Compiled by Alison Gregory
Retirement might leave you with a lot of time on your hands. Resist boredom and discover more about your family, your friends and your world with these ideas to get you started.
Whether you want to explore new subjects or expand knowledge in old interests, make it a goal to learn something new everyday.
- Attend college courses
- Tour an arboretum
- Go to a Town Hall meeting
- Mentor or teach classes
- Join a book club
- Visit an astronomical observatory
Naylor Observatory in Lewisberry invites the public to view stars through their enormous telescopes on several days throughout the year. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Find out about observation days, star parties, astronomy classes and more at astrohbg.org.
- Pick up a new instrument
- Day trip to the Smithsonian museums or other museums
- Take an acting or improv class
- Learn a new language
Think about all the times someone has done something nice for you, then be that person for someone else. Helping out makes a difference in your life and the lives of those around you.
- Donate old clothes to thrift stores
- Create care packages to hand out to homeless people
- Donate to charity
- Host a fundraiser
- Volunteer at a food bank
- Leave a server a large tip
- Adopt a senior pet
Adopting an older pet means taking on a huge responsibility, but older pets and retirees can be the best companions. Senior pets are usually much calmer and obedient than younger ones, and adoption can save their lives. The Humane Society of Harrisburg (humanesocietyhbg.org) even waives adoption fees for “Mature Pets for Mature People.”
- Attend a mission trip
- Pay for the next person’s order in a checkout line
- Send care packages overseas
Interaction is essential to life. Spend more time with your family and friends, but don’t be afraid to meet new people, too.
- See a local play, comedian or musical performance
- Write a letter to a loved one
- Travel big with your family
- Invite your family to an Escape Room
- Try date night at the drive-in movie theatre
- Taste and tour at a local brewery or winery
- Discover your heritage through Ancestry.com or 23andme.com
- Tune in and take part in protests or movements you care about
Standing up for your beliefs can be difficult, but it’s become more recognized as an important way to create change in your world. Educate yourself on political or social movements through pamphlets, reliable websites and books, then find ways to connect with like-minded people and make a difference. CNN suggests knowing your legislators, communicating with them and campaigning, no matter which way you lean (Read more: cnn.com/2016/11/15/politics/ways-to-be-more-politically-active-trnd/index.html).
- Take a community painting class
- Join a club that interests you
It might be tempting to kick back and relax when you don’t have any tasks for the day, but staying healthy can prevent disease, control your weight, improve your mood and help you live longer.
- Ride horseback
- Learn a new recipe
- Take a Zumba or dance class
- Try going vegetarian
- Learn yoga
- Take a self-defense course
- Learn to meditate
- Grow your own fruits and veggies
Not only does gardening allow you to exercise and spend time in the sun, but your homegrown produce contains more nutrients than those mass-shipped as well. Take it a step further and create a new recipe with your fresh food. Here’s a list on how to begin: sonima.com/food/growing-your-own-food
- Get a massage
- Train and participate in a triathlon
Make or put aside extra cash for a rainy day. You’ll thank yourself if you get strapped with a large bill or if you decide you want to splurge.
- Apply for senior discounts
- Dedicate a jar for loose change and use when needed
- Go thrifting
- Organize a yard sale
- Try mystery shopping
- Handcraft your own cards and gifts
- Become an AARP member
AARP allows members 50+ to receive major discounts on everything from travel to prescriptions for under $20 a year. They also offer services which match you to jobs appropriate for your experience, if you’re interested in a retirement gig: aarp.org. Similar companies to AARP include AMAC and ASA.
- Seek information and assistance from a financial advisor
- Sell unused items online
- Utilize your local library
Retirement lends you time to discover areas you’ve never been before without the worry of work the next week. Let yourself relax in some of the most beautiful places on Earth.
- See the Northern Lights
- Go on a cruise
- Visit at least one of the Seven Wonders of the World
Maybe it’s unrealistic to visit all seven, but each wonder is incredible in itself. The modern-day seven wonders include: Chichén Itza, Mexico; Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil; Colosseum, Italy; Taj Mahal, India; The Great Wall of China; Petra, Jordan; and Machu Picchu, Peru.
Find inexpensive international flights at kayak.com.
- Dive in the deep sea
- Road trip Route 66
- Go pub-crawling in Ireland
- Vacation on Hawaii’s beaches
- Discover National Parks (A/N: seniors above age 62 can purchase a discounted lifetime pass at nps.gov.)
- Whale watch in Mexico
- Visit a country of your heritage