy after retirement: a starter package for new pursuits

Learn to dance

That’s right, you read it correctly. If there was ever a better time to learn a new skill to impress your partner, friends, or family, it’s right now. Chances are you don’t want to spend your time in a gym, but it’s important to sustain physical activity. Plus, you should have fun doing it!

Try focusing on an artistic endeavor

If you’ve ever had the itch to work creatively, scratch it! Pick one that feels right and do it for fun, whether it be writing a short story, painting, sketching, making jewelry, or carving woodwork.

Start up a new business

Can’t stand the fact that you’re not working toward a professional goal? Don’t let retirement stop you. Start up that business idea you’ve had rattling around in your thoughts for years. You can take up a consulting career, start a food blog, or apply to teach at a local college.

Travel to that one place you never thought you’d go

Everybody wants to tell you that travelling is a great idea when you’re retired. It’s true, but after a week-long trip and a lot of tour guides, the typical destination spots can get tiring. Instead, pick that one place you never thought you’d go to, and go! Maybe Alaska, or Thailand, or Peru, or Perth (the most isolated city in the world). Get creative with your travel plans.

Volunteer locally

Want to feel like you’re working,but still have the freedom to pick and choose your hours? Volunteering is a good way to stay busy while also helping those around you. Get involved with an organization you admire and lend a hand.

Learn how to play an instrument

Maybe you learned how to play the piano when you were a child but eventually lost touch with the craft. Or you always wanted to learn how to play one of your favorite songs on the guitar. Hire a local musician to teach you how to play and surprise the family at the next holiday dinner.

Make plans to visit friends

It’s important to keep contact with friends at all stages of adulthood. Now that you have to time to reconnect with long-time friends, schedule a few weekend trips a year to visit them. You can make plans to take a trip together or simply hop on a plane and be there within the day.

Move closer to your children

If your kids live further than a 3-4 hour car drive away, consider moving closer to them. One of the greatest benefits of retirement is having the time to spend with your children and grandchildren. And if you’re having issues with how to keep busy after retirement, you’ll have plenty to do by helping watch over your grandkids.

Treat retirement like you're running a business: time management is everything

Learning how to keep busy after retirement is based on two core principles: perception and time management. If you can learn to see the benefits of being retired and see room to improve yourself in other areas, you’ll be on the right track to figuring out how to manage your time better, as well.

Just remember: give yourself a break. If you’re in the first year of retirement, you owe it to yourself to take off at least six months to simply relax and plan the future.

Speaking of the future (the much distant future, we hope), no one wants to leave their family with the burden of debt and funeral expenses. After you've conquered your bucket list, make it easier for your family by investing in Funeral Preplanning.


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