New Things to Try During Retirement

After years of building a career and raising children, it’s finally time to retire. The last day at work is a little bittersweet as you shake hands with your co-workers and employers, but you’re excited for what’s to come. Once you’re finally free, you find yourself in a honeymoon phase not dissimilar to a recent marriage. For many, it’s the prospect of planned travels. For others, it’s the ability to finally just rest.

But once that phase ends, many seniors begin to feel aimless or even lonely, and they begin to wonder: now what? Building a new identity outside the workforce is an overwhelming task for many, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a world of new things to try during retirement that you never have before.

Consider these new things to try during retirement

Start a bucket list

Many people already have a mental bucket list, but make yours official. Write down all the things you’ve wanted to do and all the places you’ve wanted to see, and itemize that list. Separate them by the things that are easier to accomplish, and the things that will take more time/finances. Use it as your guide to your retirement.

Make a daily schedule

Some seniors miss the structure that work placed in their life. So, put structure back into your life. Purchase a planner and make a daily schedule. Establish a regular bedtime and wake-up time, and plan the ins and outs of your day around it. Even if all you want to do the following day is going to the library and the post office, write it down. Don’t forget—“nothing” days are valuable too.


Travel is almost always one of the first things suggested to retirees, and it’s with great reason. Finally, you can take extended trips without having to worry about any potential work deadlines. Your trips can also be more spontaneous—if you suddenly decide that you want to take a trip a few hours south for a handful of days, you can.

Whether your destination is international or domestic, give in to your wanderlust and pack a bag. Go with a spouse, friends, the whole family, or even on your own. If you do travel on your own, however, make sure you check in with your family members regularly.

Seniors can try new classes in retirement

Research your family tree

Your family tree extends far past your parents and grandparents. Explore that history by researching your family tree. With the rise of technology, genealogy research has not only become more popular, but more accessible. Websites like Ancestry and FamilySearch can even connect you to long-lost family.

However, if technology is not your speed and your family has lived in the same area for decades, you will likely be able to find records at your local library or town hall.

Take a class

Pick up that hobby you’ve always wanted to try, but have never had the time for. Whether that’s learning to paint, play an instrument, or dance, chances are there are classes offered in your general area. Grab a group of friends, or perhaps attend in the effort of making new ones.

If you’re not sure about a group class, you can still foster your creative side by taking a class online. MasterClass offers a variety of classes taught by experts in the field. If you’d rather not pay for another subscription, however, YouTube offers what you’re looking for, for free.

Take a class at a local college

If you’re a little more academically inclined, take a class at your local community college or university. Many schools allow seniors to sit in on undergraduate classes for free. This is a great way to expand your knowledge without the cost.

Try hiking

The United States is full of gorgeous hiking spots—so many, in fact, that there are probably trails closer than you think. Head to the closest national park and hit the trails. If you’re new to hiking, start with the easiest paths. Don’t push past your limits. The more you hike, the more difficult trails you can try.

Hiking can go hand-in-hand with your travel if you’d like. Each time you visit a new place, visit their local, natural wonders. It’s a great way to stay active while admiring the beauty of this new location.

Schedule regular meet-ups with friends and family

Getting together with friends and family regularly is a great way to add structure to your week. These meet-ups don’t have to be an all-day event. Consider something as simple as a lunch, or perhaps a class to take together. Whatever it is you decide, you’ll always be able to count on these fun occasions to brighten your day.

Take advantage of events with free admission

Most zoos, museums, and botanical gardens offer free admission days to locals. Find out when those days are and enjoy the sights. While you’re there, you may discover that these locations offer free admissions specifically to seniors. This is the perfect way to see any new exhibitions without having to spend money.

Get a part-time job

If you find that you miss the structure and conversation your full-time employment had to offer but don’t want the stress, consider getting a part-time job. Find a local business that needs help, and offer your services. This could be an option for seniors who are concerned about finances as well.

Become a tour guide

While acting as a tour guide is certainly a job, it’s more fun than your average nine to five. If you have a favorite museum or historical spot, why not take advantage of what you know and take the position of tour guide? You’ll not only be able to be in a spot that you love on a regular basis, but you’ll get the first look at new exhibits.

Depending on the size of the organization, this position may be paid or volunteered. That is something you should be aware of ahead of time.

Do volunteer work

Give back to your community by volunteering for whatever non-profit organizations call to you. Food banks, clean-up groups, and animal shelters are always looking for kind people to assist with a variety of tasks. Keep in mind your mobility and strength before you offer your help.

Some places only need volunteers for a specific event or time of the year, while others might need year-round help. Figure out what works best for your schedule and go from there.

Do what makes you happy

First and foremost, think about what it is that you have always wanted to do. Don’t think about what others expect of you—instead consider whatever it is you’ve wanted to try, but never had the chance. Without work, you can pick up that hobby you’ve always been interested in or join that class. It is your retirement, so whatever activity you chose, do it for yourself and no one else.

Live in comfort with an at-home caregiver

When you retire, you shouldn’t have to worry about tasks like personal care, meal preparation, and medication getting in your way. An at-home caregiver can help. With Home Care Powered by AUAF, our staff can assist you with:

  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders and management
  • Light housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Errands
  • Brain games and activities
  • Companionship and social interaction

For more information on how we help you live independently in the comfort of your home, call us at 773-274-9262.

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