You’ve reached retirement—and you finally have the time and money to do whatever you want. Yes, you’ll visit the grandkids and take the occasional trip, but that still leaves you with lots of free time you’ve never had before, and you’re not the volunteer-at-the-library type.
If this sounds like you, check out these ten retirement ideas that might just inspire you!
1. Learn to Play Music
Retirement is the perfect time to learn how to play the guitar. Or the French horn. Or even the drums if you’ve always wanted to try. You can get instruments secondhand or even rent them until you’re sure you’re all in. And you may even be able to barter for the lessons. Young college students love home-cooked food!
2. Volunteer—in Another Country
I’ll bet you’ve thought about volunteering at a charity or school in your area. But what if you volunteered in Mexico? Japan? Poland? Lots of organizations are looking for people to help out year round—not just in the summertime when youth groups and churches traditionally serve in these areas.
3. Go Back to School
You finally have the time and money to finish that degree. Or get a new one! Check out your local community college or even look for online degrees that appeal to you. Colleges are always on the lookout for non-traditional students like you!
4. Start a Blog
Like to travel? Create a blog and share your adventures. Or talk about your love of gardening or woodworking. The possibilities are endless. Lots of blog platforms offer a basic setup for free. If you’re not the most tech-savvy person, ask your kids or grandkids for help!
5. Go to Camp
Camps aren’t just for kids these days. Organizations are catering to adults, too. You can go to space camp and train in a simulator. You can spend a week at a cooking school. Or go to a football fantasy camp or even a motorcycling camp.
6. Take Up Genealogy
Learning about your past could be a meaningful gift to give yourself as well as your children. With websites and software, you could walk through the pages of history without ever leaving your home. If you’re adventurous, you could even go visit towns and cities that have information on your family.
7. Get Into Politics
With your years of experience in the workplace, you have a lot to offer your community. You could serve on the school board, run for county treasurer, or even run for state senate. Or, if that’s not your thing, you could volunteer to work at a polling site during elections.
8. Start a Nonprofit
Are you passionate about an underserved group in your area? Start a nonprofit organization to help those people. Or you could create one that focuses on educating people about an issue or an illness. With a lot of passion and patience, you could help a lot of people.
9. Learn a New Language
Merhaba! That’s how you say hello in Turkey. With the free time you have in retirement, you can take language classes. And if you decide to volunteer in another country, you’re ahead of the game!
10. Become a Fido’s Best Friend
In most communities, volunteers are the backbone of the animal shelter. They are responsible for grooming, walking, training and playing with the animals. You can even open your home to foster animals for a short time. And you’ll get a lot of four-legged love in return.
It’s your retirement. You get to define it. You get to decide what you want to do and when you want to do it. If you haven’t retired yet, keep saving for the future and guard against stupid decisions that could derail your dreams. The possibilities for retirement are endless—if you work hard and stay focused!