couple on boat in lake

7 Great Ways to Spend Your Time in Retirement

We often hear, “I just don’t know what I would do if I retired.” They are ready to say goodbye to work but unsure how to say hello to retirement and what they will do with all their free time.

We hope these ideas from a list compiled by will serve as inspiration, whether you are thinking about retirement or already retired and looking for great ways to spend your time.


Retirement means no limits on your vacation time. A survey of 1,300 retirees found that the happiest ones took an average of 2.4 vacations each year. Another study found that simply planning a trip can boost your happiness. Here are a few fun ideas to consider:

  • Rent a motorhome and hit the open road. Make a goal to dip a toe in each ocean, travel the length of Route 66, or visit the presidential libraries. If you are over 62, you can get a lifetime federal parks pass for only $80.
  • Become a campground host. Many campgrounds and RV parks provide free campsites and amenities in exchange for help with tasks like collecting fees, enforcing rules, and tidying the grounds.
  • Take a cruise. Cruises are popular among retirees because many offer an all-inclusive experience. Some major cruise lines offer discounts for those over age 55.

Keep learning

Many states offer options for free or discounted college tuition for retirees. In Iowa, Simpson college allows people 65 and older to take one non-credit class for free per semester. Courses are open on a space-available basis and do not include lab courses.

Visit museums or science centers to expand your mind or check out a TED Talk. This link will take you to the TED website and where there is access to several free online lectures.

Start (or continue) a hobby

Expand on hobbies you enjoyed during the working years or pursue new interests. Here are a few ideas: gardening, dancing, baking or cake decorating, reading, antique collecting, model building, bird watching, wine or beer making, pottery making, and furniture making.


One study found that about one-quarter of retirees volunteer regularly. Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose and better your community. Libraries, hospices, theaters, museums, animal shelters, and veteran’s homes are just a few of the places you can volunteer.

Get involved in a sport

Staying active comes with all types of benefits. Not only are there health benefits, but there are also social benefits. It’s a great way to meet new people and have fun. Bocce, pickleball, bowling, tennis, golf, badminton, table tennis, and water aerobics are just a few popular sports for retirees.

Be a mentor

Pass on your wisdom. Becoming a mentor lets you share your life experience while being a teacher or a coach to others. Many schools have mentor programs, both K-12 and universities or community colleges. Based on your career experience, you can find mentorship opportunities through national organizations like SCORE. Its Des Moines chapter offers retired businessmen and businesswomen opportunities to mentor entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Foster a pet

Open your home to a shelter or rescue pet and give an animal a brighter future. You could care for a sick or injured dog or cat and help them adjust to life in a home. The idea is to provide a loving and stable environment for the animals until a permanent home can be found for them. Some foster organizations even cover the cost of food, toys, and medical care.

These are just seven ideas. In next week’s Retirement Report, we will have seven more ways to spend your time in retirement.

A lifestyle plan is a compass by which we determine the direction of the rest of the aspects of your comprehensive retirement plan. To make the right decisions about your income, health care, taxes, investments, and legacy, you’ll need to spell out how you want to spend your time in retirement and what means the most to you. You can talk to a retirement planner about how to get started by scheduling a complimentary 15 Minute Retirement Check-Up Call. Click the button below to schedule your call today!  

Sources: and

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